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A ring-road encircles the city and provides access to a series of interchanges that connect to city roads. Be attentive to the numerous one-way streets, and note that driving within the city centre is discouraged and public transportation to and from the centre encouraged due to congestion. It is recommended to drive in the less densely populated suburbs.
Parking within the city centre can be expensive due to the rates set by the city council to encourage more environmentally friendly public transport or cyclist traffic. Pay and display tickets have been exchanged for digital parking. The meter requires your licence plate number in lieu of a printed ticket. Cash is not accepted at these meters, therefore you must use a credit card or chip card. Different passes must be purchased for overnight parking as well. Public car parks can be found throughout Amsterdam with varied rates. There are also many park and ride car parks available along the outer ring-road. Visit our driving information page for more information about road regulations in Netherlands.
The canals of Amsterdam are a prominent feature of the city and more than double the densely packed canals of Italy's Venice. Arriving from Schiphol Airport, or a suburban location, there are three main canals that you will cross as you approach the city's centre. In order of length they are: the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Herengracht. Connected by smaller watery byways, approximately one hundred kilometres of canals wend their way throughout Amsterdam. Other popular features include the Van Gogh and Hermitage Amsterdam Museums. There is a broad spectrum of architecture such as Baroque, Gothic and Art Deco that intermingle with more contemporary edifices. Numerous parks and city squares dot the cityscape.
The weather in Amsterdam is mercurial and best compared to that of England. While summer temperatures average a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius, it is not uncommon for a change in the maritime winds to bring a sudden cold front. Although quite cold, winter sees minimal snow, and spring and fall are excellent travel periods with moderate temperatures and lower tourist traffic.
The primary airport for international traffic in the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport is also ranked fourth in Europe for passenger traffic.
Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Telephone: +31 20 794 0800
As a city highly conscious of its environmental footprint, there are a number of public transportation options to take advantage of within Amsterdam.
Bus & Tram
A combination of bus and tram lines are operated by Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf that work together to provide efficient transportation to most destinations within the city.
A series of water taxis, water buses, ferries and further canal-based transport is available as public and private services.
It is possible to hire a bike from most parts of the city. Bicycle parking stations are also prevalent, but keep in mind that tens of thousands of bikes are stolen each year in Amsterdam and a fifth of them end up in the canal. Make liberal use of secure locking stations and padlocks when leaving the bike unattended.