The public transportation in Amsterdam is incredibly easy and convenient to use. Even as a first-time visitor, you’ll have no trouble navigating the transport network and getting where you need to go. It’s an incredibly convenient city with a total of 30 bus routes, 16 tram lines, 8 ferry links and 4 metro lines in central Amsterdam. Oh, let’s not forget the bike rentals, too! With all these many options that can be overwhelming, INSIDR has prepared a guide on everything you need to know about the transport in Amsterdam, the Amsterdam tram prices and how to get the city tram pass!
What are the best options for public transportation in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s distinctive white and blue trams are one of the best ways to get in and around the city centre. The reliable and frequent tram service criss crosses all around the city, and many of the tram routes terminate the the Central Station. You can purchase 1-, 24- and 48-hour tickets aboard the tram, or use a GVB ticket vending machine. A phone app like CityMapper will help you work out which trams to use for wherever you want to go.
Amsterdam’s Central Station is the hub of the metro system, where all four metro lines radiate from. These routes are often the fastest way to reach Amsterdam’s districts around the edges of the city. There are only three centrally located metro stations – Amsterdam Central Station, Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein. Therefore, using the metro isn’t the best way to get around unless you’re going a little further afield.
There are 30 different bus routes in central Amsterdam.The extensive network connects all city areas with surrounding neighbourhoods. It also services the areas in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Visitors who wish to visit the flower strip, the nearby beaches or other historic towns to the north will find buses to be the most convenient way to get around.
How to navigate the Metro system in Amsterdam
Buying a Metro ticket in Amsterdam
When using Amsterdam’s metro system, you’ll have to use your ticket at the check-in and check-out ports. Most locals have a personalised public transport chip card called the ‘OC-Chipkaart’. However, visitors tend to go for a simpler travel card. You can buy a one-hour ticket or a rechargeable non-personalised chip card from GVB service desks or from the vending machines in the station.
Figuring out the Metro network in Amsterdam
As mentioned above, Amsterdam’s metro is really only used to reach the districts around the edges of the city. This is because there are only three centrally located metro stations – Amsterdam Central Station, Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein. If the metro is the best port of call for you, it’s very easy to navigate and you can simply follow the signs to get to the right platforms. Try an app like CityMapper to plan your journey ahead of time.
Local tips for the Metro system in Amsterdam
The metro system is easy to navigate and it’s the quickest way to get to some of Amsterdam’s districts like Bijlmer, Amstelveen and Diemen. If you’re more interested in getting around the city centre, you should opt for walking, cycling, catching trams and buses as a faster and more convenient alternative.
Always remember to check-in with your travel card at the beginning and end of your metro journey. If you’re caught without an activated ticket or card, you’ll face a fine. If there aren’t any ticket barriers at your final destination, look for the yellow card readers to check-out.
Amsterdam Metro operating hours
Most public transport in Amsterdam runs from 6am until midnight. However, some Metro trains will finish before midnight, while others reach their suburban stations as late as 1am. Use an app like CityMapper to plan your journey ahead of time.
How to navigate the Bus system in Amsterdam
Buying a Bus ticket in Amsterdam
You have a selection of ticket options available for the bus, with tickets sold by the hour, the day or the entire week. It’s important to note that Amsterdam’s buses have recently gone ‘cash-free’ however, you can still buy an hourly ticket onboard with a bank card. Day tickets aren’t sold onboard and will have to be purchased from ticket machines or train stations.
Figuring out the Bus network in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s bus network is extensive, connecting all neighbourhoods with other city areas and extending outwards into the Amsterdam Metropolitan area. For example, visitors heading to the flower strip in spring, towards the beaches of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal and to the main historic towns and villages north of Amsterdam can often get around easiest by bus.
Local tips for the Bus system in Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s bus services run from 06:00-00:30. However, if you’re out later than expected, there are also 11 night bus routes running between 00:30-07:30.
The cheapest way to use public transport in Amsterdam
There are a range of different Amsterdam public transport passes that are particularly valuable for visitors. The most common and simple transport pass is the GVB Day Pass. This ticket can be used on trams, buses and metros operated by GVB in Amsterdam and it’s valid anywhere from one to seven days. Prices start from 7.50€ for this pass and you can buy them in advance on the GVB website.
Other tourist passes
If you’re after something a little more comprehensive, the I amsterdam City Card gives you unlimited use of the GVB public transport system for 24, 48 or 72 hours as well as free entrance to the city’s biggest attractions. You can also purchase the Amsterdam Travel Ticket, which is an ‘all-in’ ticket that’s valid for 1, 2 or 3 days and includes travel to and from the airport. It includes unlimited travel on all trams, buses (including night buses), metro and ferries.