Reaching Amsterdam

EuroSys’14 will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You can reach Amsterdam in any number of ways. Probably the least suitable way to come is by car. If you do decide to drive, plan on spending € 6 per hour to park in the center and another € 300 to replace your car radio. Often, it is more appropriate to reach the city by bicycle or train, or via one of the many waterways leading to and through town. You can also, of course, come in by air.

… over land

The healthiest way of getting to EuroSys’14 is on two wheels. Holland is flat, meaning no hills, meaning no problems. Unfortunately, “no hills” also means that nothing will break the wind, which always seems to be blowing from the direction you are heading. “No hills” also implies that there is nothing to stop the rather constant stream of rain-bearing clouds that visit the country from the North Sea. Keep in mind that, once in the city, you will be confronted with Amsterdam’s bridges; although not exactly as challenging as the Alps, the bridges do provide enough of an energy drain that you may be forced to stop off for a snack now and again at one of the city’s fine pastry shops.

A better way to get Amsterdam may be to take the train. At present, the Dutch railways (NS) is busy with a monumental program to upgrade infrastructure and to increase the number of trains. The short-term effect of this project is that all of those cute yellow trains that used to run predictably now rarely make it to their intended stations on time. Of course, they will eventually make it to some station; get off there, rent a bicycle, and follow the red and white ANWB signs to the city’s center.

… via water

Amsterdam is located approximately 3 meters under the average sea level. This makes getting here by boat rather easy. There are river boats that come via Germany and Belgium, and ferries that arrive from nothern, western and southern ports. The advantage of coming by boat is that you don’t need to park a car or lock a bicycle. Of course, if you simply want a nautical experience, you can also wait for the EuroSys’14 social event: we’ll do the navigation for you.

… by air

While land and sea approaches to the city have their charms, the most direct way to get to Amsterdam is by air. Amsterdam is served by a number of airlines, all of which fly into Schiphol Airport. You can use the Schiphol link to find information on airport layout, airline information and general facilities. Information on ground transportation to the city centre is also available there.
If you want to fly into Schiphol yourself, you can either take your chances on the weather and enter via the VFR sector, or you can file IFR and use one of Schiphol’s IFR approaches. (In both cases, keep in mind that general aviation is not one of the airport’s priorities — no self-respecting mainport likes passengers to see a row of Diamonds, Pipers and Cessnas parked on the field.) The landing fee of approximately € 144 also serves as a general disincentive.