Amsterdam is one of the world’s most desirable travel destinations. It’s beautiful historic centre, countless museums, world-class restaurants, bars and nightlife and it’s reputation as a hub of social liberalism make this city one of the great cultural capitals of Europe. There are many ways to travel to Amsterdam easily – the city’s airport is one of the busiest in Europe and a major international transit hub. Whether it’s a quick visit during an airport layover or a longer holiday, it’s important to make the most of every minute in Amsterdam – here we explain how to travel to Amsterdam and everything that you need to arrange before entering the country.
Where is Amsterdam located?
Amsterdam is located in one of the country’s western provinces called Noord-Holland (one of twelve which make up the Netherlands). Amsterdam is the Dutch capital and home to almost a million people (making it the Netherlands’ most highly populated city). Flowing through the city’s central districts is the River Amstel. This waterway has been essential throughout the history and development of the city and lends the Dutch capital its name – originally Amsteldamme (the area was first settled as a fishing village in the 12th century).
With Germany to the east, Belgium to the west and the North Sea making up the country’s northern border, the Netherlands is a small country in northwestern Europe. Although the country has a small population of just over 17 million, it’s cultural and historic importance makes the Netherlands one of the most fascinating countries to visit and one of the cornerstones of European civilisation. Amsterdam recently became so populair that the Dutch government did a total stop on online marketing for the city, hoping to attract less visitors.
Do you need a passport to go to Amsterdam?
It depends. The Netherlands is one of the European countries in the Schengen area. This means that for people who are visiting from other countries that are party to the Schengen agreement, you may be able to travel only with your identity card.
Do you need a visa to go to Amsterdam?
Like the previous question, it depends on your nationality and your reasons for travelling to the country. Most foreign nationals wishing to visit the Netherlands as a tourist for up to 90 days will need to obtain a short stay visa or Schengen area visa. For those who are visiting from the EU, EEA or Switzerland (and some other countries who have agreed visa exemptions), however, this is not necessary. You can find out everything that you need to know about documents that you will need and how to obtain them here. Are you part of a larger groups and in need for some visa assistance? Reach out to our partner company Damrep!
How to get from Amsterdam airport to city center
There are a number of travel options for those wanting to travel to Amsterdam centrum from the city’s Schipol airport. There are numerous trains and buses making this journey regularly. However, arriving in an airport can be disorientating and if with a group, it may be more enjoyable to make this journey in a comfortable car. In recent years, the number of rogue taxi drivers over-charging foreign visitors and ripping them off has come to the attention of the government and the press. For this reason, it is always better to pre-book with a reputable company (We Are Amsterdam offers a luxury transfer service where you can travel hassle-free from the airport straight to your preferred location in the city). Find out more here.
How to get around in Amsterdam
Once you’re in the city, the hard work is done! Amsterdam is a city with an extensive public transport system consisting of trams, metros and buses. However, the city’s favourite mode of transport is, of course, the bike! This is a great way of getting around the city whilst experiencing it from a truly local perspective – you can find out more about bike hire here.