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GETTING AROUND! Amsterdam
has a terrific public transportation system that can get you to just about any section of the city in a short time by tram, Metro (subway) and bus. You can purchase tickets from the conducteur on board, but your best bet is to buy a strippenkaart at a tobacco or tourist shop for EURO 6.40. The attendant on board each tram will stamp your strippenkaart for two strips or more, depending on the number of zones that you need to travel through, and you can travel in those zones by tram, bus or subway in any direction for the next hour at no additional charge.

Be aware that the trams and the Metro cease operations each night between midnight and 12:30 am, so if you're planning to catch the tram back to your hotel after an evening of entertainment and dining out, be sure to make the tram stop right around midnight or catch a taxi home after that. The taxi is another good (though more costly) way to get around town. There are taxi stands located near most large hotels and big public places. Taxis aren't allowed to cruise for passengers in Amsterdam like they do in many other cities, so you must call for a cab to pick you up (dial 020 677 7777 or ask the staff at wherever you are to call you one) or head for the first car in line at the nearest taxi stand.

You will immediately notice that cycling is very popular in Amsterdam, and renting a bike is an excellent way to get around. Bike rentals tend to be quite reasonably priced, locks are supplied and you must never forget to use them or the bike is virtually guaranteed to be stolen. Hot bikes comprise one of the biggest segments of property crime in Holland, so please don't encourage this ugly tendency by buying a bike from someone on the street. When you are in pedestrian mode, you'll find there are three lanes in each direction for traffic o n most major streets: one for cars, one for bikes and the center one for trams and taxis. The sidewalks and bicycle paths are sometimes separated only by a line on the edge of the pavement.

Pay attention to where you're walking or standing on the streets at all times, and NEVER stand still in a bike path. When you hear the insistent tinkling of bicycle bells, get out of the way! If you get caught in a bike path and get hit by a bike, it's still your fault.

And of course there is always the intense pleasure of walking around this beautiful city.

Amsterdam Transport Facts!
     Public transport in Amsterdam, operated by Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf, Connexxion, and      Nederlandse Spoorwegen, consists of:
  • national and international train connections
  • 3 metro lines and 1 light rail line, together the Amsterdam metro
  • 16 tram lines
  • An express tram line (IJtram)
  • 55 local bus lines
  • regional bus lines
  • several ferries for pedestrians and cyclists across the IJ (free of charge)
  • a Fast Flying Ferry towards Velsen-Zuid on the North Sea shore
  • A new underground line, the North/South Line (Noord/Zuidlijn) is under construction.
  • The      estimated completion date is in 2012.

    Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is about 10 minutes by train from Amsterdam Central Station. It is the biggest airport in the Netherlands, and the fourth largest in Europe. It handles about 42 million passengers a year and is home base to KLM, since 2004 part of Air France-KLM. In 2004, Schiphol ranked fourth in Europe in terms of passenger traffic with 42,541,000 passengers, behind London Heathrow (67,344,000), Paris Charles de Gaulle (51,260,000) and Frankfurt International Airport (51,098,000).

    MAP FROM AMSTERDAM
    • Amsterdam lies on the banks of two bodies of water,
    • the IJ bay and the Amstel river. Founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, it is now the largest city in the country.
    • CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE THE MAP IN CLOSE-UP
    [ AMSTERDAM ] map of amsterdam




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