Amsterdam Metro (2024)

Last Updated: April 22, 2024

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Are you curious about the Amsterdam metro? Would it be useful for you?

Then this post is for you. In this post, you’ll find the Amsterdam metro transport map, a guide to each metro line, and tips on how to use the metro system.

While most tourists use the tram when they use public transport in Amsterdam, the metro is often unknown and thus not used.

As a Dutch local, I use the Amsterdam metro every week, so I know which stops are helpful, whether the system is safe, and how to use it.

This well-organized light rail network, operated by the municipal public transport company GVB, is a local secret. It’s one of the best ways to get around the city fast.

For many attractions in the city, the metro is a much faster mode of transportation than traveling on the tram.

In today’s article, I will give you tips on which stations on what lines are great for which attraction.

The network spans a distance of 43km and has 39 stations that metro trains cover, but just a handful of these stations are handy for tourists. I’ll tell you exactly which ones.

Five lines (M50, M51, M52, M53, M54) connect the amsterdam city center to its outer suburbs. All lines except for line 50 stop at the Central Station—the main transport hub in Amsterdam.

In a hurry? Get your 1-7 day GVB metro ticket here and get on your way!

Amsterdam Metro station.
Amsterdam Metro station – © Hidden Holland

Amsterdam Metro Map

Explore the detailed map of the Amsterdam metro below, offering a clear view of the city’s metro network.

Amsterdam Metro map. All metro lines in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Metro map. All metro lines in Amsterdam.

It’s perfect for navigating Amsterdam’s neighborhoods, important destinations, museums, and attractions. 

It’s not an actual map of Amsterdam with streets, but a systematized view of the public transport system in Amsterdam (metro only).

What is important to note is that the airport is not connected to the Amsterdam Metro. You can take a regular train or bus from the airport (or a private driver/taxi/uber).

More details are in my post on how to get from Amsterdam Airport to the City Center and why I think taking a taxi or an Uber is not a good choice. 

Amsterdam Metro Tickets (2024)

Amsterdam metro tickets.
Amsterdam metro tickets – © Hidden Holland

Several ticket options exist if you plan to use public transport in Amsterdam:

Here’s a simple breakdown:

Most tourists buy a GVB 1-Hour Single Ticket from the driver or at a machine at the metro station at €3.40. That is NOT a good idea.

You would have paid half using a contactless debit or credit card. And save yourself the trouble of buying a ticket.

Tap it when you board, and tap your card again when you exit. This is called OVpay, and you’ll pay the local fare of 1.08 + €0.196 per kilometer.

Most rides are less than €2 this way compared to €3.40 for the 1-hour ticket. 

Yes, foreign bank- and credit cards work just as well, if you can tap your card to pay in a store, it works on transit too.

PS: There are two more tickets you might read or hear about:

  1. The OV-chipcard (OV-Chipkaart) is a handy local pass for locals to load subscriptions but is useless for visitors.

    Still, bloggers persistently promote this pass (either they’re not from here and used it years ago, or they don’t bother to update their page). Whatever the reason, trust me, you don’t need it any longer.
  2. The Bus Tram Metro (BTM) 90-Minute Ticket is priced at €6.50. This is also valid for trips by bus outside of Amsterdam (Not the Airport), for example, Zaanse Schans.

But cheaper tickets are available. I would skip this one.

Use an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket or check-in (and out) at a card reader with a contactless debit or credit card.

Amsterdam Transport: Multi-Day Ticket Options

Amsterdam Metro Sign at the entrance of a station.
Amsterdam Metro Sign at the entrance of a station – © Hidden Holland

A (Multi) Day Ticket is usually the most convenient and the best deal for most visitors. These single rides add up, and having just one ticket is convenient.

You can choose four different ticket options:

  1. The GVB (Multi) Day Tickets. This gives you unlimited travel on busses, trams, and metros in Amsterdam (operated by GVB, which are all trams, all metros, and most buses [blue and white]) for the duration of your ticket. This is a 24-hour ticket, meaning if you activate it at 11 am, it’s valid until 11 am the next day.
  2. Amsterdam Travel TicketThis ticket is similar to the above, but it includes unlimited rides to and from the airport. It’s available for 1, 2, or 3 calendar days. However, since a single ride from the airport is €3.50 – €5, getting two single train tickets (you can buy them here) and purchasing the GVB ticket above is usually cheaper.
  3. Amsterdam & Region Travel TicketThis is the best choice for many people. Also available for 1, 2, or 3 calendar days. It’s a great deal since it covers trips within Amsterdam but also to and from the Airport, and to all destinations in the surrounding area—for example, famous tourist destinations like the Zaanse Schans and Volendam.
  4. The I amsterdam CardThis Amsterdam city card offers you free access to over 90 museums, including the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, Moco, and many more (but not Van Gogh or Anne Frank), and it’s a public transportation pass for Amsterdam-only trips for the duration of your pass. Just like the GVB ticket (#1)

Where to Buy your Amsterdam Metro tickets?

Amsterdam Metro entrance gates.
Amsterdam Metro entrance gates – © Hidden Holland

If you plan on buying a (multiday ticket), please use the links above. Getting them in advance is handy so you can quickly pick them up once you arrive. And you help support me in creating this content for you at no extra cost.

Also, there are not many ticket offices anymore. Mainly machines. But you find a ticket office in the cute white building across Central Station.

This office can be pretty busy. If it is and you’ve pre-purchased online, for example, with the links above, there is usually a faster lane for pick-up.

A good reason to buy in advance.

If you plan to make incidental one-way trips, you don’t need a ticket at all. You can use your contactless debit or credit card instead.

The Five Amsterdam Metro Lines

Amsterdam Metro interior.
Amsterdam Metro interior © Hidden Holland

The Amsterdam metro system consists of 5 lines, part of a more extensive local public transport system that includes trams, busses, and ferries (ferries are free of charge).

GVB, the transport company in the city, runs them all.

Four lines are helpful for visitors. Especially line 52. They’re all crossing the city center. Line 50 is the only line that does not pass through the city center; therefore, it’s less handy for visitors.

Transport in Amsterdam is excellent, but it can be slow above ground. And that is where the metro system comes in. It’s fast and efficient.

You don’t see anything but get where you must go within minutes

All metro trains run in metro tunnels in the city center (so you won’t see anything outside) but will run above ground further away from the center (pretty much from the moment, there is not much to see outside except for flats and industrial estates.

Metro Line 50

Metro line 50 connects the outer suburbs of the South East (Zuidoost) and Zuid to Amsterdam West. It’s not a metro line that is helpful for visitors.

Metro Line 51

Metro Line 51 used to connect Amsterdam Centraal Station (central station) and Amstelveen (until 2019), but they changed the route.

Amstelveen is now only served by tram, and the metro goes west to Sloterdijk and Isolatorweg. 

For visitors, that is unimportant since it’s useful for only the first few stops in the center. These stops are: Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein.

Use the Nieuwmarkt stop for the Red Light District and Chinatown (there is a fantastic tiny Asian food market on Nieuwmarkt itself), and Zeedijk street offers many more.

Waterlooplein is helpful for the famous flea market here, the Dutch National Opera and Dance theater, the city hall, the Jewish quarter (and museums), and the Rembrandtshuis, the house Rembrandt lived and worked in.

If you enjoy Rembrandt’s paintings, visiting this museum is worth it. I’ve been here twice this year and just love it. You connect to his past. Get your Rembrandt House tickets here.

Three other great attractions close to this station are:

1. Artis Zoo, Founded in 1838, is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and the fifth oldest existing zoo in the world.

PS tip: next door is the excellent Micropia, the world’s first museum dedicated to microbes.

Get tickets for Artis here and for Micropia here. Or get the “I amsterdam Card,” where both attractions are included, as is public transport on the metro (plus trams and busses).

2. Hortus Botanical Gardens Amsterdam. It was established in 1638. Rembrandt has been able to visit in person himself! It’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.

3. The former Hermitage Amsterdam Museum is now called H’ART Museum and partly home to the Amsterdam Museum during its renovation. When you’re here, also visit the beautiful gardens and see the “Magere Brug”, a wooden bridge spanning the Amstel River, and the Holocaust Memorial is right next to it.

After these two stops, the line isn’t helpful for most visitors. To Amsterdam RAI and Amsterdam Zuid (South station), M52 is faster. And to Sloterdijk, it’s much quicker to take a train instead of a metro (note that trains are not part of local transportation passes).

Amsterdam North-South Line 52 (Noord Zuid lijn)

The most expensive and controversial of all metro lines is Metro Line 52.

In July 2018, the Amsterdam North-South line opened, which links the Amsterdam North to Amsterdam South via the city center super quickly.

It was controversial because they had to dig tunnels under fragile canal houses listed on the Unesco World Heritage list. That is also why the cost ran so high, trying to avoid damage to unique heritage.

Unfortunately, incidents and damages did happen. And the line has been delayed again and again. But since 2018, we can use it.

From visitors’ and locals’ perspectives, it’s a godsend. You can move through the city so quickly now.

For locals, it is most beneficial because, at the North Station and the RAI station (conference center), you can park your car for a reduced rate at the edge of town. Line 52 then gives you quick access to the city.

For visitors, it is a huge timesaver. Almost every station in the city is practical and would take much longer walking (or taking a tram) to travel between them.

Here are the important stations:

  • Central Station: the main transport hub in the city connecting trains, trams, metros, buses, and free ferries.
  • Rokin: great for Muntplein, Kalverstraat, Begijnhof, Rembrandtplein, and the Flower Market.
  • Vijzelgracht: Perfect for Heineken Brewery, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Moco Museum.
  • De Pijp: Another great stop to explore this hip neighborhood and the Albert Cuyp Market. Try this self-guided food tour. It’s amazing!
  • Europaplein: great for hotels. Many large hotel chains have a location here, like the beautiful nHow Hotel, and this is the stop for the RAI convention center.
  • Zuid: great for the Zuid WTC office buildings, hotels, and catching a train to the airport
  • Noord: The Noord station is now a huge transfer station for day trips since they moved all buses to Volendam, Marken, Edam from Central Station to the Noord Metro station.
  • Noorderpark: Departure stop for buses to Zaanse Schans.

I use this line myself all the time.

There is a rumor the line will eventually be extended to Schiphol Airport, but for now, it’s just that: rumors.

There are no actual plans or a timeline. It would be super helpful if it would be extended. Making many more locations in the city directly accessible from the airport.

Metro Line 53

Lines 53 and 54 connect Central Station to Amsterdam South East via different routes. Line 53 travels via Diemen.

Since the first part of the tracks is shared by lines 51, 53, and 54, the same stations are helpful as line 51: Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein. After that, line 53 is not very useful for tourists.

Metro Line 54

Metro line 54 also connects Amsterdam City Center with South East but runs a different route than line 53. It’s more helpful to tourists.

Again, stations Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein are super helpful, just like lines 51 and 53 (see full description under line 51).

In addition, these stations are also super handy:

  • Metro station Amsterdam Arena: the Johan Cruijff Arena stadium (AJAX), the Arena shopping area, a large movie theater, the Ziggo Dome Arena, AFAS Music hall for concerts, and hotels. Book a VIP tour of the stadium here.
  • Metro station Bullewijk: (get off at the side of the Bullewijkpad) for IKEA Amsterdam. If you ever crave Swedish Meatballs. Hej, we all feel that at times.

Timetables Amsterdam Metro

Amsterdam Metro departure screen.
Amsterdam Metro departure screen – © Hidden Holland

The subway runs from approximately 06:00-00:30. Between 00.30 and 07.00, there are night buses instead.

Depending on your departure station, expect the first metro to run from around 06:00. This depends on which metro routes you take and what stop.

During operating hours, trains run frequently. Expect a train every few minutes—and very early or very late, at least once every 15 minutes (but often more often).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take a Bicycle on the Amsterdam metro?

Yes, a bicycle can usually be taken on the metro if it’s not too crowded and only outside rush hour. Look for the specific bicycle sticker on the doors to enter the correct compartment. You need a €2.20 supplement ticket. A foldable (when folded) bike has no restrictions and can be taken with you at no charge.

Is the Amsterdam Metro helpful for tourists?

Yes, more than most people know. Line 52 (the newest North-South line) has convenient stops from the flower market to the Heineken Brewery, Rijksmuseum, the RAI convention center, and many more. See the full description in this article. The other lines also have some helpful stops in the center.

Can I take the Amsterdam Metro to Amsterdam Airport?

No, you can not take the metro from the airport to Amsterdam or vice versa. There are talks about an extension, but right now, that is not the case. Only trains currently connect the city with the airport. Direct trains to Amsterdam Central Station, Sloterdijk, RAI, Zuid, and Bijlmer Arena exist. Take the correct train since these stations are on different railway lines. Read more about getting from the airport to the city here.

Final Thoughts

Amsterdam Metro station.
Amsterdam Metro station Waterlooplein – © Hidden Holland

Did I make it easier to understand using a metro in Amsterdam? I hope I did!

Since the metro network’s construction in the 1960s to deal with traffic problems, it has been an integral part of the Amsterdam Public Transport system.

Althought it didn’t reduce existing tram lines, it did make the trip to further out districts of the city much faster and connected the South East district with the town thanks to its modern metro network.

Here is a summary:

  • Trams are great if you want to see something of the city, and they cover more places than the metro.
  • But the metro is excellent for many famous attractions and sights as it’s the fastest way to get around.
  • Metro Line 52 is especially fast and super handy to use.
  • Please don’t buy the 1-hour ticket, it wastes your money. Use a contactless card or day ticket instead, see above. 

Get your (multi) day ticket before you leave. If you get an “I amsterdam City” Discount Card it will include public transportation (all trams and metro are included).

You can read my post about the I amsterdam Card to see if it’s right for you.

Have a wonderful time in Amsterdam.

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Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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