Amsterdam doesn't need an introduction. Everybody has heard of it and knows what it's famous for: canal cruises, coffeeshops and museums (world class are the Van Gogh and the Rijks).
But there is more to it. Step outside the touristy city center and explore the borough of Amsterdam West. A lively residential area with a rich variety of people, cultures and history. Let Lily lead you through the streets of the northern half of the borough.
Lily designed walks through the various neighbourhoods. The walking tours are drawn on this customized google-map.
Sloterdijk used to be a tiny hamlet. Then it became an office district around the new train station. And now it is transforming into a residential area.
Bos en Lommerweg is the main shopping street of this neighbourhood. It's the wonderful multi-cultural mix with lots of small shops and Turkish and Moroccan cafes and patisseries, alternated with hip and trendy cafes.
These three sections connect at the Pontsteiger jetty.
Amsterdam is small and doable by foot, but in the end it is a lot of walking to get around. Especially if you commute between West and the city center.
West has its own train station, Sloterdijk, just ten minutes from the airport.
International buses also terminate here.
Bus 21 is the artuary between West and the Central train station.
Tram 3 takes you from Van Hallstraat, via Vondelpark and the Museum square, to the eastern suburbs.
Tram 19 takes you from Sloterdijk station, via Bos en Lommer, to the cinemas and theatres of central Leidseplein and further to the Rijksmuseum.
Metro 50 and 51 connect train stations Sloterdijk, Lelylaan and Zuid; stop De Vlugtlaan is convenient for Bos en Lommerplein and Bos en Lommerweg.
To get around by public transport, the best deal is to get a 1- 2- 3- up to 7-day GVB day ticket as soon as you arrive.
1 ride/1 hour is €3.40, 24 hours for €9.00, 48 hours for €15.00, 72 hours for €21.00.
Day tickets are for sale in the GVB office in the white building opposite Central Station and at the train stations Bijlmer and Zuid. At Sloterdijk you get day tickets from the Spar supermarket just outside the trainstation. Or from the newsagents Primera (Bos en Lommerweg 277) and Frans Ridder (Bos en Lommerweg 167) "downtown" Bos en Lommer.
You can also download the GVB app, buy a ticket online and use the barcode you receive to check in and out.
If you think you will just make a couple of rides per day, it is better to pay per ride. Simply use your contactless credit card or debit card to check into the bus or tram. Don't forget to check out with the same card when you leave the vehicle.
If you plan to do some travel in the Amsterdam region, you may consider the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket. For €21.00 (1 day, €32.50/2 days, €40.50/3 days) you get to travel all trains and buses to/from Zandvoort, Haarlem, Zaandam, Volendam, Marken, Hilversum, Almere, Lelystad, Aalsmeer en Schiphol airport. Check their website for locations of sale - a.o. NS Tickets & Service at Schiphol Airport(open 24/7); Holland Tourist information at Schiphol Airport (near Arrivals 2); I Amsterdam Visitor Centre at Amsterdam Central Station.
Or get the I AMsterdam city card, which includes public transport, museums and a cruise. Rather more expensive.
From Schiphol Airport, take a train into town. For Amsterdam West there are no less then 4 possible train stations.
For Amsterdam City Center it is usually best to take a train to Amsterdam Central and walk or take a tram from there. For some areas it is better to take a train to Amsterdam Zuid and then metro 52.
All of this works to as well as from the airport. And then there's bus 247 from Bos en Lommer to the airport, it only runs one way and only has three runs very early morning.
All of these can make you something vegetarian, even if it isn’t on the menu.
® => Lily's recommendations
Amsterdam West has plenty of hotels in all price ranges. They are slightly cheaper than in the city center, but don't expect a bargain (except mid-week off-season).
There's a cluster of hotels around Sloterdijk train station. Meininger; Teleport Amsterdam Hotel; Hotel2Stay; the Train Lodge, where you sleep in old sleeper train carriages; XO Hotels Park West. Though it is getting better, the Sloterdijk area still has the feel of a business district, so don't expect lively street scenes or cozy cafes.
More into the residential part of the borough, there's XO Hotels Blue Tower; WOW Amsterdam, another hostel; Camp Inn.
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