Public Transport

Traveling within Amsterdam is straight-forward and convenient. There is an extensive transport network connecting city districts, and commuters can choose a variety of methods to reach their destination as efficiently as possible. This includes the train, tram, metro, bus and ferry.

Starting June third, paper tickets (strippenkaarten) are no longer sold or valid on trams, buses and metro. You can buy disposable OV-chipcards on trams. You must use the OV-chipcard.

What is the OV-chipcard?
It is an electronic card with a built-in chip for use on all public transport in Amsterdam including buses, trams and metros. The OV-chipcard can be topped up with credit in euros, or with a single or season ticket. There’s three different cards to choose from: anonymous (anonieme), personalized (persoonlijke) and disposable.

The public transport company (GVB) offers also 24 / 168-hours tickets (1 - 7 days) entitle you to unlimited travel through Amsterdam - day and night - by tram, bus and metro, for the number of hours that best suit your plans. From just € 7,00.

Most importantly: check in and check out. When you start your journey, hold your card up to the reader until a green light appears. A bleep sound will indicate that your card has been read. If you change to another bus/tram/metro, you have to check out (by scanning your card at the machine), and check in again at your next stop. If you forget to check out, the card will no longer be valid and you may risk a fine.


Trains in the Netherlands are typically used for longer journeys, either to another town or city, or to travel across Amsterdam. For example, a journey from Central Station to Amsterdam Zuid or World Trade Center will prove more efficient than traveling through the heart of the city.

Trams are common in Amsterdam, with routes heading out from the centre in all directions. Trams are ideal for short journeys around the city centre, as well as for traveling to other districts.

Most tram journeys are paid by using an OV-chipcard which can be used for multiple journeys. These can be bought from the GVB Tickets & Info office or GVB Ticket Vending and add value Machines.

Amsterdam's metro runs underneath the centre, from Central Station to the outer districts. This can be a fast and efficient way to travel, though the trains only run overground away from the centre, so you lose out on the picturesque view.

Amsterdam operates a full bus network, which will take you anywhere you have to go. Like trams and metro, the OV Chipkaart can be used to pay for your journey.

Behind Central Station, ferries hustle their way across the River IJ, transporting passengers to various locations in the north of Amsterdam. Some specialist ferries also travel along the river to other districts of the city.

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