The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike (there are bike-rental shops all over town) or on foot, but the city's public transport system, GVB, is also extremely reliable. It operates the buses, trams, metro, and ferries with service 24 hours a day. The ticket system used is the OV-chipkaart, a credit card–size smart card that you use to check in and out of the transport network. There are one-day and multiday GVB cards, which offer better value-for-money than the one-hour disposable tickets you can buy on board trams and buses and at metro stations (ferries are usually free).
To tour Amsterdam's famous canals, there are many boats that depart from the piers near the Centraal Station with stops throughout the city.
While the city of Amsterdam remains dedicated to preserving historic buildings, it's also fundamentally altering the center and the area around Centraal Station with the construction of a new north–south subway line. The new line, which is extremely overbudget, rather controversial, and not due to be completed until 2018, has been a source of chaos in many parts of Amsterdam for the last decade, but the end is in sight; check for updates when you visit.