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Amsterdam Tram System Explained in Detail
You can buy a strip card or "strippenkaart" in advance containing 2, 3, 8, 15, or 45 strips. Then, you punch one more strip than the number of zones you want to travel through. A "uurskaart" use used for the entire day to go anywhere, but it's expensive. Or, you get a weekly seasonal ticket sold in 1 through 6 and "N" star values which is the number of zones you wish to travel on any given day for the entire week in 1 zone for about half the price of a daily ticket. This appears to be a local secret and you need also apply for a European travel ID or "stamkaart", which is free... but, you need a passport photograph, good for 5 years. For 10.80€ you can travel all throughout Amsterdam, including the museums and shops for the entire week with a weekly season ticket (shhh!). You can enter from the front or the rear if you have a ticket, but only from the rear if you don't have a ticket. But, you need to punch your ticket in the yellow machine towards the rear of the tram or have the conductor in the middle of the tram punch it for you, so if you have an unstamped ticket it's best to enter from the rear, unless you're getting on a bus in which case the driver in the front stamps your ticket or unless you have a stamped uurskaart. You can only exit through the rear. Sometimes you need to alert the driver as the stop you want and, there's a button which may need to be pressed to open the door to exit as well. They have a light rail, also known as the metro, which has three subway lines: 51, 53, and 54 - however, 51 is also known as a "tram." Neither the trams nor metro has anything to do with the railroad which connects the city to the rest of the world, including the airport. Once you stamp your ticket, it's good for up to an hour for traveling 1-3 zones, 1.5 hours for 4-6 zones, 2 hours 7-9 zones, 3 hours for 10-15 zones, or 3.5 hours for 16 or more zones - the exception being if you have a uurskaart which is good the specified number of days from the first time you use it.
Most tourists walk.
- Budget Travel
Don't be tempted to ride for free
Amsterdam has superb public transport facilities. The best way to travel is by tram. They are frequent, fast and dependable. Although tickets can be bought in the tram, it is cheaper to buy a multitravel tickets (called 'strippenkaart') from a magazine shop, the post office or railway station beforehand. Another good thing about strippenkaarts is that several people can travel on one strippenkaart.
I don't what is the situation now, but there used to be a conductor on most trams who stamped the ticket for you when you got on at the back of the tram. If there isn't one you might need to use a machine. Each journey within the city centre uses two strips. In this case you should leave one strip blank and stamp the second (If there are two of, you should then stamp the fourth strip and so forth).
Don't be tempted to ride for free, since there are regular checks on tickets and they will charge you the ticket price as well as a fine. They will not treat you more leniently just because you're a tourist!
Tickets are valid for an hour, regardless of how often you change tram or bus. Strippenkaarts are valid on all trams, buses and metros, and also on trains within the city boundaries (but not on the train to the airport!).
There are also one, two and three-day passes available. You must stamp a day or week pass the first time you use it only.
It might sound mad, but you should hail a tram to indicate you want to get on!!! ;-) Press the button near the door to open it. If the tram has a conductor you must use the rear door to get on.
The trams run until just after midnight. The last trams leave Central Station at 00.15. After that there is an hourly service of night buses from Central Station. There is a free map of all tram and bus routes in Amsterdam available from tourist offices or the GVB office in front of Central Station.
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Around Amsterdam in Tram
It's a very convenient to get around the city by tram. I would suggest the first time visitors to hop on-off different trams to see the city for a start...to know where to go etc... We took the 3-day pass which cost each of us about 13ish € (sorry don't remember the exact digits) and you can use this pass with all transportation - tram, bus, or metro. Very convenient. If you get lost you can always go back to the centraal station where all the tram lines are centered.
For info and to buy the transportation tickets/passes, contact the info center across the centraal station.
I really enjoyed the tram. It was nice to see the scenery as you travel. Most of the trams end at Central Stations. So if you get lost just take it to Central Station and someone will be able to help you there. The map where really easy to read. Travelers were very nice.
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Just About Anywhere You Need To Go
Amsterdam's extensive tram network covers pretty much the whole city delivering you to within easy walking distance of wherever you need to go. There are 16 lines in all, with 11 of them radiating outwards from Centraal Station and the other 5 arcing across these. Trams run from early morning until about midnight when the night bus system takes over covering similar routes. There are presently two ticket options: the "strippenkaart" or a daily pass. If you only intend to make one or two journeys a day then the "strippenkaart" is the more economical but you will need to know how many zones you are passing through in order have the correct number of strips stamped - whilst these are cheaper if bought from GVB vendors such as newsagents they can also be purchased from the tram conductor.
Personally I have always bought either the 24, 48 or 72 hour tickets (from GVB offices or the vending machines at Centraal Station, though the 24 hour ticket can also be purchased on board trams). These tickets must be validated on first use and are then good for all transport options within the city for the requisite time period including night buses.
Finding your way around the tram system is simplicity itself with most stops having electronic signs giving the times and destinations of the next three trams as well as a network map.
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The tram system in Amsterdam is second to none. You can get everywhere on these things and are very reasonably priced. I think they stop working some time between midnight and 1 am, so then you have the night busses which all take different routes and the drivers don't really know what's going on.
All trams begin and end at the main station, so there's no getting lost.
Day Tickets - If you visit Amsterdam, for the day, you benefit most from a one-day travel card valid on all public transport. With a special eight strip card, you may tour this city by tram, bus or underground all day and night. Two eight strip cards give you the possibility of touring the whole country by bus for one day. These ‘general’ day tickets are available from tram and bus drivers and at underground stations. If you want to spend more days in Amsterdam, your best buy is the local card for (all means of) public transport.
Bicycling is the easiest way to get around and see Amsterdam. There are bike lanes on all major streets and bike racks in main locations, as well as special bike parking indentations in the sidewalk.
Several boat trips to museums are available: Canalbus (Nieuwe Weteringschans 24) which makes six stops along two different routes between Centraal Station and the Rijksmuseum, costs Fl 12.50. Following a longer route is Museumboot Rederij Lovers (Stationsplein 8), which makes seven stops near 20 different museums.
Taxi stands are at the major squares and in front of the large hotels. Or you can call Taxicentrale, the central taxi dispatching office. Fares are Fl 5.60, plus Fl 2.80 per km. A 5-km (3-mile) ride will cost about Fl 20.
Water Taxi can be hailed like normal taxi’s and are a novel way to get around although a little expensive. They can also be called by telephone. These boats are a smaller version of the larger tourist canal boats, and each carries up to 8 passengers.
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Ok You dont know to ride bicycle but you insist to travel in the city .You have one more chances the Trams please inform how to use them and try to learn the last trams to your hotel if you are not in a walking distance .
Hmm... now look closely at this tram and tell me why I have photographed this one specifically?? hahaha it has the South African flag on it!!! Woohoo! Tourism is everywhere isnt it?
Trams are the easiest way to get around Amsterdam it seems, (although not as picturesque as the canals) and run regularly until 12:15 am. When you come out of Centraal Station, they are right there, you just have to see what lane you want (the numbers are on poles alongside the lanes).
People criss cross across the tram lines freely, and the trams are on the go all the time, I am surprised they dont have accidents quite often. It can be quite confusing when you first get there.
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Trams in 'Dam
Amsterdam has a fabulous tram system... they are fast and regular and easy to use. Trips in 1 Zone are 1.60E. You can buy the tickets as a strippenkaart (10 I think) from the VVV office at the Leidseplein or Centraal Station or buy them individually on the tram.
Use the tram system to get around
You can buy a Strippencard from a kiosk just outside the main station that is good for 10 trips, or a pass to cover a number of days - much easier than having to juggle loose change when piling onto a crowded tram!
One Bumpy, Confusing Ride
The trams in Amsterdam are almost always running, move quickly and are generally easy to use.
The only problem I had with it was that they were often too crowded, too bumpy, and too hot. I rarely got a seat, but at least they got me to where I needed to be (a few times I didn't pay, as the driver would yell at me in Dutch and brush me off).
It's also very expensive. 1.60 EURO for one measly trip. Locals flashed a card, so there must be a way to beat the system. Unfortunately, in a week's time you're not really able to figure it out.
The local transport system - super easy!
While I enjoy walking, sometimes it just takes too long to get where you are going, or the weather is less than desirable. This is when the local transit system can be a great help.
If you don’t normally use public transportation, don’t worry it’s very easy and cheap. Amsterdam offers a nice verity of systems to get you where you want to go. Trams and canal boats are the most commonly used. While there is a Metro (subway), buses and cabs these are not the most efficient way to travel the city.
If you don’t plan to do a lot of walking but want to see a lot of the city, using the ‘Amsterdam Transport Pass’ will save you money. For 21 euros a day, you will have unlimited use of the tram, bus, metro or canal bus.
If you like to walk, and are going to be in town for a couple of days the ‘Strippenkaart’ (strip of tickets) will save you a little money and a lot of frustration. You can walk, until the feet get tired than hop the system back. You can pay cash for a trip on the tram but, standing there pulling out the money and buying a ticket can be a pain in the rear.
The area is broken down into zones, each zone will require 1 ticket. The cool thing is that everyone can share the same ‘Strippenkaart’. These can be bought in strips of 2, 3, 8, 15 or 45 tickets. Finding a seller is also easy, train stations, tourist office, post office and even some tobacco shops.
A common fear is not knowing how to use the system. Don’t worry, that is also very easy. Maps of routes are easy to find, and trams are very well marked with both number and name of route. You will also notice that the next stop will be written on a digital board, and stops are also verbally announced. If you are unsure if the tram will take you where you need to go, you can always ask the driver. I have found them to be very friendly and helpful.
One last little tip, don’t worry about getting lost in the city. You can’t walk far with out running into a tram stop and all but will end up at Central station.
- Family Travel
The tram goes in/out and around the city center. It usually comes every 5-10 minutes, and very convenient way to get to the major locations, i.e, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House.
You can buy one time ticket on a tram, but if you know that you'll use tram several times, buy a day-pass or 15 ticket strip at the convenience shops, which will save you money. If you use a strip, make sure to get a stamp on the ticket everytime you get on a tram. 1 trip usually uses 2 tickets on a strip.
- Budget Travel
Take the tram
I found the tram easy to use and very convenient. I bought a 72 hour pass (see my tip about the I Amsterdam card). You simply show the pass to the conductor who will stamp it on it's first use. For subsequent trips, you just need to show the pass to the conductor when you enter the tram.
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