Canal in Amsterdam

The Ultimate Guide to Amsterdam Passes- Which is Right for You?

This page may contain affiliate links, which means that we may earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.

Amsterdam is an amazing, bustling city with so much to offer visitors. And Amsterdam passes give you the opportunity to visit the best attractions in the city at a discounted rate, allowing you to see and do more for less!

There are a few different options for city passes in Amsterdam. The most popular, and the ones we’ll be reviewing here, are the I amsterdam Card, Go City All-Inclusive Pass, the Go City Explorer Pass, the Amsterdam Digital Pass, and Museumkaart. We have also added a review of the Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket so you can find the best transportation option for your trip.

Given that there are so many options,  you might be wondering which of the Amsterdam passes is best. Well, the card that is best for you will really depend on how long you’re staying and what sorts of things you want to see while you’re in Amsterdam. In this article we’ll break down the details so that you know exactly which type of pass is best for your specific itinerary. 

Before our trip to Amsterdam, we spent a lot of time researching all the different options and we thought we’d save you some time by compiling all of that information here. We ended up using several of these cards and found that they saved us money and time during our trip to Amsterdam.

Read on for everything you need to know to pick the best pass for your visit to Amsterdam! 

For a perfect Amsterdam itinerary, see this post!

Best overall value: I amsterdam City Card

Best for a flexible schedule: Go City Explorer Pass

Amsterdam Passes at a Glance

Cost & Length Card Type Card Features
I amsterdam City Card 24-hour: €65
48-hour: €90
72-hour: €110
96-hour: €125
120-hour: €135
All-Inclusive •Access to over 70 museums/attractions
•Discounts at restaurants and attractions
•Public Transportation
•Canal cruise
•Bike rental
Go City All-Inclusive Pass 1 day pass: €39
2 day pass: €59
3 day pass: €79
5 day pass: €109
All-Inclusive •Access to over 20 museums/attractions
•Hop on-hop off boat tour
•Pedal boat rental
•Canal cruise
•Bike rental
Go City Explorer Pass 3 choice: €43
4 choice: €56
5 choice: €68
6 choice: €79
7 choice: €89
(Valid for 60 days)
Choose from 25 options Choose from:
•Access to over 20 museums/attractions
•Hop on-hop off boat tour
•Pedal boat rental
•Canal cruise
•Bike rental
Amsterdam Digital Pass €65.45 Preset options •Skip the line entry at Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum
•Canal tour
•Airport transfer
•Audio guide self-tour
•10% discount on museums and attractions
•10% discount on bicycle tours and excursions
Museumkaart  €64.90
Temporary pass: Valid for 31 days
Permanent pass: Valid for 1 year
All-Inclusive •Access to over 450 museums throughout the Netherlands
**Temporary pass: access to 5 museums over 31 days
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket 1 day: €20.53
2 day: €29.48
3 days: €38.43
Transportation •Unlimited access to trains, trams, buses, metro in Amsterdam and the surrounding area

I amsterdam City Card

I amsterdam sign in front of Rijksmuseum

The I amsterdam City Card is one of the most comprehensive cards offered for tourists in Amsterdam. It includes access to over 70 museums, use of public transportation, bike rental, a canal cruise, and exclusive discounts for restaurants and events.

The card card is all-inclusive and can be purchased as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 day pass. The cost for each additional day is less than the previous days, so there’s an incentive to add additional days to your card. 

This card is ideal for those who like to pack a lot into their days, as you have a lot of attractions to choose from and you will maximize the benefit of your pass by visiting as many as possible each day.

Cost

  • 24-hour pass: €65
  • 48-hour pass: €90
  • 72-hour pass: €110
  • 96-hour pass: €125
  • 120-hour pass: €135

How to get the I amsterdam City Card

You can order the I amsterdam City Card online here.

Download the app and show your card on the app at attractions and on public transportation (the bus currently doesn’t have a way to scan the QR code, so just show it to the driver).  

Pro tip: Take a screenshot of the QR code on your pass in case your pass won’t load when you need to use it. We learned this one the hard way…

If you want a physical copy, you can order online and pick up your card at the I amsterdam Store in Amsterdam Central OR you can purchase and pick up a card at one of the many sales locations throughout Amsterdam (see physical sales locations here).

The card activates when you first use it and expires at the end of the designated time period you chose (for example, 24 hours later for a 24-hr pass).

You can get a refund for non-activated cards regardless of purchase date.

Features of the card

  • Access over 70 museums and other main attractions in Amsterdam
  • Discounts at restaurants and attractions
  • Public Transportation- access to buses, trams, subway, and ferries
  • 1 hour canal cruise
  • Full day bike rental

Top Attractions included in the I amsterdam Card:

  • Rijksmuseum
  • NEMO Science Museum
  • Artis Royal Zoo
  • Muiderslot Castle
  • A’DAM Lookout
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Rembrandt House
  • Zaanse Schans
  • Dutch Resistance Museum
  • +many more!

Is the I amsterdam City Card worth it?

The short answer is yes! This card is a great value and covers so many museums, attractions, and other perks in the city that you really can’t go wrong with this pass.

The longer answer is that whether or not the I amsterdam is worth it for you depends largely on how many items you plan on fitting into a day. For the one-day pass, as long as you’re visiting at least three attractions, it will usually save you money to get the pass. For the multi-day passes, you need to fit even less in the day in order for the pass to save you money. 

And because the pass covers public transportation, it’s convenient and cheap to make your way around the city.

After researching all of the Amsterdam passes, we purchased a 3-day I amsterdam pass (along with the Museumkaart and Regional Transportation Pass) and were very pleased with our experience. We were able to visit all the attractions that we wanted to see and and found it to be easy to use and cost-effective.

Go City All-Inclusive Pass

Zaanse Schans

The Go City All-Inclusive Pass includes many of the must-see attractions in Amsterdam, including access to 20 museums, a canal boat cruise, a bike rental, a pedal boat cruise, and a hop on-hop off boat tour. 

This is a time-based pass and can be ordered in a 1, 2, 3, or 5 day version. 

Public transportation is not included, but it does have transfers to many of the attractions that are harder to reach, such as Zaanse Schans, Muiderslot, and Keukenhof.

This pass doesn’t include as many attractions as the I amsterdam card, however it does include entrance to Keukenhof and day trips to Delft, Rotterdam, and the Hague, which the other passes do not. 

Cost

  • 1 day pass- €39 (Child- €19)
  • 2 day pass- €59 (Child- €29)
  • 3 day pass- €79 (Child- €39)
  • 5 day pass- €109 (Child- €49)

How to get the Go City Pass

Order your pass online. Download the app to access your pass on your phone or print it out. The pass is activated when you visit your first attraction.

This card is based on calendar days, NOT 24-hour period, so be sure to activate it in the morning to maximize the use of the pass. 

Non-activated cards are eligible for a refund within 90 days of purchasing the pass.

Features of the Card

  • Access to many top attractions in Amsterdam
  • Canal boat cruise
  • Bike rental
  • Hop on-hop off boat tour
  • Pedal boat rental

Top attractions included in the card

  • Rijksmuseum
  • Muiderslot Castle + ferry transfer
  • A’DAM Lookout
  • Rembrandt House
  • Zaanse Schans + bus transfer
  • Keukenhof entry, transfer, and boat tour
  • Amsterdam Tulip Museum
  • Moco Museum
  • + more!

Is the Go City All-Inclusive Pass worth it?

The Go City All-Inclusive Pass is a good option for those who plan on taking day trips from Amsterdam and/or visiting Keukenhof in the spring.

This card is cheaper than I amsterdam, however it provides access to fewer attractions and does not include public transportation. On the other hand, it does include access to Keukenhof as well as day trips from Amsterdam, which the I amsterdam City Card does not.

Go City Explorer Pass

Muiderslot Castle

For those who want to create their own specialized itinerary, the Go City Explorer Pass gives you the option of adding exactly the attractions you want to your pass. And you don’t have to choose which attractions you want to see at the time you buy the pass, just select how many attractions you want to visit and make the big decisions later.

The other benefit of this card is that it is not time based, so you can spread your visits out for a more leisurely experience. Once you activate your pass, you have 60 days to use it. 

Cost

  • 3 choice pass- €43 (Child- €17)
  • 4 choice pass- €56 (Child- €23)
  • 5 choice pass- €68 (Child- €28)
  • 6 choice pass- €79 (Child- €34)
  • 7 choice pass- €89 (Child- €39)

How to get the Go City Explorer Pass

Order your pass online, then download the app to have access to the pass on your phone. You can also print a hard copy of your pass. 

The pass is activated when you visit your fist attraction and then you have 60 days to use the rest of your visits. 

Features of the Card

  • Pick between 25 options 
  • Options include: museums, transfers to top attractions, canal cruise, bike rental, pedal boat rental, and hop on-hop off boat tour

Top attractions to choose from

  • Rijksmuseum
  • Muiderslot Castle 
  • Rembrandt House
  • Ferry to Muiderslot Castle
  • A’DAM Lookout
  • Zaanse Schans 
  • Zaanse Schans Bus Excursion
  • Keukenhof entry, transfer, and boat tour
  • Amsterdam Tulip Museum
  • Moco Museum
  • Heineken Experience
  • THIS IS HOLLAND
  • Rotterdam, Delft, and the Hague Live Guided Tour
  • Tour de BonTonhop on-hop off boat tour
  • Royal Experience- Royal Coster Diamonds
  • Houseboat Museum
  • Volendam, Edam, and Windmills Bus Excursion
  • Diamond Museum
  • Pancakes Amsterdam
  • Jewish Cultural Quarter
  • Amsterdam Pipe Museum
  • Tony’s Chocolonely
  • Pedal boat rental
  • Bike rental
  • Hop on-hop off boat tour

Is the Go City Explorer Pass worth it?

The Explorer Pass is ideal for travelers who want to be able to go at their own pace. If you don’t want to be constrained by a time limit or don’t have very many attractions that you want to visit, this pass is a great option.

However, remember that the three-day All-Inclusive Go City Pass costs slightly less than the 7-option Explorer Pass at only €79, but allows you to visit as many attractions as you want during those three days. So if you think you’ll want to use more than 7 of the options in three days, you’ll want to go with the Go City All-Inclusive Pass or I amsterdam City Card.

Amsterdam Digital Pass

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

For a basic pass that includes just the main attractions, you might consider the Amsterdam Digital Pass. This pass includes Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and a canal tour. The card also provides a 10 percent discount at other Amsterdam attractions, such as the Heineken Experience,

For a basic pass that includes just the main attractions, you might consider the Amsterdam Digital Pass. This pass includes Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and a canal tour. The card also provides a 10 percent discount at other Amsterdam attractions, such as the Heineken Experience, Madame Tussauds, and excursions to Keukenhof, the Hague, and Volendam.

Unlike many of the other passes, the Amsterdam City Card is not time-based, allowing you to explore at your leisure. 

This pass is completely online, so you don’t have to worry about picking up a physical copy of the card in Amsterdam.

Cost 

  • €65.45

How to get the Amsterdam Digital Pass

Order the pass online and receive your tickets by email.

Features of the card

  • Skip the line entry to 2 top museums
  • A canal tour
  • Airport transfer from Schiphol Airport to city center
  • Audio guide self-tour
  • 10% discount on many Amsterdam museums and attractions
  • 10% discount on bicycle tours and excursions

Top attractions included in the card

  • Rijksmuseum
  • Van Gogh Museum

Is the Amsterdam Digital Pass worth it?

The main benefit of this pass is that it isn’t time based. This is perfect for someone who is taking a more leisurely trip because you can spread out your visits in any way that is convenient for you.

However, if you plan on visiting more attractions and can fit more into a day, the one-day I amsterdam pass costs about the same price and includes nearly all of the features of this card, plus a lot of other attractions as well.

So really the benefit of the pass depends on what kind of trip that you’re taking, but it is a bare bones card with limited features.

Museumkaart 

Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

Museumkaart is the museum pass of the Netherlands, providing access to more than 450 museums all across the country. Unlike the other cards, it is ONLY for museums and does not provide access to other popular attractions in Amsterdam. 

They recently changed some of their policies, so there’s a lot of incorrect information out there about this pass, which we quickly found out as we were researching for our trip. 

It used to be that it was easy for tourists to purchase the version of the pass that provides holders of the pass free access to its vast array of museums for one year. But now to buy a pass online, you need a Dutch bank account. 

However, you can buy a temporary pass as a tourist in the Netherlands, you just need to do so in person. This temporary pass costs €65 and grants you access to five museums over a span of 31 days. 

You can also register your pass online to have the permanent pass sent to a physical address (you can use your hotel address) within five days. However, if you’re changing hotels a lot or changing cities this can be a little tricky to coordinate. Just remember that you have to have already purchased a temporary pass first, in person, to get a permanent pass unless you have a Dutch bank account.

Cost

  • €64.90 for adults, €34.45 for those under 18 years of age

Features of the card

  • Free access to over 450 museums throughout the Netherlands
  • **Temporary pass: free access to 5 museums over 31 days

How to get the temporary pass

Go in person to one of the museums that sells the Museumkaart and purchase the pass. When you purchase the card, that counts as your first use of your five use limit for the temporary pass, whether you enter the museum or not. So be sure to purchase the pass at a time when you are prepared to use it.

You can find a list of the museums that sell the pass here.

How to get the permanent pass

To get a permanent pass, you will need to get a temporary pass in person and then register your temporary pass online.

To register your card, you will need to submit a photo of yourself.

Your pass will be shipped to an address of your choice (you can use your hotel room) within 5 days. Once you receive the physical pass in the mail, the card provides access to all included museums for one year.

Top Amsterdam attractions included in the Museumkaart pass

  • Anne Frank House
  • Rijksmuseum
  • NEMO Science Museum
  • Amsterdam Royal Palace
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Rembrandt House
  • Jewish Museum
  • Zaans Museum
  • +30 others in Amsterdam
  • +over 400 other museums throughout the Netherlands

Is the Museumkaart Card worth it?

The Museumkaart used to be a great deal for museum lovers, as it provided access to over 400 museums all across the country. While it is still a great value for locals, it’s trickier now for tourists to get the maximum benefit from this pass.

However, even if you can’t get the permanent pass, the temporary card can still save you money on museums. Because the temporary pass only includes five visits, this breaks down to €13 per museum, so this option will only be worth it for you if the five museums you visit are over that cost (which many of them are). 

This pass is obviously not as good of a bargain for tourists as it used to be, but it can be worth it depending on which museums you plan to visit. It can also be useful if you’re planning on visiting other areas in the Netherlands, because unlike the other passes it’s also valid for museums in other cities. For example, if you’re planning a day trip to Utrecht or Haarlem, there are locations there that are on the pass as well. 

This is also the only pass that is accepted by the Anne Frank House. 

For our trip, we chose to purchase both the I amsterdam and the Museumkaart passes. We used the I amsterdam for most of the attractions in Amsterdam and reserved the Museumkaart for the Anne Frank Museum and museums in Utrecht and Haarlem. 

Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

Train in Amsterdam

The Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket provides access to public transportation for Amsterdam and the surrounding area, including trains, trams, metro, and buses. You can purchase a card for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days and the more days you purchase, the greater the savings.

This card is solely for transportation and does not include any other attractions in Amsterdam. This pass is good to use in conjunction with some of the other Amsterdam attraction passes which either don’t include transportation or only include transportation in the city proper.

When we were headed to Zaanse Schans, we saw several people turned away from the bus because they didn’t have the correct transportation pass. We felt so disappointed for them, so don’t let that be you! Plan ahead to make sure you have the correct transportation ticket for the places you want to visit. 

Cost

  • 1 day: €20.53
  • 2 day: €29.48
  • 3 days: €38.43

Features of the card

  • Unlimited access to trains, trams, buses, metro in Amsterdam and the surrounding area

How to get the Regional Travel Ticket

The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket can be purchased online, at the I amsterdam Visitor Center at Amsterdam Central Station, or other participating locations. If you order online, you will need to present your voucher and pick up your ticket (called OV-chipkaart) at a designated ticket machine or desk.

Is the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket worth it?

If you’re planning on staying in Amsterdam proper for the duration of our visit, you likely will not need this card. However, if you plan on visiting places such as Muiderslot Castle, Zaanse Schanse, or Haarlem, the Regional Travel Ticket will provide access to public transportation to get you to those locations.

This is a nice complement to the I amsterdam, Museumkaart, and Amsterdam Digital passes. While the I amsterdam Card includes public transportation, this is only for transportation in Amsterdam proper. If you plan on going further afield, for example to Muiderslot Castle or Zaanse Schans, you’ll need a Regional Travel Ticket. And Museumkaart and the Amsterdam Digital Pass do not include transportation at all.

The Go City passes have the option to include transportation to some of the populr locations outside of the city, which means you might not need a Regional Travel Ticket if you get one of those passes.

How do I use my pass at places that require a reservation?

Many of these attractions require reservations online for a specific time slot. In order to use your pass for these attractions, simply make your reservation online, indicating when asked which card you are using, and then show your card upon arrival. 

Your card will not activate when you book your reservation, it activates when you first visit an attraction.

Final Thoughts 

There are so many amazing sights and attractions in Amsterdam that you’ll probably want to get a city pass to reduce the cost of all the attractions and activities you’ll want to experience.

There are several different Amsterdam passes to choose from, and all of them can be good options depending on what features you’re looking for. Whether you’re hoping to have a day packed full of activities or would rather take things at a more leisurely pace, there’s a pass for you!

All of these passes are a great way to save money on some of the best attractions in Amsterdam, so let our guide help you pick the right one for your trip!

Other posts you might be interested in:

Visiting Keukenhof and Lisse Tulip Fields- Everything You Need to Know!

9 Amazing Things to Do in Rotterdam with Kids

Best Amsterdam 4 Day Itinerary (+ Helpful Tips!)

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.