Amsterdam has a reasonable bus network which complements the coverage already provided by trams and the metro. The GVB city buses mainly serve the outer suburbs of Amsterdam whilst other companies provide bus services to various places around the region.
For visitors, the most useful bus services are probably the Schiphol airport lines, the night buses and the Waterland buses.
GVB Amsterdam Buses
Amsterdam city transport company GVB runs a total of 35 bus lines in Amsterdam – serving the city centre and outer suburbs including some of the other train stations around Amsterdam. This includes 25 day lines and 10 night bus lines and a fleet of 203 buses.
Disposable OV-chip card tickets can be bought from the driver – 1 hour tickets cost €3.20, 1.5 hour Bus Tram Metro (BTM) tickets cost €6.50 and a 24 hour ticket costs €8, although note that cash is no longer accepted on board.
Those with a personal or anonymous OV-chip card can alternatively use credit on their e-purse which calculates the fare based on distance travelled. When travelling you must check-in and check-out of your journey using the installed card readers by the doors.
Which GVB ticket should I buy? Check out different public transport ticket options in Amsterdam including good value multi-day tickets.
GVB will introduce a fleet of 31 electric buses during 2020, with the goal of having emission-free public transport in Amsterdam by 2025.
Amsterdam Airport Buses
Connexxion runs the useful Amsterdam Airport Express service from Schiphol airport to the centre of Amsterdam.
The red bus 397 departs from Schiphol Plaza just outside the arrivals area and goes to Amsterdam Elandsgracht bus station including stops at Leidseplein and Museumplein – it does NOT go to Central station.
The 397 departs every 15 minutes, a single (Bus Tram Metro ticket) €6.50 and the journey takes just over 30 minutes.
There is also the N97 Niteliner service running hourly all night between Elandsgracht and Schiphol Plaza.
The GVB 69 bus service runs between Schiphol Plaza and Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. This trip takes about 40 minutes and singles cost €3.20 – it is much faster to use the train on this route.
See detailed info on travel from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to the city
GVB Amsterdam Night Buses
There are 10 GVB night bus lines which run through the night from 0030 when the metros and trams cease operation:
281 Central Station to Sloterdijk station
282 Central Station to Geuzenveld
283 Central Station to Osdorp de Aker
284 Central Station to Amstelveen
285 Central Station to Gein via Amstel and Bijlmer-ArenA
287 Central Station to Bijlmermeer via Diemen
288 Central Station to Nieuw Sloten
289 Central Station to IJburg
291 Central Station to Nieuwendam
293 Central Station to Molenwijk
A single costs €4.70 (or buy 12 trips on an OV-chip card for €35.20, use within a year) – tickets are valid for 90 minutes including transfers. Note, a standard GVB 1 hour ticket and OV-chip card e-purse are not valid for travel on night buses.
Standard nightbus tickets for other carriers Connexxion and EBS cost €5.25 (disposable ticket) or €4.75 with an anonymous/personal OV-chip card. A nightbus regional ticket costs €8.50 (valid 2 hours) which allows transfers between GVB and other regional bus carriers.
There are a number of regional bus services to various places beyond Amsterdam. Probably of most interest to visitors are the buses to the popular Waterland area – which includes the traditional fishing villages of Volendam, Edam and Monnickendam.
Waterland buses are run by EBS using red and grey R-Net branded buses. These operate from the upper bus terminal at Amsterdam Ccentral station on the IJ waterside (IJzijde) beyond the train platforms 14 and 15. The buses have free WiFi.
A Waterland day ticket for unlimited travel on Waterland region buses costs €10. This can be bought onboard from the driver, from the EBS booth or at the Iamsterdam tourist office. BTM (Bus Tram Metro) tickets are valid for 90 minutes of travel and cost €6.50.
A short ride within one of the 6 tariff borders (say Volendam to Edam) costs €2.50, with no stopovers allowed.
Alternatively there is the Amsterdam & Region Day Card for €13.50 which gives 24 hour unlimited travel on all GVB transport in Amsterdam plus any regional bus.
Waterland bus route numbers include Broek in Waterland (312/314/315/316), Edam (312/314), Marken (315), Monnickendam (314/315/316) and Volendam (316). Going further afield you can also reach Graft-De Rijp (301), Hoorn (314), Middenbeemster (306) and Purmereend (301).
Connexxion also runs some regional services – such as the Industrial Heritage line (391) from Amsterdam Central to Zaandam and Zaanse Schans windmills. The Zaanstreek Day Ticket (for Zaandam/Zaanse Schans only) costs €11.50. Book here
Connexxion also operates buses from Amsterdam Elandsgracht (near Leidseplein) to Zandvoort beach (bus 80) and from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to the port of Ijmuiden (bus 382).
Arriva operates bus 852 from Amsterdam Europaplein to Keukenhof and bus 858 from Schiphol Airport to Keukenhof. These only run March to May when the spring flower garden is open.