Please remember to check out

Posted at: 26 Jun 2018

The public transport in Amsterdam can be quite confusing. Here you will find helpful information about tickets and fees as well as short stories about what happened in the trams, metro and trains.

Please remember to check out

For most of us, international students, a semester is almost over and therefore, this is a good time to review on how to get around Amsterdam the smart and the cheap way. Firstly, let’s mention that there are 5 different companies (GVB, NS, Connexxion, Arriva and EBS) and 5 public transport options in Amsterdam: tram, metro, train, bus and ferry. The most important companies are GVB (tram, bus and metro), Connexion (bus) and NS (trains). Because the connection can variate unexpectedly depending on your location, I would recommend you install the 9292 app on your phone. It is for free and it shows you the best connection options for the public transport.

Metro exit at Weesperplein to go to the HvA

Furthermore, I would recommend getting an OV chipkaart or if available (when you register for you stay) a business card for the public transport. With the business card you save 40% of each journey and the OV chipkaart allows you to pay the journey depending on the distance you travel with an entrance fee of 0,90€. Before every trip you need to check in with your card and at the end of the trip you need to check out. On the tram a nice voice reminds you to check out at every stop and system on a metro and train doesn’t let you out without checking out firstly. If you are confused at the moment, here is an OV chipkaart tutorial.

To use the metro a minimum deposit of 4€ is needed on your card and 20€ for the train (NS). If you change the transportation within the
30 minutes, both journeys will be counted as one. This procedure can be tricky, when you forget to check out, because the system thinks you’re still in the vehicle. Some friends of mine had extremely expensive journeys because of that. You can find more information about different
ticket options here.

If you have friends visiting you in Amsterdam, I would recommend them to buy a day or multiple day pass since they will save lots of money and you will be able to show them all the nice things you discovered since being in Amsterdam. But keep in mind that these tickets are just for transport with GVB. I also used day passes (7,50€) when I had to take the night bus home after a fun party night in the city centre. I really don’t like those night busses. They cost 4,50€, no matter where you need to go and are always packed with drunk people at Rembrandtplein, people that just want to go to sleep (some even start a power nap during the way home). I really don’t understand why in a city like Amsterdam, where you have a lot of parties and events, the public transport such as tram and metro stop half past midnight. That’s also one of the reasons why I would highly recommend getting a bike. It makes your life way easier and on top of that, the morning ride helps making you sober.

If you are visiting the northern side of Amsterdam, you must take the ferry. It is for free and worth the trip. There you can visit the NDSM to have a nice view on Amsterdam in one of the amazing restaurants, visit the monthly huge flea market or go to one of the festivals.

Another thing you need to know about trams is that there are entrance doors mostly at the beginning, middle and end of the tram and exit doors (in-between). This way the tram needs less time at one spot waiting for people to get in and out. The tram system is limited to the city centre and it is surrounded by the metro system. Some places are just reachable by bus. If you want to take your bike on the public transport you need to buy a separate ticket for 5€. The controls are rare because of the check in and check out card system. So, several times, we were lucky to squeeze through the door as pairs. However, at main stations there can be additional controls by the police, which can make it hard to exit the station without a fee. Therefore, I recommend, you get your OV chipkaart immediately after arriving and start discovering Amsterdam and its surroundings. And always “Please remember to check out”.

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