Is the Amsterdam Card worth it in 2023, or a tourist trap? My short answer is: “It’s not a trap. The card can be of significant value. If you’re the right person.” Unlike many other city cards worldwide, the I Amsterdam City card is developed and sold by the city of Amsterdam, ensuring quality.
The I Amsterdam Card gives access to most city museums and the surrounding area. Also, other attractions are included, like a canal tour, This is Holland, and it includes transport. You can even rent a bike for “free.”
This card is quite inclusive. The more days you use the card, the easier it becomes to save money, but even a one-day ticket can be worth it.
The card is legit and can offer a great deal of value. But that doesn’t mean this card is a good deal for you. Let’s dive in to find out if the card is worth it.
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Do I Think The Amsterdam Card Is Worth It As A Local?
I honestly think this card can be one of the best deals to be had when you spend some time in Amsterdam, BUT… it depends on what you want to do and see! In this post, I’ll walk you through the pros and cons of this card. I am making it very easy to decide if it’s for you.
I’ll also share my five hidden gem picks from the extensive list of attractions that most visitors tend to miss but are included in this card.
Amsterdam Card Worth It? I think it is. When you’re ready to buy this card, you can do so here: purchase your official I amsterdam City Card.
Who Issues The Amsterdam City Card?
The I Amsterdam City Card is created and sold by the non-profit organization Iamsterdam. I Amsterdam is the official partner of the city. This card is legit and not a tourist trap in any way.
Who Is The Card For?
The I Amsterdam city card is best for people who like museums. Museums are expensive in the Netherlands. By visiting just a few of them, getting your money’s worth will be easy. On top of that, many other attractions are available to you at no extra cost—like free public transportation, a canal tour, and even access to the famous Artis Zoo.
The card holds the most value if you’re planning to visit museums. It’s that simple. The card offers free admission to over 80 museums and attractions in Amsterdam, plus a few more where they offer discounts. The free offering includes big-name museums like the Rijksmuseum, the Jewish Museum, the Rembrandt House, and the NEMO Science Museum.
Who Is The Card NOT For?
If you don’t like visiting museums, getting your money’s worth will be more challenging. You will get free public transportation, a canal tour, and even access to the famous Artis Zoo. But that often doesn’t cover the costs of the card by itself.
You’re usually better off buying individual tickets unless you utilize most non-museum attractions in the card. Below is a detailed list to determine if the card can still be worth it.
The I amsterdam City Card is also not for people with little time in the city. Getting your money’s worth will be challenging if you’re in Amsterdam for just one day or less. Often you’re better off buying individual tickets in that scenario.
Would I Buy The Card As A Local?
Yes, without a doubt. I love visiting museums and learning new things. I also love exploring the surroundings of Amsterdam, and the other attractions included like This is Holland, are so much fun to me. I would explore by bike and public transport.
I see myself getting my money’s worth, especially with a multi-day ticket.
There is just so much included in this card. It very quickly becomes a bargain compared to the at-the-door prices. Plus, you can skip the line in many places.
How much does the I amsterdam City Card cost in 2023?
- A 24-hour card costs €60
- 48 hours cards cost €85 (just €42,50 per day)
- 72 hours cards cost €100 (just €33,33 per day)
- 96 hours cards costs € 115 (just €28,75 per day)
- And a 120-hour card costs only: €125 (that is €25 per day)
The 24-hour card is relatively expensive. But you will save money if you, for example, visit a top museum like the Rijksmuseum, take a This is Holland Flight, go on a Canal Tour, and use the trams and metro to get around. Later in this post, I will provide a few itinerary examples.
The real value is in the 48-120 hour cards, however. The 48 hours I amsterdam City Card already is a bargain. It’s easy to get €42,50 worth in a day. Plus, you enjoy the convenience of having just one ticket to purchase. If you plan wisely, you can squeeze in a 3rd-day attraction for free.
If you’re staying longer than two days in Amsterdam, the card becomes an absolute bargain.
How does the I amsterdam City Card Work?
What is good to know also is that you’re not purchasing day tickets. But 24-hour tickets. If you plan smart, you can use the card for an extra day as long as you start the activity the next day before the expiration time of the card.
If you activate your 24-hour card at 11 am on day one, you can do activities for the rest of the day, and then the next day, you can do another attraction as long as you start/enter before 11 am.
This Is How You Use The Card
- Purchase your card here (thank you for doing that, you support this free content by doing so)
- Reserve your time slots as much in advance as possible (instructions in purchase confirmation)
- Redeem your purchase for a physical card after arrival at the I amsterdam store.
- Show your card at the attractions (if needed, together with the timeslot confirmation)
- For public transport, scan/tap the card each time you enter the vehicle and when you depart
Can I Use The Card Only In Amsterdam?
The great thing about this offer is that more attractions are included than just Amsterdam. You can also use the I Amsterdam City Card in the Amsterdam “region.” In cities like Haarlem (beautiful and just minutes from Amsterdam) or the Zaanse Schans, the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen (tip), the Muiderslot Castle, and more.
Even if the card was only available in Amsterdam City, as the name suggests, it’s very much worth the costs, but you can also use it outside the city.
You can get a free canal tour in Haarlem and the Zaanse Schans. Or (and) visit the famous Teijlers and the Frans Hals museum in Haarlem, all included in your card.
What Is NOT Included In The Card?
I refer you to the bottom of this article for an exact list of what is included. But I want to point out a few things that are not included in the card but that you might expect to be.
- The Anne Frank House Museum is not part of the card (reserve through the museum’s website early)
- The Van Gogh Museum is also not included (again, book early)
- The Keukenhof flower garden is not included
- You can not use the trains. The card can not be used to and from the airport
My Top 5 Hidden Gems Tips
Of course, this is very personal and depends on what you like. But there a quite a few unique places included in the I amsterdam City Card that most visitors won’t even notice are there.
It’s impossible to list them all. But here are my top five hidden gem picks on the card and why I think they are gems:
1. The Zuiderzee museum
The Zuiderzee Museum is a one-hour train ride from Amsterdam but worth the trip. You must purchase your train ticket separately, but the museum is included. It’s one of my favorite museums. I visit it yearly.
It’s an open-air museum in a way similar to the Zaanse Schans. However, it’s much more authentic partly because it’s a paid museum. It tells the story from the angle of a fishing village. It’s much larger than the Zaanse Schans and includes a free boat ride from the railway station.
You can try authentic foods like smoked fish (herring and salmon) and other Dutch goodies. The smoked herring is delicious! And by far, not as scary as the raw herring Holland is famous for.
This is a museum not discovered by too many tourists. Meaning you’ll have a much more local experience. After your visit, make sure to wander around the town of Enkhuizen itself. The city center is beautiful!
If the I amsterdam City Card is not for you, you can also buy a separate ticket for the Zuiderzee Museum.
2. Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
The Hortus Botanicus is a stunning botanical garden near the Artis Zoo, the Jewish Historical Museum, and the Tropics Museum (all these are included in the I amsterdam City Card price, by the way).
Both the greenhouses and the gardens are spectacular.
When the I Amsterdam card is not for you, but you’d like to buy a separate ticket for Hortus Botanicus, you can do so here.
3. Artis Micropia
While most people go to the famous Artis Zoo right next door (also included in your card), Artis Micropia is a one-of-a-kind attraction that promises to take you on a fascinating journey into the microscopic world but is often missed by visitors.
Micropia showcases the intriguing and often unseen universe of bacteria, fungi, algae, and other microscopic organisms. With its state-of-the-art exhibits and interactive displays, this hidden gem offers an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.
When the I Amsterdam card is not for you, but you’d like to buy a separate ticket for Micropia, you can do so here.
4. The Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum) Amsterdam
One of the better museums in the city, but one that is often skipped, is the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam. Please see the Vertzetsmuseum if you’re interested in the Anne Frank house museum.
The resistance museum was chosen as the best historical museum in the country for a reason. Especially the Junior section of the museum is fantastic (also for adults).
This is where you’ll learn about the resistance movement in the country (and the people who did not help) during World War II.
When the I Amsterdam card is not for you, but you’d like to buy a separate ticket for the Resistance Museum, you can do so here.
5. Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder Museum – Our Lord In The Attic Museum Amsterdam
My fifth choice is the: “Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum – Our Lord in the Attic Museum.” This is one of those museums that you are like: “Wow, This is stunning!” And it is.
Holland was one of the first countries with freedom of religion in Europe. But being allowed to choose your faith and celebrate it was still very different back then. It all depended on where you lived.
In the 17th century, Holland (above the rivers) was Protestant. Below the rivers, it was Catholic. Amsterdam, part of Holland, was Protestant and Catholic churches were prohibited in Holland.
Since this was the Golden Age, and Amsterdam was the wealthiest city in the world, no expense was spared for people who still wanted to celebrate in secret.
How? People built and hid complete full-sized churches inside their big houses on the top floor, away from the eyes of the general public.
This is a rare opportunity to see a well-preserved hidden church inside a house from the Golden Century. I was blown away by it. First, you’re walking through the living quarters of a regular house, and then suddenly, you’re in this magnificent church. Your I amsterdam City Card gives free entrance.
PS: If the I amsterdam City Card is not for you, you can buy a separate ticket for the Lord in the Attic Museum.
Of course, visit Amsterdam’s classic attractions when this is your first time here. There is only one Nightwatch by Rembrandt, and you must see it yourself.
But once you’ve seen the classics (many are also included in your I amsterdam City card), it’s worth venturing out further and discovering these gems.
Where To Buy The I amsterdam City Card?
You can purchase your card online (thank you for doing that, you support this free content by doing so). Once you have purchased your card, you can reserve your time slot.
When you arrive in the city, you can redeem your card at I amsterdam city store. This is a nice and large store on the north side of the central station (in the direction of the ferries).
The address is De Ruijterkade 28b-d, open from 9 am, seven days a week. It closed at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. on the weekends)
For more information about how to use the card precisely, scroll back to here.
Is There Anything Else Included Other Than The Free Attractions?
Yes, there is! You’ll also get a discount on theater tickets and concerts, restaurants, and some museums, tours, and attractions not part of the free offering.
What Are Other People Saying?
Most people are raving about the I amsterdam City Card, but some are more critical. Let’s look at a few of those critical reviews published on the product page of Get Your Guide:
“Nancy – United States – I could not find where to get the card at the airport, and no one that worked at the airport knew where to send us. We ended up taking a cab to our hotel. Otherwise, it was great once we got the card. We found the shop outside of the central station.”
My reply: The shop at the airport is now closed, the I amsterdam store is located at Central Station.
Transportation to the city from the airport is never included in the I amsterdam City Card. No matter what, you still have to pay for your transportation from the Airport. Whether taking a taxi or the train. Read about all the transportation options from the airport in my post: How to get from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam.
“Amanda – Canada – I would recommend this for someone that has all the time to see all the attractions in Amsterdam. However, unlike other passes for other European cities, this one does not give you free entry to places, but only a small discount, so not worth it. If I were to go to Amsterdam again, I wouldn’t buy this because I didn’t have time to visit all I wanted, so I didn’t get the best value for my money. It also doesn’t let you skip the line in the attractions, so don’t see the point.”
My reply: This review was interesting to me. I wondered if Amanda read what was and what wasn’t included in the card because over 80 attractions are free with the card, including big-ticket items like the Rijksmuseum and canal tours.
But not all museums and attractions are included. So if the primary goal was to visit those, you’re out of luck. You need to check first what is included and what isn’t.
You get your money’s worth after visiting 4-5 attractions. There is no need to have all the time in the world, but I advise you to have at least 48 hours. And you do not need to do everything included in the card to get value out of it. The card provides value after just a few activities and using the trams or a bike rental to get around.
Skipping the line, indeed, is not included for some museums. The two main benefits of this card are to save money compared to individual tickets and to save time by not having to buy each ticket individually.
As you can tell, these negative reviews are not negatives about the card. More misunderstandings on the part of the traveler. This won’t be you because you’re reading this post 🤗.
The Complete List Of What Is Included With The I amsterdam City Card
Not all attractions are created equal. To make more sense of this list, we starred (⭐️) each popular attraction. Next to the prominent must-see places that are starred, I’ve highlighted the gems with a diamond (💎). A (📆) symbol means you must make a time slot reservation once you have acquired the pass.
Items marked with red warning signs (❌) are what I advise you not to do. You can consider those as “tourist traps.”
The other options are great if it catches your particular interest. I hope this will help you decide what to do and what to skip easier.
Museums Offer Free Admission
- Allard Pierson Museum 📆 💎
- Amsterdam Museum (Amstel location) 📆 ⭐️
- Amsterdam Pipe Museum ❌
- Amsterdam Tulip Museum ❌
- ARTIS-Groote Museum 📆
- Canal Houses Museum 💎
- Dageraad Museum 📆
- Diamand Museum Amsterdam 📆 ❌
- Embassy of the Free Mind 📆
- Eye Filmmuseum
- Fashion for Good Museum
- Foam Photography Museum Amsterdam
- Geelvinck Pianola Museum
- Hermitage Amsterdam 📆
- Huis Willet-Holthuysen 📆 💎
- Jewish Museum 📆 ⭐️
- Lord In The Attic – Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum 📆 💎
- Luther Museum 📆
- Maritime Museum Amsterdam ⭐️
- Marseille House, Photography Museum
- Moco Museum – Banksy and more 📆 ⭐️
- Multatuli Museum
- Museum het Schip – De Amsterdamse School
- Museum van de Geest – Outsider Art
- Museum van Loon 📆
- NEMO Science Museum 📆 ⭐️
- New Church Amsterdam 📆
- Old Church Amsterdam (Saskia’s grave, Rembrandt’s first wife) 📆 💎
- Portuguese Synagogue 💎
- Rembrandt House (Rembrandthuis) 📆 ⭐️
- Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum) Amsterdam 💎
- Rijksmuseum 📆 ⭐️
- Stedelijk Museum (modern art) ⭐️
- The Houseboat Museum (Woonbootmuseum) 💎
- Tot Zover Museum
- Tropics Museum (Tropenmuseum) ⭐️
- Amstelveen – Cobra Museum Art Modern Art ⭐️ (tram or metro included from the city)
- Enkhuizen – Zuiderzeemuseum💎
- Haarlem – Frans Hals Museum ⭐️
- Haarlem – Museum van de Geest (psychiatry)
- Haarlem – Teylers Museum ⭐️
- Laren – Singer
- Muiden – Muiderslot Castle Rijksmuseum ⭐️
- Naarden-Vesting – The Dutch Fortress Museum 💎
- Volendam – Volendams Museum
- Zaandam – Czaar Peterhuisje
- Zaanse Schans – Museum Zaanse Tijd (Museum About Time)
- Zaanse Schans – Zaans Museum & Verkade Experience 💎
Attractions Offer Free Admission
- Amsterdam DIY Foodie Tour ⭐️
- Arcam, het Architectuurcentrum van Amsterdam
- Artis ⭐️
- ARTIS-Micropia 📆 💎
- Discount Bike Rental
- GASSAN Diamonds ❌
- Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam 💎
- Windmill of Sloten (Molen van Sloten)
- This is Holland 📆 ⭐️
- Muiden – Fortified Island Pampus 📆 ⭐️
- Amstelveen – Climbing Fun Forest
- Volendam – Boattour Volendam-Marken Express B.V. ⭐️
- Haarlem – Smidtje Canal Cruises ⭐️
- Volendam – Rent & Event bicycle Rental (free rental)
- Zaanse Schans – Kuiperij
- Zaanse Schans – The Zaansche Windmill ⭐️
- Zaanse Schans – Weaver’s House (Wevershuis)
Free Canal Tour in Amsterdam (you can pick one)
- Blue Boat Company 📆 ⭐️
- Circle Line 📆
- Lovers 📆
- Stromma 📆
You have a choice of canal tours from four different companies. One tour is included in your card. Not all of them have the same quality. The company I like most is the Blue Boat Company. This is the company I use when we show our friends around from abroad.
They’re not near the central station, but the Leidseplein. This “disadvantage” makes them try a little harder! The experience is much better than at Central Station, where it’s more mass transportation, and tours are shorter around Central Station.
All require reservations, so if your company of choice is unavailable, try another. It’s always better than no canal tour!
Free Bike Rental In Amsterdam
- A-Bike 📆
- Amsterbike 📆
- MacBike ⭐️
- Yellow Bike 📆
Again you have a choice between four different companies for your free bike rental. My pick would be Macbike. Because they have multiple convenient locations, are the largest rental company, and are the only company not requiring reservations.
But if they’re unavailable, or another company is more convenient to you location-wise, there is nothing wrong with choosing another company.
Gift with Your I Amsterdam Card to collect
- De Drie Fleschjes – Free shot of genever (18+)
- Holland Casino Amsterdam locations and Sloterdijk location – Free entrance (18+)
- VVV Haarlem – Free walking tour guide
Note about the “Tourist Trap” red exclamation markers:
Why did we mark some attractions and experiences with a red exclamation marker when these are popular attractions and get good reviews on other sites?
The reason is that I believe you should have an authentic and unique experience when you travel. I’m allergic to shops that are posing themselves as museums. And that is what most of these red X’es are.
The Pipe Museum is the exception, but do you travel all the way to Amsterdam to see them? I think there are better experiences to learn more about Dutch culture than going here. But if you’re an aficionado, by all means, please go.
The below suggestion is easily doable, and the total price at the door would be €88 compared to €65. If you are up for it, you could do one or more minor things too, like the canal houses museum, the Willem Holthuysen, or the old church.
- Public transportation ticket €9
- Rijksmuseum €22,50
- Canal Tour €16
- This is Holland €23 (online price)
- (Next morning before the card expires) Micropia €17,50
The below itinerary can also be done in 48 hours. And it would cost individually €145 in total ticket prices compared to €85 for the card. If you make an effort, just like above, you can squeeze one or two smaller museums in to save even more.
- Public transportation ticket €15
- Rijksmuseum €22,50
- Canal Tour €16
- This is Holland €23 (online price)
- Haarlem Canal Cruise €18,50
- Haarlem Frans Hals Museum €16
- Lord on the Attic Museum €16,50
- (Next morning before the card expires) Micropia €17,50
You can save even more for itineraries longer than 48 hours and venture out further. How about the open-air museum in Enkhuizen? Go for a boat ride between Volendam and Marken? Or visit the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam. I hope this extensive post will help you create your perfect and cost-effective itinerary.
If you need help planning your itinerary, it’s good to know you always book a 1-1 video call with me. In this call, we can look at your planned itinerary and optimize it. I can help you decide and sprinkle in some hidden gem tips.
If you have no time to plan, I can create a custom itinerary for you from scratch, if you want, with the locations from the I amsterdam card. This is where you can find more information about my bespoke itinerary service.