How much did we save using the ‘I Amsterdam’ City Card?

I Amsterdam card

As we were planning our Amsterdam trip this summer Google kept suggesting the ‘I Amsterdam’ city card.  This card covered museum entry, public transport & a canal boat ride. Would we get back the 84€ it would cost us for the 72 hours in the city?  We decided to take the punt, explore the city & weigh up the costs when we got home!

Ordering & Collecting the I Amsterdam card

Ordering the card was really straightforward using the website www.iamsterdam.co.uk.  Depending on how long you are staying in the city the costs are as follows:

  • 24 hours 59€
  • 48 hours 74€
  • 72 hours 84€
  • 96 hours 98€

We were there slightly longer than 72 hours but figured I’d be museum’d out and ready to hit to shops on the last day so plumped for the 72 hour card.

The I Amsterdam card can be collected from one of the booths in or by the Centraal Station, but you can also stop by the Visitor Information Centre at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in Arrivals.  As we were heading to Centraal station we popped into the main ‘I Amsterdam’ tourist information centre which you cannot miss.  It is just outside on the main square, housed in a lovely old building and stocks a range of ‘I Amsterdam’ souvenirs, tons of pamphlets and helpful staff.

The card came with a few Amsterdam tourist magazines and a pop-up map with the locations of the museums included on the pass.  So far, so easy.  As we exited the tourist info, we jumped on our 17 tram to Hotel not Hotel & started our day of exploring.  All cards give unlimited tram, metro, and city bus rides (but not the regional Connexxion, Arriva and EBS bus lines, and not for the train to the airport) — just tap in when you board and tap out when you depart.

What’s included?

The official website shows what’s included, and a handy PDF shows the admission costs covered with the card. Without even considering the value of the public transportation, that 87€ would have been paid for with entrances to only five of the most expensive places. The card includes most of the top attractions including Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Rembrandt House, as well as the Artis Zoo.  Savings can add up quick. Although we didn’t take the girls, it’s good to note that kids are typically free for a lot of Amsterdam attractions..

Let’s see how much use we got out of our cards!

Day 1

A 4 am wake-up call for our 6 am flight from Newcastle to Amsterdam, plus a boozy lunch in the local Foodhallen, meant we didn’t make that much use of our card today.

I Amsterdam card

An afternoon trip to the Rijksmuseum was cut short by the sheer exhaustion that came over us.  It was a beautiful museum, extremely busy and we only managed maybe three or four of the galleries. Still, though we are already making those savings-cost 17.50€

Transport 7.50€ for all day tram.

Total spend so far: 25€

Day 2

After a full breakfast at the hotel, we popped our comfy trainers on for a full day of sight-seeing, starting with the 17 tram back to Centraal station to jump on a canal boat tour.

I Amsterdam card

There are numerous canal tour operators in Amsterdam that accept the card.  We jumped on the first canal we seen in at the docks which were a Lovers one.  Nothing to do with red roses or romance.  In fact, they pronounced it more like Loafers? Anyway, the canal tour was a brilliant way to start to get our bearings and to learn some history through the English commentary through the complimentary headphones that plugged in.  Cost of the canal cruise 18.00€

I Amsterdam card

Next up was NEMO, an interactive science museum just a short walk from the Centraal station.  I’d say the target audience for the museum was kids from 5-12 years old, but we had a fun time trying out the hands-on exhibitions.  Cost of an adult ticket to NEMO 16.50€

Transport 7.50€ for all day tram.

Total spend for the day 42.00€

Day 3

Alan really fancied the This is Holland flight simulator after his brother recommended it as a must do.  It was described a very like the Epcot attraction Soarin’.  Any mention of Disney & Alan was sold. Instead of flying over California you get to see highlights of Holland from the air.  This was the first attraction that wasn’t included in our pass (shock horror) so we paid ourselves the 16.50€

As we were over the area at the back of Central Station, we headed to the Eye Filmmuseum, which looked super modern and quirky from outside.  We were back on the card (yey!) and saved ourselves 10.50€.  The exhibition was pretty small, to be honest (we were probably only in here an hour max) so I would have been a bit ripped off paying out full price, but it was nice to look around.

I Amsterdam card

Next up was the Our Lord in the attic (Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder) which would have set us back  10€ – a highlight of the day! A brilliant audio tour with so much history & wow factor.  Essentially this was an elaborate Catholic church in the attic of a merchants home disguised from the street.  As Amsterdam was a Protestant city, an alternative religion had to be practiced discretely-hence the churches in attics.  Really interesting!

I Amsterdam card

Last up on our mammoth site seeing date was Her Grachtentiuis (Museum of the Canals).  Again this was an audio tour which gave a history of the city & how the canals were built.  We were really impressed at the use of modern technology to bring a historic canal house to life with projectors, sounds & interesting storytelling.  This attraction really made me want to live in Amsterdam.  It’s such an interesting & pretty place. Cost for this museum 15.00€

Transport 7.50€ for all day tram.

Total spend for the day 43.00€

Worth it?

So was the ‘I Amsterdam’ card worth it?

I Amsterdam card

It was a resounding ‘yes’ from us.  The card actively encouraged us to seek out attractions & the pop-out map helped us to navigate where they were located.  As the ‘I Amsterdam’ card is promoted by the Tourist Information Board the museums featured exclude any mention of marijuana and prostitution.  If you are thinking of visiting the ‘Sex Museum’ or ‘Museum of Prostitution / Red Light Secret’ you won’t find these on the card.

Did we save money?

The total spends if we had paid out of pocket for our attractions & transport comes in at 110.00€ so a 16.00€ saving per person.  Not the most dramatic saving, I know, but our trip was part sight-seeing/part drinking so we took Amsterdam at a relatively slow pace.  If you wanted to really go for it & do more attractions the savings would obviously increase! There were loads of attractions I still wanted to see but there was only so much we could do in three days! My feet were aching….and the wine was calling.

2 Comments

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  1. Interesting article, especially as me and http://www.TheNorthernist.co.uk have a trip to Amsterdam booked for next spring.

    A question for you though: Did you find a situation where what you saved with the card was lost through the expenses of related things, like eating in tourist areas nearby attractions that tend to cost more than establishments that are ‘for the locals?’

    And on reflection, did you feel somewhat ‘locked in’ to getting the benefit out of the card?

    Thanks

    Alex

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