Amsterdam public transport consists of an extensive, reliable network that includes bus, metro, and tram lines, as well as ferries.
Tickets are easy to obtain and use. They must be bought in advance.
As of June 1, 2020, all passengers aged 13 and over must wear a mask while boarding, during the trip, and while deboarding.
Your mask must cover your nose and mouth at all times. (That means: do not remove your mask in order to eat, to talk on your phone, or for any other reason).
If you do not wear a mask — or if you wear it improperly — you risk a €95 fine.
The reason for wearing a mask while traveling by public transport is that the 1.5 meter (5 feet) social distancing rule cannot be observed on board.
Buy Amsterdam Public Transport Tickets Online
Best Deal: Public Transport 1-7 Days Tickets
The best deal — and the most popular option — for tourists is the (multiple-) Day Ticket. This allows for carefree, unlimited travel on all GVB trams, buses and metro lines throughout Amsterdam.
There are options to either include Airport Shuttle Tickets, or to purchase only the latter.
|Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket Options|
|Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket (1-7 days)|
|Unlimited GVB Bus, Tram, Metro travel in Amsterdam||Option: add round-trip on the Amsterdam Airport Express bus (from and to Schiphol airport)|
|I amsterdam City Card|
Discount pass details
|Unlimited GVB Bus, Tram, Metro in Amsterdam||Includes free museums, free canal boat tour, and other discounts|
|Amsterdam Airport Express||Roundtrip Airport City center Airport. Operated by Connexxion.||Ticket valid up to 14 days|
How to use Amsterdam public transport tickets
How to buy and use Amsterdam bus-, metro-, and tram tickets
- Buy your ticket
There is a confusing arrow of ticket options that cater mostly to citizens of Amsterdam and beyond.
Most tourists buy a (multiple-) day ticket for travel on Amsterdam’s primary public transport network. This ticket gives you unlimited access to all buses, metros, and trams operated by GVB.
- Check-in each time you travel
Your ticket has an embedded smart chip. Hold your ticket against the screen on a card reader (bus or tram) or a gate (at metro or train stations). Listen for the ‘beep’ tone.
The ferries are always free, so you do not need to check-in or check-out.
- Check-out at the end of your journey, or if you intend to transfer
Again touch the screen on a card reader or a gate at the end of your journey. You will again hear a ‘beep’ tone.
If you are at transferring to another bus-, tram, or metro line you first check-out from the current vehicle, and then check-in at the new one.
Note: If you forget to check in or out, your ticket may no longer function the next time you need it.
In that case you need to make your way to the GVB service desk in front of Central Station.
Public Transport Services in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s primary public transport service is the GVB — Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (Municipal Transportation Company). 1
All trams (trolleys), metros (underground or subway trains), and most buses you see in Amsterdam are owned and operated by GVB. So are the free ferries that sail across the river IJ.
District bus lines
District bus lines Connexxion, EBS and Syntus also operate in Amsterdam, but to a much lesser extent.
GVB tickets are not accepted on these bus lines.
OV-Chipkaart – Electronic Ticket
Use of the GVB ferries, which connect Amsterdam-North with the rest of the city, is free of charge.
All other forms of public transport require the use of an OV-Chipkaart 2 — an electronic payment system similar to Oyster in London or Passe Navigo in Paris.
The OV-Chipkaart consists of a paper or plastic credit card-size ticket with en embedded memory chip designed to be read by ticket readers on board public transport vehicles.
The card must be swiped across the face of the ticket reader both upon entering and exiting the vehicle.
There are three types of cards: anonymous, personalized, or disposable. Each traveler needs his or her own card.
Tourist are generally better off with disposable cards. Here we highlight several ticket offers specifically aimed at tourists and other short-term visitors.
Tourists have several options:
Single Use Ticket
A single-use ticket is available in the tram or bus at a cost of €3.20. It is valid for up to one hour, during which you may transfer to other GVB bus- or tram lines.3
This is the most expensive way to travel by bus, tram, or metro.
All trams, buses and metros operated by GVB are cash-free. That means you cannot buy a ticket on board using cash money.
If you still wish to purchase a single ticket on board, you can pay using contactless payment (RFID), PIN (debitcard), or credit card (with the Maestro emblem)
Best deal Public Transport Day Tickets: 1 – 7 Days
For most tourists, day- or multiple day tickets are the best deal. They entitle you to unlimited travel through Amsterdam – day and night – by GVB-operated tram, bus and metro.
Not only does this card give you free access to all GVB public transport, but it also provides free or discounted access to many top museums, a free 1-hour canal boat tour, and much more.
The tickets are not valid in the regional buses of Connexxion, EBS, Syntus, or on the train.
All trams and metro, as well as the vast majority of buses in Amsterdam are run by GVB.
|Amsterdam Public Transport|
|Day- or Multiple Day Tickets|
|24 hours (1 day)||€ 8.00|
|48 hours (2 days)||€ 13.50|
|72 hours (3 days)||€ 19.00|
|96 hours (4 days)||€ 24.50|
|120 hours (5 days)||€ 29.50|
|144 hours (6 days)||€ 34.00|
|168 hours (7 days)||€ 37.00|
Multiple-day tickets are also available at:
- GVB Tickets & Info Kiosks — main one opposite Central Station (next to the Amsterdam Tourist Information Office), and at Station Bijlmer ArenA, Station Lelylaan, and Station Zuid
- GVB service points
- VVV Amsterdam Tourist Offices, including the one opposite Central Station
- Ticket Vending Machines in the metro stations (1-4 day tickets only)
- at various hotels, camping sites, AKO bookstores and other institutions
Alternative: I amsterdam City Card
This popular one-, two-, three or four day pass also provides free or discounted access to many of the city’s museums and attractions.
A free, one-hour canal cruise by boat is included as well.
You’ll need to spend some time planning your visit in order to determine whether or not the card will save you money.
That said, for many tourists intent on visiting museums and other attractions this card is an excellent choice. Details
Amsterdam Travel Ticket
The Amsterdam Travel Ticket provides unlimited travel across Amsterdam — including 2nd class travel by train to and from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to and from any railway station in the city.
Alternatively you can travel to and from the airport by bus, using the Amsterdam Airport Express (bus 197) or Niteliner (bus N97), both operated by Connexxion.
The ticket allows for unlimited travel in all buses, trams, metros and ferries operated by GVB. (Most buses, as well as all trams, metros and ferries you see in Amsterdam are operated by GVB).
- 1 day €17
- 2 days €22.50
- 3 days €28
One advantage the Amsterdam Travel Tickets has over other tickets or passes is the fact that it provides unlimited travel by train to and from the stations indicated. Note that normally, the vast majority of tourists will not need or want to travel by train to various stations. Exception: if your hotel is in the Sloterdijk area, or near any of the other train stations.
This ticket is valid from the first time you check in until 04.00 in the morning after the last valid day.
You can purchase the Amsterdam Travel Ticket at GVB Tickets & Info, across from Amsterdam Central Station, or at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport (e.g. at the NS Tickets & Service, or at the AKO kiosk, in the main hall)
Bus and tram services cease some time around midnight. There are a number of night buses.
A single trip on a night bus costs €4,50. A 12-trips night bus card costs €34,00.
The 12-trip card can only be purchased if you have an OV-chipcard (see below).
The anonymous OV-Chipcard is a plastic card which can be bought for a one-time fee of €7.50. The so-called ‘E-purse’ on the card must then be loaded with credit. You can do so at so-called Add Value Machines, which can be found throughout the city. They are typically situated inside supermarkets, tobacco shops, and at train stations.
The card can be loaded with up to €150.00 credit.
Keep in mind that each person in your party needs his or her own card. Even though this is not a personalized card, you can still not use it to pay the fare for more than one person at a time.
However, you are allowed to share this card with others — as long as it is used by only one person at a time.
- When you use this card (which is valid for a period of 5 years) you pay € 0,154 per kilometer plus a base fee of €0,89. If you transfer within 35 minutes the base fee is not charged again.
- Additional travel products — such as day or multiple-day tickets and nightbus tickets — can be added to this card
- Anonymity: if you think ‘they’ are following you, at least your public transport ticket won’t tell them where you’ve been and where you’re going…
- If you lose an anonymous OV-Chipcard it will be much like losing cash. Since the card is not personalized, the amount of credit on it can not be blocked.
- Since the card does not include any personal information, you can not take advantage of personalized travel products like season tickets, or discounts such as those for senior citizens.
This card may make sense for you if you intend to stay in Amsterdam for longer than a week.
The anonymous OV-chipkaart can be bought at GVB Tickets & Info and at the GVB Ticket Vending and Add Value Machines, as well as at some supermarkets and most news-stand/tobacco shops. Find a sales location near you.
The personal OV-Chipcard has all the benefits of the Anonymous OV-Chipcard — except for the anonymous part.
There’s an extra benefit linked to age: children age 4 through 11, and adults 65 years and older travel at reduced rates: € 0,098 per kilometer plus a base fee of €0,57.
You can elect to auto-reload your personal card with a fixed amount (€10, €20, or €50) from your Dutch bank or giro account.
In the event the card is lost you can have it blocked.
This card may make sense if you will be in Amsterdam for more than 2 months and plan to make extensive use of public transport. You can apply for the Personalized OV-Chipcard online, but only if you have a digital photograph available, are able to pay using iDEAL and can provide a Dutch (postal) address. Note: If you live in Belgium, Germany or Luxembourg, you can also pay with PayPal or creditcard, but in this case you cannot apply for automatic reload.
Checking in and out
Each time you enter or leave a bus, tram (light rail), train, or metro, you touch your ticket to the OV-Chipkaart logo at or near the door.
Regardless of which travel product you use, you must check in and check out each time.
If you do not check out, you may have trouble boarding another public transport vehicle.
Forgot to check out?
When you use an OV-Chipcard, each time you board a tram or bus €4,00 is charged to your account. When you check out, your travel fee is calculated. If it is less than €4,00 the remainder will be returned to your card.
At times, not checking out means you cannot check in again since the system thinks you’re still on the bus, train or metro.
If you forget to check out, you can use this form to ask for a refund.
- The Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (GVB) is the primary municipal transport service of Amsterdam. It is an independent corporation wholly owned by the city of Amsterdam. ↩
- OV-Chipkaart: OV stands for ‘Openbaar Vervoer‘ = Public Transport. Chipkaart = Chip card, in reference to the RFID memory chip used in the cards. ↩
- Single Use Tickets are not valid for transfer to buses operated by Arriva or Connexxion. Under most circumstances tourists will not need to use buses from these companies. ↩
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