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Van Gogh Museum timed entry using an I Amsterdam City Card

My recent experience may help those of you planning your trip with the I Amsterdam City Card. I'd recently purchased two IAmsterdam cards and then tried to book a timed entry reservation in April to the Van Gogh Museum, which proved impossible. After numerous emails with both the museum and IAmsterdam City Card, I found that this is not permitted. Nowhere on the City Card website does it tell you that in order to book a timed entry to the Van Gogh Museum, you must be in physical possession of your City Card. Since we were going to trade our confirmed voucher from IAmsterdam City Card when we arrived in Amsterdam, there was little chance that we'd be able to book timed entry at this popular museum with our City Card for the next day. Additionally, beginning March 4th, timed ticket bookings to the Van Gogh using an IAmsterdam card are required to be done on a new webpage of the IAmsterdam website.
I think there must be some sort of power struggle going on between the museum and the City Card as this appears to be the only sight that has such a stringent rule about booking only after obtaining the physical card. Rijksmuseum has no such issue and it is set up to book timed entries, only requiring that you must have the City Card with you for entry.
While the Van Gogh Museum responded to emails, they provided no solution. City Card was more responsive and refunded my purchase. I then booked timed reservation tickets directly with the museum. Hopefully, these two companies' difficulties will be sorted out eventually since having City Cards mailed to the U.S. nears the cost of purchasing two tickets directly through the museum.

Posted by
2487 posts

A solution could be to make a reservation on the Van Gogh Museum site and pretend having a Museumkaart (under »Other options« on the »Book your tickets« page), holders of which are entitled to a free reservation.
I don't see what the problem could be when entering the museum: you have an entry ticket (in the form of the IAmsterdam card) and a timed reservation. And you can also perfectly explain that this was the only way of getting a reservation.

Posted by
61 posts

Do you think (or did they tell you) that after March 4, the process will be easier and you will be able to book your tickets on IAmsterdams webisite?

Posted by
2487 posts

Let's hope so. Now it is a total mess. I tried an ad random date in April on the IAmsterdam site and it showed only a few days for which reservations would be available for the Van Gogh Museum, while the museum site had loads of available dates.

Posted by
16 posts

I was told very clearly by email from the museum that booking a Museumkaart ticket would not be honored if I substituted an iamsterdam card on entry. It was actually what I first tried, actually in complete honesty as there was no option for a City Card and the museum website ticket page is confusing because it has a choice of: Museumkaart (card holders). So, I thought that must mean all card holders. Not so.
Both the museum and iamsterdam claim that the process will be easier, though I'd say it's a wait and see situation. Apparently, the museum only identifies a certain number of spaces to be used by the 'free cards' such as iamsterdam. I think the situation between the museum and iamsterdam is a work in progress and for anyone really wanting to visit the museum on a timed entry, a ticket directly from the museum is the way to go. Doing so, lowers the value of the iamsterdam city card and for our time in Amsterdam, we found it better to just order any tickets we want directly or on site.

Posted by
2815 posts

Their plan is to make the IAmsterdam City Card available as an eticket/app with a number you get upon purchase and allowing you to make reservations. Problem is how to make the transportation component work.

Posted by
16 posts

While IAmsterdam’s plan may be eventually workable and amazing, it is not functional right now for booking Van Gogh timed entries for travelers. That fact, which is not referenced on their site, makes it a negative for unsuspecting tourists.

Posted by
15 posts

beginning March 4th, timed ticket bookings to the Van Gogh using an IAmsterdam card are required to be done on a new webpage of the IAmsterdam website.

I just booked my I Amsterdam cards and found out that the new webpage still requires you to have the physical card so I am out of luck. Their claimed reason is

At the moment it is not possible for us to connect a physical City Card and its unique Card ID to a specific person due to data privacy laws.

This makes no sense since they could tie the Card ID to the Voucher Number without exposing any personally identifiable information. They just did not plan for this when they set up the site.

The I Amsterdam card website recommends paying for separate tickets in order to reserve your time in advance. Argh!

I decided to wait until we get to Amsterdam to get the cards and reserve times. We will be there for 3 days in late March so it should be okay. I talked with somebody who lived there and he said it should be okay for March.

When I checked the museum site, there were lots of time slots available for four people even through April.

Posted by
16 posts

You're absolutely correct that they could use the voucher number if the Van Gogh needs to feel this extra security layer. The claim of protecting privacy information espoused by IAmsterdam becomes a ridiculous argument considering that the also immensely popular Rijksmuseum allows IAmsterdam card holders to book ahead without physical possession of the card and its highly secret number. When making a reservation at the Rijks for the Rembrandt show, one of the ticket choices is: 'I already have a ticket/voucher' with an accompanying information button that lists the cards, including IAmsterdam that will be admitted free with their card and their timed reservation. Paying to go to the Van Gogh for two people, as I was, definitely removed the financial benefit of having the city card.
Something clearly has run amok between the Van Gogh and IAmsterdam and they'd save plan-ahead tourists a whole lot of trouble if they'd come clean with a disclaimer about needing possession of the card to book at the Van Gogh. To their credit, after several emails and one very helpful IAmsterdam representative who tried very hard to find a solution, I was refunded my purchase.

Posted by
423 posts

I already had did what tonofleiden suggests. I purchased the iamsterdam card. I selected the option to pick it up in person. I printed the comfirmation page with the barcode somebody scans when you pick the card up. I already made a reservation for the Van Gogh museum, selecting the museumkaart option. Do I really have to buy separate tickets to the Van gogh and/or get a refund on my iamsterdam card putchase? My city card will be valid when I arrive at the museum because I will have already picked it up in person before I arrive at the museum. Are you sure that you are not worrying about a problem that is not able to exist? What if the people you talked to do not understand you and/or it does not matter what they say and it turns out that what tonofleiden wrote is right? What do I do if I am refused entry to the museum? Do I just act like being refused to museums is the most normal thing, like I was supposed to know that I was wrong for assuming what I assumed?

I thought the reijksmuseum does not require reserving a time in advanced.

My trip is in July.

What are the chances that getting the iamsterdam card is a risky waste of money or worse? Should I just be safe, purchase a separate museum ticket, and try getting my money back for the iamsterdam card?

Posted by
2487 posts

At this moment the IAmsterdam Card website has the clear warning that there are limitations on using the card for the Van Gogh Museum.

Posted by
423 posts

I hate wasting money. I made a bad mistake purchasing the iamsterdam city card. Even without worrying about the Van Gogh museum, I think I am better off seeing just a few museums, paying for each one separately. I sent two messages to citycard@iamsterdam.com asking for a refund. First, I wrote that my plans changed. Then I wrote that I am not canceling my trip and summarized why I want a refund.

Posted by
1 posts

We are headed to Amsterdam later this week. I have confirmed reservations for Van Gogh, and have printed and also saved on our phone. I says, remember to bring your I Amsterdam Card. We haven't purchased that yet, and will upon arrival at the airport. If all els fails, and it won't work, we'll just get a ChipKart and pay cash at the various museums we want to see. It's a vacation, not a seminar. I hope it works out, but if not..... go for the Stroopwaffel!

Posted by
423 posts

Cheryl: How did you convince the City Card people to give you a refund? I didn’t get a response yet. The fine print says, no refunds allowed (if you cancel your trip. How would they know I am not canceling my trip?)

Posted by
15 posts

I thought I would be okay last month because there were several time slots still available on the Van Gogh Museum website on the morning I arrived in Amsterdam. When I picked up my card and tried to reserve a slot using the City Card website, it said there were no times available for the next month. I asked the guy at the office what was up and he replied that the museum reserves only a few time slots for City Card holders. He recommended that I buy full price tickets from the museum. The only way to use the City Card for the Van Gogh Museum is to pay the extra fee to get the card mailed to your home two months in advance. That makes it impractical for the Van Gogh Museum.

I think I still got my money's worth from the card from several museums and a lot of tram travel.