Public Transport Tickets in Amsterdam

The public transport ticket system in Amsterdam has become rather complicated for both visitors and locals alike. In this article we will summarise all the transport ticket products available and give a full explanation on how they work.

Public transport within Amsterdam is run by city transport company GVB – from trams which criss-cross the city to the metro and buses which travel further out.

In addition there are trains operated by NS (Dutch Railways) which connect Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport and the rest of the Netherlands. Regional buses (Connexxion/EBS/Arriva) can take you to some nearby places of interest.

The OV-chip card (OV-chipkaart) smart card system is in use for all public transport in the Netherlands. Every traveller aged 4 or over must have their own ticket.

When taking a journey you are required to check-in (when boarding) and check-out (on exiting) by holding the ticket or chip card against one of the OV-chip card readers. In Amsterdam this applies for trips on trams, trains, the metro and buses.

Amsterdam public transport ticket summary (2023)

1. Unlimited GVB (Multi) Day tickets – Great value 1 to 7 day ticket (€9 to €41), children 4-11 €4.50 per day. Valid on all GVB transport in Amsterdam on a 24 hour basis. Not valid on airport train or 397 airport bus. Book GVB 1-7 day tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.

2. GVB 1 hour ticket€3.40, valid only on GVB trams/metro/buses, NOT on trains. A Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket is €6.50 and is valid 90 minutes on GVB plus Connexxion/EBS buses.

3. Amsterdam Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€18/€24/€30) combines airport train/bus journeys with unlimited use of GVB transport in Amsterdam. Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis. Book Amsterdam Travel Tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.

4. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket – 1/2/3 day card (€21/€31.50/€40.50) offers unlimited travel in Amsterdam region (incl. Waterland, beaches, Keukenhof etc). Valid on a day (not 24 hours) basis on NS trains (in region), regional buses and Amsterdam GVB transport. Book Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam.

5. Holland Travel Ticket – 1 day ticket (€70/€48 off-peak after 0900) valid on all Dutch public transport. Only good for longer journeys around the Netherlands and/or using multiple transport companies.

waterland ticket6. Waterland Day Ticket – 1 day ticket (€12.50/€1 children 4-11) valid on EBS regional buses to the Waterland area (Edam, Volendam, Marken etc). Not valid on GVB transport or Connexxion buses, not valid to Zaanse Schans.

zaanstreek ticket7. Zaanstreek Day Ticket – 1 day ticket (€11.50) valid on Connexxion bus 391 from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans. Valid on Connexxion services in Zaanstreek (Zaandam) region, not valid to Waterland.

ov-chipcard8. OV-chip card – Plastic smart card (€7.50, non-refundable, lasts 5 years) to which travel credit can be added. Use on any public transport, standard fares apply. Minimum balance of €20 (trains) or €4 (other transport) required. OVpay is contactless payment by debit/credit card.

ovpay logo9. OVpay – OVpay is a new contactless payment method by debit/credit card being rolled out across Netherlands. It is available for Maestro, V pay, Mastercard and Visa branded cards. Standard fares will be debited daily from your account.

ns train ticket10. NS (Dutch Railways) Train tickets – One-way and day return tickets available for travel to/from various towns and cities in the Netherlands. Formats are disposable tickets (€1 surcharge), e-tickets/mobile tickets or OV-chip card balance.

airport bus11. Airport Bus Tickets – Airport Express bus 397 (Connexxion/R-Net) Schiphol airport to Leidseplein area in Amsterdam, €6.50 one-way, €1 children 4-11. Does not go to Amsterdam Central station. You can buy a return ticket for online here (€11.75).

12. Iamsterdam City Card – Official tourist pass which includes a GVB multi-day transport ticket as well as admission to many Amsterdam attractions. 24/48/72/96/120 hour cards (€60/€85/€100/€115/€125). Book the Iamsterdam City Card online here

Let’s look at each type of ticket in more detail – prices are for 2023.

1. Unlimited GVB Day/Multi-Day Tickets [recommended]

GVB day tickets are valid from 1 to 7 days and allow you unlimited travel on the GVB network in Amsterdam day and night (GVB buses, metro and trams). You can buy any GVB Multi-Day Tickets online here

gvb 24 hour travel ticket
GVB 24 hour ticket

Tickets are activated on first check-in and the validity is on a 24 hour basis – so you can handily use them over 2 consecutive calendar days within the 24 hour period. When activating, don’t forget to note your first check-in time.

GVB day tickets can get you to all the main sights in and around Amsterdam including Dam Square, Anne Frank House, Artis Zoo, Albert Cuyp Market/Heineken Brewery, Leidseplein, Museumplein (Rijksmuseum/Van Gogh Museum), Olympic Stadium, RAI Convention Centre, Westergas; stations at Amsterdam Amstel, Amsterdam Bijlmer-ArenA (Johan Cruijff ArenA), Amsterdam Noord, Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid; and further afield to Amstelveen/Amsterdamse Bos and IJburg beach.

They are great for exploring around different Amsterdam neighbourhoods and will help you get around easily if you have a pre-planned city itinerary.

GVB tickets are NOT valid on NS trains – so you cannot travel to destinations in the region or other Dutch cities!

These are the prices of the GVB day tickets available:

Card Validity Type
Price 2023
Cost per day
GVB Child (4-11) 24 hours ticket€4.50
GVB 24 hours (1 day) ticket
GVB 48 hours (2 days) ticket
GVB 72 hours (3 days) ticket
GVB 96 hours (4 days) ticket
GVB 120 hours (5 days) ticket
GVB 144 hours (6 days) ticket
GVB 168 hours (7 days) ticket

The GVB tickets come as disposable OV-chip cards with check-in and check-out required for each journey.

gvb day ticketPurchase GVB tickets online here (from authorised seller GetYourGuide) which is convenient and offers peace-of-mind since after booking they can always be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund if your plans happen to change.

You simply pick up your tickets at GVB service points at Amsterdam Central Station, Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena and Amsterdam Noord. (Note, no pick-up at Schiphol Airport for the GVB multiday tickets).

The GVB Child Day Ticket is valid for 24 hours for those aged 4-11. Children must be accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Children aged 0-3 travel free, children 12 or over must buy the standard adult ticket.

gvb child 24 hour ticket
GVB child 24 hour ticket

Buying over-the-counter: The 24 hours and 48 hours tickets can also be purchased on board a tram; bus drivers only sell the 24 hour tickets. Note cash is not accepted on board public transport. We recommend purchasing online in advance to secure your choice of card.

gvb transport in amsterdam - tram bus metro
Trams, Metro and Bus – GVB transport in Amsterdam

GVB airport ‘loophole’: It is technically possible to travel between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and the city using a GVB-only card by taking GVB bus 369 from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Schiphol Airport/Plaza (30 minutes). Connections at Sloterdijk are GVB bus 22 (Central Station) or GVB tram 12 (Amsterdam Amstel via Museumplein area). However, we do recommend taking the much faster train to/from the airport!

gvb bus 369 schiphol airport to amsterdam sloterdijk
GVB bus 369 (R-NET branded) – Amsterdam Sloterdijk – Schiphol Airport

In summary the GVB multiday tickets offer very good value and allow visitors to move around freely on trams, buses and the metro in Amsterdam. See our Metro Map of Amsterdam

Group Travel in Amsterdam

Travelling with a large group around Amsterdam? Whether you are here with a student group or have a large group of visitors to a conference or work event – the GVB day tickets can be a convenient and economical way to get around.

amsterdam tram group travel
Group travel on Amsterdam transport

Please note that every individual must have their own ticket and check-in and check-out accordingly. For group travel you can purchase up to 99 GVB multi-day tickets in one convenient transaction here and pick up locally as mentioned above.

TIP: For very large groups travelling together it is probably better to take the metro if possible.

2. GVB 1 Hour Ticket / Bus Tram Metro (BTM) 1.5 Hour Ticket

In Amsterdam the single can be bought as a disposable OV-chip card and is valid for 1 hour travel on GVB public transport (bus/metro/tram) including any transfers. It costs €3.40 and is activated on first check-in.

gvb 1 hour travel ticket
GVB 1 hour ticket

Single tickets should only really be considered if you are going to make just 1 or 2 trips in a day. If you plan to make 3 or more trips then buy a 1 day GVB ticket or a multi-day ticket.

For most journeys around Amsterdam it is cheaper to use an OV-chip card than a single (or as of 29 Nov 2022 you can use ‘OVpay’ – contactless debit/credit card directly to check-in and check-out at standard fares).

The GVB single can be bought at GVB sales desk/ticket machines (cash/debit/credit cards accepted) or on board trams/buses from drivers/conductors (no cash accepted on board, debit/credit cards only, contactless payment possible).

Check-in and check-out using the card readers is required, including when making a transfer to another form of transport.

Note, the GVB 1 hour ticket is NOT valid on the Schiphol airport train, 397 Amsterdam Airport Express bus nor on any GVB night bus service.

There is also a 1.5 hour Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket which costs €6.50 and is good for travel during the day around Amsterdam and the region on GVB (bus/metro/tram) plus Connexxion and EBS bus services. It is not valid on night buses.

3. Amsterdam Travel Ticket

[Recommended if also needing airport trip or train use around Amsterdam within 3 days]

This is an all-in-one product which includes a 1, 2 or 3 day GVB unlimited travel card plus travel between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam – valid on NS trains or 397 Amsterdam Airport Express bus. You can buy the 1/2/3 day Amsterdam Travel Ticket online here

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket in 2023 is priced as follows: 1 day (€18.00), 2 day (€24.00) and 3 day (€30.00).

amsterdam travel ticket
Amsterdam Travel Ticket

Please note that this product has validity on a “calendar day basis” rather than 24 hours, so the card expires at 0400 in the morning after the last valid day.

TIP: You always get more potential value activating the card earlier in the day.

So for example, if you activate (check-in) a 1 day card anytime on a Wednesday (0000-2359) the card will expire Thursday at 0400. If only activating the card late in the evening (and before midnight) you would have wasted most of the day’s possible use.

The NS train portion is valid in 2nd class for unlimited travel between Schiphol Airport and any of the following stations in Amsterdam: Central, Amstel, Bijlmer-ArenA, Duivendrecht, Holendrecht, Lelylaan, Muiderpoort, RAI, Sciencepark, Sloterdijk and Zuid.

One hidden benefit is that you can also use it for unlimited train journeys between any of the above Amsterdam stations.

schiphol airport rail station hall
Schiphol Airport station hall

In addition it is valid for unlimited travel on the 397 Amsterdam Airport Express bus operated by Connexxion. You must always make your final journey back to the airport (bus or train) before the card expires.

The GVB portion of the ticket can be used on GVB trams, buses, metro and night buses in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. Note, it is NOT valid for travel further around the region or to other Dutch cities.

Card Validity Type
Price 2023
Cost per day
1 day Amsterdam Travel Ticket
2 day Amsterdam Travel Ticket€24.00
3 day Amsterdam Travel Ticket€30.00

The 3 day ticket is the best value and works out at a very reasonable €10.00 per day.

If you are staying longer than 3 days you can either consider using consecutive Amsterdam Travel Tickets successively or mixing/matching with other ticket types.

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket is an OV-chip smart card so you are required to check-in and check-out for each journey.

Basically this ticket is handy for anyone on a short visit to Amsterdam who is arriving/departing from Schiphol Airport. Because of the train component, it is also really good for those staying in and around Amsterdam Sloterdijk or Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena as you can jump onto the train to Amsterdam Central whenever needed.

amsterdam travel ticketBuy your Amsterdam Travel Ticket in advance here – paying online in advance is really convenient and whether you are travelling alone or in a large group, you can purchase anything from 1 to 99 tickets in one transaction.

Most payment methods are accepted and after booking you can always cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund if your plans happen to change.

You receive a voucher and simply pick up your pre-purchased tickets at the following points: Public transport machines (grey, blue and red) at Amsterdam Schiphol airport (24 hours); NS ticket & service desks at at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Central Station or Amsterdam Sloterdijk; at the GVB service points at Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena or Amsterdam Noord.

You can also purchase this ticket over-the-counter (subject to availability) at the following at Schiphol Airport: NS Tickets & Service desk, Iamsterdam visitor centre (Schiphol Arrivals 2) or AKO newsagent.

For more info on Schiphol travel see Getting from Schiphol to Amsterdam

4. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket [recommended for excursions]

This is a 1 day (€21.00), 2 day (€31.50) and 3 day (€40.50) ticket which is valid on all public transport in the greater Amsterdam region. This includes NS trains, all regional buses (Connexxion, EBS and Arriva Keukenhof services) and all GVB Amsterdam buses, metro and trams. You can buy the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket online here

amsterdam & region travel ticket
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

Like the above Amsterdam Travel Ticket, this product is valid on a “calendar day basis” only rather than 24 hours. The card is activated on first check-in and expires at 0400 in the morning after the last valid day. Once again, you must check-in and check-out for each journey taken.

Card Validity Type
Price 2023
Cost per day
1 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
2 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
3 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

This ticket is a little more expensive than the GVB multiday tickets and Amsterdam Travel Ticket due to its larger catchment validity area.

keukenhof express bus at europaplein
Keukenhof bus in Amsterdam

This ticket is recommended if you plan to make side trips to various places of interest around the greater Amsterdam region. It is valid to the following destinations:

Schiphol Airport, Hoofddorp, Haarlem, Old Holland area (Waterland fishing villages, Zaanse Schans windmills, Zaandam), Amsterdam Beaches (Ijmuiden/Zandvoort), Flowers of Amsterdam (Aalsmeer/Keukenhof), Castles & Garden Area (Muiden/Naarden/Hilversum), New Land (Almere/Lelystad).

This handy Amsterdam & Region Ticket map (opens as pdf) from Iamsterdam shows the valid travel area and transport options:

amsterdam & region travel ticket map
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket area map

Again the 3 day ticket is the best value and works out at only €13.50 per day. As a comparison, the standard fare (2023) for a return trip by train from Amsterdam Central to Lelystad costs €23.60. So if you plan your itinerary well then the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket could save you quite a bit of money.

TIP: If you have an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket and want to travel to destinations outside the catchment area – like Utrecht, Leiden, Delft, Den Haag, Rotterdam and Kinderdijk – then use your ticket to travel to the outer edge of the zone and buy your onward tickets from there (rather than from Amsterdam Central).

amsterdam and region travel ticketBuy your Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket online here – paying in advance is convenient and gives peace-of-mind on arrival and you can purchase anything from 1 to 99 tickets in one transaction.

Most payment methods are accepted. After booking you can always cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund if your plans happen to change.

You receive a voucher and simply pick up your pre-purchased tickets at the following points: Public transport machines (grey, blue and red) at Amsterdam Schiphol airport (24 hours); NS ticket & service desks at at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Central Station, Amsterdam Sloterdijk; GVB service points at Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena or Amsterdam Noord.

The ticket may also be purchased (subject to availability) at Iamsterdam Visitor Centres and main ticket offices of Connexxion, EBS, GVB and NS.

TIP: If you plan to stay longer than 3 days you could consider buying multiple tickets for consecutive use or mixing and matching with GVB multi day tickets.

5. Holland Travel Ticket

This ticket was introduced to make it easier for visitors to navigate the Netherlands on one single ticket. It is valid for 1 day on all Dutch public transport in the country including trains (2nd class), buses, trams and metro. You can buy this disposable OV-chip card ticket at service desks and ticket machines at NS rail stations.

The ticket is activated on first check-in and you must check-in and check-out for each journey leg.

holland travel ticket
Holland Travel Ticket

The standard Holland Travel Ticket costs €70 and can be used anytime during the day.

The off-peak Holland Travel Ticket costs €48 and is only valid for travel after 0900 (Mon-Fri). It is valid all day at weekends and public holidays.

If you plan to do a lot of travelling in the Netherlands on a single day (either in terms of distance or using different forms of transport) then this ticket could offer good value as well as not having to buy separate tickets.

For example, a standard day return from Amsterdam to Maastricht costs around €60 – so using the off-peak Holland Travel Ticket can save some money and allow multiple stopovers.

TIP: To maximise this ticket buy the off-peak version and use it at the weekend, starting out as early in the day as possible.

However, it is certainly not a good option if you just plan to remain in and around the Amsterdam area. There is no 1st class option available.

gvb metro amsterdam
GVB metro in Amsterdam

6. Waterland Day Ticket

Head out of Amsterdam and visit historic Dutch fishing villages such as Edam, Volendam, Monnickendam and Marken. A Waterland day ticket costs €12.50 for adults, €1 for children 4-11 and is valid the entire day (until 0100) on all EBS buses serving the area. It is not valid on Connexxion buses or night buses.

A few buses depart from Amsterdam Central station – head towards the waterfront IJ-side and at the IJ-hal passageway go up the escalators to the elevated bus terminal. Other EBS buses depart from outside Amsterdam Noord metro station.

ebs bus waterland amsterdam
EBS bus to Waterland area

Waterland tickets can be bought at the public transport desk of the OV Servicewinkel shops at Amsterdam Central, EBS bus drivers or the Iamsterdam tourist information at the front side of Amsterdam central station. The card is activated on first check-in, with check-in and check-out required for each trip.

For more see our Waterland Amsterdam page

This EBS ticket is fine if you plan only to visit the Waterland area for the day. However the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket gives a lot more options, including visiting Zaanse Schans and other places of interest.

7. Zaanstreek Day Ticket

Connexxion runs the 391 bus service from Amsterdam Central to Zaanse Schans via Zaandam. A single BTM ticket costs €6.50 so the Zaanstreek day ticket at €11.50 is slightly better value than 2 singles.

connexxion bus 391 in amsterdam
connexxion bus 391 in amsterdam

Note the ticket is not valid on EBS buses to the Volendam area – buy the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket instead if you want to visit both.

You can buy the Zaanstreek day ticket from the ‘OV Servicewinkel’ shop or ‘Public Transport Tickets’ machines at Amsterdam Central; or buy direct from the driver (cards only, no cash).

8. OV-Chip Card Credit

The re-usable OV-chip card is a plastic smart card (like London’s Oyster Card) where you can add travel credit onto its “e-purse” and use it for journeys on any mode of Dutch public transport.

There are 2 types of OV-chip card available: a so-called anonymous OV-chip card (anyone can buy/use this) or the personal OV-chip card (a personal photo card for Dutch residents). Note, see OVpay below for direct payment using contactless debit/credit cards.

anonymous ov-chip card
Anonymous OV-chip Card

An anonymous card with zero credit costs €7.50 (non-refundable) and will last 4-5 years.

The anonymous OV-chip card can be purchased at any NS train station (including Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central) and at other transport providers such as GVB. It can also be purchased at newsagents and supermarkets – some cards can be bought already pre-loaded with credit.

When purchasing an “empty” card from a transport provider, you should load some credit (at least €10-€20, maximum allowed is €150) onto the e-purse of the card – it can then be used for travel on any form of public transport in Amsterdam or the Netherlands. Note that some cards may need to be pre-activated for use on the rail network at a NS ticket desk or machine.

OV-chip card fares are calculated at fixed rates based on distance travelled. Travelling with the e-purse on buses/metro/trams tends to be a little cheaper than buying single tickets. You will need a minimum of €4 e-purse credit which is taken off as a deposit on check-in; at check-out the €4 is refunded and the standard fare is deducted from the card balance.

For GVB travel in Amsterdam, there is a fixed boarding fee of €1.08 and then a variable distance fee of €0.196 per km which is actually calculated to every 50 metres of travel.

What this means is a 3km journey will cost about €1.67; a 10km trip costs €3.04 – cheaper than the €3.40 disposable 1 hour ticket above.

If you need to make a transfer you must check-out and then check back in – if this is within 35 minutes you do not pay the boarding fee again.

For train travel, the standard one-way fare is charged. You need a minimum of €20 e-purse credit on the card to check-in at a station. As above, the €20 is initially taken off as a deposit and is returned on check-out with the one-way fare taken off the card balance. If you fail to check-out you will lose the €20.

The anonymous OV-chip card may be suitable for visitors who plan longer stays in the country with lots of public transport trips or those planning multiple visits to the Netherlands.

The OV-chip card can be useful in not having to buy separate tickets each time. You do need to keep a careful eye on the e-purse balance to ensure that minimum credit is available, especially for train travel.

The anonymous card can also be used by other people though not at the same time – everyone travelling together must have their own card.

9. OVpay – check-in/out with contactless debit/credit card

ovpay logoOVpay is a new option to use your contactless debit card, credit card or smartphone to check-in and -out of your journey using the card readers. Since 29 Nov 2022 it has been available on GVB public transport in Amsterdam. It will be rolled out across the Dutch transport network by Q1 2023.

It can be used using the following foreign (non-Dutch) cards: Maestro, V pay, Mastercard and Visa.

As with the OV-chip card, standard one-way fares will apply for your journey. At the end of the day the transport company will debit your total use with them in one transaction.

This option makes the OV-chip card effectively redundant for visitors. However, if you have a non-euro contactless payment card then you may want to check your provider’s forex transaction fees before using.

Paying the standard one-way fares is fine for a small number of journeys. However if you want to maximise value then consider purchasing day and multi-day tickets as described above.

10. NS Train Tickets

There are a number of train stations in Amsterdam (see: train network map of Amsterdam) and the railway can sometimes be a fast and useful way to travel around the periphery of the city as well as getting to the airport.

ns train ticket
NS train ticket

There are various ticket format options for travel on NS Dutch Railways:

  • disposable tickets – either one-ways or day returns in OV-chip format – for travel that day or on a future specified date up to 1 week ahead. A €1 fee for a disposable ticket is charged on top of the standard fare.
  • using a personal or anonymous OV-chip card
  • buying an e-ticket or mobile ticket online which has a barcode to go through barriers

Children aged 4-11 can buy a Rail Runner ticket which costs €2.50 and is valid the entire day on any train in 2nd class (or in 1st class if accompanied by a 1st class adult ticket holder).

The standard fare between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central is €4.90 + a €1 fee for a disposable ticket.

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket mentioned above offers unlimited travel between all Amsterdam stations as well as Schiphol airport.

For a detailed overview of rail tickets check our How to Buy a Dutch Train Ticket guide.

11. Airport Bus Tickets

Amsterdam Airport Express bus 397 operates between Schiphol and Elandsgracht in central Amsterdam. It does not run to/from Amsterdam Central station. A single Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket costs €6.50, a child (4-11) day ticket costs €1.

Tickets can be bought from the driver or at the Schiphol tickets & info red van (bus stop B9-15). You can also buy a return ticket for €11.75 online here or better still combine with GVB day tickets here

12. Iamsterdam City Card

For those who like the idea of a combined transport ticket and free entry to attractions, the Iamsterdam City Card could be an option. Aimed at visitors, this official pass offers unlimited GVB transport within Amsterdam and entry to the likes of the Rijksmuseum, Johan Cruijff ArenA Tour and A’DAM Lookout. (Note, Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum not included).

A free canal cruise and 1 day bike rental are also included.

iamsterdam city card
Iamsterdam City Card

Validity options are 24 hours (€60), 48 hours (€85), 72 hours (€100), 96 hours (€115), 120 hours (€125). Although not cheap if used carefully it can lead to savings – and you avoid the hassle of buying tickets each time.

You can book the Iamsterdam City Card online here

The 120 hour (5 day) card offers the greatest value coming in at €25 per day. Read our full Iamsterdam City Card review here on how to maximise the card.

Amsterdam Travel with Discounts

Apart from some child products, non-resident visitors are NOT entitled to any discounts on public transport. Discounts are only available for eligible residents with a personal OV-chip card – those aged 4-11 and 65+ will automatically receive a 34% discounted fare rate when using the e-purse on their card.

Cheap child day tickets are available with GVB transport, NS trains and Connexxion/EBS buses. Note that the Amsterdam/Amsterdam & Region/Holland Travel Tickets do not have a discounted child version. It may be cheaper to buy separate child tickets instead as a substitute.

For residents with a personal OV-chip card who are regular travellers there is the Altijd Korting (Always Discount) product option available to purchase for €21.55 per month or €215.50 per year. It gives the holder a 20% discount on bus/metro/tram travel throughout the Netherlands whilst students aged 12-18 get a 40% discount. It is not valid for discounts on NS trains.

GVB Flex is a new monthly subscription product from GVB which gives discounted travel in Amsterdam. The main feature is that you can travel anywhere in the Netherlands without the need of using the balance on an OV-chip card. Instead you are invoiced each month. There are 3 products:

Start Flex costs €3.00 per month and gives 20% discount on GVB after 2000. Flex costs €5.50 per month and gives 20% discount on GVB all day. Extra Flex costs €15.00 per month and gives 40% discount on GVB all day. It is possible to switch subscriptions each month.

The Net Abonnement (Network Season Ticket) subscription offers unlimited travel on bus, tram and metro throughout the Netherlands. It is not valid on trains. It costs €335.45 per month or €3,354.50 per year.

Other Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket Types

Night Bus Tickets – A single ride on a GVB night bus costs €5.40. It can be bought from the driver (no cash accepted) as a disposable OV-chip ticket or added as a product onto an anonymous or personal OV-chip card. The card is valid for 90 minutes and includes transfers to other GVB night buses.

GVB Bicycle Ticket – Bikes can be taken onto tram 26 or the metro but only outside the rush hour (0700-0900/1600-1830). A bicycle ticket costs €2.20 and is valid for the entire day. It can be added as a supplement to a personal or anonymous OV-chip card. Alternatively there is a disposable 1 hour card + bicycle which costs €5.60.

NS Bicycle Ticket – Bikes can travel on trains outside the weekday rush hours; and at anytime at weekends and during July and August. A bicycle ticket (€7.50) is required which is valid for 1 day. You must store your bike in the special carriages labelled with the bike sign. Folded bikes can be carried for free.

Don’t forget, you also need a valid train ticket for travel as well!

GVB Ticket Offices

You can purchase any GVB public transport ticket type at the “GVB Tram Bus Metro Ferry” Service & Tickets office at Stationsplein outside Amsterdam Central station (city side). This is also where you can pick-up pre-purchased online tickets. Opening hours are daily 0830-1900.

gvb ticket office amsterdam central
GVB ticket office at Amsterdam Central

There are similar GVB Service & Tickets offices at the following stations:

  • Amsterdam Bijlmer-ArenA (open 0830-1900 Mon-Fri, 1000-1800 Sat-Sun)
  • Amsterdam Zuid (open 0830-1900 Mon-Fri, 1000-1800 Sat-Sun)
  • Station Noord (open daily 1000-1800)
gvb ticket office at amsterdam bijlmer arena
GVB ticket office at Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA

Some GVB tickets can also be purchased over-the-counter at service points at the following shops/newsagents: Primera, Bestseller, Vivant, Techador and Cigo.

GVB automatic ticket machines accept cash (coins and notes) and debit/credit cards and can be found at all metro stations and stops. There are also GVB vending machines along some tram stops – these only accept card payments.

There are also special public transport ticket machines and GVB ticket machines located at Amsterdam Central:

public transport ticket machine amsterdam
Public transport and GVB ticket machines at Amsterdam Central

This article was first published in 2010 and has been continuously updated since then. Last update 26 January 2023.

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