I was trying to save some money and decided to take the train into Amsterdam from the airport and then just get a cab from there to where I was staying. Let me just say that it would have been worth the additional 15 or so euro to have just gotten the cab to begin with! (And you definitely do not want to have to roll luggage through the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam!) My advice is to splurge a little on the taxi - you won't regret it!
Taxi's in Amsterdam are the most expensive I've seen in Europe. I wouldn't get use to using taxi's to get around the city. I prefer (like most) using a bike. It is by far the easiest and least expensive way to get around the city. They actually have their own lane. Besides there are a lot of things to see and do.
Cabs are available, but overpriced and unnecessary. From the airport, you could take a cab to your hotel and pay roughly 40 Euros, or you could take the train and pay 3.10 Euros to Centraal Station. From there, you can walk or pay another 1.60 Euros and hop the tram to where you need to go.
Taxi's are available everywhere, but please do use legal taxi's and not some guy that runs to you offering you a ride. At Schiphol we had - until recently - the blessing not to have this annoying guys, but now-a-days the appear from nowhere, ruining the market. Taxi's in Amsterdam are relatively expensive, but very trustworthy. A legal driver will never try to trick you or drive extra distance to get some extra money.
Another thing to tell about is the canals and there initial value. Now-a-days however barely seen: transport. Boats are not running up and down the canals anymore to fill the warehouses. There is still traffic on the Amstel though as well as in the busy "IJ", harbours and Amsterdam-Noordzee-canal. This last connects the capitol now-a-days directly with the Northsea and keeps it being an important harbour of the world.
Careful when you grab a cab, especially at the airport. There will be people in the airport that try and talk you into taking their cabs, but they aren't real cabs. Take only cabs from the designated cab areas.
Taxis are normally not hailed in the Netherlands, but taken from a taxi rank, of which there are many (there is an environmental advantage to this: taxis aren't constantly driving round looking for custom). Taxis are good quality but relatively expensive; around €1.50 per km regardless of day or time. You don't need to tip more than rounding up: they are already expensive enough.
You're not supposed to hail a taxi in the street - though occasionally one may stop - as there are ranks dotted around the city. The best places to find taxis are outside Centraal Station, the bus station at the junction of Kinkerstraat and Marnixstraat, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. You can't book cabs in advance, but if you call Amsterdam's 24-hour central taxi control on 6777777, a taxi will arrive almost immediately (though be prepared to wait if it is raining on a Friday or Saturday evening as the line is often busy, but there's a telephone queueing system).
Wheelchairs will only fit in taxis if folded. If you're in a wheelchair, phone the car transport service for wheelchair users on +31 (0)20 6333943 (generally open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). You'll need to book your journey one or two days in advance.
In addition to all the trams, they also have bike taxis. I mostly walked
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