iGEM Europe

Travel directions

Travel directions, as well as other tourist information, can be found on wikitravel Amsterdam. Directions to the VU University can be found on the website of the university. Below we give a description.

Getting to Amsterdam

By Airplane

Amsterdam can be reached by plane through Schiphol Airport, with connections to all main airports in the world. There are very frequent and direct train connections from the airport to:

Yellow & blue ticket machines
for train tickets
  • “Amsterdam Zuid” railway station, the railway station to reach VU University. Travel duration is 7 min.
  • “Amsterdam Centraal Station”, the railway station to reach the city centre. Travel duration is approximately 15-20 min.

Train tickets can be bought at Schiphol airport from the yellow & blue ticket machines near the platforms at Schiphol Plaza. The machines accept payment by various means - all accept Dutch PIN chip cards, only some take euro coins. Note payment with euro notes is not possible.
Tickets are also available from the 'Tickets & Service' counter, which are situated close to the red/white-checked cube at Schiphol Plaza (you will pay €0,50 surcharge for the privilege). Staff at the ticket offices will also be able to provide you with train departure information. From these railway stations it should not be too difficult to get to your hotel by tram, metro or bus.

The machine touch screen interface
is straight forward to use
You can purchase a Single, Day Return or Weekend Return to your destination on the day of travel - in either first class or (standard) second class.
A Weekend Return is similar to the Day Return and costs the same, but your return journey does not have to be on the same day as your outward journey. A Weekend Return is valid from 19.00h Friday evening to 04.00h Monday morning.
With a normal train ticket you can just jump onboard any normal service (Intercity and Sprinter trains) and free seating in your class is in effect.

Note: Use the disposable cards. The plastic anonymous cards, costs an additional €7,50 for the card and €20 boarding rate.

You can plan your trip in advance on the website of the on the journeyplanner website 9292. For only train travel, use

Note: Be careful when going by taxi to and from Schiphol. Some drivers do not like to make short trips. Our experience with taxis from Connexxion is generally positive. This company also runs a hotel shuttle service. To order a taxi directly, please dial: TCA +31 20 777 777.

By train

Amsterdam Central Station has intercity and high speed connections to mainland European cities and to London. Schedule information and booking via

By car

By far the best option to reach Amsterdam by car is to use the so-called “Park & Ride” [P+R] facilities, i.e. drive to a secured parking site in the outskirts of Amsterdam and travel by public transport to your hotel or campus. [P+R] Parking costs are € 8 per 24 h and include free public transport (with some limitations).

Watch out: Except for parking at the [P+R] facilities, parking anywhere else in Amsterdam is surprisingly expensive! And parking violations have very annoying and expensive consequences: fines are high and your car may be towed away, costing additionally € 150.

Getting around in Amsterdam

Students can get around Amsterdam by public transport, or the very Dutch way: by using a rented (not stolen!) bike. Public transport and bikes are the main and quickest means of transport in Amsterdam, an own car needs a parking spot, which is expensive in Amsterdam.

By public transport

Vending machine for
a OV-chipkaart

Public transportation (tram, metro and bus) is one of the easiest ways to get around Amsterdam. Public transport in Amsterdam is run by the GVB. One of
the GVB Tickets and Information desks is at the Stationsplein opposite of the
Central Station. Several types of tickets are available. We recommend, a 2 day ticket, giving unlimited access to public transport (tram, metro and bus, but
EXCLUDING the special night-buses) in Amsterdam, for €12,00.
A GVB one-hour card costs €2,70.

Note: Use the disposable cards. The plastic anonymous cards, costs an
additional € 7,50 for the card.

Are you travelling with others? Every passenger requires their own OV-
chipkaart. Tickets can be purchased from vending machines or in the bus or
tram. Prices and places to buy these tickets can be found on the GVB website.
You can plan trips on the journey planner.

Note: With this OV-chipkaart, you must check-in and check-out when boarding or disembarking from a tram, bus, or metro. Make sure you do not hold the card in front of the reader twice because you will not only be checking in but also checking out. If an inspector checks the tickets and you are not checked in you will be fined! Even when you transfer from one modality to another you need to check out. You will again check in when you use the next transport modality.
You can check in and out at the smart card readers. The smart card readers are located at the doors of a bus or tram. Gates are used in metro stations.

Check always in and out with this OV-chipkaart

By bike

Biking is the most flexible way of getting around in Amsterdam. Your hotel should be able to give you information about the nearest bike-rental shops.

Getting to the VU University

The iGEM Jamboree takes place in the Main Building (Hoofdgebouw) of the VU University.
Address: De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam.

By public transport

VU University Amsterdam (De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam, on google maps) is accessible by different means of transport. At the end of this page you can find a few maps to help you orient.

From Amsterdam Central Station

  • Metro-tram 51, direction Amstelveen Westwijk (16 minutes). Get off at: De Boelelaan/VU
  • Tram 5, direction Amstelveen Binnenhof (25 minutes). Get off at: De Boelelaan/VU
  • Tram 16 or 24, direction VUmc (VU medical center). Get off at final stop: VUmc

From Amsterdam Zuid railway station

  • It is a 10 minute walk. Walk to the VU University Main Building. To get your bearings correct: when you are on the railway platforms facing South you will see buildings with signs 'Boekel de Nerée' and 'Baker & McKenzie', as well as a remarkable edgy black-and-grey office building called 'The Rock' (see map with picture at the end of this page). Determine where the West is, and walk all the way to the West end of platform, even past 'The Rock'. There is a well-hidden exit. Descend the stairs and turn left. After leaving the station through the swing doors turn right and cross the road and tram railways (watch out for traffic!). Across the street turn left (to the South). After a 5 minute walk along a little bushy area you will see the VU buildings.
  • Metro-tram 51 (1 minute), direction Amstelveen Westwijk. Get off at: De Boelelaan/VU
  • Tram 5 (1 minute), direction Amstelveen Binnenhof. Get off at: De Boelelaan/VU

By car

The A-10 Amsterdam ring road can be reached from all directions. Follow the A-10 to the Zuid / Amstelveen exit S108. Turn left at the end of the slip road onto Amstelveenseweg: after about three hundred yards (at the VU University hospital building) turn left again onto De Boelelaan. VU University Amsterdam can be reached via city routes S108 and S109.

There is a limited amount of parking space around VU University in De Boelelaan, which has parking bays, and also in Karel Lotsylaan. There is paid parking on VU parking lot to the right of the Hospital Outpatient Clinic. There is even more parking space on the east side of Buitenveldertselaan at the junction with Willem van Weldammelaan, within 5 minutes walking distance of the VU. A number of parking places for the handicapped are reserved in front of the VU Main Building and within its grounds. Parking at the inner campus area of the VU is expensive: € 3 per hour, also during the weekend! Strangely though, on Fridays after 19:00 h. and on Saturdays and Sundays parking is free in immediate vicinity South and East of the VU campus. But to avoid nasty surprises, be sure to check the signs and parking ticket machines! Also see the City of Amsterdam map of parking rates.