Practical travel information for Amsterdam
Amsterdam is celebrated for its canals and historical gabled houses which gives the city a small town feel. The city is compact and you could easily explore by foot or by bike. To truly experience the pulse of the remarkable cultural city, explore the backstreet cafés and visit the world renowned museums but above all, just chill! Amsterdam is a laid-back city and best discovered when unhurried. When visiting the Dutch capital, it is important to consider some important practical travel information for Amsterdam.
For example, depending on the purpose of your visit to Amsterdam and wider Netherlands. you may need to meet the entry requirements to the country. This may require you to apply for a Schengen Visa. Additionally, if you are travelling to Amsterdam from within Europe, you may want to take advantage of the cheap fares offered by Europe’s popular budget airlines. Alternatively, you may want to travel to Amsterdam by rail, and experience the scenic journey onboard comfortable coaches. Once you arrive at your destination for your city break, how would you get about? Where would you stay and more importantly, what activities would you do.
With so many things to consider and to plan ahead, I am sure you would append them all on a do-list! To support your travel plans to the city of freedom, this simple guide aims to offer you 10 practical travel information for Amsterdam to consider.
While we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.
1 | Visa & Legal entry requirements
The Netherlands is party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that foreign nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland as well as some other countries (Luxembourg, Liechtenstein) are exempt from the visa requirement. You could check if you need a Schengen visa here.
However, for the majority of foreign nationals who wish to visit the Netherlands, will require a short stay Schengen visa. A short stay Schengen visa allows the foreign national to visit and stay in the Netherlands and/or any of the countries in the Schengen area for up to three months within a six month period. The visas have a validity of one, three and five years, depending on your visa and travel history. With a tourist short stay Schengen visa for the Netherlands means that you could also travel to other member countries in the Schengen area.
There are general required documents which you need to submit with your application when you apply for a tourist short stay Schengen visa. You could do so at the Dutch local embassy in your country of residence or you could do so online with a few clicks by using the services of iVisa.
iVisa is a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry and they are committed to making your online application for visas, health documentation and other travel requirements a breeze. With the ever-changing global health requirements, obtaining the right travel documents can be a huge hassle or just an annoying waste of time. Getting your travel documents in time is simple, reliable and fast – give them a go by navigating the link below:
With entry to the Netherlands taken care of, you may be considering whether to travel by air, rail or car. Any one of these modes of transport is straight forward, because the Dutch capital is the largest city in the Netherlands and is well connected by air, rail and road. So, here is an overview of some of the practical travel information for Amsterdam which you may wish to consider when deciding on how to get to the city.
2 | Air Travel Information for Amsterdam
The quickest and easiest way to travel to Amsterdam is by air. Sometimes, air travel to the Dutch capital is cheap as well.There are several budget airlines from UK to Amsterdam direct as well as various destinations from within Europe. Flights can be from as little as €30.00 to £100+ – so ensure you shop early and lock-in the low prices without compromises while travelling in comfort.
2.1 | Budget airlines to Amsterdam
As for the best on budget air travel to Amsterdam, you may want to look up EasyJet, Jet2 and On the Beach. There are great value for money offers and you can book well ahead of time and still enjoy favourable cancellation rights if your travel does not go according to plans.
For long haul flights. you may want to look into Opodo, a one-stop access to over 500 airlines, hotels, car hire and travel insurance – bringing the best in price to you.
Access all that Opodo has to offer via link below:
3 | Train Travel Information for Amsterdam
Amsterdam is easily reached by rail and a perfect base for exploring Netherlands. The city is strategically located on the European rail network which makes it a popular destination for UK travellers to Europe who wish to explore the continent by train.
Exploring Amsterdam by rail is made all the more easier by the excellent direct international rail connections to the city’s main rail hub, Centraal Station.
Centrall Station is located on the northern edge of the city, and is a key hub in the Dutch national rail network. At the very least, there are hourly departures to major cities across Netherlands.
3.1 | Amsterdam’s International Rail Connections
Amsterdam’s excellent international rail connections include regular Thaly’s services to Brussels and Paris. These services to Brussels and Paris are timed to connect seamlessly with Eurostar services from London.
There are hourly Intercity (IC) services connecting Amsterdam to Antwerp, and Brussels with a stop at Rotterdam along the way. There are seven Intercity departures to Cologne and Frankfurt daily. There are IC trains to Berlin and Hanover as well that departs Amsterdam every two hours. A direct daytime train to Basel, Switzerland is also available.
Night trains out of Amsterdam are limited at the moment, however you could travel, departing Amsterdam early evening on a fast train to Düsseldorf. The train to Düsseldorf connects conveniently into direct overnight services to Munich, Innsbruck, Linz and Vienna.
3.2 | Travelling from London to Amsterdam by train | Train times, train price and best time to book
Fast trains from London to Amsterdam takes about 3 hours 45 minutes. There are direct and indirect trains on weekdays and weekends. The earliest trains to Amsterdam from London is generally scheduled for 7:00 in the morning and the last trains are usually around 5:30 p.m.
Train prices from London to Amsterdam varies depending on the class of travel and whether you are travelling peak or off-peak. Generally, train prices can be between €35.00 to €200.00.
To secure best prices for your travel is to book well in advance. Bookings for train journeys from London to Amsterdam generally open at least 6 months in advance. In some instances, you can book 9 months ahead of time as some tickets can be released early.
3.3 | Where to buy train tickets to Amsterdam
Buy your train tickets to Amsterdam from any starting point in Europe, such as Brussels, Paris, London, Berlin or any other city to suit your itinerary. When you have selected your city of travel, then look no further than Eurail and Trainline. Both are global providers of train passes/tickets for all rail journeys.
Eurail partners with European rail networks to bring you the best in train travels by offering an all-in-one train ticket with flexibility for most European train networks. With Eurail passes, you can experience borderless. Select the best to suit your itinerary by clicking the link below. Book well in advance to secure best value tickets.
If a train travel pass is not what you are looking for, then go to Trainline for best offers on point-to-point travel on UK and European rail fares.
4 | Upon arrival in Amsterdam
Depending upon your mode of travel, either by air or by train, you will then need to get to your accommodation either in the city centre or on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Here is an overview of how to get to Amsterdam city centre from Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam Centraal Station. Please also read detail articles on transportation (links provided below) in Amsterdam so you are informed and buy the best transport tickets to suit your itinerary.
4.1 | From Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city centre
If you are travelling by air, you would arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)., the main hub for Netherlands. There are several ways to reach Amsterdam city centre from Schiphol Airport. You could select from either private transfer or via public transport.
Amsterdam boasts a comprehensive train network and you could reach Amsterdam Centraal in 15 minutes or if you take the bus/shuttle, you will reach Amsterdam city in 35-40 minutes.
Read both the detail guide listed below to be fully informed of your choices and the best ways to get to your destination in Amsterdam city by buying the correct ticket.
4.2 | Arriving at and travelling from Amsterdam Centraal Station
Travelling by train means that you shall be arriving at Amsterdam Centraal Station and from here it is easy to hop onto a taxi or tram to get to your accommodation.
With legal entry and transportation sorted, you are surely considering on a place to stay. Below is a quick overview of places to stay with detailed guide to navigate to.
5 | Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a multitude of places to stay at for unique experiences. From canal boathouses to high-end spa at the edge of a forest, Amsterdam is a city that boasts beautiful places to stay for timeless memories. Take a look at this carefully selected hotels and book a stay ahead of time to lock-in the low price.
However, should you need more choices, take a look at the incredible selection to suit all budgets offered by Booking.
Beyond a place to stay in Amsterdam, you would want to explore the city and here are some suggestions for you.
6 | Things to do in Amsterdam
There are a great many things to do in Amsterdam, both the popular touristy activities and off-the-beaten-path. From canal cruises, world-class art galleries to visiting the market, eating the original Gouda stroopwafels and indulging in the Amsterdam’s street-food scene – you have plenty to do from the moment you arrive!
For an easy short visit on the slow-side, take a look at what you could do in a weekend or 48 hours. You may also want to do some of the extraordinary things suggested in the Unmissable 28 best things to do in Amsterdam. A longer stay will be a great way to explore the surrounds and you are covered here as well > Read:
Consider purchasing the public and regional transport ticket when exploring the outskirts of Amsterdam. On the other hand, these beautiful villages are best explored by a two-wheeler which you can easily rent when in Amsterdam > Learn all about how to Rent a bike in Amsterdam Green City
Finally, you can’t visit the City of Canals without experiencing a canal cruise! There are canal cruises throughout the day in all kinds of boats – open-top, glass-top, semi-open-top or you could hire your own boat and go for a spin! Some cruises come with food and drink, with buffet-style meals where you can eat all the pancakes you wish! However, the best awaits those who embark on an evening cruise along these historic canals – a private boat for a romantic evening or to capture simple moments of the fresh colours of those rays against the timeless architecture along the waters.
7 | How to explore/discover Amsterdam
Another piece of practical travel information for Amsterdam to consider is how to explore the city and discover its hidden gems for timeless memories. You could opt for a little adventure and explore the city by yourself , join a guided small group tour or do both for the ultimate experience.
7.1 | Exploring Amsterdam independently
Exploring the Dutch capital by yourself is doable as the cultural city is compact and easily walkable. Tourism is highly welcome and offers multitude of information on how to get around and best tickets to purchase.
Visit the official tourist information office – the I Amsterdam Visitor Centre in the heart of town for information, trails and maps to support your independent visit. You could also prepare for your trip by purchasing the great value for money all encompassing city card that gives you free access to museums and attractions (more on this sightseer card below on #8).
Amsterdam Centrum should be the starting point for any one seeking to explore on your own as this is where the main attractions are located. Popular attractions are conveniently signposted and you can get to the trilogy of culture (Rijkmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk), palace and the old town within a few minutes walk. Take the tram or the bus to get to the Jewish Quarter if you need to.
Pro tip: Highly recommended that you purchase the Iamsterdam city card, an all encompassing best value sightseer pass – the card gives you free access to local transportation as well. More on this below.
Discover the city like a local and explore the Green City by bike. Amsterdam has cycle lanes on both sides and easily navigable. It is a city where the number of bikes outnumber its residents and you will feel very much at home if you opt for this mode of discovery. However, just look-out for some other crazy cyclists!
7.2 | Exploring Amsterdam by joining a tour group
Exploring Amsterdam by joining a small group guided tour is highly encouraged. With a guided tour, you get an overview of the city and you learn so much more from an experienced local guide than any tour guide books may offer. After obtaining an overview, you could always return to a spot of interest to explore deeper, at your own pace. You will feel confident to get around the city as you become familiar with the surroundings. An invaluable tour group to undertake is the food walking tour in Amsterdam.
The food walking tour in Amsterdam is of great value where you explore while you eat! This tour is an opportunity for you to stroll through the heart of the city, get a feel of its culture, have a taste of the different kind of Dutch food, learn about the city’s history, and end the tour at a pub over a platter of cheese! All of these in an extraordinary two hours with a local tour guide. Afterwards, return to places that captured your interests to explore further 🙂
8 | Best value sightseer pass
Make the most of your time in Amsterdam with Iamsterdam city card. The Iamsterdam city card is an all encompassing sightseer pass where you can enjoy free entrance to many of the city’s top museums and attractions. One free canal cruise is included and up to 25% discount offers at a host of restaurants and cafés. The card includes unlimited free transportation in the city for the duration of the pass.
Save time and money on a card for use over 1, 2, 3 or 4 days to suit your itinerary.
9 | A road-trip around Netherlands?
Planning a road trip around Netherlands and you need a set of wheels? Well, best value does not come any better than Travel Supermarket!
Travel Supermarket is a price comparison site for people in the UK which offers all the comparison tools travellers need when they’re planning their holiday and want to find the very best one for them. Travel Supermarket finds the best and cheapest value of car hire for the length of your itinerary in real time. You know what is available and you select what best suits your individual needs. Ensure you book and lock-in the best value without delay.
For non-UK residents, Opodo offers a selection from which you could choose to suit your requirements.
10 | Travel Insurance
As has so often been said – Never leave home without travel insurance! We don’t expect unfortunate events when we travel but it is always good to be one-step ahead. Buy your travel insurance and ensure you have the correct cover for your journey.
World Nomads is highly recommended as it is designed by travellers for travellers to cover trip essentials. You can buy and claim on the go. Their cover is comprehensive and you could select one that best suits your itinerary.
While travelling to Amsterdam takes you to new surroundings where experiences can boost your feeling of being rewarded, it is important to allocate some time to consider the practical travel information for Amsterdam so you are fully informed and do not experience any last-minute hurdles.
The 10 practical travel information for Amsterdam is curated to give you most of what is needed but it is by no means an exhaustive list. If anything has gone amiss, do let us know in comments below. As well, if this list on travel information for Amsterdam has been useful to you in planning your trip, use the links embedded in this article and related articles to book your flight, train, place to stay, activities to do and buy the value for money Iamsterdam City Card to access attractions. Your support is invaluable and greatly appreciated.
Have a great time in Amsterdam 🙂
Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands
City: Capital of Netherlands
Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)
Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square
Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)
Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station
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10 Important Practical travel information for Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com