If you are arriving in Amsterdam by train or plane you will enter through the magnificent Centraal Station.  As you leave the station you will be heading south and into Amsterdam.  Many hotels are within walking distance from the station so no transportation is required.  Find out how far your lodging is from Centraal Station and, if necessary, which tram stop is the closest.  Then, unless you are a heavy packer, you can walk a few steps from the front of Centraal Station to the tram that will take you quickly to your accomodation.

Heavy packers will require an expensive cab.

As with any city with lots of tourists - Be careful with your luggage - watch out for distraction thieves who target briefcases, computer cases and other small stuff.

In warmer weather the front of Centraal Station is home to many interesting street performers.  If you enjoy what they do, drop a few coins their way.  Just remember coins in Europe come in €1. and €2. denominations, so pay attention so you will only be as generous as you really mean to be.