One of the first few things we typically do upon arrival at a new city is to find out where to purchase public transport passes and check out how to get to the key city attractions. It can be quite a challenge to do the former as it might involve long queues to buy the bus/train tickets (not ideal especially after a long 10-hour flight from Singapore) and we will have to overcome language barriers to find the right place to go for information.
That’s where City Passes come in handy – like the one offered by Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board: the I amsterdam City Card. With 24/48/72-hour options (€40/€50/€60), the I amsterdam City Card caters to different groups of tourists e.g. quick 1-day stopover visitor and it allows visitors to see up to 36 museums free of charge. Best of all, it also comes with a public transport pass (applicable for trams, buses and underground Metro trains within the Amsterdam city) with an equal duration as the I amsterdam City Card, thus saving visitors the time and effort required to understand the public transport fare system.
Visitors can buy the I amsterdam City Card directly at Schipol Airport Holland Tourist Information at Arrivals 2 or other Amsterdam Tourist Offices in the city. Each I amsterdam City Card comes with a small yet detailed pocket guide of Amsterdam attractions (with map of the public transport system).
The I amsterdam city card provides you with free entrance to 36 museums in Amsterdam city – the more prominent ones e.g. Hermitage (€15), Van Gogh Museum (€14) and Amsterdam Museum (€10) as well as the niche ones e.g. Amsterdam Tulip Museum (€4), Houseboat Museum (€3.50) and Tassenmuseum Hendrikje (Bag Museum) (€7.50). The I amsterdam City Card is a plastic card so it’s durable and will withstand repeated use. The I amsterdam city card offers the visitors the opportunity to experience and learn about different cultures and elements of life in Amsterdam and the Netherlands in general, in a very affordable manner. Public transport passes are also included with each I amsterdam card purchases to help visitors get around Amsterdam to these museums.
A free canal cruise (€12) is also included with the I amsterdam city card. You can choose between Blue Boat Company or Holland International Canal Cruises -both offers great tours of the Amsterdam canals and offers you a different perspective of Amsterdam life along the canals.
As evident above, the I amsterdam card offers great value for money i.e. for a 24-hour I amsterdam card (€40), you would have achieved savings of more than €20 with a typical one-day itinerary exploring the streets of Amsterdam e.g.
- Start the day with a morning canal cruise around Amsterdam: €12
- Entrances to 2 museums (Hermitage and Van Gogh Museum): €29
- Entrance to science center NEMO: €12.50
- Getting around Amsterdam with the included 24-hour public transport ticket: €7
- Other perks e.g. free croquette roll and coffee/tea: €6
- Total cost: €66.50 (savings of €26.50)
Mention Holland or the Netherlands, the famous windmills come to mind – we had to visit these windmills and the nearest ones are at Zaanse Schans – about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam city. The good news is that I amsterdam card also offers free entrance to Zaanse Schans attractions (€9) (you will have to pay for your own train tickets to Zaandijk – nearest train station to Zaanse Schans)! You will be able to check out each of Zaanse Schans’ windmills e.g. De Kat (The Cat) Dye mill, De Zoeker Oil mill and Het Jonge Schaap Sawmill and understand how each of these windmills harness wind power to carry out their functions.
With your I amsterdam city card, you will also be able to sample local specialties like a Van Dobben croquet or glass of liqueur for free! Some of the freebies you can enjoy while travelling around Amsterdam includes:
- Van Dobben sandwich bar (croquette roll – see picture below)
- De Bijenkorf (voucher for coffee/tea – see picture below)
- De Drie Fleschjes (glass of liqueur)
- Fifteen Amsterdam (free cocktail)
- Heineken the City (free opener)
- Holland Casino Amsterdam (free entrance)
- La Place (cup of coffee)
- Restaurant Open (free cup of Bocca and homemade sweets)
- Restaurant Manzano (free glass of Sangria)
- De Bazel Cafe and Conference Centre (cup of tea)
When visiting Gassan Diamonds for a free tour of its facilities and understanding of the diamond industry, you will also receive some interesting souvenirs when you flash your I amsterdam city card – no, you will not get free diamonds but instead diamond-shaped chocolates and a lollipop candy shaped like a tulip.
Your I amsterdam City Card consists of two passes: one for public transport, and the other for free entrance and discounts. The public transport pass is activated when you check in for the first time on a metro, bus or tram. Similarly, your entrance card is activated upon your first visit to one of the attractions included in the card offer. Upon activation, each pass is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours depending on the type of card you have purchased.
You can purchase your I amsterdam City Card online at http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/iamsterdamcard/purchaseyourcard.
- I amsterdam City Card for 24 hours – € 40.00
- I amsterdam City Card for 48 hours – € 50.00
- I amsterdam City Card for 72 hours – € 60.00
You can also purchase your I amsterdam City Card after arrival. It is available at a wide variety of sales outlets throughout the city, including:
- Schiphol Airport – Arrivals Hall 2: Holland Tourist Information
- Central Station – Tourist Office, Stationsplein 10 (opposite the main station entrance)
- Leidseplein – Uitburo Ticket Shop, Leidseplein 26 (in the Stadsschouwburg building)
I amsterdam city card holders also enjoy 25% discount on food at selected restaurants, music and stage performances, canal bike rentals and other Amsterdam attractions. For more info on the I Amsterdam City card, please see: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/iamsterdamcard/cardattractionsrestaurants
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