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Buying tour packages before going to Amsterdam

We will be in Amsterdam the second week in May at the end of our river cruise. We are not sure what we will want to do and wonder if we can wait until we are there to purchase tickets for things we might like to do then. Is it much more expensive to do things that way? How about the Iamsterdam city pass? Is it good to prebuy? Is it a good option? Other suggestions will be helpful.

Posted by
2487 posts

Advance buying of entry tickets doesn't give you discount, but it saves you the - sometimes long - queue before entering a museum.
Check at whether you're interested in the attractions the City Card gives access to or you're likely to use the included facilities. If you don't intend to use the tram very much it won't save you money, and the EUR 2,50 discount on a visit to the Rijksmuseum isn't huge.

Posted by
35 posts

Hi Sharon; I'll be in Amsterdam at the end of April myself. Everything I've read about Anne Franke Museum/House is there are three ways to get tickets. One is waiting in the long ques, another go late in the afternoon or early evening when the ques are short, they stay open until 10 PM. The third and highly recommended is of course to make reservations. The problem with making reservations it is hit and misses. It seems they only release a certain amount of tickets each day and when those are gone that is it for the time being. They will eventually release more tickets through the days and weeks before. This web site I just checked and for May and the following are the dates they have a few tickets for, May 3, 5, 8, 11, 19, 21. It is not 11:25 PM CST, so I don't know how much longer these will be available.

On May 1st the museum will start a new policy; the only way to buy the museum from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM is those who purchase their tickets online. The ques will open up at 3:30. This may help you; it seems logically that since they cut the number of tickets to purchase in the queue there would be more to sell online.

If you don't get ticket after you first search, don't give up; as I mentioned they will periodically add more tickets. I started looking for tickets about 3 or 4 week ago; nothing, absolute nothing in April, May, and on into June. I'd monitor their web page periodically and every once in awhile I' come across some dates tickets could be purchased online. Than 3/26 there were several days with online tickets available.

Sometime they have a 30 Intro program available when you purchase your ticket. I've been told if it is open go to; it is well worth the extra $5.00 you are charged.

Good Luck

Posted by
5419 posts

You need to make a list of sights you want to see- then do the math. Admission costs are the same- no need to pre-purchase but having tickets or card in hand usually means no extra waiting in line for tickets.

I found that the Museumkaart was a better deal for our needs.
Got our money's worth on a 2.5 day visit- bought tram passes as needed- I think we got a 2 day pass. Amsterdam is very walkable
We are returning to Amsterdam next month and I had missed out on Anne Frank Huis last June so have been stalking the website for weeks waiting forJune tix. Mon am they were added and all gone almost immediately for the first 6 days in June- I could not believe it.
I looked again today and was shocked that I was able to snag 2 tickets on 6/5.

Right now there are only a few days/tickets available for 2nd week of May.

If you are there on a Fri night- you can visit the Van Gogh during late hours- stays open til 10? I think.
For the Rijks- just get there when it opens to beat the crowds.

Posted by
2487 posts

The Museumkaart is a wonderful institution: free access to some 400 museums in the country:
It costs around EUR 60 and can be bought at any larger museum. For a short stay, it will probably not be very economical, unless you plan a lot of museum visits.

Posted by
7609 posts

We have never found lines an issue in Amsterdam for the Van Gogh Museum, Riijks Museum or Hermitage and we have usually traveled there in May although once in December. Canal boat trips are just walk up -- no problem getting one when you like; definitely something to do to see the city from the water. You don't need tours for this town and it is best enjoyed just strolling by canals and over bridges etc. The one ticket you must get ahead is a timed entry to Anne Frank Huis; this allows skipping a ginormous line.

There are lots of good Indonesian restaurants; we had a lovely meal at Kantjil et Tijger.
Another restaurant where we had a window table looking out at the convergence of two canals was De Belhamel.

We also really like traditional Dutch food like pub food -- toasties, bitterballen etc. And for dinner Stampott -- mashed potatoes with kale or saurkraut topped with a sausage and snerd (thick pea soup).

Posted by
24 posts

Used the Museumkaart for our 11 day stay and and it was well worth it. Purchased it at the Nieuwe Kerk which was near our apartment. There were no lines so a quick process. A Chagall piece, 'Calvary', is on display. Be aware that even with the Museumkaart you can reserve an entry time for the Van Gogh museum. You just breeze right in. Go through the web site as if you are purchasing tickets. There will be a tab labeled 'Other options' with Museumkaart as one. There is no extra charge for reserving a time. You can reserve a time before arriving in Amsterdam and print out the reservation vouchers or keep them on your phone. Even with a Museumkaart you will wait if you don't have a reserved time unless you are lucky. It saves a lot of time and is easy.
There is a new museum on the Museumplein, MoCo, short for Modern Contemporary. It just opened at the end of March. On exhibit are works by Andy Warhol and Banksy. It is in the house built by the architect of Centraal station and the Rijksmuseum and is lovely. This museum isn't covered by the Museumkaart. Entrance fee is 10 euros. It is between the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum.