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Transportation in Amsterdam


Amsterdam's metro network is currently designed to serve the suburbs and is not very useful for getting around the city centre, with the exception of Centraal Station, Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein. The north-south Metro line, due to open in 2015, should change this.


Amsterdam's buses reach many places that are not served by trams - only buses currently serve Amsterdam North. In most cases, however, the tram is a better choice for getting around the city centre. A few bus services operate through the night.


Amsterdam is a great city for walking around. The Centrum district is remarkably compact and easy to get around. Beyond the old centre, in the Oost, Zuid and Noord districts, and in the suburbs, it's better to use public transport as points of interest are spread over a large area.


Amsterdam's taxis are easily recognisable by their blue licence plates and rooftop signs. Catch them at railway stations and taxi ranks dotted around the city or outside major hotels. Hail one from the street if the sign is lit to show that it's available for hire. Among the best taxi companies is Taxi Centrale Amsterdam

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Amsterdam’s traffic flows along the right side of the canals. Watch out for cyclists and strict parking regulations; it costs €150 to retrieve a towed car. The best policy is to look for roadside parking signs, which provide real-time numbers of spaces, and always display a pre-paid parking ticket.

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Transportation tips

Use the plastic electronic OV-chipkaart , which comes in several versions, and the fare on public transport is automatically deducted. Until the OV-chipkaart system is fully operational, the old paper strippenkaarten system is still in use. These work on a zone system, using a strip for the ride and one for each zone travelled through. Driving in Amsterdam is not recommended. Street parking is in short supply, parking charges are high, parking regulations are vigorously enforced and the fines for violations are high.

Amsterdam Transport (GVB) website

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