Arriving at the Centraal Station
Both the inside and the outside of the Centraal Station are a mess due to the construction of a new subterranean line under the central hall at a depth of 15 metres and a bus station at the back of the Centraal Station . After some years this will be past and inside and outside will look much better.
Contents of this page
Inside the Centraal Station
Click here to see the floor plan of the platforms level (upstairs) in the Centraal Station
Near track 2a you find the police and a WC (€0.50, 24 hours). In the middle of track 2 there is the VVV (tourist bureau) and an ice cream shop. Near track 2b you find a Burger King , The Pub , a rather chic restaurant ( 1e Klas rest or First class restaurant) and a WC (€0.50, from 7 am until 1 am. For either WC you must insert the exact amount to open a gate. You can also slip into the restaurant, when inside you turn left and go up a few steps to find the WCs).
As you can see in the floor plan, the tracks 1, 2a and 15a have no elevators. If you are there and you really need an elevator then you must walk to the elevators on the tracks 2b and 15b.
Click here to see the floor plan of the street level (downstairs) in the Centraal Station
In the western passage, near the south exit, you can buy train tickets every day from 6 am to 9 pm (Netherlands: T&S or Tickets and Service , abroad: Hi Speed ). In the western passage you find a cash dispenser ( PIN ), an exchange office ( GWK ) and at the end of the passage: a chemist's ( Etos and a supermarket ( AH To Go ). In the extreme south-east you will find another AH To Go and another PIN . Next to AH To Go there are luggage lockers. Nearby AH To Go and the luggage lockers is an other Tickets and Service (not shown in the floor plan), open every day, 24 hours.
Click here to see the surroundings outside of the Centraal Station
North of the station, there are landings for three free of charge ferries (for pedestrians and cyclists) that connect Amsterdam Noord , across the water, with the rest of the municipality. Near these landings, attached to the Centraal Station on the level of the train platforms (upstairs) there is a new bus station for buses that serve Amsterdam Noord and the villages north of that. Amsterdam Noord is the north part of the municipality across the water. The new bus station is not yet on the map.
South of the station, there is a scatter of bus and tram stops, four entrances to the subterranean (
metro ) and bicycle sheds. Very close to the eastern exit is the Info GVB stadsvervoer (GVB = municipality transport company) where tram and bus tickets are sold and information can be obtained. Their neighbour is another VVV (tourist bureau). Werk in uitvoering here signifies: Work in progress for the new underground North South Line and the bus station at the back of the Centraal Station . On both ends of the south façade there are two bicycle sheds where you can rent bicycles or store away your bicycle or have it repaired.
Below, the public transport near the Centraal Station will be discussed in detail.
How to find the floor plan images if the above hyperlinks do not work?
How to find the floor plan images of other railway stations?
Click here for the appropriate page of the Dutch Railways
Then type the name of a railway station in the empty box and click on Tonen.
Then you will see a new internet page. (In the case of 'Amsterdam Centraal' you will see a fragment, left)
Press the PageDown button of your keyboard two or three times until you reach the bottom of the page.
You may then click on the hyperlinks underneath the text Plattegronden van dit station . (Floor plans of this railway station).
Luggage lockers in Dutch stations (2011)
In the Centraal Station the luggage lockers are accessible seven days and twenty four hours but there is no staff to assist you between 11 pm and and 7 am.
Click here to read about lockers in the Dutch railway stations, in English.
According to this internet page (that you will see after clicking the hyperlink up here), you can only pay with plastic money and not with bank notes or coins. However, you can buy a smart card ( chip card ) at the nearby Tickets and Service desk and use this to pay the rent of your locker or you can ask somebody to help you out.
Plastic money means: PIN (Dutch ATM card), CHIP (Smart card that can be loaded with money, on a Dutch ATM card), MAESTRO , VISA creditcard and MASTER creditcard. You can use credit cards only at the 4 major stations (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht).
Different prices in Amsterdam Centraal Station (2011). Almost 50 percent up.
- €4.90 for the first 24 hours.
- €7 for the second 24 hours. (24th until 48th hour)
- €7 for the third 24 hours. (48th until 72nd hour)
- €9.20 72nd until 240 th hour.
- €7.60 for the first 24 hours.
- €11.40 for the second 24 hours. (24th until 48th hour)
- €11.40 for the third 24 hours. (48th until 72nd hour)
- €14.00 72nd until 240th hour.
Let only recognizable railway employees help you closing your locker.
For a better understanding of the film you find here a translation of the Dutch subtitles (that you will see after pressing on the "cc"-button underneath the film) in the film:
|In some Dutch Railway stations you can hire a luggage locker.
|There are two sizes.
|On this web site you can read which sizes.
|Look for an empty luggage locker.
|If the window beside the locker is red, then the locker is occupied.
|If green, then the locker is free.
|Check if your luggage can fit in the locker.
|Before hiring, please read the General conditions.
|When hiring, you agree with the General conditions.
|Put your luggage in the locker…..
|….. in such a way that you don't need to push the door of the locker.
|Close the door and hold it with your hand until the locker bolts automatically…..
|…….. and the window will be red.
|Remenber the number of your locker.
|Go into the direction as indicated by the arrow that is on the door of the locker…..
|…. and go to the payment terminal related to your locker.
|Check the number of your locker on the viewing screen.
|Select de way of paying.
|(Voice only) There are three possibilities: PIN, Chipknip, Card. (If you don't have a Dutch bank account then Card is the only possibility)
|Do this in the given time.
|Top left there is a little clock running.
|If you are late the locker will automatically open.
|You have half a minute.
|Follow the instructions in the Card reader. This is below the screen.
|Take out your ticket.
|Check the number of your ticket. It must have a bar code.
|A ticket with a bar code is a valid ticket.
|With this ticket you pick up your luggage later.
|A ticket without a bar code is not valid.
|Your locker will open automatically again.
|You will pick up your luggage at the payment terminal that is mentioned on your ticket.
|You insert the ticket, on the same spot where you have taken it out.
|Your locker will open immediately.
|Unless you have been using the locker for more than 24 hours.
|Then you must pay more.
|Take your luggage out.
|Check that you don't leave anything in the locker.
The bar code is important
If you get a ticket without a bar code you have probably not paid correctly. The door of the locker will be opened again.
The bar code is your key to open the locker.
Departure charts or Direct connections from the Centraal Station
1 Click here to see the Departure chart for the trains to Breda, Uitgeest en Zandvoort. (53KB)
2 Click here to see the Departure chart for the trains to South West (111KB).
On this List you will also find a separate list of all the departure times of trains to Schiphol Airport.
3 Click here to see the Departure chart for the trains to nearby eastern cities Lelystad and Amersfoort (58KB).
4 Click here to see the Departure chart for the trains to the southern cities Maastricht and Heerlen, to the eastern cities Arnhem and Nijmegen and to Rotterdam via Gouda (101KB).
The train to Maastricht and Heerlen will be uncoupled in Sittard. The front part will go to Maastricht and the back part will go to Heerlen.
5 (not in the key map) Click here to see Departure chart for the international trains. Hourly to Paris, bi-hourly to Frankfurt and daily to Copenhagen, Moscow, Prague, Zürich and München (37KB).
6 Click here to see the Departure chart for the trains to the cities north of Amsterdam (81KB). On this List you will also find a separate list of all the departure times of trains to the nearest western station Sloterdijk.
7 Click here to see the Departure chart for the hourly night trains (26KB). Utrecht > Amsterdam > Schiphol > Leiden > Den Haag > Delft > Rotterdam and back.
(Please read the paragraph about the European Railplanner in nine languages also)
On the platforms and in the halls of the Dutch railway stations there are Departure charts. These are large yellow (on internet: white) posters filled with information that is rather incomprehensible. These Lists are only in Dutch (at Schiphol airport they are in Dutch and English).
This is an explanation of the columns on the Departure charts that you will see in the train stations and also after clicking on the hyperlinks under the key map, left.
The period of validity of the Departure chart is found at the bottom left in the right column.
- Vertrektijd = Departure time.
- Dagen waarop de trein rijdt = Trains run on......
ma di wo do vr za zo = the day of the week or Monday through Sunday.
- Spoor = Track.
- Bestemming = Destination. Soort trein = The kind of train: Stoptrein or Sprinter stop at all stations mentioned in the chart of sections in the top of the Departure chart. Sneltrein stop at stations that have a black dot, with the letter 'S' or 'IC' in it , near their names in this chart. Intercity only stop at stations that have a black dot, with the letter 'IC'. Unfortunately, there are many exceptions mentioned in the Dutch footnotes.
If trains are diverted to unusual tracks or have unusual departing times for one or two days, then the Departure charts will be on blue paper instead of the usual yellow.
Near the yellow Departure charts in the stations there is also a map of the railways and stations in the Netherlands. In this map you will mostly see warning triangles indicating work on the tracks during the next week. In the top left corner there is an explication in Dutch concerning when and what to do.
Departure charts in the Centraal Station .
Rookzone = Smoking area. Rookzones are the only spots in the stations where you may smoke tobacco.
Transport near the Centraal Station
At the left you see the tram lines (black) that have a stop near the Centraal Station . The numbers 1, 2, 5, 13 and 17 (prime numbers) have their stops near the western part of the façade of the Centraal Station . The numbers 4, 9, 16, 25 (square numbers), 24 and 26 have their stops near the eastern part of the façade of the Centraal Station . All these trams have their terminus near the Centraal Station except tram 25 which has its terminus near the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) where the cruise ships moor, one kilometre to the east.
The red lines are the tracks through Amsterdam of the national railway system. The south western track is going to nearby Schiphol Airport (just outside the image).
For the sake of completeness you see here the tram lines that have no stop near the Centraal Station .
Mnemonic: These route numbers are all Christian numbers. trinity, 7 cardinal sins, 10 commandments, 12 apostles, 14 stations of the cross.
To board the metro lines 51, 53 and 54 you go downstairs near the eastern entrance of Centraal Station .
The four kilometers between Centraal Station and Amstel Station is the only undergound section of the metro .
This four kilometer section will be closed off between Saturday, July 23, 2011, and Sunday September, 2011, for reparation. See the map below.
Click here for a PDF with details about the Pendelbus (=Shuttle bus). The tram routes are shown as suggestions for alternative routes.
Transport near the Centraal Station in detail
Various bus connections to the country side north of Amsterdam.
Click here to see a plan of the Centraal Station Area (PDF 108 KB)
As you can see in the "Central Station Area"-map the trams (in red characters) stop near the east and west entrances of the railway station. There are four narrow tram platforms near the east entrance and four near the west entrance. These are numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4. There is one more platform for tram number 25 as this tram has its terminus one kilometer east of the Centraal Station , at the PTA ( Passenger Terminal Amsterdam , where the cruise ships moor).
There are six stairs and one elevator going down to the metro trains.
The three free of charge ferries behind the Central station are only for pedestrians and cyclists.
Trams, metro and ferries are all run by GVB (or Municipal Transport Company).
The buses near the Centraal Station are run by GVB, Connexxion and Arriva. Connexxion and Arriva serve especially the countryside but often also the municipality when going through it. All three companies have night buses too. The Centraal Station is terminus for all buses, except for bus number 22.
Bus numbers between 18 and 48 are GVB day buses and between 348 and 363 are GVB night buses. (PDF, 510KB)
About one and a half kilometer east of the Centraal Station there is a tunnel (connecting the north and south sides of the large water behind the Centraal Station ) that is used by GVB, Connexxion and Arriva buses (and cars, lorries and trucks of course). GVB buses 32, 33, 34 and 35 serve Amsterdam Noord (the conglomerate across the water behind the Centraal Station ). The Connexxion buses 91, 92 and 94 and the Arriva bus 93 do the same but also serve more northern places. The other terminus of bus 91 is in the tourist draw Zaanse Schans. The Connexxion buses 91, 92 and 94 have their termini on the most eastern bridge in the "Central Station Area"-map.
The Arriva bus 93 and the other Arriva buses (numbers between 100 and 118) have their termini on a new platform attached to the north west side of the Centraal Station on the level of the train platforms. They go to attractive villages and cities like Broek in Waterland (110, 111, 114 and 118), Monnickendam (111 and 114), Marken (111), Volendam (110, 112, 116 and 118), Edam (110, 112, 116 and 118) and De Rijp (100). After some years this new platform will be enlarged and covered in and all buses will stop here.
In the bottom left of the "Central Station Area" map you find the Connexxion buses 142, 170 and 172. Click here to see the location in maps.google.nl. They go south through Amsterdam and the conglomerate in the middle of the lower half of the Network map. (PDF, 1.5MB)
This conglomerate is east of the airport and is mainly part of the municipality of Amstelveen. Buses 170 and 172 stop at all stops. In Amsterdam express bus 142 only stops at 8 out of 20 stops and in Amstelveen 3 out of 8, so it can hasten to the countryside; that is why it is called a "Regio>>liner". The Connexxion night bus N70 leaves there every night and N72 only during the nights after Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All these buses (142, 170, 172, N70 and N72) follow the same route until the busstation in the municipality of Amstelveen. More south they take different routes. GVB gives no information on times of N70 and N72 (and of all Connexxion or Arriva buses); if you need them you should write down the times at the bus stop in due time.
However, in the bottom of the page about Schiphol Airport you will find instructions how to find the routes, stops and times of N70 and N72, among some other buses.
All the maps mentioned above can also be found by clicking on "Maps" in the English site of the GVB.
Amsterdam Tourist Office (VVV) and GVB Tickets & Info.
In the background is the St Nicolaas church, across the water.
VVV is the name for Tourist Offices in the Netherlands.
In the middle of "Central Station Area"-map there is a wooden building, only one storey high, that houses the Amsterdam Tourist Office (VVV) and GVB Tickets & Info (left). (Click here to find metro or railway stations that house other GVB Tickets & Info desks.)
The latter sells all kinds of tickets that often can be used on most trams and buses nationwide.
You can get there a free of charge Network map 2011 in Dutch and English. This is a large leaflet that contains the following maps that are mentioned above: Network, metro , Night and Central Station area. The ferry lines are in the Network map. In this leaflet you can also find the prices of the national OV-chipkaart and of the GVB travel products that can be added to your OV-chipkaart . The national strippenkaart is now obsolete in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and their vicinities.
You can also get a free of charge stapled booklet of 32 pages in six languages, called: Public transport Amsterdam Tourist Guide .
There is a display of free of charge leaflets containing time tables and the names of the stops. One leaflet for every tram or GVB-bus, one leaflet of the ferries ( GVB Veren ) and one for the metro ( 50 51 53 54 ).
When traveling after midnight you might need the leaflet with the map of the GVB, Connexxion and Arriva routes and the timetables of the GVB (=municipal) night buses only. It is called De nachtbus op zak , the nightbus in your pocket).
GVB Tickets & Info is open Monday through Friday from 7 am till 9 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am till 6 pm. Downstairs (in the restaurant area) is a WC for 50 cent.
Rent a Bike
Click here for the site of MacBike that run some shops in Amsterdam where they have bicycles for hire. Then click in the menu of their home page on Bike Rental and then click on Centraal Station and on How to Cycle Safely in Amsterdam, for more information. The PDF file How to Cycle Safely in Amsterdam is in English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Click here for a map of the centre of Amsterdam on which you can find where to rent a bike from MacBike.
Click here and see 82 photos about Amsterdam bicycle culture.
In 2000 the taxi business in the Netherlands was privatized causing an increase in taxis and self-employed drivers. At the taxi stands near the Centraal Station and on the Leidseplein this resulted in complaints about taxi drivers refusing short trips and negotiating about the fare. The municipal authorities have now pushed back this shameful situation and I hope for good.
The taxi stand is near the western entrance of the Centraal Station . Most of the time there is a host who can assist you if necessary. There is a bill-board with information of the municipality about fares and your rights.
Amsterdammers usually call a taxi at home by dialing number 7777777 (seven numbers seven). They tell their name, address and which floor and will then be collected.
Click here for an electronic leaflet about taxis, by the municipality of Amsterdam, in Dutch and English (PDF, 760KB).
Click here to see hyperlinks to in depth information in English about taxis, by the municipality of Amsterdam.
Bill board at the taxi stand near the Centraal Station with information of the municipality about fares and your rights. (version 2010)
Canal Bus & Museum Line
Canal Bus and Lovers are commercial companies that operate round-trip boats with fixed routes starting in front of the Centraal Station , several stops and scheduled services. (Lovers is the name of the owner of the Museum Line)
Click here to find all about the
Canal Bus. Please note the three hyperlinks for (1) the time schedules, (2) a map and (3) information about landings and nearby attractions.
Click here to find all about Lovers hop-on-hop-off-museum-line. Please note The General Brochure and Special Combinations (pdf) and the Show the Sailing Timetable (pdf).
In the middle of the image is the Lovers office, next to GVB and VVV (tourist office). In the background is the Centraal Station .
Canalbus . Jetty and cash desk. Near the Saint Nicholas church, in front of the Centraal Station across the water .