Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Arriving in Amsterdam

Public transport

Due to the corona crisis measures by the Dutch government, we are unfortunately unable to provide a shuttle service to your AUAS housing. Here you will find more information about public transport in the Netherlands.

Arriving in Amsterdam: a step-by-step guide (video AUAS)

Wear a face mask

As of 1 June 2020, wearing a face mask is mandatory in all public transport in the Netherlands. Shawls and other mouth coverings are not allowed. Travelers are responsible for purchasing their own face masks.

Negative COVID test declaration form

Every traveller needs to fill in and bring a negative COVID test declaration when travelling from or to Schiphol Airport. Additional measures may apply to travellers from specific countries. Check for updates the Schiphol website and our Corona & self-quarantine page.

Amsterdam has an extensive transport system including trams, buses, trains, metros and (free) ferries. Amsterdam can be reached easily from Schiphol Airport by train.

OV chipcards

It is wise to buy a public transport card at the train station at Schiphol Airport. This card is called an OV-Chipkaart. You can top up this smart card with money and then use it for all public transport in the Netherlands. If you want to travel by train, the minimum credit on your card must be €20. For all other public transport, no minimum amount is required. Using the OV-chipkaart is cheaper than buying one way tickets.

You can buy an OV-chipkaart at the train ticket desk at Schiphol Plaza or at the yellow ticket machines. The ticket machines accept payment by debit and credit cards (V-Pay, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa and American Express) using pin and/or contactless. The machines do not accept banknotes.

Not travelling through Schiphol Airport?

All major train or metrostations have ticket machines as well.

Staying for longer than 1 year in the Netherlands?

Yes, the Dutch government does offer a free student travel card in combination with study allowance for specific nationalities and under certain conditions. Please note that this is a complicated process and it will take a fair amount of time to arrange it. See the official government website (DUO) for more information. Please contact DUO directly if you have any questions.

Exchange students

Unfortunately, exchange students cannot apply for the free student travel card or study allowance mentioned above.

Other discounts

You could consider a seasonal ticket or subscription, which could be cheaper depending on how many times you travel per week/month to a university building.

In the Netherlands, buses and trains are operated by different companies. If you want to get a discount subscription, you have to apply for that on official websites of different public transport companies. You can find more information about seasonal tickets for trains on the NS website or Amsterdam public transport website. Combination subscriptions for train & public transport within Amsterdam are possible.

You could also opt for the ISIC OV chipcard which gives you a discounted rate on national trains (not on local transport in Amsterdam!), as explained below.

ISIC public transport card with discount for international students

Unfortunately, international students do not receive any discount on public transport from the Dutch government. Choosing a suitable subscription is a complicated process, especially for international students. Therefore, ISIC created the ISIC Mobility card, a custom-made mobility card for international students with discount on national trains. With this card, you will also receive discounts on several companies and services in the Netherlands.

Reserve the ISIC Mobility card prior to your arrival in Amsterdam on the ISIC website and pick up the card later at the ISIC office in Amsterdam or have it sent to your Dutch address. If your plans change because of the current situation you can easily cancel your order and get a full refund.

ISIC is an independent organisation and not related to the AUAS. For questions, please see the ISIC website.

Most public transport in Amsterdam is operated by the GVB . The national railways are operated by NS . is a useful website and app which incorporates all public transport operators in the Netherlands. This website shows timetables, a map of the journey, costs of the journey and season tickets advise.

Taxis are expensive: the cost of a taxi ride from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam varies between €40 and €70 (January 2021).

Or try alternatives like Uber or Bolt .

Want to feel like a local, save money on public transport and exercise at the same time? Buy a bike!

  • second hand bikes are often offered (by other students) through social media
  • Most bike shops also sell second hand bikes for reasonable prices
  • ASVA (the Amsterdam Student Union) organizes bike sales every semester
  • Companies like Swapfiets offer a rental bike with full service for a fixed monthly fee
  • Invest in 2 good locks! Always lock your bike at two points, preferably attached to a fence or bicycle stand.

Going back home at the end of the semester? Easily sell your bike again!

Published by  Student Affairs 11 October 2021