Amsterdam Central Station

Amsterdam Central Station is the largest train station in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. It has about 186,000 passengers per day, making it the second busiest station in the Netherlands with Utrecht Central Station as the busiest. The station is on Station Island, which is where the Station Square is also located. The high-speed train Thalys departs daily for Brussels and Paris from Amsterdam Central Station.

The Amsterdam Central Station was built in 1889 and was designed by famous Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. Cuypers also designed the Rijksmuseum and if you look closely, you’ll see the similarities between both historic buildings. For many, the construction of the station was a sign that Amsterdam was finally going to step into the future and leave the Golden Age behind. The Amsterdam Central Station is one of Europe’s most modern and busiest train stations and offers the traveler, especially the first-timers, a grand entrance into the city of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Central Station to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Central Station is the starting point for trains, metros, buses and trams. From Amsterdam Central Station, travellers can take trains to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Brussels (via Antwerp), Utrecht, Rotterdam and other Dutch cities. The trains to Schiphol Airport depart every 20 minutes and domestic tickets can be bought online and also in the NS Ticket Machines in the station. Payment can be made with coins or by card. For international train tickets from Amsterdam to Berlin, Amsterdam to Paris, Antwerp, Brussels, Zurich, London etc., tickets can be bought online or at the International Ticket Office in the station.

Amsterdam Central Station is definitely a modern train station and one of the busiest in Europe. The are lots of eateries and supermarkets for hungry travellers and chic boutiques and stores for the travelling shopaholics. There is also a lounge area for travellers waiting for their trains or loved ones to come pick them up. The station also has a locker storage system for travellers who would love to leave their luggage for a while so they can discover the city. For more information on the lockers, please ask the NS officials in uniform.

International destinations from Amsterdam Centraal

From Amsterdam Central Station, there are trains to several international destinations including; Germany, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. For more information on popular destinations also check out our pages on;

Lockers Around Amsterdam Central Station

Of course, Amsterdam Central Station also has some lockers for travellers who are in need of spaces to store their luggage while they explore the city. Travellers can rent baggage lockers at the central station. The lockers are easy to use and electronically protected.

How do the lockers work?

You can rent luggage lockers for 24 hours or more if they choose. You pay in advance for the first 24 hours and if you want to rent a locker for more than 24 hours, you pay these costs afterwards when collecting your luggage. The maximum rental period is 72 hours. There are 2 types of luggage lockers:

  • Small: 90 cm deep, 45 cm high and 40 cm wide.
  • Large: 90 cm deep, 60 cm high and 40 cm wide.

You can pay with PIN, Maestro, Visa and Master card.

What’s there to see around the Amsterdam Central Station?

With more than 162,000 passengers travelling via the Amsterdam Central Station every day, the railway station remains one of the Netherlands’ and Europe’s busiest stations. The station is located right in the city centre and as a result, isn’t far from most of Amsterdam’s main sights and attractions.

Boating Companies and Options for Canal Cruises

Just outside the main entrance of the Amsterdam Central Station is where you find a host of canal cruise companies offering different canal cruise packages. Enjoy your spectacular trip to Amsterdam and complete your experience with a fantastic cruise of the Amsterdam canals! Explore the vibrant city from a different perspective and relax as you cruise through the beautiful canals and past iconic sights. The many canal cruises usually offer an hour-long cruise around the famous sights of the city centre, with audio commentary available in at least 19 different languages. Do not miss this great experience and book your Rondvaart Amsterdam tickets today!

Hotels near Amsterdam Central Station

There are several hotels located near Amsterdam Central Station, one of the closest ones in the vicinity is the Victoria Hotel. They are so close that visitors do not need a taxi to get there – all they need is to roll their luggage to the hotel lobby. Best known five are star NH Barbizon Palace and Hotel Victoria, while established on the Station Island Amsterdam Ibis Centre is the closest along with Bellevue Hotel, A-Train Hotel and Multatuli Hotel as other good budget choices. Online reservations are possible.

Red Light District

For many years the Wallen or Rosse Buurt has been known worldwide as the Red Light District of Amsterdam and this is mainly due to the characteristic red lighting. But the Wallen is even more than just the Red Light district. It is a neighbourhood with a rich history that is more than just prostitution. Prostitution has been around the Wallen since the 15th century but it was only since the sixties that the world-famous “window prostitution” came to be as we know it today. Many tourists are so obsessed with the prostitutes standing in front of the windows that they completely forget to look around. And that is a shame because there is much more to see in this part of Amsterdam.

The Red Light District is also home to the Casa Rosso adult entertainment establishment and the Red Light Secrets Museum. The Red Light Secrets Museum educates visitors on the history of prostitution in Amsterdam while also giving them the chance to stand in front of the window just like the sex workers do.

Body Worlds

Body Worlds Amsterdam takes visitors on a fascinating journey through the human body. The exhibition shows real plastinated bodies, giving you a unique insight into our anatomy and how our body works. This original attraction has enjoyed international success around the world, with tours in more than 100 European cities, America, Africa and Asia. It has attracted more than 40 million visitors since the beginning in 1995. Are you ready for an unforgettable experience? Don’t forget to book a visit to the fantastic exhibition not very far away from Amsterdam Central Station!

The Oude Nieuwe Kerk

The Oude Kerk or Old Church in English is the oldest building in the city of Amsterdam. This Gothic-styled church has been in the city since the 14th century and is definitely worth a visit. Nowadays, the church is widely used for cultural activities and art exhibitions. Your visit to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to the Old Church.

The Nieuwe Kerk

The Nieuwe Kerk or New Church in English is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam. The church is located right next to the Royal Palace on the Dam Square and is definitely worth a visit. The New Church was built because the Old Church became too small for the growing city of Amsterdam and her religious folks. Although the church no longer has Sunday services, the church still attracts thousands of visitors every year. It also plays host to art exhibitions and other fun activities.

Dam Square

This is probably one of the most famous town squares in the Netherlands. Located in the city centre, Dam Square is definitely where you want to be especially during the summer months. The square plays host to different kinds of food trucks, street performers and cosplayers. The Royal Palace is also located on the Dam Square. Right across the street is the Bijenkorf shopping centre for those shopaholics, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Madam Tussauds and the popular and busy Kalverstraat, where lots of nice shops can be found.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Just across the street from the Dam Square is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Ripley’s is where you enter the world of the ‘unbelievable and the bizarre’. Riley’s plays the role of museum and attraction as it showcases the world’s most remarkable collection of natural, scientific, artistic and human peculiarities. Just like a time capsule, the imposing building of Ripley’s Believe it or Not Amsterdam combines the essence of ancient civilizations and contemporary art in an effort to preserve these treasures for future generations. It is definitely one of the weirdest places in the city, and a must-see in Amsterdam if you are interested in the world of the bizarre.

And furthermore …

The Amsterdam Central Station is the final/starting point for a lot of the city’s trams, buses and metros. The metros can be found underground just outside the stations with stairs leading down. Buses can be found upstairs while trams are found at the entrance of the station building.

There are also ferries transporting people to the Northside (Ij-zijd) of Amsterdam and this is free of charge. For visitors who would like to visit Amsterdam North or the Amsterdam Tower, you just have to take this ferry and then walk from the ferry stop to the Amsterdam Tower.

History of the Amsterdam Central Station

In 1878 the Amsterdam Willemspoort station closed. The station was demolished and had to make way for the new central station. Due to the fact that the construction of the new station would take years, it was decided to set up a temporary station for the passengers. This was Station Amsterdam Westerdok. The new central station was located on three islands on the IJ. These islands were man-made and were built with sand from the Noordzeekanaal (North Sea Canal) near Velsen. The station was built on 8,676 wooden poles, just like many buildings in Amsterdam. During construction, the building collapsed a number of times, which led to the construction taking longer than it was supposed to. Dolf van Gendt and Pierre Cuypers designed the building while the roof of the platforms was designed by Leonard Johannus Eijmer. After years of construction, the Amsterdam Central Station opened its doors on 15 October 1889.

In 1922 a second station building was built on the side of the IJ. It was narrower and longer, but almost the same in terms of style. There was an open section between the first and second station cover. This piece was covered in 1996 with a third station cover. In 1920 the Austrian wing was demolished and replaced by the building “De Oost”. In the 1950s a pedestrian tunnel was built that ran through the building and came out in the station hall. This tunnel was demolished in the 1970s, due to the construction of the metro station. A lot was built (renovated, demolished and added to the station) in the 80s and 90s. The central hall and the “middentunnel” were widened. Later through the years, they had to become small again, due to the construction of the North/South line. In 1994 the station got a new traffic control post, which is located in the former Amsterdam Westerdok Station. In the year 2000, the new Westertunnel was opened and in 2014, for the first time, the station got barricades or gates, so that travellers could only enter with the OV chip card.

Amsterdam Central Station on the Map

How to get to the Central Station by public transport

Amsterdam Central Station is very easily accessible. Visitors can access the station by train, metro, bus, boat, ferry, bicycle and even on foot.

Amsterdam Central Station
1012 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands.

From Leidseplein

Trams 2, 5, 13 and 17 all have final stops at Central Station.

From Amsterdam-North (Eye Film Museum, A’dam Lookout Tower, This is Holland)

Take Ferry 901 or any of the Ferries going in the direction of Amsterdam Central Station.

From Museumplein

Tram 24, 2, and 12 – Stop Central Station.

From Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

There is a direct train connection between Amsterdam Schiphol to Central Station departing every 15 minutes from platform 1 or 2. The journey time is 20 minutes and the train is also wheelchair friendly.

For real-time travel information from wherever you are to the Amsterdam Central Station, please check out this link;


Amsterdam Central Station on the Map

Parking Around The Amsterdam Central Station

Parking in the Amsterdam Central station area can be quite difficult. It is better to choose a parking garage because the station has no parking facilities on its own.

Free parking in the city centre does not exist, so don’t bother looking. There are hotels that may provide free parking permits for guests, otherwise look for a garage or street parking. The hourly price for on-street parking in the Amsterdam city centre is € 5 euro and a day ticket goes from € 30 to € 45. Blue ticket machines can be found throughout the city and are to be used between the hours of 9:00 and 24:00 during the week and between 12:00 and 24:00 on Sundays. The further you are from the Old City Centre, the cheaper the parking will be, with a rate as low as €1,10 per hour in the suburbs of Amsterdam.

For a visit to the Central Station, you can park in the following parking lots:

ParkBee Car Park:

This ParkBee car park is less than a 10-minute walk from the cosy Haarlemmerstraat and Amsterdam Central Station.
Parking is as cheap as € 2,- per hour and max € 10,- per day.
Parking fee can be paid via the Parkmobile App.
Please note: This parking garage is only open in the evenings and on weekends.

Parking Garage P1:

Parking garage P1 Amsterdam Center is located right in front of the Central Station and is ideal for a visit to the Dam, the Beurs van Berlage, the Nieuwe Kerk and Nemo museum. The parking garage has a capacity of 465 parking spaces and from there, visitors can walk straight onto the dam or the Nieuwendijk area.

Interesting Facts About the Amsterdam Central Station

  1. On 15 October 1889, Amsterdam Central Station opened its doors for the first time.
  2. The first train ran from Haarlem to Amsterdam on 20 September 1839 and would later lead to the decision to finally build a train station between both cities.
  3. The Central Station was designed by Pierre Cuypers, who was also the architect of the Rijksmuseum. A closer look at both buildings reveals some similarities in the style.
  4. Amsterdam Central Station was built on 8687 poles. The soil proved to be unsuitable during the construction and as a result, the completion of the station was delayed for several years. The sand for the artificial islands on which the station was built came from the dunes at Velsen. This sand became available through the digging of the North Sea Canal.
  5. A special feature of the Amsterdam Central Station is the Royal Waiting Room on the east side of the station. On the platform side, the waiting room for the members of the royal house is protected by a beautifully decorated fence. The interior of the waiting room is decorated with decorations by George Sturm with images depicting the royal house and their authority. The Royal Waiting Room also has a parking space, where William III could park his coach while waiting for a train. This parking space is big enough that even a car can be parked there nowadays.
  6. The Central Station in Amsterdam is one of the busiest stations in the Netherlands. More than 250,000 people use this station daily.

Are you interested to take a look at other places for a day trip in the Netherlands? We made an overview of the very best places for a day trip while you’re visiting Holland.

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