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Amsterdam Deals 2014

Here we will list any good deals or discounts for Amsterdam (attractions, things-to-do, travel and transport) that we come across.

*The Museumkaart (Museum Card) costs €59.90 (€32.45 for children 0-18) and offers free entry for 12 months into around 400 museums in Netherlands. This includes the main museum attractions in Amsterdam – Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage, Stedelijk and Maritime Museum. The card should pay for itself after about 4 visits. See here for more details.

amsterdam deals

*The Iamsterdam City Card is a pass aimed at tourists and costs €47 (24 hours), €57 (48 hours) and €67 (72 hours). It offers free one-time entry into a number of Amsterdam attractions and includes a GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) pass for the card duration. On top of this you get 25% discount at various other attractions, restaurants and shows for the rest of the year.

*Half-price theatre show tickets for Amsterdam are made available on-the-day via the Last Minute Ticket Shop from 10am. These tickets can be bought at the outlet at the side of Stadschouwburg on Leidseplein, the tourist information office outside central station or at the OBA central library. Alternatively you can book online. Look for shows marked “LNP” (Language No Problem) – a maximum of 2 tickets can be bought per transaction.

*If you go to the GVB Tickets & Info outside Amsterdam central station, pick up the leaflet “Amsterdam Tram Bus Metro Ferry” – at the back of the leaflet you will find some coupons offering small discounts to various museums and atractions – including the Amsterdam ArenA tours, Madame Tussauds, Heineken Experience, Amsterdam Dungeon and the Gray Line canal cruise.

Time-sensitive discounts

*GVB public transport is offering some discounts until the end of July if you buy one of its Amsterdam travel day cards. The standard 1 day card is €7.50, the kids day card is €2.50. Discounts offered by presenting the card are €2.50 off entrance at Artis Royal Zoo, €3 off entry to Stedelijk (modern art museum), and €6 off kids entry into the Art of the Brick (Lego) exhibition at Amsterdam Expo. Offer is valid to 31 July 2014.

See our detailed overview of public transport tickets in Amsterdam to find out which is the best ticket deal for you.

*The newly opened 3-star Volks hotel in the east of Amsterdam is offering all double rooms for just €69 until 31 July 2014. Volks hotel includes the Canvas rooftop café-restaurant and club. You need to book at the Volkshotel site and quote the promo code #volkshotelopen.

For more ideas, also check out our on-the-cheap in Amsterdam section.

New Museumplein Ticket – Museums and Concerts

The Museumplein ticket is a newly launched premium combi-ticket which provides special access to the cultural heart of Amsterdam. The ticket costs €90 and remains valid for use until the end of the calender year.museumplein ticket

The ticket gives fast-lane entry to the 3 main museums on Museumplein – Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk and Van Gogh museum. It also offers a ticket to any concert at the nearby Concertgebouw, renowned for its excellent acoustics. This includes concerts of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Museumplein ticket holders get admission even if the shows are officially sold out, as some seats will be held in reserve.

museumplein

The ticket can be purchased at various top hotels in Amsterdam including Conservatorium Hotel, The Dylan Amsterdam and Hotel De L’Europe. See a full listing of 5-star hotels in Amsterdam here. Later in the summer it will be available for sale over-the-counter at the Museumplein Pavilion.

Normal entry into each of the 3 museums costs €15 and a concert at the Concertgebouw ranges from €20 to €60. For sheer convenience and with its priority entry, we can see this ticket appealing to the higher end of the tourist market.

An alternative would be to buy an annual Museumkaart (€60, effectively fast lane entry to Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum) and book your own concert ticket in advance.

A look at the new Rotterdam Central Station

In March 2014 the new Rotterdam Central Station officially opened after a 10 year renovation project. The station was redesigned by Benthem Crouwel architects who also did the ‘bathtub’ on Amsterdam’s Stedelijk museum. The results are that Rotterdam now has one of the most striking railways stations in Europe with an impressive traingular shaped shiny roof . We think it looks great though not everyone likes the new station.rotterdam centraal stationrotterdam centraal
The ‘CENTRAAL STATION’ signage from the previous station has been retained giving a retro feel. Inside is a cavernous main hall connected to the expanded passenger tunnel (with a good number of shops and cafés) which leads to the train platforms 1-16. Other facilities include an international tickets counter, left-luggage lockers and the NS International lounge for 1st class international travellers.rotterdam station hallrotterdam central station hall
Rotterdam Central is the hub of public transport in the city – there is a RET metro station underneath, trams depart outside the main entrance (Stationsplein) to the left and the bus station is out to the right. If you are travelling to/from Rotterdam The Hague Airport you need to take bus 33. Taxis can be found outside at either end of the passenger tunnel. rotterdam centralrotterdam central platforms
International trains serving Rotterdam include the high speed Thalys (Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris) and the Den Haag-Brussels stopping Intercity service.

Domestic train services include the Intercity Direct (Amsterdam-Schiphol-Rotterdam-Breda) which uses the high speed track – note supplements are mandatory for Rotterdam-Schiphol travel. We recommend you take this train if you are travelling to Schiphol and Amsterdam as it is much quicker.

Domestic Intercity trains go to many principal Dutch cities. Another service of note is the Sprinter train to Hoek van Holland (Hook of Holland) where there is the Stena Line ferry to Harwich, UK.

Central Rotterdam is a short walk out of the main entrance. If you are looking for a convenient meal option consider the Vapiano restaurant across the road at Plaza 24.

Many other main stations in the Netherlands are undergoing major renovation – including Amsterdam, Utrecht and Den Haag Central. With Rotterdam now complete after years of surrounding chaos it has certainly improved conditions for passengers passing through the station – especially considering that Rotterdam is the first port of entry for many international travellers arriving in the Netherlands.

Kruidvat Rail Day Tickets on sale again

The Kruidvat train day tickets are currently on sale again, available over-the-counter at Kruidvat chemist stores until 29th June 2014. We mention these regularly as they are still one of the best travel bargains in the Netherlands. Note, online sales are not possible.kruidvat train day tickets 2014

There are 2 types of ticket available:

1. The Trein Dagkaart (train day ticket) which costs €13.99 – it offers 1 day of unlimited travel on the entire Dutch rail network.

2. The OV Dagkaart (public transport day ticket) costs €16.49 – it  gives 1 day of unlimited travel on all forms of public transport in Netherlands including trains, metro, buses and trams.

Note, both ticket types are only valid for 1 day’s travel at weekends between 21st June 2014 and 5th October 2014.

The Kruidvat tickets come in the form of a disposable OV-chip card. Basically you need to check-in and check-out of your journey when travelling with NS trains by holding the ticket against the special card readers on platforms. Note that from 9th July 2014 paper train tickets in the Netherlands are being phased out and everyone will have to travel using some form of OV-chip card.

The train ticket is valid on all other domestic Dutch train companies – Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Syntus and Veolia – these require that you date stamp your ticket before travel.

Travel is also valid on Intercity Direct and ICE International trains with the appropriate domestic supplement; it is not valid on the Thalys.

The OV Dagkaart can be used as an OV-chip card on NS, GVB (Amsterdam), HTM/HTMbuzz (The Hague) and RET (Rotterdam). For all other valid transport providers (Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, EBS, Hermes, Qbuzz, Syntus, U-OV and Veolia) you should date stamp the ticket prior to travel.

If you wish to purchase these ticket(s) you need to hurry to a Kruidvat store as they are popular and can sell out quickly.

Kruidvat is a nationwide chemist chain with stores in most towns and cities. There are 10 Kruidvat stores in Amsterdam:

Nieuwendijk 160
Jodenbreestraat 96
Regulierbreestraat 22
Bilderdijkstraat 73-87
V-Limburg-Stirumstraat 58
Ferdinand Bolstraat 33-39
van Woustraat 98-102
Dapperplein 62
Linnaeusstraat 70-72
Kinkerstraat 244