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my itinerary and iamsterdam card

This is my current approximate itinerary for the Amsterdam area for July. I have not made reservations for any museums yet.
Wednesday: Plane arrives in Amsterdam 12:30pm local time. If time: Maritime museum, walk past various monuments.
Thurs: Anne Frank house, Portuguese synagogue and Jewish museum; if time, Dutch resistance museum.
Fri: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, possibly Stedelijk museum.
Saturday: day trip to Haarlem: Buy combo ticket for Frans Hal and Teylers museum at information office in the town hall at 9:30am or when they open; Frans Hal museum first; walk past various monuments; if time, briefly, Saint Bavo’s kerk. Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark.
Sunday: day or part day trip to Zaanse Schans.
Monday: Rembrandt house, Willet Holthuysen museum, or possibly other historic house; if time, if not seen yet, one or more of: maritime museum; Amsterdam museum, Dutch Resistance museum, or other museum. Train to Den Haag.

I understand that from one side to the other side of the old part of Amsterdam where the tourist industry is, is approximately a 45 minute walk; I am guessing that I will use local public transportation whenever I judge that doing so will save me time including waiting for the next train or help me fit in what I want to do before the museums I want to see close.

Would I be making a mistake by buying the 120 iamsterdam card that costs 115.00 euros? Is there a supposed consensus about buying it in advance and having it delivered to your USA home address versus buying it in advance and picking it up at the iamsterdam visitor information center Amsterdam Schiphol airport versus waiting until I arrive to buy it and just hoping I will figure out where to buy it in person?

Edit: if this matters, my total trip budget is $3,500 US dollars. Subtracting $160 for transportation to and from the airport in Michigan, plane tickets I already bought, and cost of hotels/hostels I already reserved, I have $1,182 left for the combination of food, transportation and sites and museums.

Posted by
222 posts

Add up the separate costs of each museum and see if you are saving money by buying the Iamsterdam card.
Note, the Anne Frank House is NOT part of the card, you will have to budget for that separately.
Also, the cost of the train from the Airport is not included in the price of the card.

Have you thought about taking the free (pay what you think it was worth ) walking tour that several tour companies offer?

Also, you must really like musuems, because seeing the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh and the Stedelijk museum all in one day would leave me shell-shocked. And I love museums!

The Amsterdam card includes a canal boat tour- are you going to book time for that? that's well worth doing.
And what about visiting the Olde Kerk (Old church) and while you are in the area getting a glimpse of the Red Light District? Just walk it to get a flavor of Amsterdam that you will never see back home. Amsterdam is more than just museums.
IMHO, , the most important museums to visit are the Rijksmuseum, the Van gogh and a visit to the anne Frank huis.
To me, it sounds like you are trying to get your money's worth on a very expensive tourist card by visiting everything you can in the time that you have. do the math and see if paying separate is cheaper than the Amsterdam card.
Also you can get a three day GVB card ride the public transport in Amsterdam. Factor that into your calculations.

Posted by
61 posts

We got the Amsterdam Card and loved it. You will need that card number for reduce admission to Van Gogh.
Resistance museum, Attic Church, Rijkmuseum and a whole bunch of others included. Not good outside of Amsterdam. Will give free rides on metro, buses and trams in Amsterdam. Use them. Group your visits as it looks like you are planning to. We paid for shipping and used it when we got into town.
Do the Rick Steve's walking tour of the Jordann area.
Bring a raincoat, it rains there, like a lot! 2 out of 4 days it rained on us in early Sept.
Get the fries, with mayo!Have a great trip!

Posted by
602 posts

Thanks for your imput.

I have some doubt about whether I will have time to some of the non-major museums, like both the Amsterdam musem and thr Maritime museum - maybe I will just see one of these 2; one of the historic house museums, and so on. I did the math and figured out that in case I do end up seeing every museum in the Amsterdam area that looks like it might be appealing to me now, the cost would be €167, without the iamsterdam card. Versus €115 for the card according to the website. I didn’t figure out how much the card costs to be mailed to me. It looks like the card covers the Franz Hals museum in Haarlem and buildings in Zaanse Schans.

I am tenatively guessing that if I am in a museum and I have already seen parts of it, and if there is time to see either the rest of or the next museum on my itinerary, and if the rest looks appealing but I won’t have time to see both the rest and the next museum, I will look at the rest of the place I am in and just acquiesce to being happy with what I did see and not worry about what I am skipping seeing.

Posted by
1804 posts

I'd take advantage of some of the late admission hours to certain spots where you can. For example on arrival day, maybe check into your hotel, walk around to get acclimated to the city and keep jet lag at bay, then visit Anne Frank Huis around 6:00PM then dinner near your hotel before you turn in early.

That's a lot of museums to the point of potential overload on Friday - the Rijks is extremely large. Sure, you can see just some of the highlights in a few hours, but if you really wanted to deep dive into the collections it takes a sizeable chunk of time. Over my first trip to Amsterdam (which was 2 weeks) it took me multiple days to see all of it and each visit I spent upwards of 4 hours. Obviously, you don't need to see all of it - you can pick and choose just a few select areas that interest you and be out of there in 2 hours if you really wanted. The Stedelijk deserves at least 2+ hours - it's definitely not anywhere near as crowded as the others which is a plus. I would highly recommend taking advantage of Friday late hours for VanGogh Museum (they close around 10PM). Van Gogh has some really cool events on Friday evenings - like live music and cocktails in the lobby and guest lectures in some of their meeting rooms. If you are looking for a decent hot meal without spending a whole lot of money, the food in their cafe is pretty good. If I was trying to squeeze all 3 in on a Friday, I'd aim for Rijks first thing in the morning as soon as they open, take a break for lunch nearby and then Stedelijk and shoot for arriving at VanGogh around 6:30-7:00PM.

The historic canal houses (like Willet, Van Loon, etc.) are nice, but they are fairly small and will only take about an hour max to go through. If you happen to be in the vicinity of one and it's included in whatever pass you ultimately decide to get, then by all means stop in and poke around a little bit, but I wouldn't actively plan to go out of my way to get to one.

Zaanse Schans - meh... sure it's got windmills, but it's a little hokey - lots of gift shops - benefit is it's much closer to Amsterdam if you only wanted to do a partial day there. Kinderdijk, on the other hand, is (thankfully) missing the guides dressed up like The Little Dutch Boy, but it's a great place to rent a bike and photograph some stunning windmills. It is more of a full day trip since it will take a bit longer to get there if you are taking public transportation - you could train it to Rotterdam and take a boat to Kinderdijk, or you can train from Amsterdam to Utrecht and catch a bus to Kinderdijk - trains run so frequently to both Utrecht and Rotterdam, and either of those places would make for a nice stopover for dinner and a stroll before heading back to Amsterdam.

Posted by
602 posts

I bought an iamsterdam card. I selected the option to pick it up in person. I reserved a timed ticket for the Van Gogh museum. I selected the option for museumkaart. I hope this option includes the iamsterdam card, not just the museumkaart that covers multiple locations through the Netherlands and is mainly meant for Netherlands citizens.

Posted by
23 posts

Just as an FYI, the cost to have it sent to the US is currently 40 euros. I also went with the "pick it up at Schiphol" option.