Important Things to know when traveling in Amsterdam

Important Things to know when traveling in Amsterdam

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Traveling in Amsterdam? Then you have to read this post.

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Before I first landed in Amsterdam almost 10 years ago, I was so worried and nervous, because I had no clue about Amsterdam and back then not many travel posts sharing important information. Now, I have my website sharing Amsterdam travel tips (including exclusive discount information) and have this post to remind you all the important things to know before you go to Amsterdam.

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Be sure to read on, you do not want to miss a single line here. This post includes the following topics:

  • Public transportation within Amsterdam
  • Travel from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Staion
  • Cheap train tickets (exclusive local deal)
  • Important to know when paying cash in Amsterdam
  • Cheap hotel recommendation at Schiphol Airport

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Useful tips for traveling in Amsterdam:

1. Public transportation, like bus and tram, in Amsterdam is cash free, which means no cash payment allowed, only card payment (VISA, Master Card, Maestro) accepted. Highly recommend to buy OV-Chipkaart by using the yellow ticket machine ( EUR 7.50 only for the card) or you can buy day pass for public transportation (bus, metro and tram) or at GVB service points.

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2. Although cash payment is not allowed on the bus/tram, you can still pay cash at supermarkets, bars, restaurants and etc. Please not that “Dutch cash rounding” concept. Important to know when you pay cash in the Netherlands!

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Dutch people was very easy going, they do not use 1 or 2 cents coin.

If the total amount to pay is:
EUR 39.93 and 39.94, please pay EUR 39.95
EUR 39.98 and 39.99, please pay EUR 40.00

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On the other hand, if it is
EUR 39.91 and 39.92, please pay EUR 39.90.
EUR 39.96 and 39.97, please pay EUR 39.95.

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I didn’t know when I just arrived in the Netherlands, I even asked for 1 or 2 cents.

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3. If you do not have credit card, but would like to take the train. Please bring enough coin money with you. The machine does not take paper money. If you do not have enough coins to buy the train tickets, you can go to the service counter, but they most likely charge a service fee. (Trust me; nothing is for free in the Netherlands)

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4. If you use OV Chip card for public transportation, please keep in mind to: check in & check out. If not, you will get a big fine (EUR 4 for bus/tram/metro; EUR 20 for train)

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5. Kids under 4 years old can travel for free on the train. For kids between 4 and 11 years old, please buy Railrunner ticket (EUR 2.50 per day) with the yellow ticket machine or online via NS.nl/en.

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6. If you buy paper ticket from the yellow ticket machine, you need to pay EUR 1 extra for the paper ticket. Recommend you to buy e-ticket on NS.nl/en or OV chip card to save the unnecessary cost.

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7. Big promo train tickets: please click here
Actie Van De Dag is the website offering tickets on big discounts. It saves you a lot of money if you take long distance train ride.

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8. Intercity Direct (ICD) is high speed train in the Netherlands. The regular route is Amsterdam Central Staion – Schiphol Airport – Rotterdam – Breda. Please make sure you pay supplement (Dutch: Toeslag) if you travel between Schiphol Airport and Breda. Otherwise, you will get a fine.

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Please swipe your OV Chip card on the red machine below only once (not twice) to pay for the supplement (Dutch: Toeslag). If you don’t have OV Chip Card, please buy it at the yellow ticket machine.

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9. If you would like to take international train between Netherlands and surrounding European countries, highly recommend to book it under NS International. Their service is great, good English communication, instant service (facebook/whatsapp/hotline).

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10. If you are going to Amsterdam Central Station from Schiphol, please do not take the route (like below) where you need to transfer at Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Platform 8 and 9 are not on the same platform, but at different station. Most likely you will miss the train since the walking distance is at least 5 minutes and you do not want to walk with your luggage.

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11. Be aware of cycling path all time in Amsterdam. Dutch Cyclists, especially ones in Amsterdam, are not very friendly if you block their way on the cycling path. When I just arrived in Amsterdam, I very often ended up walking on the cycling path.

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12. Be aware of pickpockets. Please keep your eyes on your personal belongings at all times in the city center, especially when you are close to the red light district. Do not put important items in your backpack. I do not use my backpack while I am in the city center.

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13. If someone being nice ask if you need help with your luggage on the train, especially on the route between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central, please say no. Possibly they are pickpockets and take your important items when you do not notice.

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14. The busiest time of incoming tourists is between April and September. Please check the Schiphol Airport website regularly and see if the airport is fully packed and need to go to the airport earlier.

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15. Schiphol Airport See Buy Fly shop offers free voucher, click here to get it for free.

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16. If you arrive late or have early fly the next day, we recommend NH Schiphol Hotel. They have 24 hour shuttle bus service and rate is very fair. I booked it 6 months in advance and paid less than EUR 70 per night. The hotel is really clean and new.

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Hope you find this post useful and welcome to share it with people around it! I am dedicated to share more posts about traveling in Amsterdam ans other Dutch cities. Stay tuned for our Amsterdam travel tips.


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