Within Amsterdam, it is easy to travel quickly by bike, but also by public transport. The tram, bus, and metro are good means of transport to travel throughout the city. The infrastructure in Amsterdam is so good that the trams, buses, and metros follow each other in quick succession.
To pay for public transport it is important to buy a public transport chip card. With this card, you can check in when you arrive at the means of transport and check out when you disembark. No more cash is accepted in Amsterdam.
Regular public transport OV-chipcard (personalized)
Only Dutch students can get free public transport. International students can buy a public transport chip card. The card is valid for 5 years.
With this link, you can fill in your details and request a personal chip card (OV-chipkaart).
- Then you have to upload a personal photo which can be seen on your personal chip card.
- Then you can indicate the function to automatically upload the OV-chipkaart. This means that when the amount of money is lower than a certain value, the OV-chipkaart will be charged with money from your bank account. This action takes place automatically when this threshold is reached.
- Then you check everything and fill in your payment details.
- You can only pay with iDeal and PayPal.
- Within a few working days, you will receive the OV-chipkaart at home.
Anonymous public transportation OV-chipcard
There is also a possibility to travel with an anonymous OV-chipkaart. When people don’t travel much with OV or don’t want to share their personal information, you can choose to travel anonymously. You can share the card with the whole family (but not at the same time). For example, you travel to the library by metro with the anonymous card and your flatmate uses the same card one day later to go to football by bus.
- The card is available at railway stations, metro stations, tobacco shops, and service desks.
- If you load a balance on it, the card can be used immediately.
- The card is valid for five years from the date of production.
- A disadvantage of the card is that you can use prices that are not related to age. So a child will cost the same price as an adult.
Deals and discounts
NS is the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands. This company offers plenty of discounts and package deals for student public transportation, which are called ‘Flex Subscriptions’. These deals are structured in such a way that you pay a monthly rate and in return have access to many advantages for example a 40% discount on public transportation during the weekend or a 20% of discount during peak hours.
For more information, you can visit this website and decide which deal is best for you.
Night buses also run between 01.00 and 05.00 hours in the Amsterdam region. The OV-chipcard can also be used or you can buy a separate ticket on the bus. The prices are a bit more expensive and there are fewer buses at night.
The University of Amsterdam: public transport
The University of Amsterdam also wrote information about public transport in Amsterdam. For more information, check out their website.