How to travel public transport in Amsterdam and beyond?
Amsterdam’s public transport network is very impressive for its efficiency and accessibility. The extensive network is operated by the GVB and connects the city’s neighbourhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry. In addition, there are NS trains that connect Amsterdam with Schiphol Airport and the rest of the Netherlands. Regional buses (Connexxion/EBS/Arriva/GVB) can take you to some nearby attractions.
You can travel not only within Amsterdam, but throughout the Netherlands. If you travel within the Netherlands, you can purchase an OV-chipcard (OV-chipkaart).
Every traveller aged 4 years or older must have their own ticket or OV-chipcard. This can be used in trams, metro, trains and buses. The tickets you buy are valid throughout public transport, from the first use and until the end of the validity period. Please, remember that all payments on public transport cannot be made in cash. Trams, buses and metro run every day from 6am until 12.30am. Between 00.30 and 07.00 you can take the night bus. There is a separate night fare for the night bus. But a GVB day pass or multi-day pass is also valid for the night bus.
Depending on the length of your stay, there are different types of transport cards. Here are the most efficient options for visitors:
- I Amsterdam City Card: Free admission to the city’s top attractions and the 10 most popular museums, plus unlimited use of GVB public transport for 24, 48, 72 hours.
- GVB ticket for 1 hour – €3,20, only valid on GVB trams/metro/bus, NOT on trains. A Bus/Tram/Metro (BTM) ticket costs €6.50 and is valid for 90 minutes on GVB plus Connexxion/EBS buses. Click here for a further overview of the rates.
- GVB daytickets: Valid on GVB trams, buses and metros in Amsterdam. You can buy your GVB transport tickets on the official website. 1 to 7 day ticket (€8 to €37), children 4-11 €4 per day. Valid on all GVB transport in Amsterdam on a 24-hour basis. Not valid on the airport train or airport bus 397. Book GVB 1-7 day passes online and pick them up in Amsterdam when you arrive.
- Amsterdam & Region ticket: 1, 2 or 3 day ticket valid on all public transport of GVB, Connexxion, EBS and NS in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam region, including night buses, which are very convenient in weekends when the usual trams and buses work until 00:30. 1 to 7 day ticket (€8 to €37), children 4-11 €4 per day. Valid on all GVB transport in Amsterdam on a 24-hour basis. Not valid on the airport train or airport bus 397.
- Amsterdam Travel Ticket: An all-in public transport solution valid for one, two or three days (€17/€22,50/€28). With this ticket you travel by train (2nd class) between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and any station in Amsterdam. In addition, the ticket is valid for unlimited travel on all GVB trams, buses (including night buses), metros and ferries in Amsterdam. Valid on a daily basis (not 24 hours).
- Old Holland Tour: An all-in-one ticket that allows you to make unlimited use of the bus lines between Amsterdam Central Station, Volendam/Edam and the Zaanse Schans for a whole day. Price: €12.50/€11.50
- Airport Bus Tickets – Airport Express bus 397 (Connexxion/R-Net) Schiphol to Leidseplein in Amsterdam, €6.50 one way, €1 children 4-11. This bus does not go to Amsterdam Central Station.
- NS Treinkaartjes – Single trip and day return tickets available, €1 surcharge for disposable tickets. Or use OV-chipcard balance.
- Holland Travel Ticket – 1 day ticket (€62/€42 in off-peak hours after 0900) valid for all Dutch public transport. Good for longer trips through the Netherlands and/or use of multiple transport companies.
- Anonymous OV-chipcard – Personal OV-chipcard costs €7,50 (non-refundable, valid for 5 years) which can be used to add travel credit. Can be used on any public transport at standard fares. Minimum balance of €20 (trains) or €4 (other transport) required. Only good for visitors planning many trips, saves the inconvenience of buying tickets every time.
It is important that you always check in and out. This also applies when changing transport. To check in, hold your ticket in front of the card reader and you will hear a beep and the green light should turn on. When leaving the tram or bus, you check out by again holding your ticket in front of the card reader and you will hear a double beep. If you are travelling by metro or train, check in and out at the (metro) gates before and after entering the station.
Ferries within Amsterdam are free! The ferries across the IJ, are free and only for pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders. They connect the centre of Amsterdam with the north of Amsterdam:
- the Buiksloterweg ferry,
- the IJplein ferry, the Oostpont
- the NDSM ferry,
- the Houthaven ferry
- the Distelweg ferry and
- the Night West ferry (night service).
On the GVB website you can also see the changes that may occur due to events or cosntruction. For your convenience, you can also use transport apps to help you plan your journey.
How to travel with the OV-chipkaart?
Tram and bus
It is important that you always check in and out of every vehicle. So also when you change trains. To check in, hold your card in front of the card reader. These are located at all entrances and exits of trams and buses. When you hear a beep, a green light lights up and you are checked in. When you leave the tram or bus, you check out by holding your card in front of the card reader again and you will hear two beeps.
In the metro station you hold your card in front of the card reader of the metro gate. This will open the underground gate. This is also how you check out again at the station where you get off.
Where to buy your OV ticket?
OV tickets, such as the GVB day or multi-day passes, are easily purchased via the GVB travel website. Paper OV tickets are available in many places in the city. See all sales outlets here. The GVB dayticket can also be bought from the driver or conductor in the tram or bus. Here you can only pay with pin.
Entrance and exit doors of trams
To allow passengers to board and alight quickly and easily, Amsterdam trams have a special boarding door. This is the last double door of the tram. The exit doors are equipped with swing gates. You can also board the tram at the driver’s seat.
To the best attractions
In the touch-swipe planner of the GVB app, we have already listed many fun highlights that you can swipe to for travel advice. Or check out the list of museums, theatres and other destinations in Amsterdam and how to reach them by public transport.
Information checked on 28 May 2022. Although we have taken great care in compiling this information, one or more products may no longer be available at the time you want to use them.