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 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 200 trams on 15 tram lines with 500 stops over a total track length of 80km.
Please note, from July 2018 the North-South metro line will officially open. This will mean major changes to the current Amsterdam tram lines including route changes, new lines, cancelled lines and re-named stops.
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.
East-side GVB Tram Routes from Amsterdam CS (A)
TRAM 4: Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam RAI via Dam/Spui/Rembrandtplein/Utrechtsestraat/van Woustraat/Rivierenbuurt/RAI
TRAM 9: Amsterdam Central to Diemen (Sniep) via Dam/Spui//Rembrandtplein/Waterlooplein/Artis/Plantage/Tropenmuseum/Park Frankendael
TRAM 16: Amsterdam Central to VU Medisch Centrum via Dam/Spui/Muntplein/Vijzelstraat/Albert Cuypstraat/Museumplein/De Lairessestraat/Olympic Stadium/VU
TRAM 24: Amsterdam Central to VU Medisch Centrum via Dam/Spui/Muntplein/Vijzelstraat/Albert Cuypstraat/Museumplein/Beethovenstraat/Olympic Stadium/VU
TRAM 26: Amsterdam Central to IJburg via Muziekgebouw-Bimhuis/Passenger Terminal Amsterdam/Zuiderzeeweg/Blijburg beach - Amsterdam's newest tram line opened in 2005 serving IJburg, a new island suburb built on reclaimed land.
West-side GVB Tram Routes from Amsterdam CS (B)
TRAM 1: Amsterdam Central to Osdorp De Aker via Dam/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Overtoom/Rembrandt Park/Lelylaan
TRAM 2: Amsterdam Central to Nieuw Sloten via Dam/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Museumplein/Vondelpark - listed by National Geographic as one of the top 10 trolley (tram) rides in the world no less!
TRAM 5: Amsterdam Central to Amstelveen Stadshart via Dam/Spui/Koningsplein/Leidseplein/Museumplein/Zuid/Amstelveen - the city's busiest tram line with 35,000 passengers per day.
TRAM 13: Amsterdam Central to Geuzenveld via Dam/Westermarkt/Anne Frank House/Kinkerstraat/Rembrandt Park/Sloterpark
TRAM 17: Amsterdam Central to Osdorp Dijkgraafplein via Dam/Westermarkt/Anne Frank House/Kinkerstraat/Ten Katemarkt/Rembrandt Park/Lelylaan/Sloterpark/Osdorp
Other GVB Tram Routes (that don't serve Amsterdam Central)
TRAM 3: Muiderpoort Station to Zoutkeetsgracht via Dappermarkt/Oosterpark/Ceintuurbaan/Sarphatipark/Museumplein/Kinkerstraat/Haarlemmerplein
TRAM 7: Flevopark to Slotermeer via Flevopark/Dappermarkt/Oosterpark/Weteringschans/Leidseplein/Kinkerstraat/Sloterpark - tram 7 follows a "southern" route whilst tram 14 follows a more "northern" route.
TRAM 10: Westergasfabriek to Azartplein via Marnixstraat/Leidseplein/Weteringschans/Sarphatistraat/KNSM Island
TRAM 12: Amsterdam Amstel to Amsterdam Sloterdijk via Rivierenbuurt/Ceintuurbaan/Museumplein/Kinkerstraat/Sloterdijk
TRAM 14: Flevopark to Slotermeer via Tropenmuseum/Plantage/Artis/Waterlooplein/Rembrandtplein/Spui/Dam/Westermarkt/Kinkerstraat/Bos en lommer/Sloterpark - well known Dutch darts player Co Stompe used to drive the 14 tram.
Amsterdam Tram Information
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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 - on-the-spot fines of €37.50 apply!
There are a number of other tickets available discussed here: Public transport ticket types for Amsterdam