Amsterdam is a very easy city to get into. Both the airport and the train station are easily linked to the center of the city. And while we're big fans of public transportation, we'll also tell you why taxis, with affordable fixed rates, are actually a reasonable option.
Getting Into Amsterdam
From and to Schiphol
All flights to Amsterdam land at Schiphol Airport, 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Amsterdam. For any questions you might have about getting into town, hotel reservations and special events, Schiphol airport has its own tourist office located near the entrance to Arrivals Terminal 2. It's open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. and is usually quite crowded.
Getting into Amsterdam by Train
The easiest way to get from the airport into town is the "sneltrein," a fast and smooth rail-link. Follow signs (or ask at one of the many information desks) to the departure area, where you can purchase tickets. Ticket kiosks are scattered around Schiphol Plaza and the arrivals halls. Elevators and escalators take you underground to train departure areas in the middle of the Plaza. The one-way fare to Centraal Station (in the heart of downtown Amsterdam) is €3.60. The ride lasts 15-20 minutes.
Getting into Amsterdam by Taxi
Very happily, the fare from Schiphol to Amsterdam is now fixed at a not-so-impossible rate and should set you back about €40. It is advised to not take rides from drivers soliciting inside the airport as they are not approved taxi drivers.
A taxi ride in the other direction, from central Amsterdam to Schiphol, can be found for a fixed rate as well. The ride typically costs between €25 and €35. Taxis gather in front of the main plaza at Schiphol.
For more information, check out the official Schiphol Web site
Getting into Town from the Train Station
The main train station, Centraal Station, is in the heart of Amsterdam, in the area called "Centrum." At EuroCheapo, we call this area the "Old Center." The Dutch state train service has its own Web site, which offers information about trains, schedules and platforms. The station is the busiest in town and chances are you'll arrive and depart through this station (even if arriving into the airport). The station attracts a shady crowd, so watch your things and steer clear of iffy situations.
Once outside the station, across the plaza filled with bicycles, trams, taxis and pedestrians, you'll see the central "VVV" tourist office. The office provides information about everything related to visiting Amsterdam and is a smart first stop in Amsterdam. Pop in and pick up a list of activities and events scheduled during your stay.
Amsterdam's tram and metro lines have over a dozen lines starting and ending in Centraal Station. The station is Amsterdam's big hub.
Flying into Amsterdam
Visit our Amsterdam budget flights section for more information on low-cost airlines flying into and out of Amsterdam.
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