Using the great 9292 site, I've been planning a day of sightseeing in Amsterdam. According to Rick's book, I think I have an option of buying a 24 hour transit ticket for around 7.5 euro, but looking at my plans for the day, which involve 3 trips, it seems like it would be cheaper to just pay as I go. Are the fares quoted on the site accurate for passengers paying cash? They seem like really odd amounts (1.46; 1.17; 1.32 etc.). Would I need to have this amount of exact change for each ride? I'd really appreciate if someone could clarify how all this works! Thanks.
A single one-way journey ticket for the tram costs 2.80 euro. So if you buy a 24-hour ticket for 7.50 euro, which allows you unlimited travel, you will save money by making 3 or more one-way trips.
Thank you for clarifying! That makes much more sense than the odd fares the 9292 site was listing for each trip. Is it possible to purchase the 24 hour ticket on the first tram you board or do you need to purchase it at a station?
You can buy it onboard from a ticket booth in the center of the tram, then don't forget to turn around and validate it in the machine.
I haven't looked at the 9292 site, but when I used an Anonymous OV Chipkaart, it calculated fares to the penny like you are describing, and they were indeed cheaper than single tickets. So I'll bet that's what the site is reporting - OV Chipkaart fares (Dutch people would all have this card). If you're not using an OV Chipkaart, you'll pay the €2.80 per trip, or buy passes for a day or longer. The Anonymous OV Chipkaart costs €7.50 and then has to be loaded with credit, so for just a day it's not the way to go (I was in the Netherlands for 10 days, and used the card for multiple cities as well as the trains between them, so the card was a benefit for me).
The passes are available for 1-7 days, and of course the per-day price gets lower as you buy more days, so getting a pass for your entire Amsterdam stay right at the beginning makes sense.
The prices on the 9292 website are for people using the OV-chipkaart. For a short visit of 2-3 days, you're better off buying the day passes.
Fares on 9292-OV are precise, but they reflect the standard mode of using a OV-Chipkaart, which is a RFID-embedded card that can be loaded with money.
For tourists, it usually makes more sense to buy passes covering 1, 3 or 5 days.
The discussion about (and the 9292 site) the anonymous OV chipkaats is very helpful.
I head to The Netherlands soon for 21 days. My questions:
1) I will be using trams in Amsterdam and making at least two side trips to Den Haag and Otterlo. Is there an advantage one way or the other to using the OV chipkaart for the train or buying by internet ahead of departure? I know the dates for the side trips.
2) Is there an Amsterdam location where I can purchase, and load, the anonymous chipkaart using my US magnetic strip VISA? (If not, I will of course use cash)
Thank you for your advice and experience!
"1) I will be using trams in Amsterdam and making at least two side trips to Den Haag and Otterlo. Is there an advantage one way or the other to using the OV chipkaart for the train or buying by internet ahead of departure? I know the dates for the side trips."
I found this TripAdvisor discussion very helpful for my trip, and I see that it's been updated: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g188590-c119198/Amsterdam:The-Netherlands:The.Ov.Public.Transportation.Chipkaart.html
"2) Is there an Amsterdam location where I can purchase, and load, the anonymous chipkaart using my US magnetic strip VISA? (If not, I will of course use cash)"
I don't know the latest with magnetic strip card acceptance at rail stations. But I can say that the only place in the country where you can count on using a magnetic strip credit card is your hotel; stores will not take them, and when I was there, neither would Dutch Rail (I think this may have changed at some stations, as I said). The only practical way I found to load my OV Chipkaart was with cash at railway station windows; there was no surcharge for this (in other words, to put €20 on the card only cost €20, as opposed to buying train tickets where there is a surcharge).
You may have to put a 20 euro deposit on the OV Chipkaart if you want to use it for the train system. The Dutch can link it directly to their bank accounts, so they don't have to worry about keeping a 20 euro minimum on the card. So it might make more sense to buy your train tickets separately and just use the Chipkaart for buses and trams. You won't be able to load your card with a mag-stripe credit card. However, you can use the train ticket machines to load your card if you have cash. The machines only take coins--and many machines don't take cash at all, so you need to be on the lookout. Also, keep in mind that any time you want to reload the card, you will need to be at a train station (or an Amsterdam Metro station), which can be inconvenient to say the least.
Thank you, Harold and T! I read the Tripadviser article, and it is good to know that loading the OV-chipkaart will need foresight and cash, even coins.
Is the tram system in Den Haag the same as in Amsterdam. What I am really asking is: will the loaded OV-chipkaart be usable when I get off the train in Den Haag and board a tram to my lodging?
"Is the tram system in Den Haag the same as in Amsterdam. What I am really asking is: will the loaded OV-chipkaart be usable when I get off the train in Den Haag and board a tram to my lodging?"
Yes, that is one of the advantages of getting an OV Chipkaart. It is a nationwide system, and works the same everywhere. You tap the card to the sensor before getting on a train, or upon entering a bus or tram, and tap it again when you get off the train, or just before getting off a bus or tram. It then calculates your fare to the penny. So, no need to hunt down local transit tickets or passes in a new city - you can "tap and go" anywhere, as long as you have the minimum required balance on the card (€4 for local transit, €20 for trains).
As for loading, the machines may take only coins (if they take cash at all), but the staffed windows at train stations take bills; that's how I did it. In smaller cities, it was very easy, as there was rarely a line.