I visited Amsterdam on my 25th birthday in September 2011. Together with my girlfriend we spent 3 full days in Amsterdam visiting a lot of museums, some art-galleries, walking narrow streets of Jordaan district and of course, walking next to many canals the city of Amsterdam is famous for.
As we both prefer traveling on our own (a good way to save money also) we started preparing several months in advance, bought flight tickets, found a place to stay for 3 nights. Next step was to find a way to save money on attractions. Here is when we first checked for I am Amsterdam tourist card (I Amsterdam, how it is actually named).
Tip: It does not really matter in what month you are planning to visit Amsterdam start looking for a place to stay at least 1 full month in advance to get something to choose from within your price range!
I am Amsterdam card has 95% of everything you need already included in the price and “preloaded” on the card. Depending on the card you buy (1, 2 or 3 days) you also get 24, 48 or 72 hours public transport pass valid on all trams, subway and regular buses.
Important to know – this pass is not valid on express bus lines. How to know if it is an express bus? No idea. Just go to the front door, show your pass and if driver starts shouting at you and shakes his head in a “no-no” way then most probably it is a wrong bus. They also have strange numbers, like 275 or similar.
My personal suggestion would be that if you go for 1 day then skip the card. The thing is that you will not manage to visit that many museums and galleries to at least even-out the price of the card.
Another important advise is that if you are planning to stay 2,5 days in Amsterdam and not sure if you should go for 2 days or 3 days card go for 3 days one. Thing is that the price difference is 10 euros but you also get bus ticket for full 3rd day. If you buy daily ticket separately you pay around 7 EUR per person.
Now more about the card
Card is for one person only with allowance to enter all places also only for 1 person. At some places you can get a free gift or a discount which is also only for single person. Do not try to get anything extra from Dutch people or bargain at the museum entrance, it does not work.
Card can be bought at the Airport at the tourist shop or also from a white tourist house right opposite the main train station in Amsterdam. Line in the airport can get quite long so you might have a better chance buying it at the tourist house next to the Central station in Amsterdam.
When you buy your card it gets activated at the tourist stand. Together with your Amsterdam card you get a book with the list of all places where you can get for free or with a discount, some additional information about Amsterdam and also your public transport pass which is a separate hard-paper card. Do not lose any of this! Well, you may lose the small book.
If you lose your card or public transport ticket you will have to buy another one.
You can also buy I am Amsterdam card online from iamsterdam.com. After you buy it you will get confirmation letter that you need to print out and take with you. You get your Amsterdam card again at the tourist shop in the airport or next to train station. Price is the same.
Cost of I Amsterdam card
- 24 hour card – 40 EUR
- 48 hour card – 50 EUR
- 72 hour card – 60 EUR
The card is activated right after you bought it, public transport ticket is activated after the first use!
Here are just a few of museums and things you must visit and do if you are in Amsterdam which are free with Amsterdam card:
- Vincent van Gogh museum (normal price 14 EUR);
- Rembrandt House (normal price 10 EUR);
- Amsterdam Museum (normal price 10 EUR);
- Amsterdam Diamond museum (normal price 7.5 EUR);
- Amsterdam Tulip museum (normal price 6 EUR);
- FOAM art photo gallery (normal price 8.5 EUR);
- Ride a canal boat (normal price 14 EUR);
And many more things you can do for free. Taking prices from the list shown above we get a total of 70 EUR, plus public transport daily ticket which bought on its own costs 7 EUR. 48 hours card costs 50 EUR and includes tram, bus, and metro pass.
In addition to “free” access included in the card you get a lot of 25% discounts at many places such as some bike-rental shops, canal bus, some more museums, some attractions and experiences like Heineken experience, many restaurants and so on. For the full list of things check official site of Amsterdam card.
In order to use your card at its full extend you will have to actively go around Amsterdam, use some public transport and a good tourist map. Overall, as we have experienced ourselves, I am Amsterdam card can be a great money-saver and push you to see many great places of this amazing city!