Are you wondering which Amsterdam City Pass is Worth Every Penny?
You’ve come to the right place. There are many 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 locals 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:
- I amsterdam City Card
- Go City Pass Amsterdam (All-Inclusive and Explorer Passes)
- Museum Card
- Amsterdam Pass
- Combo Tickets
We dive into the advantages and disadvantages of the different options in the post. After reading it you know exactly 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!
Table of Contents
Amsterdam City Passes To The Rescue
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 and everyone of them throughout the city. It’s nice to spend money just once, and then forget about it. You can then 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 normally would not do.
- 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, which offers two different options and quickly wins popularity too.
Other options have specific audiences / use cases, and one option I advice you to ingnore all together.
1. I amsterdam City Card
One of the two Comprehensive Amsterdam Passes. This is the number one pass in the city. It’s actually operated by the city and money made with the card is invested back in the local economy.
This card gives free access to about 70 museums and attractions including Artis Zoo, a canal boat tour, and the pass includes unlimited public transportation in Amsterdam (not to and from the airport). Besides the 70 free attractions they also offer 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 difficult to get your monies worth. It’s definitely 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 per 24 hour period (24, 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours). This is an advantage, because if you plan carefully you can add in a “free day”.
Unique Benefits of this Card:
- Only card that has Artis Zoo.
- Only card that give you a choice in canal cruise operators.
- Except for the Museum Card (normally for locals), it has the most museums in Amsterdam included.
- If gives discounts on top of the 70 free attractions.
- The card also includes city (GVB) public transport.
- It offers free access to attractions outside of the city like Haarlem, Volendam, Enkhuizen et cetera.
- It’s still the best Amsterdam tourist card out there (for the right person) and great to discover Amsterdam and around.
- Before you needed to pick up your card at the I amsterdam Store, that is not needed today thanks to the digital card in their app.
Cons of the Card:
- It’s light on attractions. The ADAM Lookout tower, and the Heineken Experience are not part of the card.
- If you’re not using the museum component this is most likely not your best card.
- The card does not include the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.
Here is my complete guide to the I amsterdam Card and if it’s worth it for you! It’s a super handy resource.
PS: If you plan to use the card in places like Haarlem, Volendam and Enkhuizen your transportation is not included. My recommendation is get an Amsterdam and Region travel ticket. It’s a low cost travel card that allows regional transportations on all modes of transit, and it even includes the train rides to and from Amsterdam airport.
2. Go City All-Inclusive Pass Amsterdam
The other comprehensive Amsterdam Pass is the Go City Pass.
This pass is very different from the other card. It has less things included but it’s more centred around (otherwise expensive) top attractions in Amsterdam. They have exclusive deals with attractions in the city for example with the A’DAM LOOKOUT tower and the Heineken Experience.
And also tours like 3,5 hours to the Zaanse Schans windmills. I really enjoyed it when I used this pass. And because these are popular attractions the costs otherwise quickly adds up. It is not difficult getting your money worth.
The All-Inclusive pass offers free admission to 40 attractions around the city that are included in the card, as long as there is time left. There is no cap on the number of attractions you visit, as long as you visit each location only once. The pass is good for the number of consecutive days you choose. You can choose between 2, 3 and 5 day passes. Note these are calendar days, not 24 hour periods.
Unique benefits of this pass:
- The only pass that includes the ADAM Lookout tower and the Heineken Experience
- 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
- Zaanse Schans windmills guided tour and the Zaanse Schans card is included
- Attractions oriented
- The all-inclusive pass includes also tours, not all of them I recommend (see in-dept post) but I love the Zaanse Schans windmill tour
Cons of the all-inclusive pass:
- It’s light on museums, if you plan to visit many, the I amsterdam Card includes many more.
- 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 I enjoyed my cruise.
- The pass doesn’t include admission to the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank house Museum.
3. Go City Explorer Pass Amsterdam
This card is in ways 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 number of attractions determines the price. You can use your “credits” within 60 days. This is perfect if you don’t want to Jam Pack consecutive days, and take things a little bit slower.
I created an extensive review about both Go City Amsterdam Passes, and it has everything inside you need to know in it 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 that the all-inclusive price works out to
TIP: I link directly to the cards website instead of authorised resellers. The benefit to you is that this company often run discount codes only advertised on their site. Just click here to go to the Go City Pass website and pay the lowest prices possible (often promotions are shown in the header).
4. Museumkaart (Museum Card)
The Museumkaart, or museum pass, museum card (by the Dutch often referred to as the 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 real pass that has the Van Gogh Museum 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 a longer period of time and 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 that is valid for a whole year.
Tourists can buy a temporary card from any participating museum for the full yearly fee (currently 2024: €75.00), but 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 (by e-mail), five visits are (mostly) still cheaper then individual tickets.
But remember it’s museums only (nationwide), no attractions, no 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), and offers more amenities like a canal cruise, free public transportation et cetera.
Unique benefits of this pass:
- 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 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 5 visits only
5. Amsterdam Pass – (Rijksmuseum & Van Gogh Museum)
This is a “pass” coined by a ticket reseller. It’s actually not a pass: they just sell you two tickets plus an “audio tour” for the same price as you would pay individually. There are no savings. You actually pay more because of the audiotour component.
For the same amount you buy the temporary museum card and get both museums too, plus 3 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 just to make a commission. It’s just not a good deal.
6. Combination Tickets
If you’re not looking for all inclusive passes, but savings on two or a few popular attractions in Amsterdam then you might want to take a look at the Combi tickets from Tours and Tickets.
They offer all kinds of deals on the larger attractions of Amsterdam. There so many combinations to make like Artis Zoo and Micropia, or the Rijksmuseum and a Canal Tour. Just browse around 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 full discount pass would be overkill. It still saves money compared to the at-the-door prices.
Bonus tip: Canal Cruise Ticket
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 just choose which boat you want to board. I like Blue Boat, or the Amsterdam Boat cruise. But if Stromma or 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
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 things. They’re easy and affordable.
I include a list here since although it’s not a pass. They do include multiple destinations and attractions in one package.
There are both full and half day tours available from Amsterdam.
Day trips from Amsterdam
- Volendam, Zaanse Schans, Edam, Marken (including lunch)
- Delft, The Hague, Rotterdam (including Madurodam)
- Giethoorn Day Trip including the famous engineering feat of the Afsluitdijk
- Bruges Day Trip (Belgium)
Half day tours
Tips for Using Your Chosen City Card
Here are some best practices to maximise 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 that are 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 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 adds all the practical information at your finger tips.
- Make sure to 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 all you need to do is show up at the venue and show your card. You activate your pass by scanning it at the first attraction.
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 come back to it later?
I would love to read about the cards or tickets you choose to get, so drop a line in the comments below. I read – and answer – them all personally.
If you look to get 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 enjoy mainly museums: the I amsterdam Card is ideal. Buy a card for the number of hours you’re in the city.
- If you hate museums the Go City Pass is a good option, I recommend the 3- or 5-day pass so you don’t have to rush things.
- If you like both museums and attractions why choose between the pass or card? Why not get both? If you have enough days in Amsterdam I would get a 2-day pass for each and enjoy the best of both worlds (or buy a 3-day pass for the one that your inclined to just a bit more and two for the other)
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 relative 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 to hear 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? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬. I’ll reply back to every comment personally 👋.
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