Transport in Amsterdam
The main mode of transport in Amsterdam is the bicycle. Do not make the mistake to think you could get through town without one. Cycling is the cheapest, most spontaneous and fun way to get around as an Amsterdam student. Your first action upon arrival should be the purchase of your bike. There are several possibilities to do so:
- Have a look at the biggest Amsterdam-Bicycle facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/208276169262413
- The Amsterdam Student Union (ASVA) hold a big bike sale at the beginning of the year and then weekly after that. Bikes cost €60 with the knowledge it hasn’t been stolen and a 4 week guarantee. You have to be a member of ASVA to consider this option: https://www.asva.nl/english)
- The biggest second hand bike sale in the city is on Waterlooplein. You can find a daily second-hand bicycle market with legal bikes, for around €50 (www.waterlooplein.amsterdam/en/portfolio_category/fietsen)
- For more expensive new bikes, you can take a look at (www.hetzwartefietsenplan.nl)
- An alternative to buying a bike is long term bike rental. After a while this may get quite expensive but usually provides a (parial) theft insurance. Swapfiets rents out bikes at €15 a month (https://swapfiets.nl/offer/amsterdam)
Be aware that the average person in Amsterdam has to get a new bike every 6 months, simply because they tend to get stolen or thrown in canals like nowhere else. When parking your bike before a night out remember to mark the location on your phone, it may otherwise get tricky to find it later.
In Amsterdam the public transport is comprised of trains (NS), trams, the metro, and buses (GVB). Buying paper tickets is possible with train tickets charging an extra €1 for these. For trams, metros and buses you can buy a ticket for all of these by time period (i.e. an hour, 24 hours, etc).
Instead of this you should get an OV Chipkaart, which allows you to top up with credit and avoid paying extra charges or using time limited tickets. There are two options here, using a temporary “anonymous” card or a personalised card (both for €7,50). The personal card allows you to add other travel products e.g. train discounts to the card, and it is possible to block the card if lost or stolen. In order to purchase a personalised card an iDeal account (see banking) is required. The anonymous card can be purchased from customer services at most stations without an iDeal account.