Amsterdam Centraal Station Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

3 May, 2021by Bounce

Amsterdam's Centraal Station is set in a magnificent building designed by renowned Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers. In addition to its architectural heritage, it is placed so close to the heart of Amsterdam that it makes it a great base from which to explore this delightful city.

From the station, Dam Square is a mere ten-minute walk, and even the unmissable Anne Frank's Museum is just twenty minutes away. This city has so much to offer that it would be a shame not to spend a few days there, even if you are on a whistle-stop tour of Europe. Whether it's just wandering the quaint little streets of the Jordaan district, cruising up and down the many canals, or hunting for treasure at IJ-Hallen, the largest flea market in Europe, there is plenty here to inspire.

If carrying your baggage seems like it might detract from your visit, Amsterdam has plenty of conveniently placed locker rental facilities where you can lighten your load. Ditch what you don't need, and just take enough personal items for the few days that you are there.

Amsterdam Centraal Station Baggage policy

This is the second busiest station in Holland and, as with most modern European stations, it has all the necessities a traveller might require. With over 250,000 travelers passing through each day, this shouldn't really come as a surprise. You’ll find lots of people dragging heavy bags with them, and there are no rules regarding the amount of bags you can bring with you did

Within the station complex are numerous restaurants and fast food stores, tourist information, and for the more daring, a bike rental service. Actually, cycling plays a huge part in the Dutch transport system. If you are up for it, riding a bike makes a safe and fun way to cover a lot of ground quickly. Well worth thinking about if you are short of time and want to see as much as possible.

Amsterdam Centraal Station food policy

If you fancy a more formal meal, Grand Cafe le Klas is right in the station and offers high end, sit down dining. If you prefer the idea of a picnic, snatch something fresh from the supermarket which is also in the station, along with a modern shopping center.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants in Amsterdam offering every sort of cuisine imaginable. There are some dishes that you should try because they are so representative of Dutch life. Their pancakes are light and fluffy. The Dutch are extremely proud of their cheese and with good reason.

Stroopwafel are sweet little waffles stuck together with sticky syrup. The best ones are bought hot at street markets. Another unusual food you might find as you wander is raw herring. This is hugely popular in Amsterdam. One of the most famous vendors is a tiny kiosk called Strubbe's but it is sold widely and you are even likely to see it being sold by vendors cruising the streets on bicycles.

Centraal Station Rules

  • Smoking is illegal in the station, on platforms, and on trains.

  • While Holland has quite a reputation for legal cannabis, sales are limited to 5 grams per person per day, and smoking outside of the legal coffee shops that supply it is regarded as rude behavior.

  • Don't walk in the cycle pathways. The easy-going Dutch can get quite excited about this one.

  • Don't board any of the wide-ranging public transport options without a valid ticket.

  • You will probably have heard of the world-famous red-light district. If you do decide to pay a visit to this area, be aware that photography of the sex workers and the shows is forbidden, and an angry prostitute is not something you want to come up against.

  • Don't try to sleep in the station even if you have a valid ticket.

  • Getting Around

Few stations offer both such a central position and a surplus of other travel options in such close proximity to one another. From the station, you can access buses, the tram, the ferry, and of course the easy-to-navigate metro. Throw in walking, cycling, and taxis, and just about the only option lacking is space travel.

  Amsterdam Centraal Station locker rental

There are many locker rental services throughout the city and it makes sense. With so many cultural sights, free museums, famous art galleries, and narrow cobbled streets that beg to be explored, baggage poses something of a hindrance.

One of the easiest ways to avoid your bags dominating your visit is to store them safely. Look for a locker service that offers online rental, so that you are assured that there will be a locker available when you get there. Other comforting things to look out for are free security tags and insurance.

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