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Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam

August 06, 2020
Biking through the tulip-lined cobblestone streets—this is probably the dreamy version you cooked up in your head on how people in Amsterdam travel around in the city. And while a good many residents do that, that's not all what public transport in the Dutch capital really is. Contrary to many popular beliefs, the Dutch in Amsterdam don't just rely on the two-wheeled machine to get around here. There's actually a metro system, some trams, and buses that one could take to get from one place to another. To know more about it, here are some info on Amsterdam's public transport.

Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam


The OV Chip Card

Perhaps for all of you who want to visit Amsterdam one day, one thing you should first know about is the OV Chip Card. These are disposal travel passes, if you will, that are often good for one whole hour or one whole day that you can use on the city's metro system, trams, and buses. Yes, it's those types of passes that give you unlimited access to these modes of transportation. Your key to not having to wait in the queue for a couple of minutes and you can go right ahead. And since they're mostly good for one day, they're perfect for tourists. 


Amsterdam's Other Public Transport Passes

But what about if you're actually staying here in Amsterdam? What passes should you go for? A good choice is the GVB Day Pass, which can give you passes that can last an entire week. GVB is a huge public transport company in the Dutch capital with a number of trams, buses, and a few trains in the city's metro system. Their day passes give you unlimited access within a certain time period on their own vehicles. Prices start at €7.50. An Amsterdam Travel Ticket, on the other hand, is a pass that can last until three days also with unlimited access to various public transport systems. 


Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam


The Amsterdam Metro

Speaking of the Amsterdam Metro, this is perhaps one of the most efficient modes of public transportation in all of the city. With four separate routes, the trains go out to practically all of Amsterdam's districts, making it easier for you to get to your destination without any hassle. It's also the fastest since it has no connection to other public transport systems and, therefore, no reason to stop unless it reaches the next station. It rarely breaks down so it's also one of the more trustworthy systems in all of the city, making it a favorite for local commuters out there. 


The Overground Trains

Now, don't get it twisted! The Amsterdam metro and the city's overground trains may seem like the same system, but they're totally different. They just have the same purpose: to get people to where they need to be on time. With Amsterdam Central Station as its primary station, it travels to all the different parts of the city and beyond. In fact, what makes these trains so useful is that they go to most of the tourist destinations within Amsterdam. So expect a lot of tourists to be riding them with you as you try and navigate the Dutch capital. 


Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam


The City's Trams

At the same time, the overground trains shouldn't be confused with the city's trams. Distinctively painted blue and white and often rings a bell to let people know it's passing through, it's perhaps the least inconspicuous of the public transport systems. Following several routes that go in and around the city, you can catch a line that passes by or actually stops directly at your destination. And they're fun to ride too. Through these trams, you get a sneak peek on what daily life is like in Amsterdam, all while traveling to where you need to go for that day. 


Amsterdam Buses

There are actually two types of buses that Amsterdam has. There are the day buses that, like the trams, follow several routes and can bring you to wherever you need to go. And there are the night buses, which pretty much follow the same routes at night. Of course, the former is what you take when it's still light out, offering a cheap yet reliable service of public transport. While at night, when most of the city has fallen asleep, the night buses will still get you home safe and sound. Both are also cheap and you can use either your OV chip card or any other Amsterdam travel pass on them. 


Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam


Ferry Across the River IJ

If you think the blue and white vehicles stop on the ground, think again! Amsterdam also has a number of ferries to take you across the river IJ. If you think traveling by metro, bus, or tram would take too much time, a ferry just might be what you're looking for. Though it doesn't cross the iconic canal of the city, it does take you to the many different areas in the Dutch capital that are near the river IJ. And while ferries are mostly a touristy thing, you'll still see a few locals here and there using them as an efficient public transport system. 


The City's Beautiful Bikes

Finally, of course, there are beautiful bikes in Amsterdam. More than just an activity of leisure, cycling has become an efficient and accepted public transport system. It's even helped decrease the city's carbon-monoxide pollution with the use of fewer cars on the road. Though it's better if you own your own bike if you're going to live in Amsterdam, there are still a lot of rental companies you'll find throughout the city. And when you do, make sure you stick to the bike lanes so you won't aggravate other drivers of other vehicles on the road. 


Understanding Public Transport in Amsterdam


Amsterdam is as easy a city to travel around like any other in Europe. And that's thanks to its very efficient public transport systems, from the fast metro and cool trams to the fun ferries and even more enjoyable bikes that you get to ride throughout the Dutch capital. 

Notably, it's better to travel around the city if you're staying at a luxurious Amsterdam apartment during your stay here. Their locations are often the easiest to get to!





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