Below some general information is provided that you might find to be useful.
Amsterdam Public Transport System
Although the city centre’s compact size means that most areas and sights are within walking distance of each other, Amsterdam’s public transport network (called 'GVB', a Dutch acronym) is efficient, reliable, inexpensive and widely used. One million passengers criss-cross the city by tram, bus, underground metro line and ferry every day. Please note that due to the construction of a new underground line parts of and around the Amsterdam Central Station are inaccessible.
PT Smart Card / OV Chipkaart
The OV-chipkaart (PT Smart Card) is the way to pay for public transport in Amsterdam. You can travel using just one card, whether it is in the train, bus, tram or metro. The OV-chipkaart is the size of a credit card and has a built-in chip. You can reload this as often as you like, with a balance in euros. For short visits a disposable OV-chipkaart is advised.
You can buy disposable cards at:
GVB Tickets & Info (Municipal Transport Company) across from the Central Station (Open: Monday to Friday, 7am - 9pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 6pm);
Metrostation Weesperplein (Open: Monday to Friday, 7am - 6pm);
The Ticket Vending and Add Value machines; and
With tram and bus drivers and conductors.
At the Ticket Vending and Add Value machines you can pay cash and with PIN, chip or credit card. A disposable card already carries a travel product and can not be recharged.
Tickets for public transport are sold at many locations in and around Amsterdam. Where to buy which ticket:
Using the OV Chipkaart:
Step 1 Reload
In order to travel using your Public Transport Smart Card (OV-chipkaart), the E-purse balance on the card must be sufficient or there must be a travel product, such as a season ticket, on the card. You can buy a season ticket at one of our Tickets & Info service points. You can reload your e-purse at any of the Ticket Vending and Add Value Machines located in all our metro stations and metro stops.
Step 2 Check in
When you start your journey, hold your card up to the logo on the card reader. At metro stations, card readers are built into the gates. At metro stops yellow card readers are located on freestanding pillars. The system checks whether your E-purse balance is sufficient or if there is a season ticket on your card. If so, the card reader gives a signal you can see and hear. The gate opens.
Step 3 Check out
At the end of your journey hold your card up to the logo on the card reader. In the metro stations, the card readers are built into the gates. At metro stops yellow card readers are located on freestanding pillars. If you are using your e-purse to travel, the system deducts the fare.
Rules for using the OV Chipkaart
Always check in and out.
Travel with the OV-chipkaart means that you must always check in and check out at the gates or the yellow card readers.
Not checked in and no valid travel product on your card? That means you are evading the fare. You are risking a fine of € 37.50.
Not checked in or out, and no valid travel product on your card? Instead of the usual fare you now pay € 4.00 for your trip.
Not checked in or out? That means there is an incomplete transaction on your card.
Your card will be disabled if there are twelve incomplete transactions on your card in two weeks. You must then get the card restored at one of our Tickets & Info service points.
One hour ticket
In the tram and in the bus you can buy a 1-hour ticket (a disposable chipcard). The ticket is also available at the GVB Tickets & Info counters and from the Ticket vending machines in the metro stations. With this ticket you can travel for one hour on all GVB tram-, bus- and metro lines. The ticket is only valid on GVB lines, changing to Connexxion of Arriva is not possible. The price: € 2,60
The validity starts after the first check-in. Within the validity period you can change to other GVB lines. When the time has expired, the ticket is no longer usable. The 1-hour ticket is NOT valid on the GVB night buses.
1 day – 7 days ticket
GVB day or multiple day tickets entitle you to unlimited travel through Amsterdam - day and night - by tram, bus and metro, for the number of hours that best suit your plans. For example the 1 day ticket is valid for 24 hours from the time you first check in.
Prices in 2012
24 hours (1 day) € 7.50
48 hours (2 days) € 12.00
72 hours (3 days) € 16.00
96 hours (4 days) € 20.50
120 hours (5 days) € 25.00
144 hours (6 days) € 28.50
168 hours (7 days) € 31.00
Sales points Day tickets
GVB day tickets are available:
from tram- and bus drivers and conductors (only the 24-hours ticket)
Ticket Vending Machines in the metro stations
at VVV Amsterdam Tourist Offices
at various hotels, camping sites, bookstores and other institutions
For more information on tram, bus or metro, see the GVB website at www.gvb.nl
Electronic transactions and ATMs are common.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express are generally accepted.
The Netherlands uses the euro (€) as its currency. Major credit cards are accepted at most large businesses in Amsterdam.
Within The Netherlands 230 Volts/50 Hertz electrical supply is used.
Visitors may need converters and adapters.
General opening hours
Monday: 11.00 - 18.00
Tuesday – Saturday: 09.00 - 18.00
Thursday evening: until 21.00
Sunday: 12.00 – 17.00
Monday - Friday: 09.00 - 18.00
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands. English is widely spoken in Amsterdam. Many people here also command several other foreign languages, such as German and French.
National Emergency numbers
Police, fire brigade, ambulance: tel.: 112
National number police, no emergency: tel.: +31 900 8844
Throughout the city centre, and most certainly near the Central Station Taxis at the west entrance/exit, there are several taxi stands.
The main taxi company of Amsterdam is TCA (Taxi Centrale Amsterdam).
Telephone number: +31 20 777 7777.
With 600,000 bicycles for its 750,000 residents, in Amsterdam it’s rare to for more than a few seconds to pass before a bike zips by. Cycling is a way of life here; The people from Amsterdam and the Dutch people in general use their bicycles as a means of everyday transportation, whether commuting to work in a business suit, shopping for groceries or getting the kids to school. The 400 kilometers of bike lanes and paths in Amsterdam alone make it easy for visitors to experience the city by bike for themselves.
Safety & Crime
Amsterdam is considered as a relatively safe city. In general, violent crimes do not occur very often. However, be aware of pick-pocketing; Pickpockets are mainly active in the summer and in the train travelling between Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol Airport. They can also find you in a tram or when you are watching one of the many street artists perform. Watch your belongings carefully.
The Netherlands has a mild North Sea climate, with moderate temperatures. In the winter, it rarely drops below -5° C (23° F), and in summer it seldom gets warmer than 28° C (82° F). No matter what time of year you visit Amsterdam, there is one thing you can count on: the weather will change quickly, so dress in layers! In October you can expect some rain, often accompanied by wind.
Regardless of the season, we recommend you pack an umbrella, a sweater and perhaps even a scarf. It’s also a good idea to bring some comfortable walking shoes that can handle several hours of sightseeing!
Please visit this website for more practical information.