HOW-TO get to your hotel and the RAI
From Schiphol Airport to your Hotel (Best Western Eden, Amstel 144)
The easiest way (except taking a taxi) to get to your hotel from the Airport is using the public transportation in Amsterdam. It can take you almost anywhere, quick and fairly cheap. Travelling at night can be a problem, but roughly between 6am and 11pm it should be no problem. The quickest way to the hotel is taking the train into Amsterdam, there transferring to an express tram, which will take you into town:
- First you'll have to get tickets. You'll have to go to Schiphol Plaza where
you can buy the tickets. This shouldn't be hard to find, because it is at
the same floor as where you arrive. (Assuming that you went through customs,
etc). The ticket offices are near the meeting point. There are two ways to
- If you already have dutch currency go to the ticket offices. Get a oneway ticket to World Trade Center Station (in dutch: "Zuid WTC"). This oneway ticket is about 5 NLG. For the tram you'll need a "15-strippenkaart" (on which strips are cancelled in accordance with the length of the journey), which is about 12 NLG and you can buy it at the same ticket office. You can only pay with cash at the ticket office, so you'll need to have some.
- If you don't have dutch currency but do have an atm card (bank card
with cirrus logo) you can go the ticket machines (yellow bulky things
standing close to the meeting point) to get the same two things.
First type in a code for a train ticket to station Zuid WTC (code = 1070). There are two columns of buttons to the lower side of the machine, make sure all the four left ones are lit ('2e klas', 'vol tarief', 'alleen vandaag geldig' and 'enkele reis') Now you can pay with your atm card.
Do the same for a "strippenkaart" but now use code 2222. You can pay immediately now.
- Now you have the tickets so you're save to go on the train. Find a train
that has the direction: Duivendrecht, Zuid WTC, Amersfoort, Lelystad, Hilversum,
Leeuwarden, Enschede, Groningen or Weesp, on platform 3, 4 or 5. It should
be no big problem, there are about six (or maybe more) trains in an hour going
that direction. Make sure the train you hop onto stops at the World Trade
Center (should say so on the automatic train info boards that hang from the
ceiling). This trip will take only ten minutes or less. The first station
where the train stops will be WTC.
For the map of Schiphol follow this link: http://flightinfo.schiphol.nl/engine/images/map.html.
- Here the second part of the journey will begin. Get off the train and go downstairs. You're in the station building now. There are some little shops around. Walk towards the book/magazine shop (called Ako), look around and find a stampmachine. (They're on white poles, yellow boxes with a slot in the front). Now get your "strippenkaart". Fold it before the third strip and put it in the machine with the three on top. (The idea is that the machine will stamp your card, so that you have a time limit. Not doing so means travelling without paying and is illegal). Go upstairs (take the stairs or escalator at the right side of the bookshop). This is where the tram (or subway) arrives.Make sure you take the right one. Take the one in the direction of the Central Station and NOT to Gein. In the tram there will be signs with the route. You started at "Zuid WTC" and you're getting off at: Waterloopplein. (the 7th station).
- Well, if everything went right you're now in the heart of Amsterdam. Find some daylight (you're underground now). When you get outside, find a big modern Opera house (big white and round on the front building) and walk towards it. (If you can't find it, ask for the "Stopera", everybody should now about it, it's a controversial building). You're now able to see water all around, there's canals everywhere. While facing the opera house walk to the bridge, called the "Blauwbrug". Go over it and take a right after it, following the fairly large canal. This canal and street should is called Amstel, this is where the Best Western Eden is located. Keep walking next to the water (should be on your right side), you should be able to find number 144 now. (This will be about a 5 minutes walk)
From Central Station Amsterdam to your Hotel (Best Western Eden, Amstel 144)
- When you arrive at Central Station it will be very very busy, be aware of that. This is an terrific place for muggers. So make sure you pay attention to all your personal belongings.
- To get to your hotel it's easy to take the tram (number 4). Find the ticket offices to buy yourself a "15-strippenkaart". Go outside the station (at the city center side, which is the busy side, most people will walk this way). Go to the left and find tram with number 4. Go inside, find a stamping machine and take 3 strips, fold it before three, put it in with the three on top and get it stamped. This will be a very nice way to see something of Amsterdam, you're going straight through the center of town!
- Get out of the tram at the Rembrandt Square (easiest way is by asking someone to warn you, everybody knows it
- Now you have to make a little walk: if you face the direction in which the tram is continuing it's route take a left and go through on of the streets. When you get to the end of any of those little streets, you should be at the Amstel, the street (and canal) where the hotel is, now find number 144).
From the Hotel to the RAI
- Well, you probably know about the public transportation now. So let's do it again. Walk toward the Rembrandt Square. Wait for a tram 4. This one will take you to the RAI conference building. Do the folding trick with your "strippenkaart" again, make sure you stamp the third strip after the one you have stamped before. Sit down, relax, and make sure you get out at the Europa Square (Europa Plein), there you should be able to see the conference buildings.
- The easiest way to get to the RAI is explained in a pdf-file at the RAI-site:
For convenience the text that is in the file (nice maps are provided in the pdf, so I would recommend to download it):
"The RAI is located right next to the Amsterdam ring road (A10), at exit S109. Numerous signboards indicate repeatedly to the RAI. During large exhibitions orange signs displaying 'P RAI' will direct you to additional parking places. From there a free shuttle bus will bring you to the RAI."
"The rate for parking in the RAI garage and the car-parks around the RAI building is NLG 17.50 (incl. VAT) for each time. The underground car parks close two hours after the official closing time of the exhibition."
- Getting to your hotel by car could be a big burden. My tip would be: Leave your car behind at the RAI, travel to your hotel by tram (tram 4, see heading "from the hotel to the RAI"). The biggest problem isn't driving to the hotel, but trying to find a parking space. Expect (where-ever you're going to park) high parking fees!
- Amsterdam is pretty normal city, which doesn't mean that it isn't dangerous
at times! Always be aware that there might be people that would like to mug
you. Especially be careful in busy train, trams and the subway. On the other
hand: the dutch are pretty nice too, most of us talk english very well, and
it shouldn't be to hard to find somebody to help you if you have questions.
- The hotel is located in the middle of all the fun in Amsterdam. Don't forget
to see some look around a little bit! If you have some spare time, a small
site seeing by boat through the famous canals is fun. Go to the Central station,
there are a lot of boat-companies that offer excursions by boat through Amsterdam.
- There is also a possibility to buy (whole) daytickets, but I thought that
it might be easier to buy the strippenkaart and the trainticket in one buy.
You have to go to another place to obtain the daytickets (you can't buy them
at schiphol). Please check out the link at the "useful links".
- schiphol airport: http://www.schiphol.nl
- map of schiphol airport (arrivals and departures): http://flightinfo.schiphol.nl/engine/images/map.html
- rail / train information (for arrival and departure times): http://www.ns.nl/reisplan2.asp
- General info about Amsterdam: http://www.amsterdam.nl/e_index.html
- map of the vicinity of the hotel (the red square is where it is located): MAP
- RAI: http://www.rai.nl/source/rai/e_index.asp
- The internet guide to Amsterdam: http://www.cwi.nl/~steven/amsterdam.html
- A link to the public transportation in Amsterdam: http://www.apti.is.nl/
(with pictures what a "strippenkaart" looks like!)
- about tramline 4: http://www.apti.is.nl/tramline.html#line4
- about the daytickets: http://www.apti.is.nl/strip_en.html#dagkaart
- Website of the Best Western Eden Hotel: http://www.bestwestern.nl/hotels/92595/index.html
NL-1078 GZ Amsterdam The Netherlands
Best Western Eden Hotel
1017 AE Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 (0) 20 530 7878
Fax: +31 (0) 20 623 3267
Written by: Joost Meijer, with thanks to Leon Oninckx
for questions about this document mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
last update: May 8, 2000