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I Amsterdam City Card Review: Is It Worth the Price?

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Want to explore Amsterdam and save money while you do it? Sure you do – but is the I Amsterdam city card the key to taking in the best museums and attractions in town on the cheap?

You’ve come to the right place to find out. Join us as we delve into an honest review of the I Amsterdam card, what it has to offer, and everything else you need to know to decide whether it’s right for you.

What is the I Amsterdam card?

I Amsterdam Logo

The I Amsterdam City Card offers free entry to over 70 major museums and attractions in Amsterdam, plus perks like free public transport and discounts at other attractions and restaurants. The city card includes a free canal cruise and a full-day bike rental.

If you’re planning an epic holiday packed with visits to Amsterdam’s many major attractions, then a city pass can be a solid way to go. But is the I Amsterdam City Card legit, and how do you get one if you decide to take the plunge?

All excellent questions. Let’s take a look.

Who Issues The Amsterdam City Card?

First things first: Who exactly is behind this all-inclusive pass? The I Amsterdam card is issued by a public-private foundation called Amsterdam & Partners, which is out to promote exploration of all the many great attractions the Amsterdam Metropolitan area has to offer.

They are legit and work with over 800 partners, from local governments and cultural organizations to businesses and entrepreneurs. Unlike some lesser city pass peddlers, Amsterdam & Partners is an official partner of the city and is in no way out to lure you into a tourist trap.

Where Do I Buy The I Amsterdam City Card?

The great thing about the I Amsterdam City Card is that getting your hands on one couldn’t be easier. It comes in two handy formats, so you can purchase a digital or physical city card.

Digital City Card

I Amsterdam City Card App in Apple
Apple / Apple

The digital city card can be purchased online from anywhere in the world! If this is your chosen route, you’ll also need to download the I Amsterdam App for iPhone or Android for no additional cost.

The app will serve as your ticket and come with a list of all the attractions included, complete with suggestions based on your preferences. As you browse, you can create lists of your favorites and click on an in-app map to find out the location of each.

You’ll also discover that some popular destinations require you to book a time slot, which you can also do straight from the Amsterdam city card app. A “share” feature will allow you to store multiple cards on a phone and navigate easily between them.

Just make sure that you set out on your journey with a phone charger in tow. Between all the pictures you’ll probably take at different attractions, there’s nothing worse than ending up unable to access your card due to a dead phone battery.

Physical City Card

I Amsterdam City Card is a sightseeing card that gives you free entry to museums and attractions, as well as free public transportation
lumosajans / Shutterstock.com

Do you prefer to have a physical Amsterdam City Pass on hand? No problem – there are several ways to go about securing one.

You can order your card online and pick it up at the I Amsterdam Store at Amsterdam Central Station when you arrive. Or you can head to the same location to buy one in person when you arrive.

If you decide to order ahead, you’ll receive an email voucher after you purchase. Just flash your confirmation email or a printed copy at the I Amsterdam Store, and they’ll hook you up with your city card.

You’ll also find select resellers scattered throughout the city, like the I Amsterdam Visitor Center at Schiphol Airport. Having a physical card on hand can be a nice way to avoid the possibility of your phone dying or the hassle of having to pull up the app every time you want to take a metro ride.

See Related: Is Amsterdam Safe? Here’s What to Know

How Much Does The I Amsterdam City Card Cost?

One of the major perks of the I Amsterdam City Card is that you can choose from various prices based on how long you want your city card to stay active. Yet another perk is that no matter when you purchase your I Amsterdam card, its duration countdown won’t begin until activated.

If you purchased your card online, you can activate it in the app when you’re ready to explore the city. Opting for a physical card won’t activate until you use it for the first time, whether to gain free entrance to an attraction or public transport.

Just make sure you don’t start your countdown until you’re ready to explore Amsterdam. For instance, don’t blow a full day’s value on a bus ride if you don’t plan to visit other attractions until the next day.

Here’s a breakdown of the I Amsterdam city card options and how much they cost:

  • 24 hours – €60 / $65.69
  • 48 hours – €85 / $93.05
  • 72 hours – €100 / $120.42
  • 96 hours – €115 / $136.84
  • 120 hours – €125 / $147.79

How Do I Use The I Amsterdam City Card?

The good news is that the I Amsterdam City Card is well-known throughout the city, so you should have no issues using it at any of the included museums and attractions. Present your physical or virtual card at the ticket office or scan it just like a bus pass when using any metro, tram, bus, or ferry.

See Related: How Much is a Trip to Amsterdam? [Full Trip Cost Guide]

Can The I Amsterdam City Card Save Money?

This question will help determine whether purchasing a tourist pass suits you. One of the obvious perks of the I Amsterdam card is that it comes with free admission to some of the hottest attractions in Amsterdam.

But would it be cheaper to pay for tickets to each museum and attraction you plan to check out? Let’s find out by exploring the regular cost of some of the top attractions in Amsterdam, which are included in the pass.

Free Entrance Included With I Amsterdam City Card:

Attraction Admission Cost Without Card
Rijksmuseum €21.95 / $25.75
Nemo Science Museum €17.50 / $19.17
Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art €22.50 / $25.04
Muiderslot Castle €17.50 / $19.17
Rembrandt House Museum €17.50 / $19.17
Jewish Historical Museum and Portuguese Synagogue €17.00 / $18.63
ARTIS Royal Zoo €25.00 / $27.39
Oude Kerk €13.50 / $14.82
Dutch Resistance Museum €14.00 / $15.34
Huis Willet-Holthuysen €12.50 / $14.28
Total Cost €178.95 / $198.76

As you can see, even if you purchased the full 5-day city card, you’d still be able to visit city card locations like these for less than you’d pay for individual tickets to each. Not to mention that these are only ten of the popular museums and other attractions offered.

The city card also gets you free entry to other popular attractions like the National Maritime Museum, the Diamond Museum, the MOCO Museum, Zaanse Schans, and more. There are a few museums to which the I Amsterdam card does not grant free entrance (more on that later), but it may still help you score a discount on tickets.

It offers discount entrances to attractions like the Heineken Experience, STRAAT Museum, and Madame Tussauds Amsterdam. You’ll also score deals at several popular restaurants like Pancake Amsterdam Westermarkt, Blue Amsterdam, and Restaurant Fiona.

See Related: Day Trips from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Additional Benefits of The I Amsterdam City Card

Even if you only plan to visit a few museums during your stay, investing in an Amsterdam city card can help you save money if you play your cards right. But the cool thing is that the benefits don’t end there.

In addition to free entrance to major attractions, the Amsterdam Pass offers several other perks for no additional cost. Here are even more perks that make the Amsterdam city card worth looking into.

Free canal cruise

Damrak street view in Amsterdam - Dutch architecture and tourism
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There’s a great reason that canal cruises are one of the top attractions in Amsterdam. The Canal District or “Grachtengordel” is a 17th-century section of town that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right.

Here, you’ll find some of the city’s most notable landmarks, such as the Anne Frank House, De 9 Straatjes, the Willet-Holthuysen Museum, and De Krijtberg. You’ll also find plenty of quirky museums and attractions here, such as the Houseboat Museum, the Cow Museum, and The Cat Cabinet, which are exactly what you expect.

If it’s your first time in the city, canal cruises are a great way to get the lay of the land, not to mention an awesome experience in their own right! Each I Amsterdam city card comes with a free canal cruise from partners like Amsterdam Circle Line, Stromma, LOVERS Canal Cruises, Blue Boat Company, or Smidtje Canal Cruises Haarlem.

A canal cruise can cost anywhere from €16 – 20, so be sure to take advantage of the free offer! If you’re interested in a specialty canal cruise like an open boat tour or wine & cheese cruise, you can use your Amsterdam city card to score 25% off.

Free Tours

Bikes along Canal Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Amsterdam is one of those cities that has so many attractions that it can be hard to figure out what to do first. Luckily, the I Amsterdam city card offers free access to an introductory city walking tour.

Set you on a small group tour with a guide introducing you to Amsterdam city highlights, stories, and more. The two-hour tour is a great way to kickstart your holiday, especially if it’s your first time in the city.

The city card also offers a self-guided food tour of some of the most popular restaurants in the Jordaan district. Six of the seven locations also offer exclusive discounts and tastings for city cardholders.

The walking tour is a nice way to get an overview of some of the most popular cafés in the area. Plus, you’ll enjoy everything from Dutch cheese and sausages to the famous baby pancakes Amsterdam is known for,

Free 24 Hour Bike Rental

Amsterdam bikes and canal houses
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

While a canal cruise is a great way to explore Amsterdam on the water, renting a bike is a fantastic way to explore the city’s streets. Your Amsterdam city card will score you a free 24-hour bike rental from several top rental companies like A-Bike, Amsterbikes, MacBike, or Yellowbike.

Enjoy a €14,50 – €16.95 value for free when set off on two wheels to explore the city’s highlights. Whether you visit city card locations or explore the Dutch countryside, nothing beats having your means of public transport.

See Related: Best Hotels in Haarlem

Free Public Transportation

GVB Ferry in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Regarding public transport, Amsterdam has plenty of stellar options, and the I Amsterdam city card has free access. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to GVB public transport, like the metro lines, trams, and buses, for as long as your city card remains active.

You’ll also be able to use local ferries, but in all fairness, they are free for everyone! Head over to the GVB website, where you’ll find up-to-date schedules that make using public transportation a breeze.

You might even want to download the GVB public transport smartphone app, particularly if it’s your first time in the city. It is important to note, however, that your card is only valid for free local public transport.

If you’re interested in day trips to the surrounding regions to areas like Zaanse Schans or Keukenhof, then your best bet is to tack on an ARTT pass. This regional pass will allow you to travel from the Amsterdam Centraal Station to a number of other stations in the surrounding region.

It also works for public transport outside the city limits and on the Amsterdam Airport Express bus, which isn’t covered by the city card.

See Related: How Many Days Do You Need in Amsterdam?

The Cons of the I Amsterdam City Card

Hey, nobody is perfect, right? While the city card offers access to a majority of the best attractions in Amsterdam, there are a few notable exceptions.

Omitted Attractions

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The two most notable exceptions are the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, both of which we highly advise checking out anyway. The Van Gogh Museum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions and features hundreds of the Dutch master’s paintings, drawings, and letters.

It’s well worth setting aside a few hours to explore the life of one of history’s most enigmatic paintings through a series of fascinating exhibits. The Van Gogh Museum is also home to some of the artist’s most famous works, such as Sunflowers and Almond Blossom.

Then there’s the Anne Frank House, arguably the most powerful landmark in town, if not the entire country. Visitors are invited to tour the home where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II and see the young author’s famous diary in person.

Due to the site’s popularity, tickets are only available on the official website of the Anne Frank House, and time slots often sell out months in advance. Nonetheless, it’s worth ensuring that this is one experience you don’t miss.

Transportation Limits

Train at Amsterdam Centraal station
Leonid Andronov / Adobe Stock

The other biggest con that it’s important to be aware of is transportation. As mentioned above, the city card does grant you access to most major means of public transport inside the city limits but doesn’t include regional travel.

For instance, any Dutch Railways train rides outside the city, including transport to and from the airport, must be bought separately. This is a bit of a bummer, considering that a few attractions, such as Muiderslot Castle, are outside the city limits.

The best day trip options are investing in a rental car or springing for an ARTT pass. Either way, just make sure you don’t forget to look into travel insurance just in case of any unexpected mishaps throughout your journey!

Is it worth getting the I Amsterdam City Card?

Interior of Cuypers Library at Rijksmuseum
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As you can, whether the I Amsterdam city card is right for you will highly depend on what you want to do, as well as the length of your stay. Let’s review the main points we covered with a list of benefits and potential drawbacks.

Pros of the I Amsterdam City Card:

  • Offers free entrance to over 70 of Amsterdam’s most popular museums and attractions
  • Available at different prices according to your desired duration
  • Comes with free access to citywide public transport
  • Available in physical or digital form
  • The app includes maps that can help guide you to each attraction
  • Includes a free 24-hour bike rental
  • Includes a free canal cruise
  • Includes discounts to popular restaurants and bars

Cons of the I Amsterdam City Card:

  • Doesn’t include access to a few notable attractions like the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House
  • It’s important to pick the right duration and plan your trip accordingly to get the most value
  • While many of the free attractions included are great, a few (think the Diamond Museum and Pipe Museum) aren’t exactly must-see
  • Public transport options are limited to inside the city

See Related: Where to Stay in Amsterdam: Best Parts of Town

I Amsterdam City Card Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Amsterdam city card, a few other options are available. The first is the Explorer Pass from the GoCity App, which is a nice option if you don’t want to worry about running out of town. I’ve used GoCity a few times, and they’re legit.

While the Explorer Pass offers fewer attractions, you can use it for three to seven options of your choice for up to 60 days after you activate it. It also includes a few options that the Amsterdam city card doesn’t, such as free admission to Madame Tussauds Amsterdam or the Amsterdam Dungeon.

It’s definitely worth a look if you plan on seeing fewer attractions during your stay or don’t want to be pressed for time. The other option is the Netherlands Museum Pass, which is a great option for locals or anyone primarily interested in seeing the city’s top museums.

We must admit that at €64.90 for a full year, the Museum Pass gives the Amsterdam city card a run for its money. It works for over 500 museums in the Netherlands, 49 of which are among Amsterdam’s top draws.

Top draws include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, ARTIS, and many more. The Museum Pass is also a great option if you intend to visit multiple cities throughout your trip.

I Amsterdam City Card Review: Is It Worth the Price?

Want to save money when exploring Amsterdam with I Amsterdam City Card? Here's a comprehensive review of the card.

Product Brand: I Amsterdam City Card

Editor's Rating:
4.4

Pros

  • Offers free entrance to over 70 of Amsterdam's most popular museums and attractions
  • Available at different prices according to your desired duration Comes with free access to citywide public transport Available in physical or digital form Includes a free 24-hour bike rental

Cons

  • Doesn't include access to a few notable attractions like the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House It's important to pick the right duration and plan your trip accordingly to get the most value
  • While many of the free attractions included are great, a few (think the Diamond Museum and Pipe Museum) aren't exactly must-see Public transport options are limited to inside the city

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