to the Amsterdam City Guide. We have compiled a collection
of information regarding Amsterdam and are slowly adding
it to this site. Ultimately we want this to be a complete
guide with everything you need to know when you are visiting
is a beautiful city, with fun for everyone... and we mean
EVERYONE. Whether you want to experience walking into a
store to pick up fine grass without being hassled by police
or are looking to experience the "Old World Charm".
Obviously by the nature of this site we will focus a little
more on the more sinful things in life, but hope to have
a little bit of information for things to do between smoking,
or while smoking.
is the national airline and flies direct to all major European,
North American and Asia-Pacific cities. Most other international
airlines also fly into the main airport hub, Schipol (code:
which is about 18km from the city center. The airport runway
is actually 15ft (4.5m) below sea level on the floor of
what was once a lake and the airport handles most of Holland’s
flight times to Amsterdam: From London is 1 hour; from New
York is 7 hours; from Los Angeles is 10 hours 30 mins; from
Toronto is 7 hours; and from Sydney is 21 hours 30 mins.
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from the airport to Amsterdam:
The Dutch Railways' Schiphollijn (Schiphol Line) trains
for Amsterdam's Centraal Station (with stops at De Lelylaan
and De Vlugtlaan stations in west Amsterdam) depart from
Schiphol Station, downstairs from Schiphol Plaza. They run
every 15 minutes during peak times and one an hour at night.
The fare is €2.95 one-way and the trip takes about
An alternative route serves both Amsterdam Zuid/World Trade
Center station and RAI station (beside the big RAI Convention
center). Be sure to check which one is best for your hotel
(including any tram or bus interchange). If you're staying
at a hotel near Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein, in the Museum
Quarter, or in Amsterdam South, this route may be a better
bet for you than Centraal Station. The fare is still €2.95
one-way and the trip takes about 15 minutes. From Amsterdam
Zuid/World Trade Center, take tram no. 5 for Leidseplein
and the Museum Quarter; from RAI, take tram no. 4 for Rembrandtplein.
The KLM Hotel Bus shuttles between the airport and Amsterdam,
serving 16 top hotels directly (including the Pulitzer,
Krasnapolsky, Sofitel, Crowne Plaza, Renaissance, Golden
Tulip Barbizon, Tulip Inn, Carlton, Okura, Holiday Inn,
Novotel and Park Hotels) and many more that are close to
these stops. The fare is €8 one-way, €14 round-trip.
No reservations are needed and buses depart from in front
of Schiphol Plaza every 20 minutes from 7am to 6pm and every
30 minutes from 6 to 9:30pm. Check at the KLM Hotel Desk
for information. If you're not staying at one of the above
hotels, the clerks can tell you which shuttle stop is closest
to your chosen lodgings. In addition, many individual hotels
near the airport and in town have their own shuttle service.
You can also take Bus no. 197 which departs every half hour
from in front of Schiphol Plaza for Amsterdam's downtown
Marnixstraat bus station. The fare is €3.40. This bus
is a lot slower than both the train and the KLM Hotel Bus
with more frequent stops.
Taxis are more expensive, but if you have a ton of luggage
or are with another person whoe can split the cost, they're
usually the way to go. You can find taxi stands at both
ends of the sidewalk in front of Schiphol Plaza. Taxis from
the airport are all metered. It should be about €38
fare to the Center. Remember, a service charge is already
included in the fare.
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by train in the Netherlands is convenient and provides an
easy way to get around the country. The trains are typically
modern and clean and tend to run on time. Whether you arrive
by Thalys high-speed train from Brussels or Paris, by ordinary
international train, or by Netherlands Railways train from
elsewhere in Holland, you'll likely find yourself deposited
at Amsterdam's Centraal Station. It is over 100 years old
and is built on an artificial island in the IJ channel.
The building is quite spectacular and there is usually quite
a bit going on there. It’s entirely likely that you
will happen upon some construction while passing through
as they are doing a rather major renovation of the inside.
The Station is at the hub of the city's many rings of canals
and connecting main streets, and is the originating point
for most of the city's trams, Metro trains, and buses.
For information on trains (and other public transportation)
in Holland, call tel. 0900/9292; for international trains,
call tel. 0900/9296.
An office of VVV Amsterdam tourist information is inside
the station on platform 2 and another office is right in
front of the station on Stationsplein; both offices have
hotel reservation desks. Other facilities include a GWK
Bureau de Change (where you can exchange traveler's checks,
U.S. dollars, and other currencies) ATMs, train info center,
luggage lockers, restaurants and snack bars, newsstands,
and other stores. The station is a departure point for the
Metro, trams (streetcars), buses, taxis, passenger ferries
across the IJ waterway and around the harbor, water taxis,
canal-boat tours, and the Museum Boat. You are very likely
to come across a street musician with a barrel organ near
Something to watch out for at the station are the pickpocketers
who are always in abundance. Signs and messages broadcast
in multiple languages warn people to be on their guard,
but they must be doing well despite that. So be sure to
keep your money and other valuables under close guard, especially
among crowds. You’ll also probably run into a few
junkies with various addictions, panhandlers, and more than
a whiff of that intoxicating pot smoke.
An array of tram stops are on either side of the main station
exit--virtually all of Amsterdam's hotels are within a 15-minute
tram ride from Centraal Station. The Metro station is downstairs,
just outside the main exit. City bus stops are to the left
of the main exit, and the taxi stands are to the right.
At the public transportation tickets and information office
on Stationsplein, you can buy a strippenkaart or dagkaart
for trams, Metros, and buses.
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International bus lines, in particular Eurolines (tel: (020)
560 8788; www.eurolines.com,
are another option. They arrive at the bus terminal opposite
Amstel train station in the south of the city. From here
you can go by train and Metro to Centraal Station (about
10 minutes), and by tram no. 12 to the Museumplein area
and other connecting points for trams to the Center. Centraal
Station is the start and finish point of all bus and tram
routes and just a short distance walk from Dam Square.
is another option to Eurolines coaches. They are a Hop On
- Hop Off coach travel network throughout Europe for backpackers
and independent travelers which allow you to travel Europe
at your own pace, staying longer at destinations you find
the best, and skipping others which don't appeal to you.
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European expressways E19, E35, E231, and E22 converge on
Amsterdam from France and Belgium to the south and from
Germany to the north and east. As you approach the city,
you'll also notice that these roads also have Dutch national
numbers, respectively A4, A2, A1, and A7. Amsterdam's ring
road is designated A10.
In many European cities, the best advice is to drive to
the city, park your car, and never touch it again till you
leave. In Amsterdam, even better advice is not to bring
it into the city in the first place.
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