Your easy guide to public transport in Amsterdam

Posted at: 28 Nov 2019

Whether you will live near your school in Amsterdam or 15 km away (like me), learning how public transport works is a great idea. Trust me - the weather is not always suitable for a bike, and sometimes you will need to take a bus, a tram or metro to get around. This guide will give you all the transport tips and tricks you need to make your life easier.

Your starter pack

In Amsterdam the public transport means are: metro, bus, tram, ferry and train. Keep in mind that the first 4 are operated by GVB and the trains by NS, so they work independently and you will need to buy separate tickets for the trains.

The public transport is cashless, so if you need to buy a ticket on the spot you will have to pay with a credit or debit card.

To use public transport, get an “OV-Chipkaart” (instead of buying tickets). This will be your key to enter and exit any mode of transport. Read more about it.

​​​​Life-saving apps

  • City Mapper, my personal favourite.

  • Google Maps, which lets you download the map of Amsterdam on your phone. Please don’t get lost without cellular data!

  • 9292, the local transport app.

  • NS App, to use the trains.

    All these show time departures, connections, and steps to follow in case you need to use more than one type of transport in the Netherlands.

Now, where to start?

When you arrive at your new home check which stations are nearby. Start with baby steps and go to Amsterdam Centraal (the main station in the city centre). This is one of the most popular stations and in my case a “reference point” in the city. Find yours!

In case you will use the transport on a daily basis, consider buying a season ticket, which will give you unlimited trips for a week or a month. Read more here.

Plan getaways with friends to discover the city and have fun!

You will see that using public transport is not as complicated as it may seem, and with this simple guide I am sure that you will start a happy life in your new home. Remember to get the most out of this experience and never limit yourself based on how far a particular destination is from you.

Enjoy exploring Amsterdam!

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