Public transport in Amsterdam: All you need to know

Amsterdam’s public transport network is very impressive by its efficiency and accessibility. The extensive network is operated by GVB and connects the city’s neighbourhoods by train, tram, metro, bus and ferry. In addition there are trains operated by NS (Dutch Railways) which connect Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport and the rest of the Netherlands. Regional buses (Connexxion/EBS/Arriva) can take you to some nearby places of interest. You can travel not only inside of Amsterdam but throughout the Netherlands. If you are traveling inside of the Netherlands you will have to get yourself the public transport chip card (OV-chipkaart).  

Every traveller aged 4 or over must have their own ticket. It can be used in trams, metro, trains and buses. Tickets you buy are valid across the whole public transport network from your first use and until the end of your time frame. Please, remember that all payments on the public transports can not be done in cash. Every day, trams, buses and metros are in service starting at six in the morning and run until twelve thirty at night. 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 or multi-day ticket is also valid in the night bus.

Depending on the duration of your stay there are different types of transport cards. Here are the most efficient options for visitors:

  • I amsterdam City Card: Free entrance to the city’s top attractions and 10 most popular museums, plus unlimited use of the GVB public transport system for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
  • GVB 1 hour ticket – €3.20, valid only on GVB trams/metro/buses, NOT on trains. A Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket is €6.50 and is valid 90 minutes on GVB plus Connexxion/EBS buses.
  • GVB day passes: Valid on trams, buses and metros operated by GVB in Amsterdam. You can buy your GVB transport cards from 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 airport train or 397 airport bus. Book GVB 1-7 day tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam when you arrive.
  • Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket: 1, 2 or 3 day transport pass valid on all public transport operated by GVB, Connexxion, EBS and NS in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Area, including night buses, which are very useful during the weekend as 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 airport train or 397 airport bus.
  • Amsterdam Travel Ticket: An all-in public transport solution valid for one, two or three days (€17/€22.50/€28). This ticket includes return (2nd class) train travel between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and any station in Amsterdam. Additionally, the ticket is valid for unlimited travel on all trams, buses (including night buses), metro and ferries operated by public transport operator GVB in Amsterdam itself. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis.
  • Old Holland Tour: An all-in-one ticket giving you unlimited use of bus routes between Amsterdam Central Station, Volendam/Edam and Zaanse Schans for an entire day. Price: €20.
  • Airport Bus Tickets – Airport Express bus 397 (Connexxion/R-Net) Schiphol airport to Leidseplein area in Amsterdam, €6.50 one-way, €1 children 4-11. Does not go to Amsterdam Central station.
  • NS Train tickets – One-way and day return tickets available, €1 surcharge for disposable tickets. Or use OV-chip card balance.
  •  Holland Travel Ticket – 1 day ticket (€62/€42 off-peak after 0900) valid on all Dutch public transport. Good for longer journeys around the Netherlands and/or using multiple transport companies.
  • OV-chip card e-purse – Plastic OV-chip smart card costs €7.50 (non-refundable, lasts 5 years) to which travel credit can be added. Can be used on any public transport at standard fare tariffs. Minimum balance of €20 (trains) or €4 (other transport) required. Only good for visitors who plan lots of travel, does save inconvenience of buying tickets each time.

It is important that you always check in and check out. This includes when you change the transport while transfering. To check in, you must hold your ticket in front of the card reader and after you will hear a peep and the green lamp should light up. When leaving the tram or bus, you check out by once again holding your ticket in front of the card reader and you will hear the double peep. If you are travelling on metro or train check in and check out at the metro gates before and after you enter your station.

Ferries inside Amsterdam are free! The ferry connections accros the IJ river, are free of charge and for pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders only. They connect the centre of Amsterdam with the North of Amsterdam: 

  • the Buiksloterweg ferry,
  •  the IJplein ferry, the Oost ferry,
  • the NDSM-ferry, 
  • the Houthaven ferry, 
  • the Distelweg ferry and 
  • the Nachtelijk west ferry (night service).

On the GVB website you also can see the changes which can appear because of events or repairs. For your comfort you can also use transport apps which will help you to plan your journey.

 As of 1 June 2020, passengers 13 years and older must wear a non-medical face mask while using public transport (trains, trams, buses, metros, and ferries) in the Netherlands.