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Best Ways to Get Around Amsterdam Affordably – Public Transportation Guide


Amsterdam is a city where your wildest dreams can come true. The city with a perfect combination of stunning medieval architecture, vibrant nightlife and huge cultural heritage offers a lot to tourists and travelers. However, much like other Western European capitals, Amsterdam is quite far from being too cheap. Especially, when it comes to transportation inside the city. Using Taxis and Taxi-like apps, such as Uber, Bolt, Freenow etc. might cost you hundreds of euros. And it’s rather foolish to spend all this money on transportation when you could have saved it and spent on something else, like partying or museums. In this article we will give you the full overview of Amsterdam Public Transportation System and recommend best ways to get around Amsterdam affordably.

History of Public Transportation in Amsterdam

Public transportation in Amsterdam is a system of trains, buses, and trams. It is the most popular form of transportation in Amsterdam.

Public transportation in Amsterdam has been a way for people to get around since before the city was established. The first mention of public transit was recorded back in 1800s when a tramway was constructed to connect the city center with the harbor. The tramway used horse-drawn carriages and provided service every day until it closed down in 1874 due to lack of use. In 1876, an omnibus service started operating which connected the city center with its outer districts and suburbs.

In 20th Century the city’s infrastructure has enhanced gradually and Amsterdam has developed one of the most efficient city transportation system, that serves millions of locals and tourists every year.

Public Transportation in Amsterdam

Buses – Public buses are a public service that is provided by the city of Amsterdam. Public buses are run by the municipal bus company, GVB. The city of Amsterdam has been running public buses since 1878. The company operates over 100 routes as well as providing services for disabled people and students. The company also provides a number of other services to the public such as bike rental, taxis, and night buses. Public transportation in Amsterdam is one of the most affordable options for getting around town.

Tram – Public trams have always been an important part of the public transit system in Amsterdam. These trams provide residents with a convenient way to commute through the city, as well as provide an enjoyable experience for tourists visiting the city. The city’s tram network includes both street-running tram lines, as well as underground tram lines that run along the city’s canals and rivers. The main hub for these lines is located at Amsterdam Central Station.

Metro – Amsterdam has one of the most extensive metro systems in the world, which includes 11 lines and 300 stations. The network spans across all parts of the city and connects many areas like Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam Central Station, and Leidseplein.

Ferry – Amsterdam is a city of canals, so Amsterdam without ferries would be like a lumberjack without an axe. Public ferries have their own unique charm and they offer a different experience from the other modes of transportation in Amsterdam. They can also be used as a way to explore the city by getting off at different stops along the route. The public ferry system in Amsterdam is one of its most iconic features, providing locals with an affordable, eco-friendly and scenic way to get around town.

Public Transportation in Amsterdam – What You Should Know About the Tickets?

When it comes to public transportation tickets in Amsterdam, you have several choices. The best option for you depends on the duration of your stay and type of travel. If your main priority is to see as much as possible of the city, then you will need pre-paid public transportation cards for 1-7 days. However, if you are more chilled about your trip and want to get lost in the dazzling streets of Amsterdam, then maybe getting single tickets can be your best shot. However, you should know that the latter is the most expensive way to use public transportation in Amsterdam.

Single Ticket allows you to use and change lines on every type of public transportation in Amsterdam for up to one hour. It costs 3.20euros and is the most expensive type of ticket. Bear in mind that Amsterdam Public Transportation system is entirely cash-free, so you need to purchase these tickets either online or inside the bus by card.

Although, you might think that single ticket can be a good choice for you, there are always better options. We highly recommend to opt out for one to seven days unlimited card. This card authorizes you for unlimited rides on buses, trams, metro and ferries. Plus, you don’t get to worry about finding the ticket machine to get a single ticket. This is the best value for money if you are staying in Amsterdam for at least a weekend and plan to commute a lot. All you have to do is to get a card and check-in and check-out each time you get on/off the bus. If you are arriving to the city through Schiphol Airport, we recommend to get an airport express ticket too.

Other Transportation Cards That You Should Consider

I Amsterdam City Card – This ticket allows you to use public transportation for free and get plenty of discounts on different museums and city attractions. It is valid for 36 hours and is a good choice for those who has limited time in the city and wants to make most of it. Plus, you get one-hour free canal cruise and free bike rental service.

3 Day Amsterdam Travel Ticket – Unlimited travel around the city and at airport’s express for 72 hours. The ticket is valid not only in public buses, trams and metro, but also on express trains that connects city to its metropolitan area.

Alongside the public transportation recommendations, we also recommend you to check out ETIAS Website before your trip to Amsterdam. The website allows you to get the recent information on EU Entry Regulations that will be operational from 2023. It will also help you to apply for Visa waiver document.


Amsterdam is a city full of wonders. It offers a great variety of landmarks and sightseeing that is worth visiting. Considering how expensive traveling to Amsterdam is, it is always a good idea to save money as possible, especially on transportation. The city’s well-developed infrastructure enables you to commute around Amsterdam affordably, so you can spend money on other activities like sightseeing and partying.

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