Cheap AmsterdamTransport

Amsterdam Transport: Which Ticket? (Visual Overview)

Planning a trip to Amsterdam and want to work out the best public transport tickets to use during your stay? The situation can be very confusing as there are currently over 27 different ticket options available to visitors! Even locals can struggle to get to grip with an overly-complex ticket system.

Now we do have a complete explanation of Amsterdam public transport ticket options here. However, every week we still get a lot of reader enquiries asking about the optimal ticket solution for their particular Amsterdam itinerary.

They say a picture tells a thousand words. So we thought it would be more useful to develop a comprehensive visual overview of the Amsterdam transport ticket possibilities. We hope this provides a little more clarity to Amsterdam visitors about the transport situation.

Amsterdam Transport: Which Ticket?  – Visual Overview

All prices are valid for 2020.

amsterdam transport which ticket

27+ Amsterdam Transport Tickets

Don’t believe us about 27 tickets? These are just some of the possible tickets you can buy on arrival in Amsterdam:

  1. GVB 24 hour ticket
  2. GVB 48 hour ticket
  3. GVB 72 hour ticket
  4. GVB 96 hour ticket
  5. GVB 120 hours ticket
  6. GVB 144 hours ticket
  7. GVB 168 hours ticket… Buy GVB 1-7 day tickets here
  8. Amsterdam Travel Ticket 1 Day
  9. Amsterdam Travel Ticket 2 Days
  10. Amsterdam Travel Ticket 3 Days
  11. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket 1 Day
  12. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket 2 Days
  13. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket 3 Days
  14. Holland Travel Ticket (peak)
  15. Holland Travel Ticket (off-peak)
  16. Waterland Day Ticket
  17. Zaanstreek Day Ticket
  18. Old Holland Tour Ticket
  19. Anonymous OV-chip card (e-purse travel credit)
  20. GVB 1 hour ticket
  21. Bus Tram Metro (BTM) 90 mins ticket
  22. NS Train ticket (Airport to Amsterdam etc)
  23. Iamsterdam City Card 24 hours (includes GVB day ticket)
  24. Iamsterdam City Card 48 hours
  25. Iamsterdam City Card 72 hours
  26. Iamsterdam City Card 96 hours
  27. Iamsterdam City Card 120 hours…Buy the Iamsterdam City Card here

There are actually even more ticket types available, but to avoid further confusion we’ll stick with these for now!

Choosing the right Amsterdam ticket

Choosing the right ticket depends on how long your visit is, where exactly you are staying and what you plan to do. Let’s look at the pros (+) and cons () of each ticket.

GVB Multi Day Tickets – Purchase GVB 1-7 day tickets here
+ Relatively good value (the 7 day ticket at €37 works out at just over €5.28 per day)
+ 24 hour validity rather than calendar day
+ Choice of 7 tickets – 24 to 168 hours
+ Can visit most Amsterdam city attractions using bus, tram or metro
+ Opening of North-South line in 2018 has made GVB tickets more useful
Limited GVB presence at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, only 69 bus to Sloterdijk and no ticket office.
No validity outside Amsterdam city area

Amsterdam Travel Ticket
+ Unlimited travel between Schiphol airport and Amsterdam (good if staying near Schiphol)
+ Saves time on buying airport train and GVB tickets separately
+ Can visit most Amsterdam city attractions using bus, tram or metro
Calendar day validity – poor value if activating the ticket in the evening
Only available as a 1, 2 or 3 day ticket
No validity outside Amsterdam city area

Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
+ Valid around Amsterdam, to/from airport and around region
+ Saves time on buying separate tickets
Calendar day validity – poor value if activating the ticket in the evening
Only available as a 1, 2 or 3 day ticket
Relatively expensive

The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket is useful if you plan to head out of Amsterdam and visit such places like Keukenhof, the Waterland villages (Volendam, Edam, Marken), the windmills at Zaanse Schans, the beaches at Bloemendaal and Zandvoort or the historic city of Haarlem.

It is also valid further afield to Almere/Lelystad (New Land area), to Hilversum and to Muiderslot castle in Muiden.

For longer stays you can always consider stacking or combining tickets. For example, on a 7 day visit you could perhaps combine a GVB 5 day-120 hours ticket (€29.50) with a 2 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket (€28) – for the days you wish to travel around the Amsterdam region.

We have also seen people using 2 x 3 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets consecutively to create a 6 day ticket.

Holland Travel Ticket
+ Valid on all public transport in the Netherlands
+ Saves time on buying separate tickets

The 1 day Holland Travel Ticket is only really good value if making longer journeys around the country or using multiple transport operators. For example, taking a day trip from Amsterdam to Maastricht and Valkenburg would save money using an off-peak Holland Travel Ticket. You could stop off anywhere else along the way (Utrecht, Eindhoven, Roermond) for no extra cost.

Since it is valid on all public transport it is a no-nonsense ticket and could be useful for some business travellers.

Waterland Day Ticket
+ Considerably cheaper than the Amsterdam & Region ticket
Only valid to Waterland villages area – not to Zaanse Schans
Only valid on EBS (R-NET) buses, not GVB or Connexxion

Zaanstreek Day Ticket – Purchase Zaanstreek ticket here
+ Cheaper than the Amsterdam & Region ticket
Only valid to Zaanse Schans area – not to Waterland
Only valid on Connexxion buses, not GVB or EBS (R-NET)

Old Holland Tour Day Ticket
+ Valid to both Zaanse Schans and Waterland, plus Marken boat trip
Limited dates during April to September
Not valid on GVB transport

Anonymous OV-chip card
+ Valid on all public transport in the Netherlands
+ Standard fares charged, often cheaper than disposable tickets
+ Lasts around 5 years
Costs €7.50 (non-refundable) to purchase
Must always keep a minimum credit of €4 (€20 trains) in order to travel
Aimed at locals rather than visitors

Iamsterdam City Card – Purchase the Iamsterdam City Card here
+ Combines GVB transport with free entry to many Amsterdam attractions
+ Saves time on buying separate tickets
+ Choice available for 1-5 days
Not valid for transport to/from Schiphol airport or around region
Relatively expensive

Amsterdam Transport: Children’s Tickets

Children 4 and over need to travel with their own transport ticket.

There are special fares available for children aged 4-11. Note, children 0-3 travel free whilst children 12 and over must pay standard adult fares.

We have also put together a visual overview of special 4-11 child tickets:

amsterdam transport children tickets overview

So there you have a detailed overview of Amsterdam transport tickets.

Don’t forget most of the tickets mentioned above are smart OV-chip cards. These require ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ on the card readers.

Getting the right choice of Amsterdam tickets depends whether you are price-conscious budget traveller or whether you are just after the most convenient ticket. Or perhaps somewhere between the two.

We hope this has proved useful in helping you decide which transport ticket to buy.

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