Aside from being one of the only two routes for rail transport that serve Amstelveen(the other being Metro 51), it also connects several key areas in Amsterdam itself (eg. Zuid, Leidseplein, Dam Square). This makes it one of the busiest tram lines in service, serving tourists, commuters, and students.
During its route, the tram passes through 3 zones: Amstelveen, Zuid, and Centraal. It connects the following stations in order, starting from Amstelveen:
The tram shares its route and rails with the metro 51 from Oranjebaan to De Boelelaan/Vu. The two lines each have their own platform at Station Zuid, and the route diverges thereonwards. From Leidseplein to Centraal Station, the tram shares its route and rails with trams 1 and 2.
A brief description of each stop follows, along with connections to other trams run by the GVB:
1. Binnenhof - It is the station serving the Amstelveen city centre. It is located next to Handelsplein and consists of a GVB office and an open air terminus with space for up to 6 trams. In the vicinity are various local malls, including the Binnenhof, which shares its name with the station; the city movie hall(Stadsshouwburg); the Amstelveen Volksuniversiteit (folk university); and library. It is well connected, with the Amstelveen Bus Station and a stop for the Metro 51 nearby. It is a level platform.
2. Oranjebaan- Raised platform with access via stairs and lift. Platform opens to the left.
3. Onderuit- Raised platform with access via stairs and lift. Platform opens to the left.
4. Zonnestein- Level Platform.
5. Kronenburg- Level platform.
6. Uilenstede- The GVB boundary between the zones Amstelveen and Zuid. Raised platform with access via stairs and lift. Platform opens to the left.
7. Van Boshuizenstraat- Level platform.
8. A.J. Ernststraat- The full name of this stop is Arent Jonszoon Ernststraat. Level platform.
9. De Boelelaan/VU- Named partially after the Vrije Universiteit(VU) located nearby, this stops attracts the majority of student commuters that use this tram. This makes it a very busy stop. Level platform.
10. Station Zuid- Formerly known as Station Zuid/WTC, it can be called the economic hub of Line 5. It is a large station with several platforms, for intercity trains, the Metros 51 and 50, as well as tram 5. It is located amongst office buildings which include the World Trade Centre and the ABN Amro building. Raised platform with access via stairs, up escalator and lift.
11. Princess Irenestraat- All platforms are level from this point onwards.
13. Gerrit v.d. Veenstraat- In full, Gerrit van de Veenstraat, named after the famous Dutch sculptor and World War II resistance leader Gerrit van de Veen.
14. Apollolaan- The CVB boundary between zones Zuid and Centraal. Located on a bridge. Connections- tram 24.
15. Roelofhartplein- Connections- trams 3, 24
16.Museumplein- Another important stop. Located near the Concertgebouw (concert building) and Museumplein (Museum plain). Connections- trams 3, 12, 16, 24 and busses 145, 170, 172, 370.
17. Van Baerlestraat- Stop connecting the Van Gogh museum.
18. Hobbemastraat- Stop connecting the Rijksmuseum.
19. Leidseplein- A very important stop, located at the heart of Leidseplein, Amsterdam's entertainment centre. Leidseplein is rich with resaurants, bars, Jazz bars, and theatres, including a cinema hall and the Stadstheater (City theater). Also nearby is the Holland Casino. It is one of the busiest stops. Connections- trams 1,2,7,10
24. Dam- Located on Dam square, this stop is also called 'De Dam'. Dam square can be considered the heart of Amsterdam, named for the Dam that also lends its name to the city itself. It is home to the National monument(commemorating World War II veterans) and the Royal Palace. It is also one of the access points to the infamous Red Light District.
25. Niewezijds Kolk
26. Maartelarsgracht- It is a one way stop, made only by trams moving towards Centraal Station.
27. Centraal Station- Amsterdam City Centre. Located in front of Amsterdam's Central Station, the hub for most Intercity trains, inner city metros, trams, buses, and canalboats operating in the city.
The trams running on Line 5 are of both the old variety, with raised seats and elevations within the tram, and of the new type, with a flat interior. Aside from this, the trams running along Line 5 are unique for several reasons:
1. Trams running on Line 5 have doors located on both the left and right sides of the tram. This is because, while most tram stops in Amsterdam appear to the right of a tram, there are several stops in and near Amstelveen where the platforms appear to the left.
2. Trams running on Line 5 are double sided, ie there are driver's stations on both ends of the tram. this changes drastically, the appearance of trams on Line 5, as opposed to those on other lines. the reason for this difference is, while the terminals of other lines include a circituous segment of track which allows them to double back without having to reverse, Amstelveen Binnenhof is a dead-end terminal.
3. Line 5 trams have no Conductor's box. As a result, Line 5 tramsand Metro 51 trains uniquely feature small, yellow stamping boxes for stamping a strippenkaart. Tickets can be bought from the driver or via vending machines. GVB ticket checkers will board trams on line 5 from time to time in order to catch any ticket-defaulters. Such defaulters are fined in the order of €35. The chance of getting caught multiplied by the fine is generally lower than paying for every trip, or at least a lot of people think so.
Line 5 trams run from early morning to late night, with different timings for weekdays and weekends. The last tram 5 from centraal station starts at 12:17 am.