The Pleasant City of Amsterdam
I believe you have heard of Amsterdam and it is definitely a city you should visit if you are planning for a vacation. While Amsterdam is not a large city, getting acquainted with it before you make a trip there is worthwhile, such as the culture, transportation system, hotels etc. Getting information on the best way to travel there and how to move around the city will prepare you well for the trip.
How can you reach Amsterdam? Going to Amsterdam is easy. You can reach Amsterdam by Air, Train or Bus.
If your travelling mode to Amsterdam is by air, your flight will usually land in Schiphol Airport which is the Netherlands’ main Airport. This airport is located about 17.5km southwest of the city center. To reach the city center from Schiphol airport, you can take a train. From the airport, you have to take a train to the Central Station first. The waiting time for the train is about 20 minutes and the train ride takes about 20 minutes. When you reach Central Station, you can then take a taxi to the city center. There is another option it you want to travel to Amsterdam by air. You can consider taking budget airlines that land at Rotterdam and Eindhoven Airport. These are smaller airports and you can reach the city center via bus which takes about one hour.
If your travelling mode to Amsterdam is by train, Amsterdam Centraal is the International Train Station. The Centraal Station is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s city center. There are regular services to and from destinations in Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.
You can also travel to Amsterdam by bus. The bus station is the Amstel Station which is actually linked to Centraal Station by metro. You can take a bus from London Victoria (Anglia Lines Buses) which will stop just across Centraal Station. However, Eurolines and other internationals buses will arrive at Amstel Station. Amsterl Station is located about 3.5km to the southeast of Centraal Station.
So, now you have made your way to Amsterdam, how do you move around Amsterdam? You can move around Amsterdam on Foot, by Bike, by Bus/Metro, and/or Tram.
The good point about Amsterdam is that majority of the Amsterdam’s main attractions are in or near the city center. All these attractions are easily accessible on foot. Whereas some of the attractions are a short tram or bike ride away.
However, if you prefer not to walk too much, you can move around by bike. This city is well known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. As of today, there are more than 700,000 bikes in the city (while some say 600,000 bikes). As such, you can hire one of them for about EUR6.5 – EUR8 per day while some multi-day rates are as low as EUR4. According to Wikipedia, about 80,000 bikes are stolen each year and 25,000 ends up in the canals. Therefore, you got to remember to lock your bike.
After wandering around the city center by foot or on bike, you can venture outskirts by Bus or Metro. There are two metro stations in Amsterdam and they are the Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein.
There is no shortage of transportation mode. Apart from those mentioned above, you can move around Amsterdam by tram. This is one of the most important modes of public transport. In the city, there are 16 tram routes in the city and they are the backbone of the city’s public transport network. These blue-gray trams pass through major streets whereby you can enjoy the attractions on the tram.