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 44 bus lines in and around Amsterdam – serving the city centre and outer suburbs including some of the other train stations around Amsterdam. This includes 33 day lines and 11 night bus lines and a fleet of 203 buses, some of which are electric.
GVB has set a goal of emission-free public transport in Amsterdam by 2025.
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 €8.50, 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.
Amsterdam Airport Buses
Connexxion runs the useful Amsterdam Airport Express service from Schiphol airport to the centre of Amsterdam.
The red bus 397 (‘R-NET’ branded) 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 Nieuw Vennep via 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 11 GVB night bus lines which run through the night from 0030 when the metros and trams cease operation:
N81 Central Station – Sloterdijk station
N82 Central Station – Geuzenveld
N83 Central Station – Osdorp de Aker
N84 Central Station – Amstelveen
N85 Central Station – Gein via Amstel and Bijlmer-ArenA
N86 Central Station – Bijlmer-ArenA
N87 Central Station – Bijlmer-ArenA via Diemen
N88 Central Station – Nieuw Sloten
N89 Central Station – IJburg
N91 Central Station – Nieuwendam
N93 Central Station – 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. The buses have free WiFi on board.
Some lines operate from the upper bus terminal at Amsterdam Central station on the IJ waterside (IJzijde) beyond the train platforms 14 and 15. Other EBS lines run from outside Amsterdam Noord metro station which can be easily reached from Amsterdam Central using metro line 52. See Amsterdam Metro map
A Waterland day ticket costs €10 for adults, €3 for children 4-11 and is valid the entire day (until 0100) on all EBS buses serving the Waterland area. This can be bought onboard from the driver (cards only, no cash) or from either the ‘OV Servicewinkel’ shop or ‘Public Transport Tickets’ machines at Amsterdam Central.
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 are the 1/2/3 day Amsterdam & Region Tickets for €19.50/€28/€36.50 which give unlimited travel on all GVB transport in Amsterdam (including metro) plus any regional bus. Book Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam when you arrive.
Here are some Waterland lines of interest run by EBS:
|Amsterdam Central – De Rijp||305||Purmerend|
|Amsterdam Central – Purmerend||306|
|Amsterdam Central – Hoorn||314||Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Edam|
|Amsterdam Central – Edam||316||Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Volendam|
|Amsterdam Noord – Edam||301||Purmerend|
|Amsterdam Noord – Edam||312||Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Volendam|
|Amsterdam Noord – Marken||315||Monnickendam|
Connexxion also runs some services around the Amsterdam region. The ‘R-NET’ branded Industrial Heritage line (391) runs from Amsterdam Central to Zaandam and Zaanse Schans windmills. The Zaanstreek Day Ticket (for Zaandam/Zaanse Schans only) costs €11.50.
Connexxion also operates buses from Amsterdam Elandsgracht (near Leidseplein) to Zandvoort beach via Haarlem (bus 80) and from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to the port of Ijmuiden (R-NET 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.
This article was originally published in 2010 and has been regularly updated. Last update 4 January 2021.