rent a boat - Amsterdam

When you are visiting Amsterdam it is probably for only a few days. So you don’t want to lose time finding your way in this crowdy city. In this article you will get 8 tips to use the public transport in Amsterdam.

And to make it even more easy, every suggestion has a link to the right timetable and schedules. But first, here are some interesting facts about Amsterdam.

canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam facts

  • Yearly, round 18 million people from all over the world visit Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam has about 835.000 citizens.
  • Together they own 881.000 bicycles!
  • Over 180 nationalities live in Amsterdam.
  • There are 50 different parks.
  • 216 trams.
  • 165 canals with 80 lovely, old bridges.

bikes in Amsterdam

How to use the public transport in Amsterdam

Public transport is the best way to learn all of the city Amsterdam and get to attractions and places of interest. Travelling within Amsterdam by public transport is straightforward and convenient. The extensive network is operated by GVB and connects the city’s neighbourhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry. I will give you however more options, what about discovering the canals by boat or travel like the locals and take a bike?

8 tips to travel in Amsterdam


  1. Use the train: Amsterdam has several stations to suburbs and other great neighbour cities. What about Rotterdam, The Hague and Haarlem for example. And did you know, it is only a 25 minute trip by train to the Zandvoort Beach?  Here you can plan your visit in Amsterdam and The Netherlands by train.
    centraal station Amsterdam
  2. Travel by subway/metro or bus. Here you can find the different lines, timetables and zones. Don’t worry, the Amsterdam metro system is tiny and clear.
  3. Jump on one of the many trams. Using the several trams in Amsterdam is probably the most convenient and fast way to discover the city. Here you can find everything you need: maps, lines, timetables etc.
    tram in Amsterdam
  4. Visiting the canals? Be sure to take a canal cruise. The history of Amsterdam is intimately connected with water. It’s 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport and reclaim land to expand the city. They continue define the city’s landscape and in 2010 Amsterdam’s canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. A few of the best-known operators include Canal and Blue Boat. If you’d like to break up your canal cruise with some sightseeing, then the ‘hop-on hop-off’ service offered by Canal Bus is an excellent option.
    canal cruise amsterdam
  5. For urban Amsterdam-Noord: take the ferry across “Het IJ”. The ferry connections across the IJ river are free for passengers, bicyclists and moped riders. The ferries are in service all day and all night and I really suggest you to experience it and get amazed about the great view you’ll get. Learn more.
    public transport in Amsterdam - ferry
  6. Not afraid of traffic jams? Take a taxi or an Uber. Be sure it you take the taxi, to make arrangements in advance about the price.
  7. If you are into it (and if you are experienced!!): rent a bike. Amsterdam regularly comes out on top in lists of the world’s most cycle-friendly cities, and there’s no finer way to explore the city’s streets, canals and attractions than by pedal power. Amsterdam however is really crowdy and the locals are experienced bike drivers, it’s their lifestyle. Biking in Amsterdam is dangerous if you are not experienced. There is the traffic, the pedestrians but most dangerous are the tram trails. You can rent bikes on every street corner.
    public transport in Amsterdam - bike
  8. See Amsterdam at your own pace with a hop-on hop-off bus tour, including the option of a hop-on hop-off tour by boat. Select a 24- or 48-hour ticket with 12 bus stops around town, enhanced by optional sightseeing around Amsterdam’s postcard-perfect network of waterways on the canal cruise.
    amsterdam hop-on-hop-off tour

Options for getting your tickets for metro, tram and bus in advance with discount:

  • I amsterdam City Card: With the so called “I amsterdam City Card” you can use for 24, 48, 72 of 96 hrs the public transport in amsterdam unlimited. With this card you also get discount on museums and attractions.
  • GVB dagkaarten: From 1 to 7 days, from € 7.50. Valid on all trams, buses and metros of the GVB company.
  • Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket: Want to find out what can be done inside and outside the city? With the Amsterdam Region & Travel Ticket, a profitable public transport ticket, you get 24 hours unlimited use of all tram, bus and metro lines CFP Connexxion and GVB (including night lines) in Amsterdam and the region.
  • And here you will read all about the OV chip card for tourists. If you are not interested in one of the cards above, the OV chip card is the standard in The Netherlands.

Have a great city trip in our lovely Amsterdam! (save these tips on Pinterest:)

Amsterdam public transport tips