Public transport in Amsterdam

by Tanja
public transport amsterdam

In Amsterdam trams are the best public transport to travel to the center of the city. Metros connect the outer areas of Amsterdam with the city center. The public transport system in Amsterdam works with a chip card, that needs to be charged first. Public transport in Amsterdam runs from 6 am to half past midnight.

What is the best way to get around in Amsterdam?

The tram is the best way to get around in Amsterdam. Trams go on all main roads, stop often, are fast and pleasant. Trams either leave from Central Station to go West via Rokin and Dam Square (green lines on the map). The pink lines on the map go from Central Station in Eastern direction. Trams 7 and 19 go from West to East (and back).

Where do the metros go in Amsterdam?

There are 6 metro lines in Amsterdam. The M52 connects Amsterdam Noord to the city center and Central Station and stops at De Pijp, the RAI and the World Trade Center/ Train Station South. The M52 and M52 leave from Central Station to go to Amsterdam Southeast (Bijlmer).

The M51 and M50 leave from Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station, connecting Amsterdam West. M51 eventually rides to Central Station. M50 goes to Southeast.

  • How to get to Anne Frank House by tram: tram 13 and 17
  • How to get to Jordaan Quarter by tram: trams 5, 13 and 17
  • How to get to Rijksmuseum by tram: 7, 19, 1
  • How to get to Van Gogh Museum by tram: 2,12, 3, 5
  • How to get to Jewish Quarter:
  • How to get to De Pijp: Metro M52, trams 12, 24, 3
  • How to get to NDSM: Ferry to NDSM
  • How to get to Amsterdam Johan Cruijff ArenA (Ajax Football Stadium): Metro M50 and M54.

Buses in Amsterdam

Buses are best if you want to travel to smaller towns near Amsterdam. There are two important bus stations in Amsterdam. One is at Central Station. Buses leave from upstairs. The other is at Marnixstraat.

Many small villages in the country are only connected by bus. Ferries take you to across the IJ water behind Central Station to Amsterdam Noord and NDSM.

How to buy a ticket for public transport in Amsterdam

The company that runs the 14 tram lines, 40 bus lines in the city, 6 metro lines and 7 ferries is the GVB.

Prices GVB 2020

The following tickets are available in the tram and in the bus. The trams and buses do NOT ACCEPT CASH. Pay by card only.

  • One Way Ticket, valid for an hour: €3,20
  • Day Ticket, valid for 24 hours: €8,-
  • Bus, Tram and Metro Ticket, valid for 1,5 hours: €6,50

Other options are multi-day tickets. These tickets are available at the GVB service desks, for example at Amsterdam Central Station.

Also read: How to get from airport Schiphol to Amsterdam.

There are also several Tourist Tickets available:

The Dutch OV-Chip Card

In the Netherlands, people use the ‘OV-Chip Card’ to pay for buses, trams, metro and trains. The system is comparable to the Oyster Card in London. There are two types of cards: an anonymous and a personal card.

The anonymous card costs €7,50. All family members need their own card if they want to travel together. The card must then be charged with money. You ‘check-in’ and ‘check-out’ when you use public transport. Most stations, but also tobacco/souvenir shops and Albert Heijn supermarkets sell the card and offer options to charge it.

Ov chip card Holland
The OV-Chipkaart in the Netherlands.

How to use the OV-chip travel card with the train

If you buy the OV-Chip Card with the GVB, you need to prepare the card if you want to use it to travel by train. fAt the train station take your card to the yellow NS card machine, hold your card in front of the pink chip card logo and choose (Language: English): other products. Choose the option ‘pre-paid travel without NS-subscription’ and choose whether you wish to travel in first or second class. Follow further instructions on the device.

You need at least €20 euros on the card to be able to travel with the OV-chip travel card.

OV-chip card
Check in and out at the train station when you are traveling by train.

The Train System in The Netherlands Trains

The Netherlands has one of the most dense railway systems in the world. To get to other cities like Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, The Hague or Rotterdam, it’s best to take a train.

To all these cities, trains run every 15 minutes. You can use the OV-Chip Card (see above) or buy a train ticket at the vending machines (or desk) at the train station.

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Leave a Comment


Stephanie June 13, 2018 - 10:15

i will stay in Zaandam, what ist the best best ticket to buy when i want to go for Amsterdam during the day and move around there?

Federico September 11, 2016 - 16:16

I’m really confused about Amsterdam and neighbourhood cities around. Because hotels in Amsterdam are extremely expensive, I’m planing to stay in Almere. Do you know whether there is a discount to travel Amsterdam-Almere by train daily?. Thank you!…Your site is really useful

Tanja September 12, 2016 - 09:28

Hi, Discount travel is only possible if you are going to travel the same route for a month or longer. If I were you, I’d get an anonymous OV-chipcard, that will make travel easier. One way ticket Amsterdam-Almere is 6 euros. Enjoy your trip!

Mike January 2, 2012 - 19:19

How much is a monthly ticket fro tram, you know, if you use tram everyday?
Cheers mate