A Complete Comparison for Tourists: I Amsterdam Card, Amsterdam Pass, Museumkaart, Go City Amsterdam, and Holland Pass
Is I Amsterdam Card worth it? Oh, wait! What is Holland Pass? What is Museumkaart? Is Amsterdam City Pass the same as I Amsterdam Card? Which Amsterdam tourist card should I buy?
These were precisely the questions in my head when I was planning my Amsterdam trip. It is great to have many options; on the other hand, sometimes more options mean more research and headaches.
I will explain and compare the five most popular Amsterdam City Passes: I Amsterdam Card, Amsterdam Pass, and Go City Amsterdam, Museumkaart, and Holland Pass. This Best Amsterdam City Pass Guide should help you decide which card best fits your need and bring you the most savings for your itinerary.
Spoiler: I will show you how/why I ended up selecting Museumkaart for my trip. But I don’t think Museumkaart is for everyone. By following my process, you can choose the best option for yourself.
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Why buy an Amsterdam City Pass?
You are planning your Amsterdam itinerary and want to visit the most popular attractions in the city. In that case, an Amsterdam tourist card can save you money and time.
An Amsterdam city pass usually covers top Amsterdam attractions, such as Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam canal cruise, and more. Purchasing one of the Amsterdam passes typically comes out to be cheaper than getting an individual ticket. Also, you won’t need to waste your time lining up at every ticket office.
The question is, which Amsterdam City Pass should you buy?
Good to Know: Most Amsterdam museums require you to book your date and a time slot even if your admission is covered by an Amsterdam City Pass.
I Amsterdam Card: Best for the First-Time Visitors
I Amsterdam Card (or I Amsterdam City Card) is the official all-inclusive city pass by the City of Amsterdam. This probably is the first tourist card to come up in search when you look into a discount card. And it is the most popular option and widely recommended for tourists.
I Amsterdam Card is the most comprehensive all-in-one pass for Amsterdam. Therefore, I think it provides the best value for first-time visitors as they most likely wish to hit up the most popular Amsterdam museums» and attractions. This card offers free admissions and discounts to 70+ museums and top attractions.
Only I Amsterdam Card includes unlimited public transportations, such as tram, metro, bus, and ferry, for the period you purchased. This can be an advantage if you plan to take public transportation. Public transpositions are expensive, and the cost can add up quickly. For example, GVB 1-hour ticket is €3.20 or a day pass is €8.50.
Note that you can buy GVB 1-7 Day Pass without I Amsterdam Card. Although unlimited public transportation in Amsterdam was pretty appealing, I didn’t really need it. I purchased GVB one-day pass on my first day to take a tram to a hotel. I took advantage of the pass all day long. Amsterdam is small enough for me to walk, so I walked the following three days.
I’d recommend I Amsterdam Card if you visit Amsterdam only and have Amsterdam museums and attractions in your itinerary. If you don’t want to overthink, get this pass, as it most likely gives the best value for most Amsterdam travelers.
The longer your stay is, the better the value gets. Personally, the 24-hour pass doesn’t seem like a great value. But I’d consider anything above 48 hours. Let’s say, you visit Van Gogh Museum (€19) and Rijksmuseum(€20), take Amsterdam Canal Cruise (€19.5) and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus (€21), and use GVB 2-day pass (€14.50). If you add one more activity to this itinerary, you are already saving money.
I Amsterdam Card Price (2022)
- 24 hours: €65
- 48 hours: €90
- 72 hours: €110
- 96 hours: €125
- 120 hours: €135
*Amsterdam GVB transportation one-day pass (€8.50) is expired 2 a.m. the next day.
What’s Included in I Amsterdam Card
- Unlimited public transportations, such as tram, metro, bus, and ferry
- Free admission to most Amsterdam museums – including Rijksmuseum, MOCO, NEMO Science Museum, Rembrandt House, etc.
- Tickets to Amsterdam Canal Cruise, Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot, Hortus Botanicus, and Artis Royal Zoo
- Discounts for many Amsterdam attractions, including Heineken Experience, Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, and Madame Tussauds
- Bike rental for one whole day
- Zaanse Schans Card (outside of Amsterdam)
What’s Excluded in I Amsterdam Card
- Update: As of 1 June 2022, the Van Gogh Museum is no longer affiliated with the I Amsterdam City Card.
- Tickets to Anne Frank House and Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
- Schiphol Airport Express
How to use I Amsterdam Card
- Purchase I Amsterdam Card online here
- Select the duration of your stay and order your card online. You may pick it up at a local store or download a digital City Card on your cell phone.
- Book your time slots for all museums and attractions in advance. (Select “I Amsterdam Card” at checkout.)
- The card is activated at first use.
- Show your card or scan your digital City Card.
Museumkaart for Tourists: Best for Museum Lovers
Museumkaart (The Netherlands Museum Pass) provides free admission to museums only. What’s great about this pass is that you will have unlimited access to 400 museums in the Netherlands, including Anne Frank House.
Although Museumkaart is intended for Dutch residents to visit museums all year long, tourists can also enjoy the benefits for 31 days*. If you are interested in seeing all museums you can on your Netherlands trip, as I did, it might give you the best value.
This pass does not offer any complimentary transportation or discounts on attractions in Amsterdam. But it is the only card that offers free admission to Anne Frank House and De Haar Castle (Kasteel de Haar).
Therefore, I would not recommend it if your main interest lies in Amsterdam attractions. Other passes can give you much more savings if you plan to visit only a couple of museums and many other attractions in Amsterdam.
Good to Know: Wait, but why 31 days only? My guess is that the temporary card you receive at the point of purchase is valid for 31 days. And probably that’s why they say Museumkaart for tourists is good for 31 days only. But as long as you can register with a Dutch address online to receive a physical card, it should be good for a year.
Museumkaart Price (2022)
- €64.95 for adult
- €32.45 for age under 18
* Ticket price includes €4.95 administration fees.
What’s Included in Museumkaart
- Free admissions to participating museums
- Unlimited access to 400 museums in the Netherlands, including Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum
- Free entrance to De Haar Castle
- Discounts at some museums such as Veneer Centrum Delft
What’s Excluded in Museumkaart
- Public transportations
- Attractions & Activities
- Amsterdam Tulip Museum
How to use Museumkaart
- Purchase your card in person at any participating museum. (If you don’t have a Dutch bank account, you can’t buy online.)
- You will immediately receive a temporary card. Your card is activated at purchase.
- Make sure to register your card online. The registration process is in Dutch. (Use Google translate. You can also try to figure out words similar to English.)
- To register your card, you will need to have:
- Physical address in the Netherlands (I used a hotel address in my next destination)
- Digital photo of yourself (similar to a passport photo)
- Email address
- Phone number (I used my temporary French cell phone number)
- If not registered, your temporary card is still good for 31 days.
READ MORE | I almost gave up visiting Anne Frank House as the tickets were sold out. But I got this tip directly from the Anne Frank House personnel and successfully secured a spot. Read what you need to know before visiting Anne Frank House and tips to purchase tickets in high demand >>
The Amsterdam Pass: Best Basic Amsterdam City Pass
Amsterdam City Pass (or Amsterdam Pass) is a discount card for a limited number of attractions in the city. It offers free admission to select locations only and additional 10% discount vouchers at other attractions.
I think it works best for travelers who want to visit a few select museums and attractions. The quintessential Amsterdam experiences are covered in this basic pass – whether free admission or discounts.
However, if you are a traveler who likes to jam-pack your day with lots of museum visits and attractions, this pass might be too limited for your travel style.
Good to know: This is the only pass that includes the one-way airport train ticket.
Amsterdam City Pass Price (2022)
- Adult (age 19+) €71
- Adult (age 18): €45
- Youth (age 14-17): €19
- Children (age 4-13): €15
* Ticket price includes €1.75 processing fees.
What’s Included in Amsterdam City Pass
- One-way train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station
- Skip-the-line tickets for Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum
- Canal Cruise tour
- Audio Guide App for Amsterdam City Tour
- Audio Guide App for Self-Guided Tour of Dam Square
- 10% discount on museums, including MOCO, NEMO Science Museum, FOAM, MOCO Museum, Amsterdam Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, etc.
- 10% discount on attractions, including Heineken Experience, Madame Tussauds, Bike Tours, Coffee Shop Tour
- 10% discount on day trips, including Rotterdam, Den Haag, Brussels, and Bruges
What’s Excluded in Amsterdam City Pass
- Tickets to Anne Frank House
How to use Amsterdam City Pass
- Select your visit dates and order your Amsterdam City Pass online. (Note: I noticed that sometimes this pass goes unavailable. Try again in a few days if that happens.)
- Receive your tickets and discount code by email.
- Book your time slots for all museums and attractions in advance. (Select Amsterdam City Pass at checkout.)
- Use your digital card on your smartphone.
Go City Amsterdam: Best for Amsterdam Day Trippers
Go City Amsterdam (or Go Amsterdam Pass) is another all-inclusive city pass that offers free admission to 30+ attractions and activities in Amsterdam.
What’s great about this pass is that it also offers many excursions outside of Amsterdam. For the following 4 guided bus excursions, you can pick one with a 1/2/3-day pass, or two with a 5-day pass:
- Volendam, Edam & Windmills Bus Excursion
- Zaanse Schans Bus Excursion
- Alkmaar Cheese market Bus Excursion
- Keukenhof Bus Excursion
Or, you can even choose a Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague day tour from Amsterdam. By the way, I enjoyed my visit to Rotterdam (click to read: 12 Fun Things to do in Rotterdam>>) and Delft very much. I highly recommend exploring charming Holland towns beyond Amsterdam!
Go City offers the best value for day-trippers from Amsterdam. If you are interested in exploring the city and making day trips from Amsterdam, definitely worth considering Go City Amsterdam.
Go City Amsterdam Price (2022)
- 1 Day: €66 or €33 for age 4-12
- 2 Day: €91 or €46 for age 4-12
- 3 Day: €112 or €57 for age 4-12
- 5 Day: €145 or €74 for age 4-12
What’s Included in Go City Amsterdam
- Free admission to Rijksmuseum, MOCO, Diamond Museum, and Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot
- Access to Jewish Cultural Quarter (Jewish Historical Museum, Portuguese Synagogue, National Holocaust Memorial and Museum, and Children’s Museum)
- Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Tour
- House of Bols
- Macbike rental for one full day
- Pedal Boat Rental
- Day trip bus excursions, including Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof, Alkmaar, and Volendam/Edam/Windmills
- Zaanse Schans Card
- Rotterdam, Delft & The Hague Day Tour
What’s Excluded in Go City Amsterdam
- Public transportations
- Anne Frank House admission
How to use Amsterdam City Pass
- Purchase Go City Amsterdam Pass online.
- Valid for 12 months after purchase. Once activated, you can use the pass for the duration of the period you purchased.
Holland Pass: Best for Selective Options in Multi Cities
Important Update: At the time of writing, Holland Pass is not available. It is unclear whether this pass is discontinued for good or temporarily unavailable. I am sharing details from my past research for informational purposes.
Holland Pass (or Amsterdam Holland Pass) gives the most flexibility for travelers to the Netherlands. For one month, it can be used in multiple cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. And you can purchase the level of tickets you need.
Holland Pass offers free admission to the attractions, including Heineken Experience, Amsterdam Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Madame Tussauds, Xtra Cold Ice Bar, Artis Royal Zoo, Hortus Botanicus, Keukenhof Garden, etc. For your comparison, I Amsterdam Card offers discounts on some of these while Museumkaart doesn’t cover any of these at all.
To get the most bang for the buck, you will need to research what’s gold vs. silver credits, then plan your spending accordingly. I personally find this tier system complicated to use. Say you want to visit Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum (both Gold Tickets). You have to purchase the Holland Pass Medium or Large. And, you need to plan to visit Rijksmuseum before Van Gogh as only your first Gold ticket can be redeemed at Rijksmuseum.
Holland Pass Price (2020)
- Large: €80 (6 tickets = 3 Gold + 3 Silver)
- Medium: €60 (4 tickets = 2 Gold + 2 Silver)
- Small: €45 (3 tickets =1 Gold + 2 Silver)
What’s Included in Holland Pass
- Free admission to most Amsterdam Museums
- Complimentary access to attractions such as Amsterdam canal cruise, Heineken Experience, Amsterdam Tourist Bus, Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Madame Tussauds, Xtra Cold Ice Bar, Artis Royal Zoo, hurts Botanicus, etc.
- Includes GVB 24hour pass
- Free admission to Keukenhof Garden
- Tickets to Amsterdam activities such as pub crawl, bike rental, and canal bike.
- After using all your credits, more discounts are available for many museums, attractions, restaurants, and shops.
What’s Excluded in Holland Pass
- Tickets to Anne Frank House
- Public transpositions in Amsterdam
How to use Holland Pass
- Purchase online for a physical card (pickup in Amsterdam) or digital pass
- Valid for one month after first use.
- Only the first Gold ticket is good for the Rijksmuseum.
- Use it in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht
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