23-25 October 2018
Amsterdam Science Park
Europe/Zurich timezone

Travel to Amsterdam

Schiphol Airport

If you travel from or to the Netherlands by plane, you will probably enter the country via Schiphol Airport. Schiphol Airport is located a few kilometers outside the city center of Amsterdam with excellent public transport connections to the Amsterdam center. More information can be found on: https://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ToFromSchiphol.htm

There are several direct flights every from Geneva to Amsterdam (KLM, Easyjet).

To/from the airport by train – Schiphol train station is situated directly below the airport. Trains to Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam CS) leave approximately every 10-15 minutes from platform 1 or 2. Travelling takes around 15 minutes and costs €4.20 one–way.

You can travel on NS (the Dutch Railways) with either a single-use chipcard or an OV-chipkaart (see below for more information). The single-use chipcard is available from the yellow ticket machines with the blue overhead sign reading ‘train tickets’. OV-chipkaart cardholders can also use the ticket machines with the yellow overhead sign. For more information please check the NS website: www.ns.nl/en.

The OV-chipkaart

You need an OV chip card to pay for your public transport costs in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Dutch public transport requires a so-called OV-chipkaart, a smart card that can be used for bus, tram, train and metro services. Since there is no specific OV-chipkaart for tourists, we recommend using either a single-use chipcard or an ‘anonymous OV-chipkaart’.

The single-use chipcard has limited validity and can be used to travel on bus/tram/metro lines in a single city. If you want to travel by train, you can buy a different single-use chipcard that is valid on the train for your specified itinerary only. If you are staying in the Netherlands for more than a few days and plan to travel by public transport more frequently, we recommend the anonymous OV-chipkaart as the best and most economic ticket for your trips since it can be used for all public means of transport in the Netherlands.

Buying a chipcard – You can buy single-use chipcards and/or an anonymous OV-chipkaart at public transport service desks, from ticket vending machines in stations, at tobacco shops (such as Primera), and in several supermarkets. OV-chipkaart points of sale carry the pink OV-chipkaart logo.

Check in and out – When boarding a bus, tram, metro or train, hold your single-use chipcard or anonymous OV-chipkaart in front of the ticket reader. The green light and beep signal indicate that your card has been read. When you get off, hold your card in front of the ticket reader once again to check out. The display shows the credit used and how much credit is left on the card. Please don’t forget to check out since the meter will keep running if you do not! Finally, do also not forget to check in! Coming across the ticket inspectors without a valid ticket it will cost you 50€.

Validity and credit – Your anonymous OV-chipkaart remains valid for five years. On virtually every anonymous OV-chipkaart, the expiration date is printed on the card. You can save your anonymous OV-chipkaart until you return to Holland. Any credit on the card will remain valid as well.

If you want to claim the credit remaining on the card (and there is less than 30 euros worth of credit on the card), you can go to a public transport service desk. There is a 2.50 euro administration fee. If you want to terminate the anonymous OV-chipkaart, request a form at one of the public transport service desks. Fill out the form, enclose the anonymous OV-chipkaart in the envelope and send your form and card to the address specified on the form.

Please note that you cannot block the anonymous OV-chipkaart in case of loss or theft, so do not put too much credit on the card!

Online time table

Plan your journey by public transport via this link.

For public transport you can either buy single tickets, or use an 'OV-chipkaart'.

You can find all information about fares and the OV-chipkaart on the 9292 website.

Cycling

Cycling is by far the easiest and fastest way to get around in Amsterdam. There are many places in Amsterdam where you can rent a bicylce:

Renting a bicycle costs about 8 to 10 euros for a single day. The rate is lower if you rent it for a couple of days. Important notes:

  • Before you leave the place where you rented the bicycle check that the lights work (back and front). You need them when it is dark outside.

  • Before you start riding the bicycle be aware whether you rented one with hand brake or pedal brake. Occasionally a short response time is advantageous. Then it is good to know where the brakes are.

  • Always lock your bike in Amsterdam when not in use, even for a short period of time.