Amsterdam has an efficient public transport system with numerous bus and tram routes, metro lines and ferry links. Centraal Station is Amsterdam’s main public transportation junction.
Travel with the student travel product is very simple. When you get on, check in. When you get off, check out. The time you check in determines whether you will travel free or with a discount for your whole journey.
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On all public transport, your ticket is a so called OV-chipkaart (public transport smart card). If you do not have a student travel card as mentioned above, you deposit money on the card, which will either be a personalised card or a general one. Machines to deposit money on your OV-chipkaart (OV) can be found at train stations, in supermarkets, tobacco shops and on some buses. You can also buy disposable OV-chipkaarten from the driver, but they are relatively expensive.
The Dutch national railway company (NS) runs a busy railway network. You can travel second class or first class – at a forty percent surcharge. You can take your bicycle with you, but only if you buy a separate day ticket for your bike, at a cost of €6. However, you cannot bring your bike in peak hours. In and around Amsterdam you can travel by train to the following stations: Lelylaan, Sloterdijk, Centraal Station, Muiderpoort, Amstel, Duivendrecht, Bijlmer ArenA, RAI, Zuid, Holendrecht, Amsterdam Science Park and Diemen (Zuid).
Amsterdam has various bus lines and a regional network connecting the capital to surrounding towns and villages. When the bus you need approaches, raise your hand to make sure the driver sees you and stops. Enter only at the front of the bus.
The metro connects the centre of Amsterdam to the suburbs. Lines 53 and 54 run parallel as far as the metro station at the Van der Madeweg, where they split and run on to Gaasperplas Station (line 53) and Gein Station (line 54). Another metro line, Line 51, connects Centraal Station to Amstelveen (Westwijk). Line 50 runs from Gein in the south-east to Isolatorweg, near Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, in the north-west.
Trams are a fast and reasonably cheap mode of transport. The 16 lines crisscross the city. You can take a tram almost anywhere. When your tram approaches your stop, press the red button to signal that you wish to get off. There are separate doors to get in and out, therefore check the signs on the door.
Behind Amsterdam Centraal Station, free ferry services connect the city centre to Amsterdam Noord across the IJ. Apart from the ferries there is also a waterbus to the Java-eiland. Ferries depart more frequently during peak hours.
Source: International Student Guide Amsterdam