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Museumkaart vs iAmsterdam – best choice for itinerary and for advance reservations

I’m debating which card to get...Museumkaart or iAmsterdam. RS prefers Museumkaart and doesn’t mention iAmsterdam in most of his site references. Other than transport and Anne Frank House, are there any other differences between the two? We like to go early to busiest locations and have enjoyed “skip the line” cards in other cities. But it looks like the major sights in Amsterdam have ability to reserve an entry time. I want to be able to reserve my entry time from the US as soon as available. Although, I’m reading other posters that say they’ve had difficulty trying to reserve times in advance with the iAmsterdam card. See “Unable to reserved timed entry for Van Gogh Museum”
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/netherlands/van-gogh-museum-timed-entry-using-an-i-amsterdam-city-card
Is this the case with the iAmsterdam card and would I have better luck with the Museumkaart?
I just want to understand if one card gives additional benefits/privileges over other. Also, does Museumkaart cover bus from airport? Thank you!

AMSTERDAM ITINERARY

Day 1 (Monday June 17)

Fly Zurich to AMS airport – Arrive 13:40

Transport to Amsterdam Marriott

City Walk (RS 3 miles/3 hrs)

Canal Cruise

Day 2 (Tuesday June 18)

Rijksmuseum Museum

Van Gogh Museum

Day 3 (Wednesday June 19)

Anne Frank House

Walk to Dams Square

Royal Palace

Backtrack for Jordaan Walk

Day 4 (Thursday June 20)

Rembrandt’s House

Amsterdam Museum

Day 5 (Friday June 21)

Dutch Resistance Museum

The Hermitage Amsterdam

Relax night before departure

As time permits:

Leidseplein

Vondelpark

Red Light District

Day 6 (Saturday June 22)

Fly Amsterdam to US

Posted by
2487 posts

The Museumkaart is, as the name implies, museums only and limited to 5 visits.
The IAmsterdam Card covers more museum visits and includes public transport, but has limitations on making a mandatory reservation for the Van Gogh Museum (which is now explicitly mentioned on their website).

Posted by
43 posts

Thank you. Now I am confused. For a 4 day trip, I can't see the advantage to any card for my itinerary.

Note: I would have to pay separately for the Royal Palace regardless (10EU), as it is not covered by any card.

  • If I pay all cash, it would be approximately 110EU, with no transportation included.
  • If I get the Museumkaart (which is only good at 5 museums), it would cost me approximately 107EU for the card and those extra museums, with no transportation included.
  • If I get the iAmsterdam card for 4 days, I would have to pay for the Anne Frank and the Van Gogh separately (to get online reservations). This would come to approximately 142EU, which includes transportation.

It is even worth getting a card? Shouldn't I just pay cash, make as many online reservations as possible, and pay separately for transport (or walk)? Is there a separate transportation card that is worth the price?

Posted by
2487 posts

With visiting the Van Gogh Museum and the Royal Palace on the first day, you only need the 3-day IAmsterdam Card. But even then I don't think the card and separate tickets will make much difference. It saves you queuing up for buying tickets and paying for public transport.

Posted by
43 posts

Thank you. I'm beginning to think I may be trying to do too many museums. Wondering if I should skip the Dutch Resistance and Hermitage and try a different experience. Maybe a 1/2 trip to somewhere like Zaanse Schans or Edam? Thoughts?

Posted by
2487 posts

You did indeed have quite a museum programme.
I'd keep the Royal Palace. It started its life as the city hall of what in those days was Europe's most successful commercial city, and it shows. Join a guided tour to have it all its symbolism explained.
Instead of the Resistance Museum you could visit the Jewish Historical Centre, especially for the impressive Portuguese Synagogue: a symbol of a tolerant republic. That also could be a appropriate alternative for the Anne Frank Huis if you can't get a ticket.
The Rembrandt House can be very, very crowded. Consider skipping it. Do the Amsterdam Museum if they've got an exhibition you're interested in. Otherwise have a museum like the Willet-Holthuysen to get an impression of the life behind the facade of those canal houses.
The Zaanse Schans for its proximity to the city is very popular. You'd have a much nicer day out of the city in Enkhuizen: a gem of a former port city. It's one hour from Amsterdam on a half-hourly direct train.
Enjoy!