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One week in Amsterdam. Which cards to get?

Hi, we are 6 (grandmother, 3 young teens and parents) and we're going to be in Amsterdam for 7 full days, first week of April. We also would like to visit a few places outside of Amsterdam.

We've rented an appartment, so that's taken care of, but I'm pretty overwhelmed with all the different cards that are available. Can anyone recommend any combination of cards? Would the ov chipkaart plus the Holland pass be a good choice? And for my mother in law, who loves museums, the ov chipkaart plus museum kart?

I read about the Holland pass, and I'm still not sure I understand how many museums and attractions we can visit with with one card, so I can't figure out how convenient it would be to buy it. The explanation about the Amsterdam city card was more clear, it looks like you can visit a whole load of museums and attractions for free or with a good discount, but it only lasts 3 days, so I guess that wouldn't be our best choice?

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I'd really appreciate some advice.

Posted by
1005 posts

Don't get the Holland Pass or the iAmsterdam card (the city card). They are not worth it. Rick says to get the Museumkaart if you are seeing four or more major museums, such as the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, and Stedelijk. The Museumkaart is good for a whole year--no rushing around trying to see all the museums in a limited time!

Make a reservation in advance for the Anne Frank House--the lines can be very long. You can make an online Anne Frank House reservation for entry with a Museumkaart even if you haven't bought one yet (you can only buy them in the Netherlands). Don't buy Museumkaarts for the teens--there are lots of youth discounts that can get them into these places pretty cheaply.

OV-chipkaarts are very complicated for tourists. However, if you are going to be there for a whole week and use public transportation every day, they can save you money if you take 10 more more rides on buses and trams in that period. However, you have to reload them at train or Metro stations, which means lots of trips to Amsterdam Centraal depending on how much money you put on the cards. And you have to cash them out in person at a train station at the end of your trip (there's one at Schiphol). So it might make more sense to buy a four-day transit pass--costs about 21 euros--rather than deal with all the ov-chipkaart hassles--it's your choice.

Posted by
16883 posts

The 3- and 4-day city transit passes area easy to buy from staff onboard a tram.

Posted by
672 posts

Here's the official site for the day passes. According to this site, only 24 and 48 hour passes are available on the tram, and only the 24 hour pass on the bus. So, if you want a longer pass, you'll need to get it from a ticket vending machine at a metro station or from the TI. Note that these passes are not good for the trains.

Don't forget to check in and check out each time you ride the bus, tram, or metro!

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you very much for all your tips.
So, it really is cheaper to just get transportation passes/cards for the days that we know we're going to be walking long distances? (i.e. on March 31st we have tickets for a soccer game, and I understand the Arena is quite far from where we're staying - around Voldenstraat and Constantijn somethingStraat), And for the days that we want to travel to Madurodam or the Tulip park, to get regular train tickets?

I didn't know any of the cards included a discount for the Anne Frank Museum; so the Museum card does? good to know.My mother in law will definitely enjoy buying it (though I haven't check discounts for over 70 year olds).

What about the combination tickets offered for instance by the Amsterdam Dungeon (I know it's a tourist trap, but my kids will enjoy it), and a canal tour? Would that be worth it?

One more question, if I may. We're the kind of people who enjoy eating in regular restaurants where locals eat. Is there such a thing in Amsterdam and do you have any recommendations?

Thanks again,

Posted by
8997 posts

What about the combination tickets offered for instance by the
Amsterdam Dungeon (I know it's a tourist trap, but my kids will enjoy

The Dungeon is owned by the same group that operates Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on Dam Square. The combination ticket for these two attractions will save you big bucks. The kids will indeed enjoy it:) The kids will also enjoy the maritime museum with it's replica 17th century warship docked outside, the gift shop for the Hermitage's children's museum, and the new world's only micro-biology museum at the city zoo.

Posted by
2829 posts

I think it is worth to get an OV-Chipkaart, load with with reasonable money (you can simulate costs of trips on, and then take the refund before leaving. It is too much of a hassle for a 2-day visit but well worth it for a week-long stay, especially if you plan venturing out of the city to some day trip.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you Michael, I will look into the other museums for them. Andre, that's a great site you gave me. The directions include every small detail about how to get to each place, how much it will's perfect for tourists. Thanks so much!