The Ultimate Amsterdam Central Station Travel Guide

Damrak and Amsterdam Central Station
Damrak street towards Amsterdam Central Station.

If you’re visiting Amsterdam, there’s a good chance you’ll be arriving and departing from Amsterdam Central Station. Amsterdammers call it Centraal Station. It’s the busiest railway station in the Netherlands, serving as a hub for national and international rail traffic.

But even if you’re not a train enthusiast, CS is worth checking out for its impressive architecture and prime location in the heart of Amsterdam. Here’s what you need to know about this iconic landmark:

History of Amsterdam Central Station

The back of the station.

Amsterdam central station was built in 1885 and is a Beaux-Arts style building. It was designed by Pierre Cuypers, who also designed the Rijksmuseum. The station was built on the site of the former Amsterdam City Hall, which had been destroyed by a fire in 1848.

The new station was built to accommodate the increasing number of passengers using the railroads. The design of the station included a raised central waiting room, with a glass roof and an iron and glass facade.

The first train arrived at the new station in 1885, and it quickly became an important hub for rail travel in Europe. Today, Amsterdam central station is still an important transportation hub, with over 200,000 passengers passing through it every day.

Amsterdam Central Station skyline
Central station & the IJ-river from above

Whether you’re just stopping by for a day or staying in the city for a while, here are some tips to help make your experience as smooth as possible.

Trains To Amsterdam Central Station

tram at Amsterdam Central Station
Front view of Central Station.

Amsterdam Central Station is the busiest station in the Netherlands, with over 200,000 passengers passing through every day. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the station is served by a variety of different trains, including high-speed intercity services and regional trains.

It’s also a major hub for international rail services, with direct connections to cities like Paris, Berlin, and London. If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, be sure to check out the train schedule so you can find the best way to get to Amsterdam Central Station.

Amsterdam Airport To Central Station

Schiphol to Amsterdam Central Station

The easiest way to get from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station is by train. The journey takes just 19 minutes and trains depart every 10 minutes during peak times. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines located in the Arrivals Hall or at the NS ticket office, which is located next to platform 1.

schiphol KLM planes
Schiphol Airport and KLM airplanes.

Once you have your ticket, simply board the next train bound for the main station in Holland. When you arrive, you will find yourself in the heart of the capital, with numerous restaurants, cafes, shops and museums within walking distance.

Taxi From Amsterdam Airport to Central Station

taxi to Amsterdam Central Station

Taking a taxi from Amsterdam Airport to Central Station is a quick and convenient way to get into the city centre. The journey takes around 20 minutes and costs around EUR 40. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when taking a taxi in Amsterdam.

Firstly, make sure you take an official taxi from one of the taxi stands at the airport. There are a number of unofficial taxi services that operate in Amsterdam, and these can be significantly more expensive.

Amsterdam Red Light District Street

Secondly, be aware that taxi fares are calculated based on the distance travelled, so if you get stuck in traffic, your fare will increase.

Finally, remember to take plenty of cash with you, as taxi drivers in Amsterdam do not accept card payments. With these tips in mind, taking a taxi from Amsterdam Airport to Central Station is a great way to get into the city centre quickly and easily.

Hotels Near Amsterdam Central Station

De L'Europe Hotel
De L’Europe is a beautiful hotel in the city centre.

If you’re looking for a convenient place to stay, then one of these hotels is sure to suit your needs. The Hilton Amsterdam is just a short walk from the station, and offers stylish accommodation and impressive views of the city.


For those on a budget, the Ibis Amsterdam City Centre is a great option, with affordable rates and a central location. The hotel is located just a few minutes from Central Station, making it easy to get around the city.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, with all the amenities you need for a pleasant stay. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the breakfast is excellent. In addition, the hotel offers a great view of the city from its rooftop terrace. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option in Amsterdam, Ibis Styles Amsterdam Central Station is definitely worth considering.

hotel sign

Another budget accommodation nearby is the NH Amsterdam City Centre. No matter what your budget or preferences are, there’s sure to be a hotel that’s perfect for you. So whether you’re looking for luxury or affordability, there’s an accommodation that’s right for you.

Attractions Near Amsterdam Central Station

Amsterdam Central Station has plenty of attractions nearby to keep you entertained. The Red Light District is just a 10 minute walk away. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, there are plenty of options within walking distance of the station, including fast food, sit-down restaurants, and cafes.

Amsterdam Central Station is also adjacent to Amsterdam’s main shopping district, so you can find almost anything you’re looking for without straying too far from the station.

If you’re looking for entertainment, the nearby Amsterdam City Theater offers a variety of shows, concerts, and other events. And if you’re in the mood for some sightseeing, the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House are both within easy reach of Amsterdam Central Station.

So whether you’re just passing through or looking for something to do in the area, Amsterdam Central Station has you covered.

Canal Cruise Near Amsterdam Central Station

canal cruise

If you’re looking for a relaxing canal cruise near “Amsterdam Centraal”, look no further than the Blue Boat Company. With departure points just a short walk from the station, the Blue Boat Company offers a variety of canal cruises that are perfect for sightseeing.

Whether you’re interested in a historical tour of the canal district or a leisurely cruise through the city, the Blue Boat Company has a canal cruise to suit your needs. And with experienced guides on board, you can be sure to learn all about Amsterdam’s rich history and culture while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

So if you’re looking for a canal cruise near Holland’s busiest station, be sure to check out the Blue Boat Company.

Free Ferry

amsterdam ferry

Amsterdam North is a great place to explore, and the best way to get there is by taking one of the free ferries. Find them just behind the terminal. Once you’re in Amsterdam North, you can visit the ADAM Tower, NDSM, Shelter, Europe’s Highest swing, and the Botel Hotel, among others.

amsterdam swing women

The ADAM Tower is a former Amsterdam Port Authority building that has been converted into a hotel and event space. The NDSM is a former shipyard that has been transformed into a vibrant creative district.

Shelter is a club & bar located in the basement of one of Amsterdam’s tallest buildings . Europe’s Highest swing is located on the top of it.

Amsterdam ferry

The Botel Hotel is a floating hotel moored in Amsterdam’s harbor. Amsterdam North is a great place to explore, and the best way to do it is by taking one of the free ferries.

Central Station Amsterdam Luggage Lockers

holland main station

Looking for a place to store your luggage in Amsterdam? Look no further than the central station luggage lockers. With a wide range of sizes to choose from, there’s a locker to fit everyone’s needs. And, with 24/7 access, you can store your luggage for as long as you need.

Plus, with security cameras and a staff on hand 24 hours a day, you can rest assured that your belongings are safe and sound. So whether you’re looking for short-term storage or long-term storage, the central station luggage lockers are the perfect solution.

Car Rental Near The Station

rental car

If you’re looking for car rental near Amsterdam Central station, there are a few options to choose from. Avis, Europcar, and Hertz all have locations within a few minutes’ walk of the station. While each company has its own pros and cons, all three are reliable providers of car rental services.

Avis is generally considered to be the most expensive option, but it also offers a wide range of vehicles to choose from.

Europcar, on the other hand, is typically cheaper than Avis, but it has a more limited selection of cars.

Lastly, Hertz is somewhere in between Avis and Europcar in terms of price and vehicle availability. Whichever company you choose, you can be sure that you’ll be able to find car rental near Amsterdam Central station.

Public Transport Prices

There are several payment options for traveling by public transport in Amsterdam.

Firstly, there is the OV chip card: valid throughout the Netherlands with almost every carrier. So also with public transport in Amsterdam. You put money on the card at an NS machine or a GVB machine. These can be found at every station.

To travel by city transport, it is good to know that you can have a maximum of 5 euros negative balance. You should in any case make sure that you always have enough money on your public transport car.

If you often transfer to different trams within the hour, you will receive a transfer discount. In addition, you can still buy a single ticket the old-fashioned way at a GVB machine. You will soon be given the choice whether you want to travel by tram, metro or bus.

If you travel by metro, it is necessary that you pass a machine. If you opt for the tram or bus, you can also buy a ticket in the means of transport. The tickets you eventually receive work the same as an OV chip card: a matter of checking in and out again.

Maximize Your Day: Amsterdam in 24 Hours

Starting your journey at Amsterdam Central Station positions you perfectly to explore the best of the city in just one day. Our expertly curated One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary is designed to help you discover the iconic sights, hidden gems, and culinary delights that make Amsterdam unique, all within walking distance or a short tram ride from this central hub

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to buy marijuana in Amsterdam near Central Train Station?

If you’re looking to buy marijuana in Amsterdam, your best bet is to head to the central train station. There are a number of weed shops in the area, and it’s easy to find one that suits your needs.

Coffeeshop Voyagers is the best choice if you want to buy weed near Amsterdam Central Station.

coffee shop near station

Many of the shops offer a variety of different strains of marijuana, so you can find the perfect one for you. The prices vary depending on the shop, but you can expect to pay around 8 euros per gram. Keep in mind that Amsterdam’s central train station is located in an area that is full of tourists, so be prepared for higher prices than you might find elsewhere in the city.

How far is Sloterdijk?

Sloterdijk is about 10 minutes by train. Sloterdijk is located in the western part of the city. It has many bus connections too. Hotels situated around this station are much cheaper than hotels in the city center.

How to get to Keukenhof Gardens?


The best way to get to Keukenhof Gardens is by bus. The buses run directly from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the gardens, and the journey takes around 45 minutes. You can also take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Leiden Central Station, and then take a bus or taxi from there.


If you’re driving, you can park at one of the P+R locations near the gardens (P+R Meerkatoren or P+R Haarlem Noord). From there, you can take a free shuttle bus to Keukenhof.

Please note that the P+R locations can get very busy during peak times, so it’s best to arrive early.

What are the operating hours of Amsterdam Central Station?

Amsterdam Central Station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, specific services such as ticket offices and shops have their own operating hours, typically starting from early morning around 6:00 AM to late evening around 1:00 AM.

How do I buy train tickets at Amsterdam Central Station?

Train tickets can be purchased at automated ticket machines located throughout the station, or at service desks. These machines accept various payment methods, including credit cards and debit cards. It’s advisable to check current ticket prices and travel schedules online or at the station for the most accurate information.

Are there facilities for storing luggage at Amsterdam Central Station?

Yes, Amsterdam Central Station offers luggage storage facilities. Lockers are available in different sizes and can be rented for a few hours to several days. The luggage storage area is easily accessible and provides a secure space for your belongings while you explore the city.

Can I find food and dining options inside the station?

Amsterdam Central Station has a wide range of dining options. From quick snacks and coffee shops to sit-down restaurants, there are choices to suit all tastes and budgets. These facilities are typically open from early morning until late in the evening, catering to travelers’ needs throughout the day.

Is there Wi-Fi available at Amsterdam Central Station?

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Amsterdam Central Station. Visitors can connect to the internet by selecting the Wi-Fi network and following the login instructions. This service allows travelers to stay connected, look up information, or plan their journey while waiting for their train or bus.

Safe Travels: Essential Tips

Embarking from Amsterdam Central Station, you’re set for an exciting journey. Yet, navigating new terrains can come with challenges. To ensure a smooth and secure experience, delve into our guide on 14 Tips for Safe Travel Abroad. It covers essential advice from staying vigilant to respecting local laws, tailored to help travelers maintain safety while exploring globally.


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