Amsterdam Transportation > Public Transportation
Public Transportation in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an efficient public transportation system that includes metro, tram and bus lines. It provides a cheap and easy access to all the tourist attractions and connects all parts of the city. GVB, the public transportation company of Amsterdam operates this network and serves a number of nearby towns as well.
Trams are the most important way of public transport in the city center. Most lines depart from the Central Station. Using trams you can reach most of the sights and tourist attractions quickly and easily.
Buses and night buses mostly depart from the Central Station like trams. They are useful if you travel farther from the city center and after trams stopped running. Night buses cover large part of the city and some suburbs at night time.
Metro (subway, tube) is a fast way to travel but it has just a few stations in the center of Amsterdam. So it is useful if you travel to certain suburbs.
The Strip Card (Strippenkaart) is the name of the tickets used on the vehicles of public transportation. These cards can be purchased in advance in GVB ticket shops, train stations, post offices, tourist offices, tobacco shops etc. You can also buy them from bus drivers or tram conductors, however you should avoid this because they are more expensive in this case. A ticket is divided to 2, 3, 8, 15 or 45 strips. When using the public transportation you always have to have a valid ticket with you. Sometimes you can be asked to show your ticket by a ticket controller. If you do not have a valid ticket, you have to pay a fine. Fines must be paid immediately on spot.
Zone system: The city of Amsterdam is divided into zones, and you are charged depending on how many zones you wish to travel. To find this out you have to check the zone maps found in tram or bus stops. If you are unsure ask the driver or conductor. You have to stamp one more strip than the number of zones affected. For example if you stay in the same zone you have to stamp 2 stripes while if you tavel to the next zone you need 3 stripes and so on. You have to stamp the ticket yourself using the yellow boxes on trams, buses and metro stations or have the bus or tram driver stamp it from you. On the metro you always have to stamp the ticket yourself on the station before boarding as there are no stamping machines on the trains. This might sound a little difficult, but you should not worry as most tourist attractions are located within the same zone in central Amsterdam. Your stamped ticket is valid for one hour so you can transfer to other trams, buses or metro lines provided that you stay inside the same zones your ticked was stamped for.
Passes: There are daily passes available that allow unlimited travel on buses, trams, metro lines and night buses for 24, 48 or 72 hours. They are avaiable at GVB ticket shops, train stations and main tourist offices. The 24 hours ticket is also available from bus drivers and tram conductors.
Amsterdam public transportation company: