NetherlandsAmsterdam business travel guide: The Business side of Amsterdam
Amsterdam OverviewExploring the CityExhibition VenuesMajor Events

On the international scene, Amsterdam is famous for its progressive culture and exciting architecture. Home to over 1200 bridges and 150 canals, the biggest Dutch city is a vibrant international hub attracting tourists worldwide.

Amsterdam is a top financial and economic hub in Europe with a long history dating back to the 11th century. The city is the capital of the Netherlands and its cultural centre housing over 75 museums and art galleries.

This guide will introduce the business side of Amsterdam to help trade fair visitors easily travel to and from RAI Amsterdam. Different modes of transportation, food options and the most convenient neighbourhoods in Amsterdam will be discussed. The guide will conclude with a list of popular exhibitions happening in RAI.


Essential Information

Amsterdam is the most populated city in the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland. Because of the large number of canals, the city is called the “Venice of the North”. The foundation of Amsterdam starts at the delta of the Amstel River and continues around the Dam Square - an area famous for the high density of canals.

Besides being a European financial centre, Amsterdam is also a popular start-up hub, rising to fame internationally. The city offers many resources for sustainable business or networking with other social enterprises. SMEs and start-ups enjoy city-wide perks, from co-working spaces to public activities and rentable meeting venues.

Fun Facts about Amsterdam

  • The Newest International Court - Adding to a long line of international courts, like the ICJ and ICC, since 2019, the Netherlands became home to the newest judicial system member in the global court arena – the Netherlands Commercial Court – NCC.
  • Amsterdam is below sea level - The average Amsterdam elevation is 2 m or 7 ft below the sea. In fact, only half of the area of the Netherlands is above sea level, with the other half at least 1 meter below.
  • The highest average height in the world - The average height for men is 184 and 170 for women in the Netherlands, making it the tallest country in the world.

Practical Tips for Your Visit

Here are some valuable tips to help you have a well-planned trade fair visit. Most importantly, when using public transit in Amsterdam, allow extra time for delays and traffic disruptions. Certain weather conditions, such as strong winds, are common in the Netherlands, affecting most modes of transportation.
Check the weather in Amsterdam before your trip to ensure you have packed everything you need.
Research all the possible transportation methods from your hotel to RAI Amsterdam in advance, to ensure you will arrive on time.
Plan ahead of time to account for possible delays in public transit schedules.
Pay attention when walking along the main canals in the centre for bike riders, as some areas are shared between them and pedestrians.
Avoid walking on bike paths. They can be distinguished by their red colour.

Exploring the City

Situated at the heart of Europe, Amsterdam is one of the best-connected cities in Northern Europe. Depending on your origin destination, you can choose to arrive by plane, train, bus or car. You can quickly orient yourself from the main transit spots - the train station Amsterdam Centraal and the International Amsterdam Airport - Schiphol. From the airport, you can enter the Schiphol train station and hop on a direct metro line to Amsterdam Central train station.

Arriving in Amsterdam

By Plane
If you are arriving by plane, you will land at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which services direct lines from many destinations from Europe, as well as Canada and the US. You can enter the Airport Schiphol Train Station inside the airport from the Arrivals area. If you have spare time, check out the famous I amsterdam sign outside and the airport exit doors to the left.

The Schiphol train station travel times to Amsterdam Centraal are between 14 and 17 minutes. From the train station, you can board on a direct Intercity metro line (GVB) to Amsterdam Centraal. Alternatively, you can catch the Sprinter line toward Lelystad Centrum to get to RAI Amsterdam.

In front of the arrivals exit, a bus loop connects the airport to Amsterdam Centraal and other cities, part of the Amsterdam Metro area.

By Train
International train lines from Belgium, France, Germany, the UK and other popular destinations will drop you off at Amsterdam Central Railway Station or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The central station is a very communicative spot, and you can connect to any part of Amsterdam via the NS metro lines at Amsterdam Centraal (Intercity and Sprinter), the tram or the ferries.

To get to RAI Amsterdam from the railway station, follow the signs indicating Amsterdam Centraal, hop on metro lines 51 or 52 in the direction of Amsterdam-Zuid or Isolatorweg, and get off Europaplein train station.

How to Get Around

All public transit within Amsterdam city operates from 6 am to midnight on a regular schedule. From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal, train lines run on a reduced schedule in the night hours. Tickets for the NS lines – Intercity and Sprinter can be found in all railway stations in yellow and blue carrying the NS logo. Ticket machines accept Maestro, Mastercard, Visa and American Express. Not all machines accept coins. Alternatively, you can purchase and load an e-ticket through the NS app. Refer to the NS website for more information about schedules, ticketing, how to get from one station to another, and scheduled train track maintenance.

With about 1.3 bicycles per capita, the Netherlands is a world leader when it comes to sustainable transportation choices. Should you decide to join the green movement, plenty of bikes or fietsen rental options are available for tourists and non-Dutch bank account holders in Amsterdam. The Dutch often ride the so-called oma-fietsen or Dutch bikes, characterised by coaster (backpedal) breaks and lack of gears; therefore, most bike rental places feature them as the budget option. This type of bicycle is widespread in mostly flat regions with few hills, such as Amsterdam. Still, if this is your first time riding an oma-fietsen, you may opt for the other bicycle options, and they are abundant, including city bikes with handbrakes, touring bikes with seven gears and even e-bikes.

Taxis can come in handy if none of the other travel options are available, as it happens late at night when public transit works with reduced frequency. Travelling by cab will likely be the slower option during peak traffic hours. Amsterdam’s legal cabs in operation have a lit taxi sign, spelt with a triple “X”(Taxxxi) on the roof and a blue registration plate.

The easiest way to order a Taxxxi service and check the current rates is through the Taxi Central Amsterdam (TCA) website or mobile application. Keep in mind that the TCA app is only available in Dutch.

Limited stopping options for vehicles in Amsterdam leave little room for pedestrians to hail a taxi just anywhere. For this reason, refer to the map of fixed taxi stands in Amsterdam.

Food and Restaurants

During your business trip, you may visit some of the local or international restaurants in Amsterdam or check out the ready-made food in the local grocery store chains. The following section will take you through the cafes and restaurants available in the main areas in Amsterdam. Alternatively, you can look for the grocery stores Albert Hejn (AH), Jumbo or Lidl in the area where you are staying.

Most grocery store chains in Amsterdam have ready-made food options you can easily grab on the go. Many of the AH and AH Express are equipped with microwaves in the self-serving area after the cashiers.

Every area in Amsterdam is buzzing with various dining options covering all price levels, from fast food to ethnic places to fine Italian dining. The centrum is also populated with locally styled pubs carrying the Dutch name - bruine kroeg. These brown pubs are smaller, darker and more authentic than the rest of the bars in the area and can be found alongside almost all of the canals.

In the other areas in Amsterdam, like Zuid and Nieuw-West, you can find many restaurant options as well, offering the typical Dutch dishes such as stroopwafel, bitterballen or the famous Dutch pancakes.

Accommodation Tips

Plenty of accommodation options exist in Amsterdam near the trade fair venue or Centraal Station. Contact us for help selecting the perfect place in any of the city areas to stay during your trade fair dates.
Novotel Amsterdam City (Amsterdam) logo

Novotel Amsterdam City

Europaboulevard 10, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Trianon Hotel (Amsterdam) logo

Trianon Hotel

3 J.w. Brouwersstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam (Amsterdam) logo

Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam

Paul Van Vlissingenstraat 24, Amsterdam, Netherlands
CitizenM Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam) logo

CitizenM Schiphol Airport

Jan Plezierweg 2, Schiphol, Amsterdam, Netherlands
nhow Amsterdam RAI (Amsterdam) logo

nhow Amsterdam RAI

Europaboulevard 2B, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Olympic Hotel Amsterdam (Amsterdam) logo

Olympic Hotel Amsterdam

Ijsbaanpad 12, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel Atlanta (Amsterdam) logo

Hotel Atlanta

Rembrandtplein 8 - 10, Canal Ring, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Very good
Crowne Plaza Amsterdam - South (Amsterdam) logo

Crowne Plaza Amsterdam - South

George Gershwinlaan 101, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ruby Emma Hotel Amsterdam (EX.QO Amsterdam) (Amsterdam) logo

Ruby Emma Hotel Amsterdam (EX.QO Amsterdam)

Amstelvlietstraat 4, Amsterdam, Netherlands
ibis budget Amsterdam City South (Amsterdam) logo

ibis budget Amsterdam City South

Professor J.h. Bavincklaan 1, At Amstelveen, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Top Locations

Amsterdam-Zuid - (Amsterdam RAI) – Beatrix Park

The most convenient location in Amsterdam for your business trip is Amsterdam-Zuid, as it is home to Amsterdam RAI. A short subway ride from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol train station on the Intercity line to Groningen will take you to Amsterdam-Zuid train station. Some landmarks characteristic of the area are the quaint Beatrixpark to the west of RAI, The Upside Down Amsterdam and the Hortus Botanicus - Vrij’s University botanical garden.
How to get from Amsterdam Zuid to Amsterdam RAI
The area north of the train tracks on Highway A10 and west of Beatrixpark may be a preferred choice for exhibitors and visitors who will have to spend most of the event days at Amsterdam RAI. Choose a hotel as close as possible to Beatrixpark if you want to avoid relying on public transit, and enjoy a short walk through the park that will lead you to the back entrance of RAI Amsterdam. Accommodation near the Overamstel train station will also be a convenient location if you want to be within one stop on the metro lines 50 and 51 to the trade fair venue.

Centrum Amsterdam, Amsterdam Central Station

To reach the centre of Amsterdam from Schiphol, you can hop on the Intercity direct line and reach Amsterdam Centraal within 20 minutes in most cases. This is the busiest area in the city, home to most of the tourist attractions and museums Amsterdam is famous for. Anne Frank House, Rembrandt House Museum, De Oude Kerk, the 5 main canals and Dam Square are all within walking distance from the Amsterdam Centraal train station. Somewhat further south are the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.

While staying in the heart of Amsterdam, installing and using the Dutch public transport application – NSNL is especially helpful. Numerous hotels and transit points are situated in the area of Amsterdam Central, and with the five canals encircling the famous Red Square district, you will have lots of options to arrive at Amsterdam RAI.

How to get from Centrum to RAI?

The easiest way is to catch the M 52 line toward Station Zuid and get off Europaplein; from there on, you have a 350-meter walk to the main entrance of RAI. Your total transit time will be 7 minutes, and the train arrives every 8 minutes during peak times.

Alternatively, if your hotel is situated in the southern part of the Centrum close to Rijksmuseum, you can catch the same 52 subway train from Vijzelgracht station and get off after 2 stops.

A somewhat less communicative spot in the Central part of Amsterdam is the area west of Anne Frank House, as the closest public transit available is the tram line 5 from Rozengracht to Prinses Irenestraat. This station is within 1 km of RAI Amsterdam through Beatrix Park. You can also use tram line 4 from Dam to Europaplein or tram line 12 from Dam to van Hilligaertstraat. Europaplein is the closest station to Amsterdam RAI.

Nieuw-West Amsterdam

From the airport, you can easily reach the southern part of Nieuw-West with the Sprinter line toward Amersfoort, get off Amsterdam-Ziud, and hop on metro lines 50 or 51 toward Isolatorweg. This area is somewhat further removed from the busiest spots in Amsterdam, and if you are looking for a peaceful neighbourhood atmosphere, this may be your preferred area. As this area is larger than the other two, it is divided into two subareas - East and West of the 50 and 51 metro lines.

East of the 50 and 51 metro lines

The region is home to several hotels with open-roof bars, hip pubs, and family-friendly bars and diners suitable for any budget. Generally, this hip area has fewer restaurants and more food stores, including night shops. Predominant are the ethnic eateries, just south-west of the Sloterplas and near the train line, there are several Albert Heijns and other ethnic food stores, like Little India and the 24-hour food store – Avondwinkel UNO. North of the Nieuwe Meer and its two adjacent parks – Oeverlanden and Tuinpark Ons Buiten, across the train tracks, you can find several takeout places, coffee, burger and drink places. Most eateries are not too far from the train stations along metro lines 50 and 51.

West of the 50 and 51 metro lines

The majority of cafes and restaurants in this area are located in or close to the Rembrantpark and around the Sloterpas Lake. Here, you can find many ethnic cuisine choices, burger places and excellent breakfast bistros. The highlight of this area is the Sloterpark - a place for rest and cultural exploration during your free time in Amsterdam.

How to get from Nieuw-West to RAI?
Nieuw-West is locked between Rembrandt park and Sloterplas, and to the north and south of Sloterplas, it is within a few minutes’ walk to M 50 and 51. If you hop on any metro line station in the direction of Amsterdam Centraal between Vlugtlaan and south until the Nieuwe Meer, you will be within 22 minutes or less travel time to RAI. The train stations you can use to catch the M 50 and 51 to get to RAI from Nieuw-West Amsterdam are Jan van Galenstraat, Postjesweg, Lelylaan, Heemstedestraat, Station Henk Snevlietweg, Amstelveenseweg and Amsterdam Zuid.

Top Venues

The leading trade fair venue in the Netherlands is RAI Amsterdam - a spacious, modern building located in the heart of Amsterdam. RAI Amsterdam can accommodate any group size, from 10 to 50,000 people. Over 1.5 million people visit the fairgrounds annually.

Amsterdam RAI

With premises totalling 120,000 sq m, Amsterdam RAI is the Netherlands’ largest exhibition and conference centre. Its capacity, location and modern approach to the hosted events make it one of the busiest venues in Europe. More than 500 events - from corporate meetings to conferences and world-renowned international trade fairs - are organised there any year. Around 1.5 million annual visits are registered.

RAI Amsterdam is committed to connecting people in a memorable, efficient, yet sustainable way. The future-oriented vision for the RAI includes optimal use of the space, reduced energy consumption, green electricity, eco-friendly products and services on offer, as well as zero waste.

Multiple industries receive their annual highlights at RAI Amsterdam. The trade fair venue is a global stage for tech, artificial intelligence, life sciences & health, fintech and finance, renewable energy and cleantech, food and agriculture, aerospace, logistics and the creative sector. The most-attended exhibitions in RAI are INTERTRAFFIC, GreenTech, PLMA, METS TRADE, ReMeTeC and others.

Major Trade Fairs in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for its wealth of art exhibitions and high museum and gallery density. In a business plan, Amsterdam hosts multiple trade fairs annually covering all major industries, including building and construction, industrial technology, machinery, transportation, logistics, hospitality and medical care. The city boasts net-zero initiatives, so every exhibition allocates special attention to sustainability topics in its programming and event management plan. The biggest industry gatherings in RAI Amsterdam are the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), PLMA and Intertaffic.
PLMA logo


Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hobby Household goods Glassware Ceramics Leisure
IBC logo


Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Consumer electronics Broadcast and television technology
INTERTRAFFIC Amsterdam logo


Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Transport and traffic Supply
ESC Congress logo

ESC Congress

Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Medicine Dental medicine Medicine technology Ophthalmic optics Health Pharmacy


Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Boats Boat accessories Shipbuilding Port equipment Offshore technology