As Amsterdam (and indeed all the Netherlands) is very flat, and distances are generally not great, the most popular form of personal transport for the Dutch is the bicycle. It’s not just the stuff of legend and stereotype, Amsterdam is home to perhaps as many bicycles as people. Second hand bikes are widely available and tend to cost between €50-€100. The older Dutch style bikes are a worthy buy. Backward pedaling, a distinct feature of the older bikes, instead of the normal breaks might be confusing at first, but will soon become indispensable for your biking routine. Keep in mind that the flat topography means gears are not really needed and the older Dutch models are sturdier, less inclined to break down and (arguably) cooler than the newer multi-speed bikes.
The other drawback to owning a new bike is that there is a very high chance that it will be stolen. Bicycle theft is very common in Amsterdam and locking your bike, making sure to pass the lock through wheels or saddles that can be easily removed, is essential. Using two locks for a new expensive bike is not uncommon. On the other hand, bikes are more dispensable in Amsterdam than anywhere else, so a cheaper bike might suit you fine and you would not have to care as much as getting your fancy new bike stolen.
For some expats making the move to the bike is not easy as it feels childish or the rain is an issue. The reality is that it’s the only sensible way to travel in this city and it’s environmentally friendly and cost effective.
Amsterdam is also amply provided with regular tram and bus services, as well as a Metro (light rail) network. Unless you opt to live outside of Amsterdam there may not be any need to purchase a car. For many people living in Amsterdam a car is far more of a hindrance than a convenience. The roads are narrow and busy, and parking costs are astronomical.
Taxis are very expensive even for short distances. During the day it will not save you much, if any, time to use a taxi as the roads are so busy.
Owing to the flatness and relative compactness of the city (it only takes around 30 minutes to walk from Central Station to the Rijksmuseum) some people prefer to travel on foot. The advantage of this is that if it starts to rain it is possible to jump on a tram or bus and complete the journey quickly.