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 will also get you to the outer areas of the city.
Trams are operated by GVB (Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf), the municipal public transport company of Amsterdam. GVB has 216 trams on 15 tram lines with a total track length of 80km.
Amsterdam Tram Lines
10 of the 15 tram lines operate from Amsterdam Central Station (CS). There are 2 tram stop areas just outside central station - one on the east side (for services going south and east, labelled A) and one on the west side (for services going south and west, labelled B).
Below is a full listing of the tram lines in Amsterdam with stops of interest.
|West Routes from CS (B)||Stops of Interest/Info|
|1||Osdorp De Aker||Magna Plaza/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Overtoom/Rembrandt Park|
|2||Nieuw Sloten||Magna Plaza/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Museumplein|
|5||Amstelveen Binnenhof||Magna Plaza/Spui/Leidseplein/Museumplein/Zuid - the city's busiest tram line with 35,000 passengers per day.|
|17||Osdorp Dijkgraafplein||Magna Plaza/Westermarkt/Kinkerstraat|
|East Routes from CS (A)||Stops of Interest/Info|
|16||VU Medisch Centrum||Dam/Muntplein/Vijzelstraat/Albert Cuypstraat/Museumplein/Olympic Stadium/VU|
|24||VU Medisch Centrum||Dam/Muntplein/Vijzelstraat/Albert Cuypstraat/Olympic Stadium/VU|
|26||IJburg||IJ Waterfront/Zuiderzeeweg (Megabus bus stop)- Amsterdam's newest tram line opened in 2005 serving IJburg, a new island suburb built on reclaimed land.|
Note, tram 25 (Passenger Terminal Amsterdam-Central Station-President Kennedylaan) was removed from service in December 2013.
|Other Routes||Stops of Interest/Info|
|3||Muiderpoort Station to Zoutkeetsgracht||Oosterpark/Ceintuurbaan/Museumplein/Haarlemmerplein|
|7||Flevopark to Slotermeer||Flevopark/Oosterpark/Weteringschans/Leidseplein/Kinkerstraat/Sloterpark - tram 7 follows a "southern" route whilst tram 14 follows a more "northern" route.|
|10||Van Hallstraat to Azartplein||KNSM Island/Sarphatistraat/Weteringschans/Leidseplein/Marnixstraat|
|12||Amstel to Sloterdijk Stations||Rivierenbuurt/Ceintuurbaan/Museumplein/Sloterdijk|
|14||Flevopark to Slotermeer||Plantage/Waterlooplein/Rembrandtplein/Dam/Westermarkt - well known Dutch darts player Co Stompe used to drive the 14 tram.|
For those heading to the museums, see our Amsterdam Museum guide which gives more details about which tram to take to each museum.
Free public transport maps of Amsterdam (including the tram network) can be picked up at GVB's 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. At rush hour the trams can be busy and you may have to stand. Note that occasional maintenance work can cause tram routes to be diverted slightly.
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 but has limited stops in the centre.
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. You can enter the tram by the front door near the driver or the double doors second from back.
You can purchase disposable-type tickets on board from either the driver or the conductor booth. A GVB 1 hour ticket costs €2.80; a 24 hour GVB ticket costs €7.50; a day ticket for children 4-11 is €2.50 (2014 prices). Consider that the €2.80 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).
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 €0.87 boarding fee plus a variable distance fee of €0.148 per km - calculated every 50 metres on the tram. This means a 3km trip will cost approximately €1.31.
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 - on-the-spot fines of €37.50 apply!
There are a number of other tickets available discussed here: Public transport ticket types for Amsterdam
See also our Getting Around Amsterdam guide.