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.

Trams are the best way to get around in Amsterdam

Trams are 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).

Buying tickets for public transport in Amsterdam

All public transport in Amsterdam works with the OV-chipcard. The company that runs the 14 tram lines, 40 bus lines in the city, 6 metro lines, and 7 ferries is GVB. In trams and buses, you cannot pay by cash, only by bank card and credit card. Multi-day tickets. These tickets are available at the GVB service desks, for example at Amsterdam Central Station and online.

The following tickets are available on the tram and in the bus:

  • 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

Using the OV-chipcard in the Netherlands

You can also order OV-chipcard online at Public Transport Holland Shop. You can use the card to travel by all public transport in all of the Netherlands.

But there are more options. You can buy a public transport card for: only Amsterdamgreater Amsterdam (includes trains), the Rotterdam/The Hague area and all public transport in entire Holland.

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket is perhaps the easiest to understand: it allows free travel by public transport in Amsterdam for 1, 2 or 3 days. It includes travel from and to the airport.

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

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

Using the metro in Amsterdam

The metro is not very useful for tourists in Amsterdam because there are only 3 stops in the centre of the city: at Central Station, Rokin (M52) and Waterlooplein (M51, M54 and M53). The M52 is the newest line, connecting Amsterdam Noord to the city center. It stops at Central Station, neighbourhood De Pijp, RAI Congress Center and at the World Trade Center/ Train Station South.

The M53 and M54 connect Central Station t Amsterdam Southeast (Bijlmer). The M50 and M51 connect train station Sloterdijk via a western route with Amstelveen, Amsterdam South and 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: tram 14 or 7.
  • 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.

Travelling by bus outside Amsterdam

Buses are best if you want to travel to smaller towns near Amsterdam. There are three important bus stations in Amsterdam. One is at Central Station, where buses leave from upstairs. There is also a busstation at Sloterdijk. Another bus station in Amsterdam in the center 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 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 Reply to Federico Cancel Reply


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