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Iamsterdam City Card 2021 Guide

The Iamsterdam City Card is an official tourist pass available for visitors to Amsterdam. It provides free entry and discounts to over 70 attractions in and around Amsterdam as well as free use of city public transport. The card is issued by ‘amsterdam&partners’, a not-for-profit public-private organisation.

In this Iamsterdam City Card review, let’s take a look at the costs, benefits and drawbacks of this discount card with some tips given for alternatives.

Due to the ongoing ‘coronavirus’ measures, card holders must now book an online timeslot in advance to visit most attractions. Some attractions may be temporarily closed.

Iamsterdam City Card FAQ

How much does the Iamsterdam City Card cost in 2021?

The Iamsterdam card comes in 5 validity options. 2021 prices are:

iamsterdam city card

€65 (24 hours)
€85 (48 hours)
€105 (72 hours)
€120 (96 hours)
€130 (120 hours)

There are no discounts for children, students or seniors.

Can I buy the Iamsterdam City Card online?

You can purchase the Iamsterdam City Card online here by selecting your validity option and dates – the card can be picked up locally from the Iamsterdam office at Schiphol airport or at the Iamsterdam store at Amsterdam Central station.

Which museums and attractions in and around Amsterdam offer free entry to Iamsterdam City Card holders?

There are over 40 museums and attractions around the city which give free entry to Iamsterdam City Card holders. The card affords a single visit only – multiple visits are not permitted.

Note, the major attractions are in bold.

A’DAM Lookout
Allard Pierson Museum
Johan Cruijff ArenA Tour
Amsterdam Museum
Amsterdam Pipe Museum
Amsterdam Tulip Museum
Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo
COBRA Modern Art Museum (in Amstelveen)
Diamond Museum
EYE Film Museum
FOAM Photography Museum
Fun Forest (climbing park)
Geelvinck Pianola Museum
Het Grachtenhuis (Museum of the Canals)
Hermitage Amsterdam
Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Gardens)
Huis Marseille (Museum for Photography)
Jewish Historical Museum JHM (Jewish Cultural Quarter)
Luther Museum
Micropia (at Artis)
MOCO Museum (Banksy & more)
Molen van Sloten (Sloten Windmill)
Museum Het Schip
Museum of the Mind – Outsider Art (at Hermitage)
Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (“Our Lord in the Attic” museum)
Museum Tot Zover (Funeral Museum)
Museum Van Loon
Museum Willet-Holthuysen
National Maritime Museum
NEMO Science Museum
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – surcharge for special exhibitions
Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Portrait Gallery of the 17th Century (at Hermitage)
Portuguese Synagogue (Jewish Cultural Quarter)
Rijksmuseum
Rembrandt House Museum
Stadsarchief (Amsterdam City Archives)
Stedelijk Museum
This is Holland Flight Experience
Tropenmuseum
Van Gogh Museum
Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum)
Woonbootmuseum (Houseboat Museum)

stedelijk entrance hall
Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam

During special exhibitions at some major museums you may be asked to pay a small supplement.

Which major museums in Amsterdam are NOT valid for free entry with the Iamsterdam city card?

Please be aware that the card is not valid for free entry to the Anne Frank House and Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis).

Does the Iamsterdam City Card give free entry to museums outside Amsterdam?

The card is also valid for free entry at the following places:

Amsterdam Muiderslot Castle in Muiden
Frans Hals Museum and the Teylers Museum (Haarlem)
Museums and Windmills at Zaanse Schaans
Zuider Zee Museum (Enkhuizen)
Dutch Fortress Museum (Naarden)
Volendams Museum (Volendam)
Batavialand (Lelystad)
Singer Laren Museum and Sculpture Garden (Laren)

How does the Iamsterdam City Card work?

The card actually contains 2 chips inside – one for museums/attractions and the other a special public transport chip.

On the first visit to a museum/attraction the card will be activated and will remain valid for the selected 24 to 130 hour period. You simply present or scan your card on each visit. Don’t forget you now need to book a timeslot in advance online before you arrive at a museum/attraction.

Similarly, the transport card is activated on first use – you always need to ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ of your journey using the special card readers. It will also remain active for the validity of the card.

What are the transport benefits with an Iamsterdam City Card?

The included transport chip card is valid for GVB public transport in the Amsterdam city area. GVB is the municipal transport company which runs trams, ferries, the metro and some buses.

Train journeys (such as Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central) and EBS Waterland buses are NOT valid with the card. The Amsterdam Airport Express bus (number 397) is also not valid. GVB bus 69 between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Sloterdijk station is valid, although the journey is much longer than the train trip.

By the way, if you plan to travel around the Amsterdam region you may want to also consider purchasing the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket online here in addition.

You also get a free ride on the Batavia Stad Shopping Shuttle bus.

Finally, you get a 24 hour free bike rental with A-Bikes, MacBike or Yellow Bikes in Amsterdam or ‘Rent & Event’ in Volendam.

What canal cruises and boat trips are included with the Iamsterdam City Card?

You get one complimentary canal cruise from either Blue Boat Company (City Canal Cruise), Stromma (100 Highlights Cruise), Amsterdam Circle Line or Lovers (Romantic boat tour).

You can also choose instead to take a cruise at Smidtje Canal Cruises in Haarlem or Windmill Cruises Zaanse Schans.

You can also do the following free boat trips:

The Rederij Volendam-Marken Express ferry between Volendam and Marken; the Zaanferry Zaanse Schans which operates the Amsterdam-Zaandam- Zaanse Schans route.

What if I lose my Iamsterdam City Card?

Unforunately, if you lose the card you will not be able to get a free replacement.

What other discounts do you get with the Iamsterdam card?

The card gives a 25% discount at a number of different attractions and activities:

Attractions:
A’DAM VR Game Park
Amsterdam Dungeon
Body Worlds: The Happiness Project
Fashion For Good Experience
Heineken Experience
Het Kattenkabinet (Cat Cabinet Museum)
House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience
Madame Tussauds
Red Light Secrets
Street Art Museum Amsterdam
Upside Down Amsterdam
XtraCold Icebar Amsterdam

Shows:
Bimhuis – jazz concert hall
Boom Chicageo – English language comedy shows
Dutch National Ballet & Opera
Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ – contemporary music concert hall
Royal Concertgebouw – classical concerts

Transport:
Canal Motorboats rentals
Canal Tours Amsterdam Pedal Boats
MokumBoot (boat rental)
Stromma Cruises and Hop On Hop Off Tours

There are a number of restaurants and cafés giving a 25% discount. Just to be sure, you should mention the card before you order.

These 25% discounts are valid for the entire calendar year.

Any other freebies?

You get a free liqueur or genever shot (De Drie Fleschjes), croquette roll (Van Dobben) and a free popcorn at Pathé cinemas when seeing a movie. You can also get a free coffee or tea at the Dutch Fortress Museum in Naarden.

The card comes with a free city guide which highlights all the available offers on the card.

You can download the official Iamsterdam City Card app for Iphone or Android for a full listing of recommendations to accompany the card.

How can I maximise the use of the Iamsterdam City Card?

Because of the current need to book a timeslot in advance, it is absolutely essential you make a plan of all the places you wish to visit with the card.

To maximise benefit of the card you will need to be efficient by:

*clustering visits of museums close to each other to avoid excessive travel. For example, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, MOCO and Stedelijk museums all located on Museumplein.

*compare opening hours of museums and taking advantage of ones with later opening hours. For example, MOCO stays open until 2000 Fri-Sun; FOAM until 2100 Thu-Fri.

*Break up a cluster of museums visits with a canal cruise or outdoor activity such as a visit to the Hortus botanical gardens.

*Get bonus extra hours by entering a museum/attraction just before the card actually expires – so always note your initial activation time carefully. It is the entry time that counts and you can stay in the museum as long as you like (even though the card will have just expired).

*During the validity period, focus your visits to attractions included on the Iamsterdam card. If you wish to visit the Anne Frank house or Keukenhof flower gardens (both not included) then if possible do those after your card has expired, assuming you have available time.

Are there any other alternatives to the Iamsterdam card?

You could instead purchase a Museumkaart (Netherlands Museum Pass) for €64.90 (€32.45 for children 0-18) which allows unlimited free entry into over 400 museums in the Netherlands for 12 months.

However, if you live outside of the Netherlands then buying a full Museumkaart can be a bit challenging. It can only be purchased online if you have a Dutch address and use Dutch internet banking.

There is the option of the temporary Museumkaart bought over-the-counter at certain museums. However this is only valid for 31 days and 5 museum visits. After that the card stops working and must be registered online for the full version – which is only be sent by post to a EU/UK address.

Don’t forget that many museums in Amsterdam allow free entry to kids – this means the Iamsterdam card is sometimes not worth purchasing for under 10s, depending on the museums you want to visit.

There are various unlimited Amsterdam travel passes from 1 day to 7 days which could be purchased.

Verdict: Is the Iamsterdam City Card worth it?

The Iamsterdam City Card is not particularly cheap at first glance. However, considering entry to major museums and attractions in Amsterdam can now run at €20-25 each time, you can certainly make some savings on a card purchase with a well-planned and executed itinerary.

The major benefit of the card has always been the convenience of an all-in-one transport and museum/attraction pass – with a few freebies and discounts thrown in.

Under the ‘coronavirus’ measures, having to pre-book timeslots for almost everything is a bit of a hassle and may take some spontaneity out of your visit. Even without a card you would still need to pre-book visits these days.

For residents/expats and frequent visitors we would probably recommend the Museumkaart. For others (especially first-time visitors) we would certainly recommend the Iamsterdam City Card. The 120 hour (5 day) card is priced at double the 24 hour card and so offers the greatest value.

You can buy the Iamsterdam City Card online here

This article was originally published in 2008 and has been regularly updated. Last update 22 January 2021.

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