Tram Travel in Amsterdam
Travelling by tram in Amsterdam is a convenient and fun way to get around. Whilst central Amsterdam is easily explored on foot, the tram can provide a nice rest when you're tired and offers a scenic ride around Amsterdam streets.
Trams are operated by GVB (Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf), the municipal public transport company of Amsterdam. GVB has 200 trams on 14 tram lines with 500 stops over a total track length of 200km. From 2019 new black, white and red R-NET branded trams will enter service and replace older tram types.
In July 2018 the new North-South metro line opened which resulted in major changes to tram routes. Below we summarise the current situation with Amsterdam tram lines route-by-route.
Amsterdam Tram Lines
9 of the 14 tram lines operate from Amsterdam Central Station (CS).
There are 2 tram stop areas on the city side of Amsterdam Central station - one on the eastern side (labelled A, for services south- and east-bound) and one on the west side (labelled B, for services south- and west-bound).
Below is a full listing of the tram lines in Amsterdam with stops of interest highlighted.
East-side GVB Tram Routes from Amsterdam CS (A)
TRAM 4: Amsterdam Central to Station RAI via Dam/Rokin/Rembrandtplein/Utrechtsestraat/van Woustraat/Rivierenbuurt/Europaplein/RAI
TRAM 14: Amsterdam Central to Flevopark via Dam/Rokin/Rembrandtplein/Waterlooplein/Artis/Plantage/Tropenmuseum/Zeeburgerdijk (De Gooyer windmill)/Javaplein/Flevopark
TRAM 24: Amsterdam Central to VU Medisch Centrum via Dam/Rokin/Muntplein/Vijzelgracht/Marie Heinekenplein/De Pijp/Beethovenstraat/Olympic Stadium/VU
TRAM 26: Amsterdam Central to IJburg via Muziekgebouw-Bimhuis/Passenger Terminal Amsterdam/Zuiderzeeweg/Steigereiland/Ijburg (Blijburg beach)
West-side GVB Tram Routes from Amsterdam CS (B)
TRAM 2: Amsterdam Central to Nieuw Sloten via Dam/Nieuwezijds Kolk/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Rijksmuseum/Van Baerlestraat (Van Gogh Museum/Stedelijk)/Koninginneweg (Vondelpark area)/Hoofddorpplein/Oudenaardeplantsoen (Nieuw Sloten) - listed by National Geographic as one of the top 10 trolley (tram) rides in the world no less!
TRAM 11: Amsterdam Central to Surinameplein via Dam/Nieuwezijds Kolk/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Overtoom/Surinameplein/Curaçaostraat
TRAM 12: Amsterdam Central to Amstel Station via Dam/Nieuwezijds Kolk/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Rijksmuseum/Museumplein/De Pijp/Churchilllaan (Rivierenbuurt)/Amstelstation
TRAM 13: Amsterdam Central to Geuzenveld via Dam/Nieuwezijds Kolk/Westermarkt (Anne Frank House)/Elandsgracht/Jan Evertsenstraat (Rembrandt Park)/Slotermeerlaan (Sloterpark)/Dr. H. Colijnstraat (Geuzenveld)
TRAM 17: Amsterdam Central to Osdorp Dijkgraafplein via Dam/Nieuwezijds Kolk/Westermarkt (Anne Frank House)/Elandsgracht/Kinkerstraat (De Hallen)/Surinameplein (Rembrandt Park)/Station Lelylaan/Meer en Vaart (Sloterpark)/Osdorpplein/Dijkgraafplein
Other GVB Tram Routes (that don't serve Amsterdam Central)
TRAM 1: Matterhorn to Muiderpoort Station via Pieter Calandlaan/Meer en Vaart (Sloterpark)/Station Lelylaan/Surinameplein (Rembrandt Park)/ Overtoom/Leidseplein/Vijzelgracht/Frederiksplein/Weesperplein/Beukenweg (OLVG hospital/Oosterpark)/Dapperstraat/Muiderpoort Station
TRAM 3: Flevopark to Zoutkeetsgracht via Insulindeweg (Flevopark)/Muiderpoort Station/Dapperstraat/Beukenweg (OLVG hospital/Oosterpark)/Ceintuurbaan/De Pijp/Museumplein/Bilderdijkstraat/Haarlemmerplein (Westerpark)/Zoutkeetsgracht
TRAM 5: Westergasfabriek to Amstelveen Stadshart via Van Hallstraat (Westergasfabriek)/Marnixplein/Elandsgracht/Leidseplein/Rijksmuseum/Van Baerlestraat (Van Gogh Museum/Stedelijk)/Museumplein/Roelof Hartplein/Beethovenstraat/Station Zuid/De Boelelaan(VU)/Amstelveen/Binnenhof
TRAM 7: Slotermeer to Azartplein via Sloterpark/Plein '40-'45/Bos en Lommerplein/Mercatorplein/Kinkerstraat/Elandsgracht/Leidseplein/Vijzelgracht/Weesperplein/Alexanderplein (Plantage-Tropenmuseum)/Hoogte Kadijk (De Gooyer windmill)/Azartplein (KNSM Island)
TRAM 19: Sloterdijk Station to Diemen (Sniep) via Sloterdijk Station/Bos en Lommerplein/Bilderdijkstraat/Elandsgracht/Leidseplein/Vijzelgracht/Weesperplein/Linnaeustraat (Tropenmuseum/Oosterpark)/Middenweg (Park Frankendael)/Nic. Lublinkstraat (Diemen)
Free public transport maps of Amsterdam (including the tram network) can be picked up at the "GVB Tram Bus Metro" tickets & info office outside central station or check out GVB's website
Tram Schedules - Trams run daily from around 6am (weekdays) and 7am (weekends) to just after midnight. You can find tram line maps and timetables at any tram stop, with major stops having electronic boards telling you the next departing services.
Detailed timetables are found online at 9292.nl
During the day frequency is around 5-10 services per hour (depending on the line) so you should not have to wait long for the next tram. Note that occasional maintenance work can cause tram routes to be diverted slightly.
You can enter the tram by the front door near the driver or the double doors second from the back.
The trams have a top speed of 70km/h - however they make frequent stops and have to cut through traffic and stop lights - so they are not always the quickest way of getting around town. The Amsterdam Metro is faster, particularly now the North-South line runs down the central spine of the city.
Amsterdam Tram Tickets - The OV-chip card (public transport smart card) is in use for all Amsterdam public transport including the trams. All passengers aged 4 or over must have a ticket.
As of March 2018, cash payments on GVB trams have been abolished. You can purchase disposable tickets on-board from either the driver or the conductor booth using debit and credit cards - contactless payments are possible. There are some ticket machines available at major tram stops.
Alternatively buy your tickets beforehand at a GVB Tickets desk or have an OV-chip card with sufficient e-purse credit.
A GVB 1 hour ticket costs €3 (2018). Consider that the €3 ticket is not really great value if you are just going 1 or 2 stops (eg - Central Station to Dam Square - it's probably better to walk).
There are also unlimited GVB Day/Multi-Day tickets - 1 to 7 day ticket (€7.50 to €34.50), children 4-11 €3.75 per day. These are valid on all GVB transport in Amsterdam on a 24 hour basis, but not valid on the airport train or bus. Book GVB 1-7 day tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam when you arrive.
Cheaper fares based on distance travelled can be had if you use the e-purse of an anonymous or personal OV-chip card. E-purse fares in Amsterdam are calculated as a fixed €0.90 boarding fee plus a variable distance fee of €0.155 per km - calculated every 50 metres on the tram. This means a 3km trip will cost approximately €1.37.
You can buy an "empty" anonymous OV-chip card for €7.50 (non-refundable) which lasts 4-5 years from central station or the GVB office. You then need to add some credit to the e-purse - you will need a minimum of €4 to board the tram.
Travel using any type of OV-chip card requires that you check-in and check-out of your tram journey using the special on-board card readers located near the doors.
Don't be tempted to travel without a valid ticket as there are teams of agents on the network doing regular checks - an on-the-spot fine of €50 applies!
There are a number of other tickets available discussed here: Public transport ticket types for Amsterdam