Amsterdam is the home of canals, culture and nightlife, along with festivals, contemporary art, craft beer and simply stunning architecture. Let’s take a look at how a handy public transport pass can help you make your way around Amsterdam easily and cheaply.
And while you’re being a savvy traveller, make sure you get a great deal on your travel money with low-fee spending with a TransferWise multi-currency account and Mastercard.
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If you plan to make use of public transport in Amsterdam, you could save a bundle by using a pass. Here are your options:
- GVB Day Pass: GVB runs all public transport services in Amsterdam, offering a number of great value passes from 1-7 days. Buy a pass from the GVB website and hop on any tram, metro or bus operated by GVB in Amsterdam. If you’re spending just one day in Amsterdam, your pass will cost just €8.¹
- Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket: If you plan to venture outside of the city, get yourself a 1 day (€19.50), 2 day (€28) or 3 day (€36.50) pass². This gives you access to all public transport services. Pick your pass up at all I amsterdam Visitor Centres, along with ticket counters at major train stations such as Amsterdam Central Station.
- Amsterdam Travel Card: If you’re spending 3 days in Amsterdam, get this pass. It’s the best value at just €28 for 3 days³ and covers all public transport within Amsterdam, including airport transfers by rail. Get your Amsterdam all inclusive travel ticket from NS ticket counters in major rail stations, or an I amsterdam Visitor Centre.
You’ll also get unlimited GVB public transport use when you buy an I amsterdam card.
If you’re planning a packed itinerary of sight-seeing and museum-visiting during your trip, the I amsterdam card could be the best value pass for you. It includes city-wide public transport including the Amsterdam metro system, plus all of these goodies:
- Free entry to 70+ Amsterdam museums and attractions, including the Rijksmuseum, ARTIS Royal Zoo, Van Gogh Museum and Hortus Botanical Garden.
- 24-hour bicycle hire.
- Free 1-hour cruise on Amsterdam’s beautiful, historic canals.
- Discounts and freebies on food and drink, music, boat trips and live performances.
The price of your I amsterdam city card all depends on how long you need it for. If you plan to squeeze in all of Amsterdam in a day, you’ll pay as little as £55.
You may struggle to make the most of all the benefits in just 24 hours though. It could be worth paying a little more for a pass covering 2 days in Amsterdam or longer, so you can enjoy all of its best attractions at a more leisurely pace.
Here’s the full price list⁴:
|Validity of card||Cost|
|24 hours||€65 (approx. £55)⁵|
|48 hours||€85 (approx. £72)|
|72 hours||€105 (approx. £89)|
|96 hours||€120 (approx. £110)|
|120 hours||€130 (approx. £102)*|
All information correct as of 12/02/2020. Estimation of amount in GBP is calculated based on the exchange rate at the time of writing. Always check the up-to-date exchange rate when converting currency.
Get a TransferWise debit Mastercard and you can spend in euros during your Amsterdam trip and get the real exchange rate. This is the fairest rate around, without any costly mark-up added on top.
You won’t need to worry about shopping around for the best rates, or do complicated currency conversions on the spot. Your TransferWise card automatically handles it all for you, so you can get a round of Dutch biertje beers in, or pay for your stroopwafel without worrying about exchange rates.
Even better, when you have a multi-currency account with TransferWise and spend abroad using your Mastercard, you’ll only pay a tiny conversion fee of between 0.35% and 1%.
If you’re planning 4 days in Amsterdam or even longer, you may not want to carry a pile of euros with you. Instead, you may want to exchange currency when you arrive – head for GWK Travelex on Kalverstraat or Sunro Change BV, Pott Change or Lorentz Company – all on Damrak avenue near Amsterdam Central Station.
Hotels and airports are best avoided for changing GBP into EUR, as they tend to be the most expensive and offer the lowest rates. You can also check before you travel whether your bank has an international partner operating in Amsterdam. If so, you may be able to withdraw cash from their ATMs for a reduced or even no fee. Remember that these currency bureaus will all charge fees, and you’re unlikely to get anywhere near the real exchange rate.
This could make exchanging money very expensive, so it may be best looking into a cheaper alternative such as using a TransferWise multi-currency account.
The Amsterdam Airport Express is one of the fastest, easiest ways to get from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the city centre. It’s a bus running 6 times an hour, and taking just 20 minutes. It costs €6.50 for a single ticket, or you can use the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket or the all-inclusive Amsterdam Travel Ticket. Unfortunately, you can’t use the I amsterdam card on the Airport Express bus.
Alternatively, you can reach the city centre from the airport by train in around 15-20 minutes. Head under the airport to Schiphol train station, which will take you to Amsterdam Central or Amsterdam Zuid Stations. You can use your Amsterdam Travel Ticket or Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket on this train. If you don’t have a pass, it’ll cost you around €5.50.⁵
Amsterdam is one of the easiest cities to navigate, whether you use pedal power or make good use of your Amsterdam tram map. Choose the right travel pass and it can be cheap too, not to mention convenient and stress-free. Simply tap in or show your card and Amsterdam is your oyster! And, don't forget to see how much you can save when you spend with TransferWise.
- GVB: Travel Passes
- I amsterdam: Regional Tickets
- NS: Amsterdam Travel Tickets
- I amsterdam: City Card Prices
- Amsterdam Tips: Schiphol airport to Amsterdam
Sources checked on 12-February 2020.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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