After being here in Amsterdam for 7 months and not being a good driver ,i have made use of the public transports over here very well.It has an excellent public transport system consisting of buses, trams and express trams.
GVB is the public transport company of Amsterdam providing integrated metro, tram and bus service throughout Amsterdam and its surrounding areas.Their official website is www.gvb.nl where you can find all the information about the public transport. The route maps, fares, bus or tram lines, their stops , types of fares and so on. The best part of this site is that it has an English translated version too and so tourists can make full use of this. To all those who are planning to visit Amsterdam i do strongly recommend to visit this website at least once.
Actually i heard about this site from a friend of mine and when i started using it i found it so useful even for my routine travels.This is a subsidiary website of GVB. You can either visit this site directly or through the link in GVB.nl . This is a wonderful site which will give you all the information about what tram or bus to take, what is the nearest stop to get one and get down, time taken for traveling etc just by giving your start and destination addresses.
Destination addresses will have a street address or could be a shopping centre (centrum), a tourist attraction or a train station whatever it may be 9292ov will tell you how to get there and at what time you will reach there if you give the starting time or vice-versa
The only problem is that this site does not have an english version but we can easily navigate through the website with the help of Google translate and a little determination. After all we have to enjoy during a holiday right and dont want to get lost in finding routes . So its better to do some homework before starting.
But let me tell you even if you miss one dont worry you will find another one coming right in another 10 to 15minutes connecting many of the suburbs like Amstelveen, Uithoon etc or even to Schipol airport,which is very near to Amsterdam.
Traveling in night
Do you want to explore the excellent night life Amsterdam has in store for you , but worried about getting back to your place at night. No probs! Amsterdam includes night travel in their public transport system and there are night buses exclusively running for this purpose after 12:30am till 7:30 in the morning that is when there is no regular day time bus service. But the fare differs.More information is given in www.gvb.nl.
I cant say traveling is cheap in Amsterdam.But when travelling is worth it then lets forget that. The fares are according to the zones that you pass during the travel. The zonal information again is in the GVB's website.
U can pay for your tickets to the driver or have a strippenkaart(Strip Cards) which will be stamped by the driver in the bus or by a ticket checker in most of the trams. There are some trams where you will have to stamp the card. The ticket is stamped on the strip after the number of zones we pass during travel. To get an idea of the fare i can tell you if you are passing one zone during your travel it will take two strips from your stippenkaart or otherwise
Strippenkaarts (Strip Cards) are valid on all buses, trams and metro lines in the city and is the most economical option.U can get a Strippenkaart from all rail stations, newspaper shops, post offices and all Albert Hein grocery stores.
There are also seasonal tickets 24, 48 and 72 hour passes which are available at all stations or at www.vbn-bv.nl
Hope you enjoy your days in Amsterdam
My wife and I went to Amsterdam for our wedding anniversary. We failed to take full advantage of the public transport system there (but that is another story). I can however say that the public transport there should be the envy of every city in Britain, and a template for the government to use if their anty car campain is to have any chance of working. We bought a ticket that allowed us to travel anywhere by bus or tram for the duration of our stay, it cost roughly £5 each. The journeys we did make showed us that all the trams are clean and comfortable (unlike our smelly trains and buses). We never had to wait long for a tram to arrive as they circle the city all day. There is only one draw back to this kind of transport system, that is they have a habbit of creeping up behind you and trying to run you down. Admittedly 99% of accidents happen to tourists as the locals have more sense than to walk down the street saying to their partner "Hey look at that, the tram lines go all over the city, I wonder how many people get hit by trams a year". An ominous rumble comes from behind, we look and jump out of the way of a tram that had no intention of stopping for a couple of tourists
If you're in Amsterdam for a few days, one of the cheapest ways to get around is with a weekly travel card, which will cost you just 18 guilders (£5.50 or so). It covers all public transport in the central area, which is pretty much all you will need for most purposes, and all you have to do is show it if asked to. The tourist tickets are quite a bit dearer. You can get it from the GVB ticket centre opposite Centraal Station and next to the VVV (tourist information centre). You'll need a passport photo.
Where to start? The system is excellent. Map's are posted on every major tram / bus stop so you can pretty much work out exactly where each tram goes, plus on the timetables it gives a detailed breakdown of where each stop is. All you have to do is know which stop you need! I lived in Amsterdam for 18 months and the public transport system is truly amazing. As soon as you work out how to use the Strippenkarte you are away. This is the cheaper way of using the public transport system. You just stamp the number of zones you wish to travel (a route planner on the trams, show you how many it is) and you are away. Plus you can travel for one hour from the time you get your karte stamped, so if you really wanted to you could just keep trolling round on the tram after only paying 80p. The system is pretty clean as people are not allowed to take food on drink in open containers onboard (but you know what it is like on a friday / saturday night), except late at night when people tend to forget this. It's still reasonale then though. And as for speed, Trams, Buses and Taxis all use a different lane to regular traffic, so you can regularly nip along passed traffic jams and be glad you are not in a car!
I've just been to Amsterdam for a long weekend.The trams are frequent and punctual but the ticketing arrangements are a nightmare.I think I'm reasonably intelligent but I couldn't get to grips with the complexities of the system. You get a very long strip of tickets to start with incorporating many zones(or is it 1?) You hand the first ticket to the conductor when you get on board or is it when you change zones?I think you hand the last ticket in when you get off or does it last another day or possibly week? There are many more ifs and buts about these tickets but I can't remember them. My advice; walk or use one of the 16 million bikes that are bombing around the city
We could learn a great deal from this excellent public transport system. The trams run spot on time and frequently. It really made exploring the city a real pleasure, albeit it takes a little while to grasp how youi figure out which tram goes where. You can buy a ticket from certain central ticket offices which give you unlimited travel for fixed periods of say a day, weekend or week and this proves great value for money. They also give you a map when you buy this ticket which makes planning which tram to get to where a little easier. The circle tram is a good way to get your bearings of the various tourist sights.