Bus Tram metro and Train tickets
Until a few years ago there were two national ticket systems: one for bus, tram and metro and the other for trains. The tickets for bus, tram and metro are/were called "strippenkaart". Now we are in a transportional phase towards a smart card for all public transport ("OV-chipkaart", we pronounce it as "Oh-fay-chip-cart". ).
In Amsterdam and Rotterdam and their surroundings the strippenkaart is now obsolete and the "OV-chipkaart" is the only ticket.
Click here to see how the OV-chipkaart has progressed in the country. In the pink areas you may use either the strippenkaart or the OV-chipkaart. In the dark purple areas (Amsterdam, including Schiphol Airport, and Rotterdam and their vicinities and many more areas) the OV-chipkaart is the only ticket for bus, tram and metro .
On the railways you may use both the 'old' paper train tickets or the OV-chipkaart instead. The blue lines are railways owned by local companies, and the red lines are owned by NS (Netherlands Railways). On this web site the OV-chipkaart on the Dutch railways will not be discussed. Note: For a journey on both NS and local lines you may purchase only one 'old' train ticket.
Special attention is given to:
When boarding a GVB night bus you just pay the driver €4 after which you may spend 90 minutes on all GVB nightbuses. However, the GVB night bus is included in tickets for 24/48/72 etc. hours travelling by GVB
Click here to read about train tickets
Click here and learn about a combination ticket if you will stay only in Amsterdam but come and go via Schiphol Airport.
Click here and learn about a combination ticket if you like to visit many museums and make a canal boat trip.
After having read this page it may be helpful to click here and select options on the right hand side, for an in depth explanation about tickets and fares by the GVB (=municipal transport company).
Please read below here about the following OV-chipkaart tickets:
- Personal OV-chipkaart (rechargeable, national)
- Anonymous OV-chipkaart (rechargeable, national)
- Non rechargeable tickets that can only be used in the GVB (i.e. municipal) vehicles.
"OV" means public transport, "Chipkaart" means smart card. We pronounce it as "Oh-fay-chip-cart".
For Amsterdammers the OV-chipkaart is an improvement. Especially because most of them have a Dutch bank account with a "PIN-pas" (ATM card issued by a Dutch bank). They buy a rechargeable OV-chipkaart that will expire after five years (the term of validity is five years). The rechargeable OV-chipkaart is either anonymous or personal, both cost €7,50. They frequently load up their OV-chipkaarten with money by means of cash or their debit card. For a journey they pay 79 cent plus 10.5 cent per kilometer and if they change vehicles within 35 minutes they do not pay the 79 cent again. Rechargeable OV-chipkaarten will be used after some years in the whole country, although the prices will differ regionally. The Strippenkaart will then be obsolete. In addition, the transport companies may offer their own products that can be loaded on a rechargeable OV-chipkaart and sell rather expensive tickets (mostly for one ride) in the bus or tram.
The personal OV-chipkaart has the bearer's name and a passport photograph on it and the date of birth because children younger than 12 and adults aged 65 and older obtain a discount of 33 percent. A personal OV-chipkaart has to be applied for in writing or online. When it is stolen or lost a stop can be put on it. Very convenient is the auto-load option: every time the balance in the OV-chipkaart becomes less than €5, an amount of €10 or €20 is credited to the OV-chipkaart and debited to a Dutch bank account. Auto-load has to be applied for in writing separately.
The anonymous OV-chipkaart does not carry personal information, it does not give age-based discount but it can be used by several persons although not simultaneously. When it is stolen or lost you have lost the balance in the OV-chipkaart.
An anonymous OV-chipkaart can be purchased and charged at the GVB Tickets & Info desks in Amsterdam and the tickets desks of the larger railway stations in the Netherlands. You can check here if the ticket desk of a railway station sells and charges an anonymous OV-chipkaart. Fill in Station Schiphol, Station Amsterdam or Station Rotterdam etc. behind Address and then click on Zoek locaties and you will then see, in English, the OV-chipkaart products that are sold at that ticket desk. The orange text under the Google map Balie NS Station ........ means: Counter at the Dutch Railway Station in ........
At the counters of railway stations you must pay a surcharge of €0.50 for every transaction. So, an OV-chipkaart will cost there €8 (instead of €7.50) and charging an OV-chipkaart with €10 will cost €10.50.
In the second paragraph under here you can read about machines that sell anonymous OV-chipkaarten and charge anonymous and personal OV-chipkaarten.
In Amsterdam there are also "OV-chipkaarten" that are non rechargeable tickets (throw away tickets or disposable tickets). In Rotterdam the situation is a bit different and other Bus companies may sell their own products.
check here (then press the PageDown button)
- A ticket containing one journey of one hour: €2,60
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 24 hours: €7
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 48 hours: €11.50
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 72 hours: €15
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 96 hours: €18
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 120 hours: €24
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 144 hours: €27.50
- A ticket containing free travelling during a period of 168 hours: €30
Do not forget to check out after leaving your GVB bus, tram or metro .
The €2,60 and €7 tickets can be obtained from the GVB busdriver or the ticket collector in the rear of the tram or the driver of tram number 5, 16 or 24. All eight tickets from the OV-Chipkaart - Sales and add value machines or at the GVB Tickets & Info. (Click here to find metro or railway stations that house other GVB Tickets & Info desks.) They can only be used in GVB buses, trams and metro , so not in Connexxion buses or Arriva buses. You may change to other GVB vehicles. The first ticket cannot be used in the night buses.
Click here for the floor plans of Schiphol Airport and look for the icon of the Holland Tourist Information , in front of Arrivals 2 . Here you can buy GVB and NS tickets and ask for more information. Open daily from 7 am until 10 pm.
OV-Chipkaart - Check in, Check out
Check in: After having boarded the bus through the door in the front (in the tram: through the last or second last door), a passenger brings her OV-chipkaart in touch-sensitive with a reader device. On the screen a text will appear like "welkom" or "goede reis" (have a good journey)
When leaving the bus or tram, do not forget to check out in the same way lest your trip will cost €4. At the top of the screen a text will then appear like "tot ziens" (good bye); at the bottom you will read the price of the last ride (after the previous check in) and the balance on your OV-chipkaart.
When you are travelling without having checked in (or without a stamped strippenkaart in tram or bus), you risk a fine of €37,50
When changing to an other vehicle you must check out and check in. If you do this within 35 minutes you do not pay the basic fare of €0.75 again. When checking in within 35 minutes a text will appear like "overstap ok" (change ok).
In the metro you will never check in or check out inside the train. Checking in/out is either to open a gate for access to the platform (or to leave the platform) or the checking in/out is done on the platform if there are no gates.
OV-Chipkaart - Sales and add value machines
Geen kaart invoeren = Do not insert a card
Uitgifte OV-chipkaart = Take here your OV-chipkaart
Opladen en lezen OV-chipkaart = read your OV-chipkaart or add value to it
In the yellow rectangle (top right) you can insert coins or bank notes. This is not possible on metro route 51 in the stations Kronenburg and south of that station, i.e. in the municipality of Amstelveen.
This machine (left) can be found in all metro stations.
You can add value there to your anonymous or personal OV-chipkaart or buy the anonymous OV-chipkaart.
You can also read information about the last twelve transactions on your OV-chipkaart, in Dutch, German, French and English.
You can also buy the following throw away tickets (i.e. disposable tickets that cannot be recharged) from these machines:
check here (then press the PageDown button)
- One journey of one hour
- 24 hours travelling
- 48 hours travelling
- 72 hours travelling
- 96 hours travelling
- 120 hours travelling
- 144 hours travelling
- 168 hours travelling
These eight sorts of tickets are only valid in GVB vehicles (trams, metro and buses, inside and outside the municipality of Amsterdam). So, they are not valid in Connexxion buses or Arriva buses. The 24/48/72 etc. hours travelling tickets are also valid in the GVB night buses.
Payment in coins (€0,10, €0,20, €0,50, €1 and €2) and bank notes (€5, €10 and €20). "PIN" (ATM cards issued by Dutch banks), "Chipknip" (this is a smart card that is on every PIN-card), Master card or Visa. Coins and bank notes are inserted in the yellow rectangle, top right. Payment in coins or bank notes is not possible on metro route 51 in the stations Kronenburg and south of it, i.e. in the municipality of Amstelveen.
First you choose a language (Dutch, German, French or English) in the bottom of the screen.
If you want to add value to your OV-chipkaart or read information about the last twelve transactions on your OV-chipkaart, you then lay your OV-chipkaart in the little tray in the bottom right corner ("Opladen en Lezen OV-chipkaart"). You take it out after being asked to do so lest you lose your money.
On the touch-sensitive screen you decide what to do: add value to your anonymous or personal OV-chipkaart, buy either a throw away GVB ticket or an anonymous OV-chipkaart or get information, how to pay and how much to pay etc.
If paying by card you first insert the card (under the push buttons) then take the card out and finally enter the PIN code.
Information about the last twelve transactions will be shown on the screen. It can also be printed if you wish.
Please distinguish the different slits: (1) the little tray in the bottom right corner where you lay down your OV-chipkaart, (2) the one for the card for paying, under the push buttons. (3) the one for inserting the bank notes in the top right corner and (4) in the top left corner where your new anonymous OV-chipkaart that you just bought will come out.
Below the screen are two trays from which you can take the change, the throw away GVB ticket or the printed information.
OV-Chipkaart - Add value machines in shops
In several Amsterdam and Rotterdam shops you can add value to your personal or anonymous OV-chipkaart. Unfortunately, these machines accept only ATM cards issued by Dutch banks, the so called "PIN-pas".
Click here and wait a few seconds to see where they are
Sales machine for train tickets with a touch-sensitive screen.
In the background is a yellow machine. Here you may stamp a train ticket that is not yet dated.
"Insert", "Slide in", "Keep your PIN code secret".
A method being used very frequently in the Netherlands is a type of skimming where the perpetrator puts a device over the card slot of a ATM (automated teller machine), which reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it. These devices are often used in conjunction with a pinhole camera to read the user's PIN at the same time. This new card slot is rather effective against this kind of crime.
Use the telephone number 030 2836555 for all unsafe situations of point-of-sale terminals in the Netherlands.
By boarding a train without a ticket you risk a fine of €35. The same applies if you have a ticket which has not the right date on it or no date at all. A Ticket sold one or more days in advance is never dated when sold and should be stamped by the passenger before boarding a train in a yellow automatic ticket taker near the entrance to the platform.
Tickets cannot be bought aboard the train.
The Dutch Railways (NS) still sell their own 'old' tickets, so the gates to the platforms are still open, but the introduction of the OV-chipkaart has just started. On this site the OV-chipkaart on the Dutch railways will not be discussed.
In the large railway stations, you can buy your tickets, national and sometimes international, in a human way at a counter called "Tickets & Service". In the smaller stations without "Tickets & Service" you can buy tickets in shops called "Wizzl" or "Kiosk". You may ask for a itinerary on paper.
Each ticket will be €0,50 cheaper if you buy them from the machine shown at the left.
When you are in a railway station you might try this ticket sales machine (with a touch-sensitive screen) and discover the prices and the variety of the products in Dutch or English.
Please note: The initial name of the railway station in the "From:" button is the station where you are; you can change this in an other name by pressing on that button and then proceed, so that you can buy a journey that starts from a different station.
- the very cheap fare for children ( railrunner ) at €2.50. click here for more information about the railrunner .
- first and second class. The price for first class is 70 percent more than second class. Few trains have 2nd class only.
- tickets if you will return the same day or the same weekend. Two single (one-way) tickets cost the same as one return (round-trip) ticket.
A return ticket (or round trip ticket) is in Dutch: Retour and is pronounced as retoor like in French. In the Netherlands a Retour always implies that the way out and way back are on the same day (between four o'clock in the morning until the following four o'clock in the morning).
- tickets for the whole day anywhere in the Netherlands by train
- tickets for the whole day anywhere in the Netherlands by all public transport
- a ticket for a dog
- or for a bicycle
- surcharges for fast (mostly international) trains
- tickets for roundabout tours
- upgrade to first class
- When you plan to make a detour with a day return ticket you may choose the via station to be during the outward or back journey or both.
- You can also buy tickets for a limited number of destinations in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
In the right hand side of the screen there are six icons representing six ways of paying. PIN and Chipknip are related to Dutch bank accounts; a foreign debit card without a Maestro icon on it does not work on this machine; Visa and MasterCard are the only credit cards (€1 extra); in the Centraal station only three or four machines accept credit cards; paper money is never accepted, but near the two ticket desks in the Centraal Station you will find machines that change euro bank notes into euro coins: a €5 bank note into two €2 coins and one €1 coin or a €10 banknote into five €2 coins
You may purchase at most four tickets of the same kind and several different tickets and pay one time.
Please click here for more information about Ticket and pass types.
Click here for the floor plans of Schiphol Airport and look for the icons on the "Arrivals & Schiphol plaza", more precisely in the open triangular space in the middle.
this is the sales desk for train tickets and anonymous OV-chipkaarten , and
.. these are the ticket sales machines with a touch-sensitive screen.
The 'open triangular space in the middle' is actually the train station, below it are the train platforms. Train station and "Arrivals & Schiphol plaza" are on street level.
Click here for a Detailed explanation about the touch-sensitive screen ticket machine. (Until 2010 there was a full web demo of the sales machine for train tickets with a touch-sensitive screen in both Dutch and English. Unfortunately NS has removed this from their site.)
Amsterdam All in 1 Travel Ticket. (Until December 30, 2011)
At Schiphol Airport you can buy a ticket that includes a one way railway ticket from Schiphol to Amsterdam plus a one way railway ticket from Amsterdam to Schiphol plus unlimited travel (day and night) through Amsterdam by GVB (municipal transport company) during 24 hours (€13.20), 48 hours (€17.25), 72 hours (€20.85) or 96 hours (€24.45). This is about 10 percent cheaper than the three tickets bought apart. It is called "Amsterdam All in 1 Travel Ticket". The return train ticket will remain valid until one year after the next price increase; in practice this year and next year.
Click here for an explanation by Iamsterdam.
Click here for the floor plans of Schiphol Airport and look for the icon of the Holland Tourist Information , in front of Arrivals 2 . Here you can buy this ticket and ask for more information. Opposite Arrivals 2 , open daily from 7am until 10pm.
The Holland Tourist Information office at Schiphol currently handles all individual GVB and NS ticket sales. From the 31st of January 2011 the all-in-1 travel tickets will not be available anymore.
I Amsterdam City Card (formerly known as I Amsterdam Travel Card).
The one storey wooden building in front of the Centraal Station near the eastern entrance houses the Tourist Office (or 'VVV',together with the GVB). There you can get a I Amsterdam City Card that offers unlimited travel through Amsterdam by GVB (municipal transport company) during 24, 48 or 72 hours (day and night) plus a free canal boat tour plus free visits to many museums plus a 25 percent reduction in several establishments plus free parking rather far away from the centre.
Click here for the floor plans of Schiphol Airport and look for the icon of the "Holland Tourist Information" , in front of "Arrivals 2". Here also, you can buy your I Amsterdam City Card ticket and ask for more information. Opposite Arrival Hall 2, open daily from 07.00 – 22.00 hrs.
The price of this product in 2010 is: 24 hours: €38, 48 hours: €48, or 72 hours: €58. (in 2008 the price was €5 less)
For comparison: the free transport only (without boat, museums, parking and reductions) is offered by GVB: 24 hours for €7, 48 hours for €11.50, or 72 hours for €15.50.
Both products (the free transport only and the I Amsterdam City Card ) can only be used for a trip between Amsterdam and Schiphol if you take the red Schiphol Sternet buses owned by GVB, numbered 192 or 195.
Click the hyper link of your favourite language for in depth information about the I Amsterdam City Card .
In this Strippenkaart-paragraph there is information about the strippenkaart in Amsterdam until June 2nd, 2010, when the strippenkaart became obsolete in the Amsterdam region (including Schiphol).
You are nevertheless advised to read this paragraph if you intend to travel outside Amsterdam.
Now, you may use the OV-Chipkaart in the whole country. In the dark purple areas in this map the strippenkaart is abolished in buses, trams and metro vehicles. In trains you may still use the old paper tickets but also the OV-chipkaart instead. The OV-chipkaart in trains are not yet treated in this web site.
At the left you see a used 15-strippenkaart. (when you say "fifteen strippen card" everybody will understand you)
The strippenkaart has a Dutch flag in top because it could be used in the whole country in (almost all) buses and in trams. In Amsterdam and in Rotterdam and their surroundings only the OV-chipkaart is accepted. The Dutch Railways still accept their own tickets of the old system.
At the left you see a detail of the above strippenkaart.
Strip number 7 has been stamped in Zone 5714 (= transport area Amsterdam South) on Friday ("vr") in the 23rd week of the year at 7 pm. Two strippen have been devalued (numbers 6 and 7).
Strip number 9 has been stamped in Zone 5700 (= transport area Amsterdam Center) on Saturday ("za") in the 23rd week at noon. Two strippen have been devalued (numbers 8 and 9).
Strip number 13 has been stamped in Zone 5700 on Sunday ("zon") in the 23rd week at 2 pm. Four strippen have been devalued (numbers 10, 11, 12 and 13).
Please remember that the strippenkaart cannot be used in Amsterdam and Schiphol (and other places).
More strippen = more distance to go. More strippen = more time to go.
The more strippen you devalue the more distance and the more time you may go:
Two strippen will be devalued if you travel inside one zone. Three strippen, if in two adjacent zones. Four, if in three adjacent zones. Etc.
At the left you see the transport zones in and around Amsterdam .
Zone 5700 Centrum is larger than what is usually called Centrum. It includes the Vondelpark, the Van Gogh museum and the Rijksmuseum.
The entrance of Schiphol Airport and the Schiphol railway station is in zone 5733 Schiphol Centrum. A journey from 5733 to 5700 will mostly cost six strippen as the most obvious route is through five zones: 5733, 5734, 5724, 5714 and 5700.
If 2, 3 or 4 strips have been devalued then you may stay 1 hour in any bus or tram. So, you may change to other trams or public buses in the right period and in the right zones without paying extra.
If 5, 6 or 7 strips then idem 1,5 hours
If 8, 9 or 10 strips then idem 2 hours
If 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16 strips then idem 3 hours
If 17, 18, 19 or 20 strips then idem 3,5 hours
The maximum number of strips needed to be stamped is 20.
How to stamp a strippenkaart.
After having boarded the bus or tram you tell the busdriver or the ticket collector in the rear of the tram the number of strippen and the number of people. He/she will then stamp on your strippenkaart as many stamps as there are people in your company.
The trams 5, 16 and 24 are driver only trams; here you must stamp your strippenkaart by yourself in a yellow box. The very experienced tourist (left) has folded her strippenkaart in such a way that the strip to be stamped is just under the fold. She will then insert the folded strippenkaart into the red mouth of the yellow box that will then stamp the strippenkaart with a bang.
Where to buy a strippenkaart.
The 15- and 45-strippenkaarten are sold in advance sales outlets. The 2-, 3- and 8-strippenkaarten are usually sold inside the bus or tram but are about 60 percent more expensive than the 15 and 45-strippenkaart, but not so in Amsterdam!!
After clicking on the link under here, type "Amsterdam" (or the name of an other city) below "Woonplaats" or the four figures of a postal code below "Postcode" and click on "Zoeken". You will then see a list of pre sale outlets, in order of postal code. So, if you know the postal code of your hotel you can easily find the outlets in the vicinity. In Amsterdam, most of these addresses are hotels. The transport companies in Amsterdam do not sell strippenkaarten any more.
Click here for a list of all strippenkaart outlets in the Netherlands. After clicking one of the underscored addresses you will see a google map and at the left side of that a photo. After clicking one this photo you will enter Google's Street View.
In larger railway stations strippenkaarten and train tickets are sold at different places.
Fares strippenkaarten per 1 January 2011
2-strippenkaart €1,60 (grey)
3-strippenkaart €2,40 (grey)
8-strippenkaart €6,40 (grey)
15-strippenkaart full fare €7,70 (blue, see the picture in the top of this paragraph)
45-strippenkaart €22,80 (blue)
15-strippenkaart reduce fare €5,00 (red)
The 2009 15-strippenkaart of €7,30, the 45-strippenkaart of €21,60 and the 15-strippenkaart (reduced fare) of €4,80 are not valid in 2011. The same applies for even lower prices.
The 2-, 3- and 8-strippenkaart is about 60 percent more expensive than the 15 (full fare) and 45-strippenkaart but the 2-, 3- and 8-strippenkaarten are usually sold inside the bus or tram and the 15- and 45-strippenkaarten are sold in advance sales outlets.
Full fare or reduced fare.
The 15- and 45-strippenkaarten (that are available at the advance sales outlets) are executed in blue (full fare) and red (reduced fare).
The reduced fare strippenkaart is only available as a 15-strippenkaart and is to be used by:
- Dutch citizens aged 65 and up who can prove their age by means of a senior citizens pass or another valid identification card.
- Foreigners aged 65 and up who can prove their age by means of a valid passport. (This is the formal rule; consider it a compliment if you are asked to show your passport)
- Holders of an "OV-studentenkaart" (= free rail pass for students with a Dutch state scholarship).
- Children aged 4 through 11.
When the strippenkaart is used up, the last strip must be stamped.
At the left you see parts of two different 45-strippenkaarten. Please look at strip numbers 43, 44, 45, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Apparently two people made a round trip inside zone 5700 on Thursday evening in the eleventh week of the year. Essential is strip number 45; this strip is stamped because of the rule that the last strip of a used up strippenkaart must be stamped (the same applies for the front side of a 45-strippenkaart).