Travelling to Amsterdam

Wed, 24 Jul
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Deutsche Bahn

Amsterdam: A city of canals

Amsterdam combines beautiful 17th-century Golden Age architecture, hundreds of man-made canals crossed by thousands of bridges, and numerous world-class museums with a world-famous year-round party scene to create a relaxed atmosphere that is unique among European cities. Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most walkable (or bike-able) cities with over 7,000 registered monuments interspersed among tiny alleys, gabled roofs, hidden courtyard gardens, picturesque shop windows, and houseboats floating on Amsterdam’s canals. Amsterdam is a Dutch metropolis; however, its relatively small size and easily navigable nature make it one of the most accessible capitals in Europe. City breaks in Amsterdam are ideal for any traveler seeking a change of pace from the bustle of London or Paris.

About Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and is internationally recognised for its unique urban geography, dominated by canals and bridges. Amsterdam is relatively small for a European capital city, with approximately only 800,000 people living there. The small population size gives the city an intimate, relaxed vibe. History lovers who travel to Amsterdam can visit Anne Frank's house, and art lovers will be spoilt for choice with the Rijksmuseum, with masterpieces by Rembrandt, and the Van Gogh Museum. After a day of soaking up the city's culture, travellers may even enjoy exploring Amsterdam's famous sinful side..

What is the cheapest way to get to Amsterdam?

The cheapest way to reach Amsterdam often depends on the departure destination. Train tickets from major cities in the Netherlands are very cheap when travellers book in advance. travellers departing from countries in close proximity to the Netherlands, like the Benelux countries, Germany, and France, might find it cheaper to get a bus service rather than a train, and there are many great bus companies providing this service. When visiting Amsterdam from outside of continental Europe, it's always cheaper to fly than to take another mode of transport. travellers can secure a great deal on flights when they book well in advance.

How can I travel to Amsterdam by bus?

International bus services arrive at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station, which is approximately 3 miles outside of Amsterdam city centre. Trains that connect Sloterdijk with the city centre take approximately 12 minutes. travellers can board FlixBus, BlaBlaBus and Eurolines coach services to many major European destinations from Amsterdam Sloterdijk. These providers all offer direct services to capitals across the continent, or connections to major cities further afield. Buses depart from Amsterdam 24 hours a day.

How can I travel to Amsterdam by train?

When travellers arrive in Amsterdam by train, they'll arrive at Amsterdam Centraal Station, which is in the heart of inner-city Amsterdam - many of the city's main attractions are walking distance from the station. If walking isn't possible, board the city's pubic tram, bus, metro, and ferry services to attractions across the city. Many international trains from continental European capitals arrive at Amsterdam Centraal Station through operators such as Deutsche Bahn, Thalys and Eurostar. Aside from international trains, inter-city train services from Dutch cities like Delft, Den Haag, Utrecht, and Rotterdam have frequent departures to Amsterdam Centraal. These are provided by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen​ company. Trains depart 24 hours a day, with a reduced service between the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 05:00 a.m.

How can I travel to Amsterdam by plane?

Amsterdam Schipol is the Netherlands' busiest airport and is where the majority of international flights to the country land. Schipol is 10 miles outside of Amsterdam city centre. The best way to reach the city centre from the airport is via train to Amsterdam Centraal, which takes 15-20 minutes. Schipol is a major international airport: flights from destinations such as the United States and Asia land here, not just from major European cities. A huge range of international providers fly here, such as easyJet, British Airways, Air Canada, and Aeroflot.

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Traveling around Amsterdam

Given Amsterdam’s relatively small size, the most popular way to travel is by bike. Every day during rush hour (8-9 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.), thousands of cyclists take to the streets. Amsterdam’s 400+ kilometres of cycle paths make cycling in the city extremely efficient and safe. It costs €10 to register with OV-fiets, Amsterdam’s official bike rental agency, after which it costs approximately €3.15 per day. Alternative bike rental agencies cost approximately €10 per day.

Most areas in Amsterdam are well connected by train, metro, tram, bus or ferry. Most residents use a reloadable OV 'chipkaart' to use these different types of public transport. Day and Amsterdam & Region passes are quite convenient for visitors to the city. An “Amsterdam Travel Ticket” includes train fare to and from Schiphol Airport and 2 days of unlimited public transport. Similarly, “I Am Amsterdam” city cards can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours and include unlimited use of public transport as well as free access to various attractions in the city. A daily transport pass in Amsterdam costs around €7.40 depending on the city zones covered by the pass. Apart from 12 routes which run to major stations, most transport lines in Amsterdam stop running after midnight. Night bus tickets cost approximately €4.50.

Best Time to Visit Amsterdam

With its huge system of canals and waterways, world-famous museums, historical sights, and friendly people, exploring Amsterdam at any time of the year is wonderful. The ideal time for visiting Amsterdam, however, is in the more pleasant months of July, August, and September. During these months, the weather is mild and not too warm to roam around the city, drenched in sweat. It is a perfect time for sightseeing and touring around the city. This is also the season when the city opens itself up to travellers in greater numbers as the parks, beaches, and restaurants are filled with relaxing vacationers. It's an excellent time for long bike rides, and the festival season is in full gear. Here you will enjoy an endless parade of festivals and delightful concerts on canal stages. Spring is also a popular time to visit Amsterdam, mainly because the city becomes a veritable blanket of tulips. These can be seen in dedicated tulip centers, as well as out in the wild in Amsterdam's lush parks, which can be the ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon. Even during the off season (November to mid-December and mid-January to February), Amsterdam isn't short of things to enjoy.

Eating in Amsterdam

From savory to sweet delicacies, Amsterdam offers a variety of mouthwatering culinary options to the hungry traveler. There are endless opportunities for indulging in both ubiquitous Dutch delights and multicultural cuisines. The Dutch have a fascinating culinary culture. As you travel through Amsterdam, expect to find traditional Dutch food alongside different cuisines such as Japan's sushi or Spain's paella. As you explore Amsterdam city, take your taste buds on a gastronomical tour. To truly embrace the local cuisine, nothing beats a traditional Dutch restaurant where visitors can indulge in conventional Dutch food such as Krokets, Rijsttafel, Bitterballen, and Oliebollon. A beloved local delicacy in Amsterdam is the 'Hollandse Nieuwe' (New Dutch herring). This delicacy features raw herring served with raw gherkins and chopped onions. Whether you are a die-hard vegan, a meat-loving foodie or a vegetarian, Amsterdam restaurants will cater to your needs. Meat lovers can look forward to Persian chicken and the Dutch grilled meats served in modern restaurants. If you fancy vegan pastry, be sure to enjoy muffins or coconut macaroons in any Thai, Italian, or Indian restaurants strewn across the city.

Walking Around in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for its vibrant nightlife and cultural diversity, though this magnificent city has a lot more to offer. With canals giving way to quaint cobbled street paths, it's hard not to appreciate travellers' fascination with this city. To immerse yourself in Amsterdam's culture, you need to take a stroll through the city center. Amsterdam's historic city center is large and well preserved. Traversing this city center will allow you to take it in and appreciate its beautiful sights. As you walk through the center of the city, look out for its attractions, such as the bustling Dam Square, the iconic Westerkerk, Begijnhof, and the infamous Red Light District - or simply stroll along the city's many canals. These canals form a unique semi-circle around the city square, and are crossed by several bridges and streets. These historic canals also offer different ways to explore Amsterdam. You can hop onto a canal boat and enjoy the view of the city like never before. Later, head downtown, where you can stop at a local restaurant and indulge in some Dutch delicacies.

Public Transport in Amsterdam

Amsterdam boasts an extensive public transport network, which is run by the GVB Company. It includes buses, metros, trams, trains and ferries to help you get around the capital. Trams are the ideal means of transport for visitors, since they are relatively cheap and provide an interesting way to tour the city. There are 18 different tram lines, which run daily from 6:00 a.m. until 12:15 a.m., and nearly all of Amsterdam's main attractions and museums have a tram stop right outside. However, you need a public transport chip card or a valid ticket from GVB to be able to travel with the tram. Amsterdam buses are also efficient in reaching the nearby attractions of the city. Night buses are also available and start operating at midnight after the trams have stopped running. Just ensure you have the public transport chip, as you cannot purchase a ticket on the bus with cash. The metro system in Amsterdam can also take you quickly through the city. It has four lines of service, which you can board at either Central station, Amstel station or Sloterdijk station. There are also multiple ferries in the city that provide fast and easy transport to, and from, various points in the city.

Coffee Places in Amsterdam

The Netherlands is one of Europe's biggest coffee hubs, and Amsterdam is a testament to this. Lining its beautiful waterfront streets and on every corner of this cosmopolitan city are coffee shops unlike any you'll find elsewhere on the continent. With a robust coffee culture, this city has some of the best craft and specialty coffees the world has to offer. On that list of best coffee places in Amsterdam, The Coffeevine Bar is on a league of its own. Here, each cup of coffee is slowly brewed by devoted baristas, using a filter-equipped apparatus such as an AeroPress, a Clever, or a V60. There is no espresso machine in sight, and the coffee shop masterfully makes filter-only coffees all day long. Another beautiful coffee shop in Amsterdam is Hutspot, featuring beautiful design features that will have you snapping pictures throughout your visit. With a North African influenced interior design, it is the perfect place to sip a latte macchiato on a calm day. Black Gold, on the other hand, serves specialty high-quality coffee and a dose of inspirational music to boot. The coffee and vinyl shop also sells coffee making equipment and features small in-store art exhibits and concerts, complete with a DJ.

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