Which Amsterdam City Pass to Buy

Last Updated: March 9, 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 wondering which Amsterdam City Pass is Worth Every Penny?

You’ve come to the right place. There are different passes to choose from, and in this article, I explain which passes are the best and why.

I have used most of these cards myself, and I bring a local insight to help you make the right choice.

Discover the top Amsterdam attractions pass deals in this comprehensive article.

There are five types of passes in Amsterdam. They are:

  1. I amsterdam City Card
  2. Go City Pass Amsterdam (All-Inclusive and Explorer Passes)
  3. Museum Card
  4. Amsterdam Pass
  5. Combo Tickets

We dive into the advantages and disadvantages of the different options in the post. After reading it, you know precisely which pass is best for you and saves you the most money.

Enjoy this Amsterdam City Cards review and comparison, and if you’ve made a choice, let me know in the comments below!

I amsterdam city card with map.
I amsterdam City Card – Photo: I amsterdam

Amsterdam City Passes To The Rescue

The Go City Pass is the only Amsterdam city pass that gives access to ADAM Lookout tower.
Access to ADAM Lookout tower only with Go City – © Hidden Holland

Most Amsterdam museums and attractions don’t exactly come cheap. Many experiences cost between €20 and €30. You’re lucky if you find something around the €15 price mark. A trip to Amsterdam can become expensive quickly.

Now this is okay when you do one or two things, but costs quickly add up if you’re filling your day with Amsterdam attractions. 

And there are many. Amsterdam is a great city to explore with so many things to do.

Amsterdam has a rich museum culture, and the city is so photogenic you want to see it from every angle.

Costs should not be an issue when deciding what to do and not to do.

Hello, Amsterdam City Passes.

Amsterdam has some really good passes, and also one that I’m not so sure about. PS: That is the Amsterdam Pass by Tiqets, but more about that later.

The good passes really do help you save money because they allow you to visit many locations in Amsterdam without paying at each one.

It’s nice to spend money just once and then forget about it and just enjoy the sights.

Why is a Tourist Pass A Good Idea?

  • They are convenient – just one pass gives you access to many attractions.
  • You see more – because you include things you otherwise would not.
  • Value for money – with these passes, you pay less than at-the-door prices.

Which Amsterdam City Passes Are There?

There are six different city pass options to compare.

Which one to choose?

Let me help choose the right pass for you.

Amsterdam has two main cards for visitors. The I amsterdam card (which is the most popular card and issued by the city). And the Go City Pass quickly wins popularity to.

Other options have specific audiences/use cases, and one option I advise you to ignore all together.

I amsterdam
City Card

This pass offers free entry to 70+ museums and unlimited city transport access.

Focus on museums

Not for you if you don’t like museums

Go City
All-Inclusive Pass

All-inclusive access to 35+ Amsterdam attractions and tours for the selected days.

Focus on attractions

Not for you if you want to focus on museums

Go City
Explorer Pass

Choose your desired number of attractions, and explore at your own pace within 60 days.

Great if you have more time

Not for you if you want to maximize your days.

Museumkaart (Museum Card)

Access to 400+ museums across The Netherlands for a year. For locals and ex-pats.

Focus on museums

You don’t like museums

Amsterdam Pass Van Gogh / Rijks

This is not a real pass. It’s a combination ticket coined as a pass. There are cheaper options.

No savings

Better alternatives

Combination Tickets

Combinations deals on the larger Amsterdam attractions that do offer a discount.

Perfect if you just want a few things

Not for you if you want to do a lot.

1. I amsterdam City Card

I amsterdam Card digital app.
I amsterdam Card digital app – © Hidden Holland

One of the two Comprehensive Amsterdam Passes. This is the city’s number one pass. The town operates it, and money made with the card is invested back into the local economy.

This card gives free access to about 70 museums and attractions, including Artis Zoo and a canal boat tour.

The pass also includes unlimited public transportation in Amsterdam (not to and from the airport). In addition to the 70 free attractions, they offer a 25% discount on many attractions that are not included in the card.

This card is museum-centered. If you love visiting museums, then this is the card for you. If you don’t, it’s more challenging to get your money’s worth. It’s still possible: do a canal cruise, the 5D This is Holland flight, Artis Zoo, make use of trams and metro’s and it easily recoups the daily fee. But most likely, you’re better off with the Go City Pass below.

This card is valid for a 24-hour period (24, 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours). This is an advantage because if you plan carefully, you can add a “free day.”

Unique Benefits of this Card:

  • The only card that has Artis Zoo.
  • The only card that gives you a choice in canal cruise operators.
  • Except for the Museum Card (normally for locals), it has the most museums in Amsterdam included.
  • It gives discounts on top of the 70 free attractions.
  • The card also includes city (GVB) public transport.
  • It offers free access to sights outside the city like Haarlem and Volendam.
  • You use the card digitally on your phone.

Cons of the Card:

  • It’s light on attractions. Things like the Heineken Experience are not included.
  • If you’re not using the museum component, its hard to get your money’s worth.
  • The card does not include the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.

Here is my complete guide to the I amsterdam Card.  Learn more if it’s worth it for you! It’s a super handy resource.

Ready to buy your I amsterdam Card >>

Get Your Card

I amsterdam city card.

★★★★

I Amsterdam City Card

From €60

Pros
✔ Free Entry to over 70 museums
✔ Free Public Transportation with GVB

Cons
𝗫 Van Gogh not included (see solution below)
𝗫 Not many attractions, other than museums (canal tour inclusive)

I recommend buying a multi-day card. Per-day prices become much cheaper, and you don’t have to rush that much.

Get It

PS: If you plan to use the card in places like Haarlem, Volendam and Enkhuizen your transportation is not included. My recommendation then is to also get an Amsterdam and Region travel ticket. It’s a low-cost travel card that allows regional transportation on all modes of transit, and it even includes train rides to and from Amsterdam airport.

2. Go City All-Inclusive Pass Amsterdam

My free cocktail at the Bols Experience that was included with the Go City Pass Amsterdam.
Wonderful cocktails at House of Bols Experience with Go City – © Hidden Holland

The other comprehensive Amsterdam Pass is the Go City Pass.

This pass is very different from the other card. It has fewer things to do included but it’s more centred around (otherwise expensive) top attractions in Amsterdam.

They have exclusive deals with attractions in the city like the Heineken Experience, Madame Tussauds, The Rembrandt Experience, and the Dungeons.

And, unique to them, tours are included. Like the 3,5 hour tour to the Zaanse Schans windmills. I really enjoyed this one when I used the pass.

It is not difficult to get your money’s worth with the Go City Pass.

The All-Inclusive pass offers free admission to over 35 attractions around the city.

There is no cap on the number of attractions you visit but you can visit each location only once. The pass is good for the number of consecutive days you choose.

You can choose between one, two, three, or five-day passes. Note that these are calendar days, not 24-hour periods.   

Unique benefits of this pass:

  • The only pass that includes Heineken, the Dungeons, and Madam Tussauds
  • The only pass that offers free admission to the House of Bols Experience, which includes a FREE cocktail! And I can tell it was a proper cocktail.
  • I like the included Introduction Walk and the Self Guided Food Tour walk
  • Zaanse Schans windmills guided tour is included
  • Attractions and Tours oriented

Cons of the all-inclusive pass:

  • It’s light on museums, if you plan to visit many, the I amsterdam Card is better
  • The pass allows for only one visit to each attraction
  • The pass does not include public transportation (24-hour bike rental is)
  • You have no choice in Amsterdam canal cruise operators. The pass only includes Stromma, but I had no problem using it and enjoyed my cruise.
  • The pass doesn’t include admission to the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House Museum.

You can read my full review of the Go City pass in detail here.

Or purchase the Go City All Inclusive Card directly here >>

Get Your Card

Go City Amsterdam Pass on a mobile phone.

★★★★

Go City Amsterdam Pass

From €89

Pros
✔ Free Entry Heineken, ADAM tower, Cruise
✔ Cocktail At Bols, This is Holland + more
✔ Free Half-Day Tours to Zaanse Schans

Cons
𝗫 Van Gogh not included (see solution below)
𝗫 Not many museums besides Rijks & Moco
𝗫 No public transport included (a bike is)

I recommend buying a multi-day card. Per-day prices become much cheaper, and you don’t have to rush that much.

Get It

3. Go City Explorer Pass Amsterdam 

This card is similar to the other Go City Amsterdam pass, with one main difference: instead of choosing the number of days, you choose the number of attractions (any number between 3 and 7) depending on how many attractions you want to visit.

The price is determined by the number of attractions. You can use your “credits” within 60 days. This is perfect if you don’t want to Jam Pack consecutive days and want to take things a little bit slower. 

I created an extensive review about both Go City Amsterdam Passes, and it has everything you need to know. From what’s included to prices and my own itinerary.

Unique benefits of this pass:

  • You don’t have to use it on consecutive days. You have 60 days to use your credits

Cons of the Explorer pass:

  • Not everything that is included in the all-inclusive pass is also included in the Go City Explorer pass (mainly tours)
  • The per-attraction price is higher than the all-inclusive price works out to

You can purchase the Explorer Pass here >>.

4. Museumkaart (Museum Card) 

Van Gogh Museum Self Portrait Van Gogh.
The Van Gogh Museum is included in the Museum Card – © Hidden Holland

The Museumkaart, or museum pass, museum card (in Dutch officially Museumjaarkaart) is an interesting pass since it gives you access to over 400 museums in the Netherlands for a whole year.

It’s the only true pass that has the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank included.

Thus is this the pass to buy?

Most likely not.

The Museumkaart (or the Museum Year Pass) is most suitable for locals and expats living in Amsterdam / The Netherlands for an extended period and for those who have a Dutch address, but it can also be of value to short-term visitors. 

This is how:

You need a Dutch address to register the card and a Dutch bank account to receive a permanent unrestricted card valid for a whole year.

Without that, tourists can buy a temporary card from any participating museum for the total yearly fee (currently 2024: €75.00). Still, the temporary card is only valid for 30 days and has a maximum of 5 visits.

Even if you don’t exchange it within that month for a permanent card, five visits are (mostly) still cheaper than individual tickets.

But remember it’s museums only (nationwide), no attractions, boat tours, or transportation. Museums only.

The I amsterdam card can be purchased for the same price and includes pretty much the same museums (except the Van Gogh or the Anne Frank), and offers more amenities like a canal cruise, free public transportation, et cetera. 

I think most people benefit most from purchasing the I amsterdam Card as a tourist + a separate ticket to Van Gogh.

Unique benefits of this pass:

  • It has almost all the museums in the Netherlands included. Including Anne Frank and the Van Gogh (time slots still required)
  • If you have a Dutch address and bank account, it’s a steal since it allows unlimited access as often as you want (also for the same museum) for 365 days
  • Perfect for museum lovers

Cons of the Museum card:

  • It does not include attractions
  • It does not include transportation
  • If you don’t have a Dutch postal address and bank account or you’re here for a short time only, you can use the temporary card for just five visits.

5. Amsterdam Pass – (Rijksmuseum & Van Gogh Museum)

This is a “pass” coined by a ticket reseller. It’s not a pass: they sell you two tickets plus an “audio tour” for the same price as you would pay individually.

There are no savings. You pay more because of the audio tour component.

For the same amount, you buy the temporary museum card (number 4) and get both museums, plus three extra free museums on top.

You can very well skip this card. I’ll link to it to be complete, but I don’t want to sell it to you to make a commission. It’s just not a good deal.

6. Combination Tickets

If you’re not looking for all-inclusive passes but instead for savings on two or a few popular attractions in Amsterdam, you might want to look at the Combi tickets from Tours and Tickets.

They offer all kinds of deals on the larger attractions of Amsterdam. There are so many combinations to make, like Artis Zoo and Micropia or the Rijksmuseum and a Canal Tour.

Just browse all the combination tickets available and see if there is anything in the mix for you.

This is great for tourists in Amsterdam who want to do a few things, and a total discount pass would be overkill. It still saves money compared to the at-the-door prices.

Bonus tip: Canal Cruise Ticket

Blue Boat Departure Point Amsterdam Canal Cruise.
Blue Boat is my favorite choice for the big boat tours – © Hidden Holland

Created by the same people as the I amsterdam Card is the Canal Cruise Ticket.

What makes this pass convenient is that they have a deal with all large canal cruise boat providers. You pay one low price and choose which boat you want to board.

I like Stromma or the Amsterdam Boat Cruise. But if Lovers is more convenient for you, you can hop on their boats, too. Each ticket is good for one cruise.

If you’re interested in this Canal Cruise ticket you can find it here.

Day Trip Tours in Holland and Beyond

Taking a bus tour to the Zaanse Schans with the Amsterdam Go City Pass.
I went on the Zaanse Schans Windmill tour myself – © Hidden Holland

I always recommend going out into the country on your own or with a private tour guide for the best in-depth experience and avoid the touristy sale pitches along the way.

But Day Tours are not always a bad thing. They’re easy and affordable.

I have included a list here, although it’s not a pass. They do have multiple destinations and attractions in one package.

There are both full and half-day tours available from Amsterdam.

Day trips from Amsterdam

Half day tours

Tips for Using Your Chosen City Card

Here are some best practices to maximize the value of your card while still having fun.

My grandmother always said, “Everything that has ‘too’ in front of it is not a good thing.” That includes trying to do too many things in one day.

So here are a few tips to get the most out of your card:

  • Group activities near each other—for example, around Amsterdam Central Station or the Museum quarter—to save on travel time.
  • Look at the opening hours of the included attractions and do the things that close the earliest first to keep the most flexibility in your day.
  • For the big museums like the Rijksmuseum, always go as early as possible. Once the tour buses arrive, it gets crazy.
  • Get your money’s worth, but also know when to stop with the all-inclusive passes. When you get too tired, it’s not fun anymore.
  • Download the pass’s app and load your card into it as a digital pass. It’s easy to use and gives you all the practical information at your fingertips.
  • Check if time slot bookings are required, and if so, get your card at least 2-4 weeks before your trip so you can book them in time.
  • Once in Amsterdam, you need only show up at the venue and have your card scanned. You activate your pass by scanning it at the first attraction.
It's essential to have enough Data on your phone while using apps during your stay in Amsterdam. (International) plans from home can be expensive. Getting a local SIM card often saves you a lot of money. Learn more in my Best Amsterdam Sim Card article how to do just that!

Conclusion

Wooden Shoes at the Zaanse Schans. Included in different Amsterdam City Passes.
Wooden Shoes at the Zaanse Schans – © Hidden Holland

Now you know about how to use your passes at many Amsterdam attractions, all you have left to do is make a choice.

I provided links to all of the Amsterdam tourist passes mentioned in this post to make purchasing one easy. If you’re not ready to buy the pass yet, why not save this link so you can return to it later?

I would love to read about the cards or tickets you choose to get, so please drop a line in the comments below. I read and answer them all personally. 

If you want more information on the two largest passes, the “I Amsterdam Card” and the “Go City Pass,” just click the words to be linked to my in-depth articles about each of them.

PS: Wondering what my purchasing advice is?

  • If you mainly enjoy museums, the I amsterdam Card is ideal. Buy a card for the number of hours you’re in the city.
  • If you are not interested in museums, the Go City Pass is a good option
  • If you like museums and attractions, why choose between Go City or “I Amsterdam”? Why not get both? If you have enough time I would get a 2-day pass for each and enjoy the best of both worlds

One note on the one-day passes. Some operators offer a one-day pass. Although you can still get your money’s worth, it will be relatively harder because per day price is high. You’ll reap the most savings with a multi-day pass.

Now it’s time to enjoy the city of Amsterdam. Safe travels!

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Is a Amsterdam City Pass for you?

I’d love your thoughts: If so which which one has your preference? Will you go for a combination of passes? Or just one? Or for your own solution?

Let's start a conversation below this article 💬.

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.

11 thoughts on “Which Amsterdam City Pass to Buy”

  1. We are visiting Amsterdam later this year (along with a few other european cities) and I have been doing research about how to travel and where to go and visit.
    I am finding your blog so useful!! I have read several articles now.
    I have been making notes on all the interesting facts, so hopefully we have a great trip 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m positive you’ll have an amazing time. Especially since you’re already started researching it and found local tips. Just so now I do offer coaching calls, where I will review your planned itinerary and optimize it so you’ll have an even bigger change of success. We’ll look at realistic planning, if you’ve added potential tourist traps / not worth your time items, I’ll help with the practicalities like best mode of transport, which lines to take (if you’re opting for public transport) things like that. And there is plenty of room for all your questions. Absolutely optional, but just wanted to you to know it’s there.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for explaining the “Pros” and “Cons” of each Amsterdam city pass! There is a lot of helpful travel information in your post.

    Reply
  3. Gerrit,
    we will be in Amsterdam for 4 days in June, we want to get a city pass, but I am having trouble finding the right one. I did check your info, here are our interests: VanGogh, Ann Frank, Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt, and Heineken experience, amstel tour, canal cruises, city transport, great coffee shops, good restaurants and just walking around…..

    Hope you can help
    thanks
    Pat from Philadelphia,USA

    Reply
    • It’s tricky I understand. I would get a 2-Day I amsterdam Card. Enjoy the canal tour in there, the Rijks, city transport. Then get a 2-day Go City Pass for a tour, Heineken Experience etc. Both have great city walk tours included, including a self-guided food tour. This is Holland is a fantastic attraction to do on the passes as is the Adam Lookout tower. I would not be too hang up on transport as I wrote in my article since it’s quite cheap. If you group activities that start/are around Central Station (tours, This is Holland, Adam Lookout, and Canal Tour) you barely need transport. For a one-way, just tap a contactless payment card like your credit card for the lowest fare. Heineken is just two stops on the Metro line 52 from Central Station, stop Vijzelsgracht). For Anne Frank and Van Gogh you always need separate tickets. They’re not in a city pass. Here is a combination ticket for the I Amsterdam Card AND the Van Gogh Museum. It’s saves you €5. Get them ASAP because both sell out in advance. I hope this helps. Have a wonderful time in Amsterdam. And if you’d like to meet me in person. You might be interested in a city walk with me personally in June. Gerrit

      Reply

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