A beautiful city with ancient architecture, historic canals, narrow winding streets, and picturesque bridges, Amsterdam caters to a wide range of travelers. Whether you’re a laidback canal-life seeker, an art and culture enthusiast, a museum lover, or a fan of al-fresco dining and picnic lunches, the city offers something for everyone. Any time is a good time to visit Amsterdam. To avoid peak tourist season, plan your visit from April – May or September – October. To enjoy the world-famous tulip season and enjoy breathtaking, colorful sights, visit between mid-March – early May. In summer, from June – August, enjoy numerous festivals, picnics in the park, outdoor dining, and sunbathing on the sandy beaches. This is the peak tourist season, so expect hotel rates to be higher. If you don’t mind the cool, crisp winters, and are looking for attractive deals and bargains, plan a winter trip between December – March (excluding the weeks around Christmas and New Year).
Direct international flights from U.S. cities to Amsterdam are offered by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, KLM, and TUI Airlines. You can also choose other flights with 1 or more stops, offered by British Airways, Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, China Eastern Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Norwegian, Aeromexico, TAP Air Portugal, Ukraine International Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Aer Lingus, Icelandair, Vueling Airlines, Air Canada, and many more.
AMS is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Amsterdam city center. The airport is well connected to the city through several transportation options.
Schiphol Airport train station is located directly below the airport. Ride the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) operated trains to Amsterdam Centraal in the city center in 15 – 20 minutes. Intercity trains arrive every 15 minutes, while Sprinter trains arrive every 30 minutes. The one-way fare is €4.30 EUR.
Buses and shuttles
The bus stops at the airport are located right outside Schiphol Plaza. There are city and regional bus lines, paid shuttles, as well as courtesy shuttles that hotels in the area provide to pick up and drop off their guests. You can ride the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus #197 that departs every 10 minutes and reaches Leidseplein in 35 – 40 minutes. The fare is €5.00 EUR. You can also opt for the Connexxion Schiphol Hotel Shuttle that rides to over 100 hotels in the city. Fares start at €17.00 EUR per person for a one-way trip. Discounted fares are applicable for groups of 3 – 8 and for return journeys.
Taxis stands are available just outside the airport. No booking is required. Rides cost approximately €40.00 – €50.00 EUR and take 30 – 40 minutes to reach the city center. Ride-share with Uber is also easily available from the airport.
All major rental car companies offer their services at the airport. It is definitely worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.
One of the most exciting ways to explore Amsterdam is by hiring a bike and cycling around the neighborhoods. Bike rentals start at approximately €15.00 EUR per day. If possible, avoid driving within the city. Parking is scarce and there are several one-way and narrow streets that are tedious to navigate. If you don’t wish to cycle or walk, it’s better to rely on Amsterdam’s vast public transport network. GVB operates the city’s public buses, trams and ferries on a time-based ticketing system. While a GVB 1-hour day ticket costs €2.90 EUR, a GVB day ticket costs €7.50 EUR. These tickets allow unlimited day and night travel across all GVB routes, regardless of transfers and distance covered. For a scenic way to explore the city, try the water taxis. GVB ferries provide a free connection to pedestrians, cyclists, and mopeds wanting to go across River IJ. All the other ferry routes are priced according to the GVB time-based ticketing system.
A vibrant metropolis that effortlessly combines its historic old-world charm with contemporary chic, Amsterdam has something for everyone. Spend your days walking across picturesque bridges, exploring cutting edge art museums, biking along the canals, and lounging in the parks. In the evenings, enjoy leisurely strolls along streets filled with musicians, and choose from a wide range of al-fresco restaurants to simply relax, unwind and dine under the stars.
Enjoy Amsterdam’s gastronomic and cultural offerings
Sample several breweries and a wide range of international cuisine at the eateries in Foodhallen, an international food hall set in former tram sheds. At the massive cultural complex De Hallen Amsterdam, explore a host of food stalls, lively daily markets (except on Sundays), and themed weekend markets. Buy a drink and listen to vintage jazz music at the In’t Aepjen brown bar. The bar is housed in a 15th-century wooden building, 1 of the only 2 wooden buildings that remain in Amsterdam. Spend an evening at the Amsterdam Roest, a laid back bar and beer garden that features a terrace overlooking the canal, a huge playground, hammocks, street art, and a sandy beach.
Explore the unique neighborhoods
Each neighborhood in Amsterdam offers unique sights and local flavors and is worth exploring on foot or by bike. Check Jordaan, a quintessential Amsterdam neighborhood that offers delicious Dutch food options, and some of the best ‘brown’ bars in the city. Head to Haarlemmerstraat for a variety of specialized boutiques for budget-friendly as well as extravagant finds. Explore the local bars serving unique cocktails. In the trendy De Pijp neighborhood, sample some of the tastiest Middle Eastern cuisine. For modern cafés, flea markets and chic outdoor dining, wander around the modern neighborhood, Amsterdam-Noord. In Oud West, visit the historic De Otter windmill and also walk along Bilderdijkstraat and De Clerqstraat streets for interesting sights and food options. If you are exploring the infamous De Wallen (The Red Light District), be aware of the rules and regulations in the area.