Here are the best ways to get around Amsterdam:
Centraal Station links Amsterdam to the rest of the country with a huge number of trains coming and going from here every day. Schiphol International Airport links to Centraal Station via trains that run roughly every 10 minutes. The inner-city tram has 16 routes and the metro runs with a simple 4-line service from the Centraal Station transport hub. The metro and trams run from 6am to 12:30am daily. Both methods of transport accept pre-paid transit cards, which can be bought and topped up at stations throughout the city.
Buses predominately operate outside of the city centre and offer onboard tickets that are valid for up to 1 hour, otherwise you can use the pre-paid pass available from any public transport station. Buses run 24 hours a day with the more expensive Nachtne night-bus service taking over between 12:30am and 7:30am.
With such an extensive, frequent and cheap public transport system available in Amsterdam, there's really no need to rent a car to get around the city. If you do want to head out of Amsterdam though, then car hire makes good sense.
When in Amsterdam, do as the locals do and hop on a bike! There are millions of cycles dotted throughout the city, and plenty of bike tracks and designated paths on the roads. During the warmer seasons, cycling is a great way to see the city sights at your leisure to ensure you don’t miss a thing. It’s not about getting to a certain destination; it’s about the meandering journey through Amsterdam’s central streets and along the canals. Bike rental companies can be found near main hubs such as Centraal Station, Leidseplein and Dam Square. Short-term rentals start from 3 hours and the average hire for a full day is €8.
GVB Ferries to Amsterdam-Noord are completely free and set off from behind Centraal Station every 15 to 45 minutes. The cruises traverse the large IJ River and stop frequently giving ample opportunity for any on-a-whim explorations of the city’s lightly trodden and undiscovered corners.