First time in Amsterdam for a week in April - what are the best ways to get around the city? I'll be staying in Wibautstraat area, and working in Grachtengordel-Zuid area. Correction: I'm staying close to the city center!
What is the public transportation or taxi situation? How easy is it to walk or bike around the city and how long does it take? For biking, what are the best companies to rent from or preferred routes? Any local tips to avoid looking like a total tourist on a bike? :)
I love exploring, so hope to see many areas. Thanks in advance!
Hi Jilian! Like the others said, definately bike! What week are you in Amsterdam? If it is the last week you are in for a great orange surprise: Kings day!
Where will you be staying exactly at Wibautstraat? Volkshotel? Or An Airbnb or something? If you are staying at Volkshotel there is a bikeshop just like 100m down the street. I am not sure if they do rental, but you can ask (and if they do, it will not be a tourist bike :-) ). I live just in a sidestreet of the Wibautstraat, and I am happy to show you the way on your bike to your work. I can just bike with you for your first trip to work so you know the way :-). Just let me know if you would like that, happy to help.
Have fun in my city (hopefully the weather clears up :-s)
There are trams that criss-cross the city but the BEST way to get around is by bike. Bike hire places are all over the city, e.g Amsterbike, Yellow bike, Rentabike. Here are some links:
You can also do bike tours with various companies in Amsterdam e.g.
Walking is enjoyable, easy and, well, it's free! The city center is compact, so it's great for on-foot exploration. Honestly, walking Amsterdam is one of my favorite travel experiences, full stop.
The info already provided about trams is good, so I won't belabor it! I think taxis are irrelevant in Amsterdam.
And then there's biking! The thing to remember is, most Amsterdammers aren't out on a pleasure ride—the bike is a mode of transportation, not a hobby. Biking can certainly be done, but you need to be serious about it: stay in the correct lane (right hand side), keep pace, ride single file, signal your turns, obey traffic lights and signs and keep your wits about you for vehicles, trams and other bikers. Rent an inconspicuous black bike (http://www.black-bikes.com/) and be sure to lock it securely.
I agree that biking is a great way to get around and you can even take it across the water and be in the Dutch countryside in minutes. Mike's Bikes is all over the city but BE SURE AND LOCK UP THE BIKE when you park it.
You can also walk easily around Amsterdam. It's a gorgeous city with those little humped bridges over the canals. But it's also a confusing city and easy to get lost because all those canals and bridges look the same!
There is also an excellent tram system.
The best way to go around town is by bike or just walking! All locals use their bike, no matter what the weather is like. Amsterdam is not that big, so you will easily go from east to west and north to south in a short period of time. Exploring the city is way better by bike than by tram I think. You can go everywhere you want and it's faster than walking. Taxi's are expensive, renting a bike is about EUR. 10,- a day usually. Wibautstraat to the Grachtengordel-West and Amsterdam-Zuid is easy, just a couple of minutes. I don't think there are preferred routes, but by bike you can go almost everywhere, but as Megan already said: be careful with the tram rails! Locals don't wear helmets either by the way! ;)
Have fun and explore!
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Seriously, I didn't take a single cab ride when I was in Amsterdam for 8 days. It was predominantly bicycling. When I was there, I heard a stat of something like there are more bikes then any other city or more bikes than people in the city. Anyways, it's one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, plus there are some great routes for heading north along the canals and through the countryside.
When I wasn't on a bike, it was all on the trams. Really good tram system and we'd just fill up a card (believe just got it at the Centraal Station, Amsterdam) and then you tap it when you get on and off. I believe we did a day pass the first day, and then ended up using it so much that we did a multi-day ticket.
Most public transportation happens on bikes, buses and trams, not taxis. There is also a metro. All the public transportation can be taken using one GVB ticket, which can be bought individually on the bus or tram or as day or multi-day passes (buy at an office). The pricing structure is listed at http://en.gvb.nl/gvb-dag-meerdagenkaart. You can buy the day passes at any of the main train stations listed at http://en.gvb.nl/klantenservice/tickets-info-balie. You can figure out the best way to go and transportation times using the map at http://maps.gvb.nl/ which works just like Google maps.
I've used these multi-day tickets before and they couldn't be easier. You scan in when you get on the tram or bus and scan out when your get off at your stop. You also scan to get through any gates at the metro or train stations.
If you do bike, avoid riding parallel to tram line rails. If you have to cross them, try to do it at right angles to avoid getting the tire stuck in the tracks.
Bikes, trams and buses are all great in Amsterdam, also your two feet since if you've picked a well located hotel you can walk to a lot of sights in the city.
Uber is new to Amsterdam and can't be beat for cheap, reliable car service. Use UberPop cars, like UberX here in the USA. Just get the Uber app for your phone and request a car. It will be there in just minutes!
I do agree with others that biking is the best way to get around. However, biking can be a bit intense in Amsterdam and if you aren't comfortable biking in the street with Dutch people who know the rules of the road, then I recommend walking or taking public transport. You can buy a card that gives you access to the bus/tram/metro.
I was way too scared to risk the bike (I'm definitely not comfortable on a bike alongside others!) but lots of tourists do it.
Hi Jillian! The best way to move around in Amsterdam is for sure by bike. When you go to Amsterdam it is a must to bike around. You can rent a bike at Baja Bikes. They also do tours, very nice way to explore the city with a guide that can tell you all about it. Hope you will have a wonderfull time in Amsterdam!