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When in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdammers do and get cycling. The city is fully equipped with bike lanes and endless rental options. But for those days when cycling is not an option, the city offers a well-connected transportation network. The OV-chipkaart is used for travel within the city on a one-hour or day pass. Valid across the whole network for unlimited trips within the selected timeframe, the one-hour can only be purchased from the bus drivers and the one week from the tram drivers or in advance. Day passes cost €7.50 and can be used on all trams, buses and metros operated by GVB, the public transport operator. Or opt for the Amsterdam Travel ticket with includes return train passage from Schiphol International Airport as well as unlimited use of trams, buses, metro and ferries operated by GVB for one, two or three days.
Amsterdam was created long before the automobile, so driving here is not especially easy. Roads in the city center are often quite narrow and many are closed to traffic. Parking is very, very expensive, and the traffic jams are a nightmare. That's probably one of the main reasons why the people of Amsterdam love their bikes so much. But if a car is indispensable during your visit, most international car-hire companies are present at fairly good prices.
Not only a fun, efficient and easy way of getting around, cycling is a way of life in Amsterdam. Especially in the summer, biking is a great way to discover the city and the best way to feel like a local.
There are only three metro stations in the city center: Centraal, Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein. The metro was especially designed for people to travel to the edges of the city. The compact city center is better explored on foot, using trams, or cycling. But if you are planing a day out of the city on the metro, you will need the OV-Chipkaart to access the platforms. The stations are not manned so use the automatic vending machines to buy or recharge your chip card.
With an extensive network connecting all neighborhoods and outer metropolitan areas, the bus is a great way of getting to the flower strip in the Spring or to the beaches, historic towns and villages outside the city. Centraal Station is the main bus stop in the town, and one-way or one-hour tickets may be bought from the drivers on the spot. The Amsterdam and Region travel ticket is excellent value if you are planning to explore the metropolitan area more loosely. But if you are sticking to the city center, the tram is definitely the best option, after bikes of course. The OV-chipkaart allows you to travel on both buses and trams, and it might be a cheaper option for multiple use.
With very limited space in the city center, taxis in Amsterdam are not allowed to stop anywhere they like, and it may be easier to navigate the narrow streets, lanes and footpaths by bike, tram or foot. Taxis are handy to and from the airport at night, or after the trams stop running for short trips in the city center. The driver will always turn on the meter, with fares starting at €2.83 and receipts provided. The taxi drivers are obliged to accept short trips and to deliver you safely to your destination via the shortest or quickest route possible. Uber is available in Amsterdam but other similar companies are also growing fast, such as UGO, which offer a fixed fare from the airport into town.