As you might or not know, in order to take the tram or the bus, you will need to either pay the driver (more expensive fare) or buy a "strippenkaart" before you get on.
Although the name may sound strange it is just a ticket with several "strips" (lines/stripes), each valid for one "zone". Minimum is 2 strips.
In order to understand better how all this work and to understand how many strips you need for your trip (thus avoiding any fine), check out the OV-Info (Openbaar Vervoer - Public Transportation) website that has comprehensive information on the subject. It also has the latest fare information.
You can buy daycards (1, 2 or 3 days), that can be used on the bus, tramway and subway. But I suggest you to buy a '15-strippenkaart' (strip ticket) for 6.40 EUR. That's even cheaper than daycards if you don't intend to travel a lot by public transportation.
We only used the tramway 3 times during our 3-days stay, going from the train station to the hotel and back, and one more trip, and we only used 12 zones out of the 15 for the two of us.
You can buy your ticket at a ticket machine in the train station.
Your strip ticket must be validated at the beginning of your journey. You can do this yourself, in one of the yellow machines on trams and at metro stations, or ask the driver to do it (your best option). How many strips you need to stamp depends upon the number of zones you will be travelling through. You must, however, always stamp one strip more than the number of zones you are travelling. When you are staying in the centre stamp 2 zones.
Purchase a Strippen Kaart which gives you access to trams & buses in & around Holland.
I bought a strip of 15 strips for EUR6.70 (2007 Euro 6.80) which means a journey within central Amsterdam on the tram is 2 strips (ie 1 strip + 1 zone) which means I can use the trams for an hour from the time stamped. For example on 1st strip used within Amsterdam fold strip to no 2 strip & feed into the yellow machine to be stamped. If there is a conductor on board he will stamp the zones. There is a hefty of the spot fine for not travelling with a valid ticket
Strippenkaart are valid anywhere in Holland & if you still have strips left & plan to visit again within the year the old price is still valid for 12 months.
THESE ARE BEING PHASED OUT SEE TIP FOR OV-CHIPKAART (a more expenisive way to travel)
The most cost effective way of travelling around Amsterdam if you are staying for several days is the 72 hour pass (72 uurskaart). This gives unlimited travel on all city GVB services including bus,tram and metro for 72 hours from the time it is first used and is also valid on night buses. This was especially useful to me since my hotel was about 15mins by tram from the centre, which meant that I could pop back early evening to freshen up before my nocturnal excursions (i.e. trawling around various bars and clubs 'til whenever). Another useful thing is that you can just get on a bus or tram and see where you end up - if the destination fails to impress then simply get the next one back.
I bought mine from the main tourist office opposite Centraal Station but I think they can also be bought from GBV offices and tobacconists.
UPDATE May 2010 - I think this can no longer be bought as it looks in this pic but instead has to be put on a smartcard - either the paper tourist version or the plastic "anonymous" version if you are a regular visitor. Website has all the details.
In Amsterdam you will mostly use the tram or bus and maybe a metro.
Because the rules for public transportation are all the same nationwide, please see my Netherlands Tip for this here.
Mind you, a 8-strippenkaart (strip card) that is stamped off as day ticket is only valid in a certain area (such as Amsterdam inner city) for bus/metro/tram and some local trains. You need 2 8-strippenkaart for a nationwide day ticket.
For more information click here
You should note that especially for Amsterdam, you might not even need a day ticket because you can walk quite a lot.
If you're going to have more than 4 rides on a day, then it is better value to stamp off your 8-strippenkaart as a day ticket. If it's going to be less (which is probable), then just stamp off strips as needed.
Alternately, buy yourself a 15-strippenkaart for € 6,90 (not available in buses or trams or metros) and stamp off strips as needed. In my opinion you'll get more transportation for less money.
Below you will find the link to the public transportation website for Amsterdam.
Since 22 june 2009 the ticketsystem changed. From 27th of august you cant use a strippenkaart in the metro and i think this year or beginning next year that you cant use it at all.
At the moment a single ticket ( 1 hour ticket) cost 2.60 euro
a return ticket 5 (2 X 1 hour) 5 euro
a 24 hour ticket 7 euro
This ones you can buy on the tram and bus.
A lot of people make a mistake with this new system. When you got a ticket you need to check in when you enter and need to check out when you leave. If you dont check out your ticket doesnot work no more even the 24 hour one.
Using public transport a lot in Amsterdam buy a 24,48,72 or 96 our pass at the office or a chipcard but then you need to put enough money on it.
Chipcard same you check in it will take 4 euro you pay then about 75 ct basic and about 10 ct for each kilometre. When you check out you get back what you didnot use. (personal chipcard with picture cost now 1.50 euro and anonymus 3 euro but i understand they will cost 7.50 euro later.
DONT FORGET CHECK IN WHEN YOU ENTER AND OUT WHEN YOU LEAVE.
If anybody plans to take a lot of transport around Amsterdam, something that I did not do and genrally don't do, I walk around a lot, then a strippenkart is a must. That's the ticket for trams/buses, that i really don't know much about. I recommend visiting the Amsterdam page of pieter_jan_v for details. There's lot of homework to do. So I simply decided to walk as always.
By tram. Within the city centre you can easily walk everywhere you want to go. If you don't want to walk then jump on a tram or the Metro.
You can get a day ticket for NLG 12. There are tickets for more than one day available as well but I don't know how much they are unfortunately.
Or buy a 'Nationale Strippen Kaart' with 15 units for NLG 12.15. You can use these strip tickets all over the Netherlands. The city is divided into zones, stamp two units when you travel within the city centre (one zone), if you go outside the centre it's normally three units (two zones). The strip tickets are not valid on the trains - and not in the red light district ;-)
It is not easy to travel with public transport in Amsterdam on a legal way. I mean, paying the fares in a right way! In the 70ties we invented the famous ´Strippenkaart´, which is for Dutch people also difficult to understand!
Try to buy a Strippenkaart before you travel, much cheaper as buying it from the driver!
You can buy Strippenkaarten at the Central Station and in certain shops (also selling cigaretes, sweets, magazines etc.). Each time you travel you need to stamp one strip for each journey PLUS one strip for each zone. Most tourists only travel within the central zone, so each time you travel it will cost you 2 zones. You can use the strippenkaarten in the Tram,Bus and Metro (tube). Stamp BEFORE you travel! Otherwise you´ll have a chance that you have to pay a fine when caught. In trams and busses the driver will stamp your strippenkaart, but you need to stamp in yellow machines on the platform for the metro.
When you get to Central Station, go outside and across the tram tacks to the small building. Go inside to the VVV, ask for a DagKart for the number of days you will be there. This will save a little cash and be much more easier than purchasing strippenkarts each time you want to get on the tram.
The main source for information about public transport and tickets is the GVB ticket office opposite Centraal Station, next to the VVV.
Riding the trams can be quite an adventure itself so if you are planning to use them a lot to get around town purchase a day(s) pass. They range in price according to amount of days you want, 3, 5, 7 or 9 day passes are available. Pictured are 3 day passes for 10,70 Euro and the 9 day passes are 23 Euro.
Day and week passes and strippencards are valid on all trams, buses and metros, and also on trains within the city limits ( an exception is Schiphol airport: you have to buy a train ticket ). You must stamp a day or week pass the first time you use it only.
The trams run until just after midnight ( the last trams leave Centraal Station at 12.15 ). After that there is an hourly service of night buses from Centraal Station.
It is hard to argue that Amsterdam has a superb public transportation system.
The combination of Trams, Subway, Bus and Train means that you can get to every street and every corner in the city without having to rely on a car.
One tip related to public transport is as soon as you get to Amsterdam you want to get yourself a "strippenkaart" (literally translated to strip-cards).
Strippenkaart is accepted in all means of public transport (including short trips on the large trains) and it has two main benefits:
1. It is cheaper than getting a ticket on the bus / tram.
2. You don't need to queue each time you need to board a train or subway.
It works as follows- you buy a card that has multiple strips on them (the most common is 15); Amsterdam is divided into zones, and depending on how many zones you are crossing the strips on the card will be stamped.
Within the city center it will cost you two strips. If you are traveling across two zones then it will cost you three strips, three zones will cost you four strips, etc.
One card can be used by multiple people too.
When boarding a subway the stamping machine is located before you get onto the platform. When boarding a tram either the conductor will stamp your card or you can do that in a machine on the tram. Bus drivers will stamp your card as you board.
The card cost Euro 6.80 for 15 strips and card can be obtained in metro stops, bus/train stations, magazine/cigarette shops and supermarkets.
There are always lot of discussions going on which ticket to buy...simple, it depends on ur need. If you are going to roam only during the day time and not going to use public transport during night, go for strippenkarte. A 15 strippencarte will do for 2 days. Amsterdam city is well connected by tram, and keep in mind, travelling by tram always saves your precious time though all the places can be covered by walk. But this strippencarte is not valid on night buses. This strippencarte is valid on all day buses including connexxion buses to Keukenhof gardens.
If you are going to use the night bus, then go for 24, 48 or 72 hours GVB pass. You can get this in all the stations through a vending machine. But, this pass is not valid for bus trips outside Amsterdam like Schipol or Keukenhof. Each journey in a night bus will cost you 3 Euros. So, you have to decide which one will suit you best.
One of de best n cheapest ways to travel in Trams r de Travel Strips. They can be purchased at the Grocery Stores also. However, the smaller Strip has 15 Slots, for the zones and cost about 6 Euro, and the 45 slot one cost about a 19 Euros, if you are travelling more.
Please make sure you are aware of the zone of your desination during stamping. You can get a Zone Contour Map from the Central Station as well. Once stamped, for a zone distance, it is valid for an hour.
If you are travelling around Amsterdam for a few days, and going to use the metro, tram and bus, buy yourself a "Strippen Kaart". You can buy them from most news kiosks and metro stations. They cover a number of trips and are stamped by the driver depending on the number of zones travelled. I bought a "Kaart" for 15 journeys last week and it cost me Eur6.40.
Tip...if you return on the tram within 1 hour you can do the return trip for free.