Tickets for the public transportation system in Amsterdam
overview, current fares (2019)
Almost the entire public transport of Amsterdam is organized in the tariff system of the municipal transport company GVB “Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf”.
That makes it easy for all passengers.
Whether single rides via e-purse, day ticket, or Amsterdam Travel Card, here you will find all relevant information. Thus, you will be able to quickly & easily identify the right ticket option for your stay in Amsterdam.
And with our advice regarding the actual ticket purchase, it won’t get too complicated at the ticketing machine.
Important information for the ticket purchase:
- The public transport company GVB wants to enforce cashless transportation. That is why you are no longer able to purchase your ticket with the driver of the bus or tram for example.
- Many of the tickets are available online and can be purchased ahead of time. You will find more information below.
1) Single rides with the OV chip card / “e-purse”
when you only want to use public transportation occasionally
This system of the OV / e-purse is not that simple, especially if you don’t visit the Netherlands often.
How does the OV card / e-purse work?
The OV card works like a prepaid cellphone card. You can load the card with a specific amount at a machine which you then can use up.
For a single ride you will pay a fixed base price plus a set amount per kilometer driven. Thus, you are paying for the distance traveled. The kilometers are measured every 50 meters exactly and billed accordingly. A classic single ride ticket that costs a certain amount regardless of distance (flat rate), does not exist. The OV chip card / e-purse can be used in trams, buses, as well as the Metro.
- Each passenger 4 years and older is required to have a chip card.
- The card must have a credit of at least 4 Euros before each ride to ensure enough funds to cover the fare.
E-purse – prices
A rechargeable and anonymous chip card, without the personalization through a passport-type picture, costs €7.50 (without adding a balance). There is a €2.50 service fee for the pay-out of any remaining balance.
base price: 96 cent per ride plus 16 cents per kilometer travelled
Children (4-11 years) get a discounted fare:
base price: 63 cents per ride plus 11 cents per kilometer travelled
2) GVB single day ticket or multi-day-ticket:
simple & affordable – ideal for visitors & tourists – optional airport express bus
The single-day and multi-day-tickets of the municipal transport system are popular among Amsterdam visitors. They are easy to use and affordable.
What does this ticket offer?
- You get unlimited rides on all GVB trams, city buses, and the Metro (day and night) throughout Amsterdam with this ticket and don’t have to keep an eye on your balance as you do with e-purse.
- It is flexible in terms of time-frame. Tickets are available for a single day and for up to 7 days, from 24 to 168 hours. The clock starts ticking at the time of first use.
- There is a day ticket especially for children aged 4 to 11. The kids’ ticket is only valid for a single day. If necessary, multiple kids’ day tickets can be purchased.
- You can purchase the ticket online ahead of time (no surcharge – click here for English-language page).
You can also book the ticket including the “Airport Express Bus” (line 397). This express bus offers a quick and affordable connection between the international airport Schiphol and downtown and it runs regularly.
- This ticket is not valid for other regional bus companies, such as Connexxion or EBS, or on the train.
Our tip: an online purchase saves time and avoids stress later
You can purchase the ticket online ahead of time via the English-language website of the authorised GVB ticket seller without having to pay a surcharge (click here). That avoids stress later as you won’t have to deal with the tariff system and ticket machines after your long trip.
If you arrive from Schiphol Airport, you can also book this ticket including the Airport Express Bus (Line 397) round trip ticket.
Current pricing of the GVB single day and multi-day tickets
The prices are on the low end for a European metropolitan city. The longer the validity period, the lower the price per day.
Fares (as of 2019):
Children’s ticket (4-11 years) for 1 day / 24h: €4 – in the event of a longer stay, multiple tickets can be purchased.
1 day / 24h: €8
2 days / 48h: €13.50
3 days / 72h: €19
4 days / 96h: €24.50
5 days / 120h: €29.50
6 days / 144h: €33.50
7 days / 168h: €36.50 (€5.21 per day)
with Airport Express Bus: +11.25€ per ticket
Airport Express Bus
Airport Express Bus: return trip: €11.25 – when purchasing the GVB single day ticket online, there is an option to book the Airport Express Bus as well.
This express bus (line 397) offers a quick and affordable connection between the international airport Schiphol and downtown and it runs regularly.
3) Amsterdam Travel Ticket
Single day ticket + transfer via train to Schiphol airport – advance shipping via postal service possible
The Amsterdam Travel Ticket is technically an extension of the GVB single day or multi-day-ticket described above. It can be considered an extension because with this ticket you will also have the option of utilizing the following unlimited times for your transfer from and to Schiphol airport:
- Unlimited 2nd class rail travel between Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and any train station in Amsterdam via NS-trains
- The Amsterdam Airport Express (bus 397) operated by Connexxion and the Niteliner (bus N97).
This ticket also allows you unlimited rides on all GVB-trams, (night-) buses, Metro, and ferries in all of Amsterdam, of course.
However, its validity is regulated differently. The “Amsterdam Travel Ticket” is valid from the first check-in until 4 AM following the last valid day (depending on if you booked the 1, 2, or 3-day option). The day starts at midnight.
For example: if you start using a 2-day ticket at midnight on Wednesday, then it will be valid until 4 AM on Friday.
Please note: this ticket is not valid on buses that are operated by other transport companies such as EBS and Arriva or any bus other than the Amsterdam Express (bus 397) and the Niteliner (bus N97) operated by Connexxion.
Our tip: an upfront online purchase saves time and avoids stress later
Your ticket will be mailed to you. This avoids stress upon arrival. This way you won’t have to deal with ticketing machines or wait in line after your flight. You will already have the right ticket in your pocket and can immediately make your way downtown…
Current pricing for the “Amsterdam Travel Ticket”
Fares are higher than a basic single day ticket since it already includes your airport transfer. A round trip from the airport to the city centre with the Airport Express Bus 397 currently costs EUR 11.25. When you take this into consideration, the “Amsterdam Travel Ticket” is relatively affordable.
Current fares for the “Amsterdam Travel Ticket”
Validity 1 day: 16 Euro
Validity 2 days: 21 Euro
Validity 3 days: 26 Euro
Tickets with a longer validity period are not currently being offered.
4) “I Amsterdam” card:
Single-day ticket + discount card for sightseeing
Public transportation single-day ticket + free-of-charge / reduced admission to attractions
The “I Amsterdam” card is the official sightseeing pass for the city of Amsterdam. It aims to assist visitors with the hotchpotch of public transportation tariffs and admission tickets. The name is derived from the English word play “I am Amsterdam”.
If you are planning on also visiting attractions and seeing the famous sights of the city, then the “I Amsterdam” card could be of interest to you. It is a combination of single-day-tickets for public transport plus discounted admission to tourist sights.
The “I Amsterdam” card is a combination ticket and offers the following benefits:
1 Free and unlimited use of the public transportation system operated by the GVB. This includes the Metro, city buses, as well as the trams. Ferries are generally free of charge.
2 Free and unlimited use of the public transportation system operated by the GVB. This includes the Metro, city buses, as well as the trams. Ferries are generally free of charge.
3 25% off the regular ticket price for many events (opera, ballet…), attractions, bike rental, and at participating restaurants
→ More information about “I amsterdam” city card – Test: “I Amsterdam” card – is a purchase worth it for you?
tip: buy the “I Amsterdam” card, GVB single-day-ticket or admission online and without being charged a surcharge
Insider tip: you can purchase the “I Amsterdam” card via this English-language website before your trip. That avoids stress later and possibly even credit card fees that you may incur if you pay after arrival.
Pricing for the “I Amsterdam” card (as of 2019)
24 hours: €60
48 hours: €80
72 hours: €95
96 hours: €105
5) Group tickets for travel groups or school trips
A group ticket for travel groups or school trips etc. is no longer available. Many travel groups take advantage of the GVB single-day-ticket (see here). It is uncomplicated since public transportation can be used cheaply and unlimited times. Each group member gets his own card and can take individual trips.
Additionally, these tickets are available for online purchase and without a surcharge via this English-language website. You will not have to handle a large sum of money at a ticket machine locally while your group is waiting impatiently. You will receive a receipt for your online purchase which simplifies accounting for a travel group significantly.