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For travel options to and from the airport please refer to the article Arriving and Departing .This article specifically covers public transport within Amsterdam. Travel on the domestic train network (NS) is not covered here.
Public transportation in Amsterdam (as in many European capital cities) is first class. Please do note however that central Amsterdam itself is very compact and walkable. Many visitors never feel the need to use public transport other than the train to and from Schiphol.
The company GVB operates the metro, tram and most of the bus network in Amsterdam. They have offices at the following locations where you can get information about public transportation, a map of the network or buy tickets.
-Stationsplein, opposite Central Station
-Metro station, Central Station
-Bijlmer NS Station
-Lelylaan NS station
The tram, metro and bus run from approximately 6AM until 12.30AM. During the night, you can use the limited service night buses. This service starts at approximately 1am.
You can buy tickets as you board any bus, most trams or from the machines at any metro station. These are however rather expensive, a single journey (actually you can travel for an hour with this ticket) in Amsterdam will cost €2.80 compared to €1.00 if you pay by OV Chipkaart. Thus, if you plan to make five or more journeys during your visit, or to return again, the OV Chipkaart is your best option. The 24 hour ticket can be bought direct ftom the driver/conductor for €7,50
A - OV Chipkaart
The OV Chipkaart has now completely replaced the old strippenkaart system in Amsterdam. Before the end of 2011 it will have done so in all of the Netherlands. Those who have used cards such as the Oyster in London or Octopus in Hong Kong will be familiar with a system such as this. Unlike the old system two people cannot travel on the same card, each person must have their own.
Fortunately, for most people, be they visitors or tourists, the system is straight forward.
There are basically two types of card:
1. The anonymous card. This costs € 7.50. You can pick these up at GVB offices and both GVB and NS ticket machines. They can also be bought at some places with an add value machine which basically means most of the places you previously could buy strippenkaarts such as tobacconist shops (Tabacs), newsagents, supermarkets, etc; not from the machine (which can only top-up and even that only with a Dutch debit card).
2. The Personalised OV card. This card is not really designed for visitors as you have to fill in an application form (in Dutch) and send it off or apply on the internet (also in Dutch). The biggest differences between these and the anonymous cards are that they can store season tickets and discounts such as those for seniors.
Once you have a card you must load it with cash or a travel product like a GVB 48 hour pass, again this can be done at any of the purchase points or GVB and NS ticket machines although GVB products must be loaded by GVB machines. It is then simply a matter of scanning the card in one of the readers as you enter or leave. N.B. It is vital that you check in and out for each journey. Failure to check in means you are deemed not to have bought a ticket and are liable to a steep fine. If you don't check out you will be charged the maximum €4 for the journey. If you have purchased a one hour ticket and need to change trams it's vital you check out of the first tram or your ticket will be blocked and you will have to buy another one.
The OV Chipkaart system can get very complicated, there is a more detailed guide here. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g18...
B - Unlimited Travel Options
-For unlimited travel on the GVB network (including on night buses) during 24 hours, in addition to using the OV Chipkaart, you can buy the 24 hour Ticket from the driver/conductor. There are also tickets valid for 48 and up to 168 hours. These tickets are in the form of a disposable chip card and are valid from the moment you check into a tram/bus/metro for the first time, so if you first use it at 10am, it's valid until 10am the next day (or for however many hours you have bought). You can also load these onto a anonymous OV card.
Prices in 2013
24 hours (1 day) € 7.50
48 hours (2 days) € 12.00
72 hours (3 days) € 16.50
96 hours (4 days) € 21.00
120 hours (5 days) € 26.00
144 hours (6 days) € 29.50
168 hours (7 days) € 32.00
-Night bus: Single tickets are €4.50 or 12-journey tickets €34. You can also use the OV-Chipkaart or the 24 hour ticket.
One tourist option is the IAmsterdam card. With this you get unlimited travel on metro, tram and bus + discounts to canal cruises, museums and other touristic attractions. This will only be worthwhile if you intend to cram in a lot of museum visits in a short time.
To view a map of the network, check the nearest stop to a museum or attraction or find more info about the public transportation system in Amsterdam, visit the website of the GVB at http://en.gvb.nl/pages/home.aspx
A journey planner for public transport in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands can be found here www.9292.nl/en