Tram number 2  travels up and down a central ‘spine’ of Amsterdam, from Centraal Station to Museumplein and back again. Buy a one day pass and hop on and off at your leisure to explore some of Amsterdam’s best known landmarks, squares and shopping areas. Trams 1 and 5 also follow the same route up until Leidseplein (1) and the Rijksmuseum (5). 

Tip: The I amsterdam City Card also includes unlimited public transport for the duration of your visit, as well as free or discounted entry to many of the attractions along this route. 

Your carriage awaits!

Trams 1, 2 and 5 from Central Station

Stop: Amsterdam Central Station

As Amsterdam’s main transport hub, Central Station is a familiar starting point for most visitors to the city. The spectacular building opened its doors in 1889, and was designed by architect Pierre Cuypers, who also designed the Rijksmuseum.

What to see and do:

From Central Station, the tram heads south down Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, once the city’s defence line (‘burgwal’ means ‘bastion wall’).

Amsterdam Centraal Station

Stop: Nieuwezijds Kolk

Continue south, passing behind the impressive Nieuwe Kerk on your left. Despite being called ‘New Church’, this imposing monument actually dates from the 15th century and is only ‘new’ in relation to the nearby Oude Kerk (old church) which was deemed too small to be the parish church of Amsterdam’s expanding population in 1408. No longer used for worship, the Nieuwe Kerk now hosts regular exhibitions and events.

Stop: Dam

You’re now in the heart of Amsterdam, on the edge of the city’s most important public square. You’ll need to hop off the tram to visit Dam Square itself, which is concealed from view by the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk.

What to see and do:

The tram now continues south, passing the Amsterdam Museum on the left and the famous Haesje Claes restaurant on the right (an ornate Dutch restaurant spread over six historic houses) before stopping at Spui.

Stop: Spui

Spui is a great place to get off and explore. From the historic cobbled square itself, known for its literary connections thanks to a selection of book stores and a weekly book market, a short walk in any direction will take you to a range of interesting spots.

What to see and do:

  • Just behind Spui square is the hidden courtyard of the Begijnhof. This cluster of medieval houses arranged around a pretty courtyard has provided refuge and sanctuary to Beguine women since the 14th century and makes for a tranquil experience in the heart of the city.

  • Just across the Singel canal from Spui is the edge of the 9 Streets shopping district – a quaint maze of lanes and canals lined with beautiful clothing boutiquesartisan traders and vintage stores.

  • Discover ancient treasures and artefacts at the Allard Pierson museum, a three minute walk to the east.

From Spui, the tram now leaves the central part of Amsterdam and heads south-east into the canal ring. The first canal you’ll cross is Singel, the inner most waterway of the canal ring which served as a moat around the city until its expansion in 1585.

Stop: Koningsplein

This busy square connecting the Singel and Herengracht canals isn’t the prettiest thanks to its hectic maze of criss-crossing tram tracks, bikes lanes and roads, but it’s a well-connected focal point for exploring a range of museums and attractions – not to mention Amsterdam’s main shopping high streets.

What to see and do:

  • Discover the story of Amsterdam’s canals at the Grachtenhuis (canal house) museum

  • Pick up some fresh blooms at Amsterdam’s world famous floating flower market which lines the Singel from Koningsplein

  • Shop til you drop on Amsterdam’s main shopping thorughfares, KalverstraatHeiligeweg (to the north) and Leidsestraat (to the south).

  • For some culture with a feline twist, walk two minutes along the Herengracht canal to the Kattencabinet (cat cabinet) – a museum dedicated entirely to cats

From Koningsplein, the tram continues south, crossing over three canals and stopping at two, both of which make great points to disembark and explore the many delights of the canal ring.

Amsterdam flower stall shop market, Edwin van Eis

Stops: KeizersgrachtPrinsengrachtLeidseplein

You’re now out of the canal ring and heading through infamous nightlife hub Leidseplein. Here you’ll find some of Amsterdam’s leading music venues and theatres, not to mention an overwhelming selection of barsrestaurants and nightclubs.

What to see and do:

Here, tram route 1 veers off along the Overtoom (a buzzing street lined with bars, cafes and trendy design stores) while numbers 2 and 5 continue along to the Rijksmuseum and Museumplein.

Stop: Rijksmuseum (#2 & #5 only)

What to see and do:

- Visit the world-famous Rijksmuseum, with its vast collection of Golden Age masterpieces and priceless works

- Soak up the cultural atmosphere of Museumplein, (don’t forget to have your picture taken at the I amsterdam sign!)

- Wander through Museumplein to visit the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Royal Concertgebouw concert hall.

- take a free guided tour of Coster Diamonds, housing one of Amsterdam’s largest collections of stones weighing more than 1.00 carat

I amsterdam letters Rijksmuseum Matt Rubens