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The most ubiquitous mode of transport in Amsterdam is the humble bicycle. Biking is serious business on the city's roads and pedestrians who don't pay attention are in danger of getting run over. But when a bicycle just won't do, rest assured that you've got plenty of public transit options here: train, tram, bus, metro, and ferry.
For travel on everything but ferries you'll need to purchase a reusable smart card called the OV-chipkaart. (Ferries are free!) This card can be purchased online or at transit stations for €7,50. You can manage your card via an online account, adding funds to the card when needed (or set it to automatically reload funds). Some business also provide OV-chipkaarts to their employees.
You "check in" with your OV-chipkaart when you get on any method of transit and "check out" when you get off. Each time you ride the bus, metro, or tram it costs a base fare of €0.89. You will not be charged this base fare again if you transfer between buses, metros, or trams within 35 minutes of "checking out". There is a 34% discount on the basic fare for children aged 4-11 and senior over the age of 65. The actual cost of travel is based on distance and calcuated on how many kilometers you've traveled.
If you decide you need a car, know that you'll need a parking permit. There is free parking in some parts of the city -- mainly in Noord, Zuidoost, and parts of Nieuw West where space is not at a premium. Some parts of Noord charge €15 per 6 months. But in the historic center it can be as much as €267,50 per 6 months. Just getting a permit in these areas can take years. In Oost, Bos en Lommer, some parts of Zuid, and parts of new West and Noord, you can get a second permit which will cost extra.
TRANSIT AND WALKABILITY RATINGS
For each Amsterdam neighborhood you'll see a Transit rating and a Walkability rating. The Transit rating tells you how good and reliable public transportation options are in that neighborhood. The Walkability rating tells you how many local amenities (shops, restaurants, fitness options, etc.) you can walk to in that neighborhood.
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