Home Public transport in Amsterdam: Prices & Info

Public transport in Amsterdam: Prices & Info

Public transport in Amsterdam: Prices & Info

Public transportation in Amsterdam – Are you planning to visit Amsterdam for the weekend or a few days? Are you here for the first time? Then the following is especially important for you: How do you get quickly to your accommodation and the sights you want to see?

✅ For a short trip, you should know in advance which means of transport you can travel where and when to use the time optimally. This starts right after arrival, at the train station or with the car in the parking lot. The appropriate tickets for buses and trams can also be booked directly in advance on this page. The tickets are in demand and can also be purchased immediately through another provider without any problem.

Buy a GVB ticket Amsterdam online

If you travel to Amsterdam by plane, you can find everything you need to know in my separate info on airport transfers. The simple round-trip train tickets to the airport are also available here: Train round trip from Schiphol to Amsterdam. Parking in Amsterdam is known to be a drama. Everything you need to know about parking in Amsterdam: if you travel by car, you can reserve your parking space here at Mobypark.

Means of transport

The public transport system is called GVB, which is an abbreviation of the name Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf. It has a total of 15 tram lines and 42 bus lines, as well as four metro lines and six ferry lines. In addition, some buses and cabs do not belong to the GVB.

There is, of course, an app for the GVB, with which you can find out about the current connections of the transport company. Tickets for the GVB must always be purchased before the trip; you can not buy them from the driver.


Tramways in Amsterdam

The tram operates mainly in the city center, but from there, it also goes to the city’s west, south, and southeast. They work daily from 06:00 until half an hour after midnight. Both the door by the driver and the rear double door are provided for boarding.

The other doors are intended for exiting and are fitted with flaps. This allows all passengers to get on, off, and transfer quickly and easily. By the way, Tram Line 2 runs from the central station to most of the city’s sights. National Geographic called it one of the best lines in the world.


Buses in Amsterdam

Buses are an excellent way to get from the center to all outlying areas. Buses are best, especially when you want to go to the north or one of the outskirts.

They run regularly from the central station from 6:00 in the morning until 0:30 at night. Afterward, the night buses are on the road as memorable night lines until 7:00 in the morning.

Subways (Metro)

Subways (Metro) in Amsterdam

The metro connects the city center primarily with the south and southeast. However, it only runs underground in the center. However, one of the subways also runs from the west, across the south to the southeast, forming a semicircle around the center.


Especially when there are no trams, it is best to call a cab to get back to the hotel quickly. However, you are often slower with a taxi than with public transport during rush hours.

By the way, there are also canal cabs. A cab driver must also accept short trips, and the taximeter runs during the journey without exception. You always get a receipt.


The ferries connect the city with the northern parts of the city. They belong to the GVB.

Ticket types

Children under four travel free of charge in the GVB area. For your short stay, inexpensive GVB day or multi-day tickets are recommended, which you can conveniently purchase online.

OV chip card

OV chip card in Amsterdam

You can use the OV chip card for local transport. It is an electronic card, also called an e-purse, with which you buy kilometers. The card is loaded at a vending machine. You pay money there, and when you drive, in addition to a basic amount, each kilometer driven is debited to 50-meter accuracy.

Before boarding, you hold the chip card in front of a reader and can enter the means of transport when the light turns green. When you get off, you should remember to check out. A balance of 4 € is mandatory when entering a means of transportation. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to board. Every passenger over four years old needs a chip card. These OV chip cards can be used for trams, buses, and the metro.

The prices for the OV chip card

The anonymous, reloadable card without a top-up amount costs 7,50 €; a further 2,50 € is payable when the remaining balance is paid out.

The basic amount per trip is 0,96 €, plus 0,16 € per kilometer driven.

The basic amount per trip for children aged 4-11 is €0.63 plus €0.11 per km traveled.

It is inexpensive but relatively less attractive for tourists because it is also a more cumbersome acquisition.

GVB day or multi-day ticket – My recommendation

A paper card allows you to check in and out of all buses, tramways, subways, and ferries as often as you want without any restrictions in the purchase period. There are several variants of this. If you stay only one day in the city, the day pass is worth it.

For several days, there are multi-day tickets whose duration is counted in hours from the first use. If you only want to travel once within an hour, you will pay a high price of €3.20. This is a good idea. In any case, the day tickets are recommended.

You can also order the tickets at home at no extra cost. The ticket vouchers arrive safely by e-mail. The exchange at the central GVB service points mentioned on the voucher is quick and easy.

This saves time on site, as you don’t have to get to grips with everything first, and you can start sightseeing in good time. Buying tickets from the driver has also yet to be possible since 2018. The prices for 1 to 7-day tickets are:

GVB-TicketPrice*Oniline Ticket
1 day (24 hours)9,00 €Book online
2 days (48 hours)15,00 €Book online
3 days (72 hours)21,00 €Book online
4 days (96 hours)26,50 €Book online
5 days (120 hours)33,00 €Book online
6 days (144 hours)37,50 €Book online
7 days (168 hours)41,00 €Book online

Children up to 0-3 years ride for free. There are only day tickets for children from 4-11 years, which cost € 4.50 each. For example, if you want to book tickets for three days, then per adult, a 3-day ticket in the cart, and for each child from 4- 11 years, each three individual day tickets for 4.50 € each, also in the cart. The total cost for an adult with a child for 72 hours would be € 34.50.

If you have such a ticket, it is also valid for night buses in the purchased period. These tickets are not valid on trains or regional buses of other companies such as EBS Connexxion.

Ticket sales

Tickets for the GVB are no longer issued on public transport. The GVB has been cashless since mid-2018. As a passenger, you must each have a valid ticket for yourself and children over the age of 4 before entering the means of transport.

OV chip cards, GVB day, and multi-day tickets are available at all GVB Service & Tickets offices. These can be found at Schiphol Airport, opposite Central Station, at all Metro stations and Metro stops. Kiosks and tourist information offices also issue tickets. However, the most convenient way is to purchase tickets online in advance from the comfort of your own home.

Local transport and train ride with Amsterdam Travel Ticket

This ticket is an exciting combination of the GVB day or multi-day ticket with a 2nd class train transfer ticket from any city station to the airport or vice versa.

This ticket is also valid on Connexxion buses N97 and 397. However, it is not valid on buses of other companies such as EBS and Arriva and other buses of Connexxion.

Amsterdam Travel TicketPrice*Online-Ticket
1 day€ 18,00Book online
2 days€ 24,00Book online
3 days€ 30,00Book online

It is especially popular with air travelers who stay only a few days in Amsterdam or guests who park their cars inexpensively near the airport.

I Amsterdam City Card

I Amsterdam City Card

With this combination and discount card, you combine trips in the GVB with entrance fees for sights. Currently, 50 sights and museums can be visited for free with this card, including popular attractions such as the Tulip Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Royal Zoo Artis, the NEMO Science Museum, and the Rijksmuseum.

For theater, opera, ballet, bicycle rental, and participating restaurants, there is a 25% discount on the days of validity.

The prices for 1 to 5-day tickets are:

*The prices may vary. The current price of the provider always applies.

Unfortunately, there are no discounts for children. However, information about possible deals for young people can be found on the provider’s website. There, you will also find all the details about cardholder discounts. More information about the I Amsterdam card and other discount cards for Amsterdam can also be found in the Amsterdam Passes section of this blog.

Important to know

✅ Check-in and check-out

You must always check in or out when boarding and leaving one of the GVB’s means of transport. To do this, hold your ticket in front of a reader until it lights up green. You will also hear a signal tone. When you get off, you will hear a double beep. This procedure is required for every transfer. You will also find readers at the entrances and exits to the subway station.

✅ Night buses

By the way, night buses have their night fares. However, they are included in the day and multi-day tickets of the GVB. But if you don’t have these tickets, a night ticket costs 4.50 €. It is valid for 90 minutes and includes transfers. The 12-night buses have three-digit numbers and run every half hour. They stop at specific transport hubs. All 12 lines depart from Central Station, six lines via Leidseplein, and six lines via Rembrandtplein. These night tickets can also still be purchased from the driver.

✅ Where am I right now?

In most means of transport, the next station is displayed. In any case, remember the name of your destination station to get off in time. If you miss your exit, the distance between the stations is short enough to walk back. In the subway cars (also called metro), you will always see overview maps of the routes. Light dots in these maps show where you are at the moment.

✅ Group tickets

Group tickets are not offered for sale. Groups also use the GVB day or multi-day ticket for each individual. If these are ordered in advance via the Internet, you avoid longer waiting times at the counter and can receive a total list of paid tickets.

✅ Public transport with airport transfer

The transfer from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport can also be booked with public transport in the canal city. More about this and all other connections for trips to and from the airport are under airport transfer.

My overall impression of the mass transit system

The public transport system in the Dutch capital, with its 850,000 inhabitants, is well developed. The dense tram network lets you get anywhere in the city quickly. The line 2 brings you to all the most important tourist attractions.

The subways and buses reach the outskirts, and even at night, you don’t necessarily have to switch to cabs, as 12 lines serve the main routes every half hour.

✅ My tip: Amsterdam can be explored very well on foot. For example, if you are in the city for three days, you can book a city tour with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour in one day. Another day, buy a day ticket to the GVB and, in the remaining time, walk through the canal belt or stroll in the Jordaan quarter. The costs are then quite manageable compared to other metropolises such as Paris, London, Vienna, or Rome.

Of course, renting a bike can always replace a day ticket for transport. Directly at several pick-up points, again for a day or five, with a cup of coffee/tea.

 * All prices stated in the text are subject to change. The current offer of the provider always applies.