FLASH SALE: Get up to 10% off the Amsterdam Pass! Sale ends Tuesday, September 17th, 2019. Follow the link to learn more.
In this Amsterdam Pass review, I’ll explain how the pass works, describe what’s included, explore its best features, and help you decide if it’s right for your travel plans.
If you’re gearing up for a trip to Amsterdam, you’re in for a treat. The city’s picturesque canals, historic architecture, world-renowned museums, and vibrant nightlife make it a popular European tourist attraction.
While it’s not the most expensive city in Europe, certain aspects of visiting Amsterdam can be hard on your wallet. Food and drink are reasonable, but hotels are pricey, and so is sightseeing. And since there are so many museums and tours you’ll want to take in, it’s easy to eat up the budget pretty quickly.
Luckily, the Amsterdam Pass can help you save money while you’re there. As always, this sightseeing card isn’t right for everybody, so let’s take a look at whether it’s a good fit for you!
Amsterdam Pass: How It Works
The Amsterdam Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass that includes entry to over 50 of Amsterdam’s top attractions for one low price. Yes, I said 50.
Like most all-inclusive sightseeing passes, the Amsterdam Pass works on a consecutive calendar-day basis. It’s available for 1, 2, 3, and 5-day durations.
The Amsterdam Pass is available digitally on your smartphone or as a physical pass you pick up in Amsterdam. You activate your pass by scanning its QR code at your first attraction. After that, it’s valid for the number of days purchased.
For example, if you activate your three-day pass on Monday at 11 am, it’s good for the rest of Monday and all day Tuesday and Wednesday. So, it’s best to activate your pass early in the morning so you get in a full day of sightseeing on your first day.
As with other passes, like the London Pass, the Amsterdam Pass includes single entry to each of the included attractions. Exceptions are the Hop-on Hop-off Bus and Boat Tours—you can take those multiple times while your pass is active.
If used appropriately, the Amsterdam Pass can save you a lot of money on admission costs. It’s an all-inclusive pass, so the more you do, the more you save.
You’ll also save time because at many of the attractions, your pass functions as your ticket. That means you get to skip the line and spend more time enjoying Amsterdam!
Attractions Included on the Amsterdam Pass
The Amsterdam Pass includes access to over fifty attractions—that’s a huge selection! Here are our ten of the best, along with their regular admission prices:
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour – €26
- Rijksmuseum – €17.50
- Heineken Experience – €21
- Hop-on Hop-off Boat Tour – €26
- A’DAM Lookout – €13.50
- Rembrandt House Museum – €13
- Ferry to Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot – €21
- Johan Cruijff Stadium Tours – €16.50
- 100 Highlights Cruise – €18
- The National Maritime Museum – €16
- …and many more (full list here)
*Current as of July 3rd, 2019
Amsterdam Pass Pricing
Now that you know how the Amsterdam Pass works and what’s included, you’re probably curious about the most important detail: how much it costs.
The table below shows adult and child pricing for the 1, 2, 3, and 5-day passes.
|Amsterdam Passes||Adult Price||Child Price (Ages 4-12)|
|*Prices current as of July 3, 2019|
As you can see, the Amsterdam Pass is reasonably priced. The 5-day pass is the best deal, and with over 50 attractions to choose from, filling up 5 days would be a cinch.
Of course, people sometimes visit Amsterdam for just two or three days during a European trip, so if that’s your situation, the other passes work well, too.
For example, if you visit the ten attractions we listed in over three days, the regular admission price would be €188.50. The 3-day Amsterdam Pass costs just €112, so you’d save €76.50, or 40%. Savings above 50% may even be possible with the 5-day pass.
Top Reasons to Get the Amsterdam Pass
The main reason to buy the Amsterdam Pass is to save money on sightseeing. Like the Paris Pass, this is an all-inclusive pass, so you’re in control of how much you save. The more you do, the more you save.
Visiting multiple attractions each day and making sure you hit some of the more expensive options will result in maximum savings. It’s pretty easy to save 40-50% if you’re strategic about it. I’m really impressed with the value you get with the Amsterdam Pass.
Fast Track Entry
Amsterdam and its finest attractions are big tourist draws. Of course, popular tourist attractions typically mean one thing…long lines.
The cool thing about the Amsterdam Pass is that in some cases, it functions as your ticket. That means you can save time by skipping the ticket line and heading directly to the entry point. Less time in lines means more time exploring Amsterdam. I’ll take it!
Hop-on Hop-off Bus and Boat Tours
Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours are standard fare for sightseeing passes. I typically recommend them when visiting a city for the first time because they can be a nice way to explore a new place.
As you’re driven past the major landmarks, the audio guide fills you in on the city’s history while you scope out cool stuff to do later. You can also use the bus as a means of transportation between attractions since you can hop on or off anywhere along the route.
The HOHO Bus Tour included on the Amsterdam Pass does all those things, and it’s absolutely worth taking. But the Amsterdam Pass has something most sightseeing passes don’t – a HOHO Boat Tour.
The HOHO Boat Tour departs every 30 minutes and sails along Amsterdam’s charming canals, stopping at 6 attractions. I recommend doing the full tour the first time because it really is a lovely way to take in the city sights. After that, use it to get where you’re going—for free.
There are a couple of really convenient things about the whole HOHO deal. The first is that the Amsterdam Pass gets you unlimited access to the bus and the boat tours for the duration of your pass. This isn’t common; usually, sightseeing passes include just a one-day ticket.
The second is that you can switch between the bus and the boat seamlessly. So, if you’re on the boat and decide to hop off to go explore A’DAM Lookout, you can hop on the bus when you’re done and catch a ride to Rijksmuseum.
Without the Amsterdam Pass, each tour costs €26, so taking advantage of unlimited use for the duration of your pass adds major value.
Huge Number of Attractions
The Amsterdam Pass includes access to more than 50 attractions, which is a pretty ridiculous amount of choices. Frankly, it includes almost all of Amsterdam’s must-see sites.
Thankfully, it’s not a bunch of the same thing, either; you get a nice variety of sightseeing and activities to choose from. You’ve got an impressive museum selection, historical sites, more than 10 tours, and a bunch of experiential activities. Think things like This is Holland, the Heineken Experience, A’DAM Lookout, and Boom Chicago.
With so much on the menu, you’ll never struggle to fill your plate. The more likely challenge will be deciding which attractions to prioritize—even if you buy the five-day pass, you’ll never fit them all in.
Other Benefits of the Amsterdam Pass
- Digital Pass – You can use the Amsterdam Pass on your smartphone, which is much more convenient than carrying around a paper pass like some other sightseeing passes.
- Free Guide – Each Amsterdam Pass comes with a free guidebook that helps you get the most from your pass. It has each attraction’s hours, address, and phone number, as well as maps of the city. Like the pass, you can print a hard copy or use the guidebook digitally on your smartphone.
- Additional Savings – The Amsterdam Pass kicks it up a notch by adding discounts on local tours, attractions, and dining to their already-impressive offering. Highlights include a 10% discount on admission to the Amsterdam Dinner Cruise and ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo and 15% a Craft Beer Walking Tour.
- Amsterdam Airport Express – I love that the pass includes transit between the airport and the city center on the Amsterdam Airport Express. It runs 24 hours and only takes 35 minutes—super convenient. However, see our section below for tips on how to best use it.
Where the Amsterdam Pass Falls Short
The Amsterdam Pass offers an incredible selection and impressive value. With over 50 attractions to choose from, they cover almost all the most sought-after sites. However, a few omissions come to mind: the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, and the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo.
The Van Gogh Museum is a huge draw, and any art lover will end up paying out of pocket to see it. It’s a shame it isn’t included on the Amsterdam Pass, and the exclusion is a big miss.
Likewise, the Anne Frank House is a must-see for history buffs and would round out the pass’ historical site selection. You get a 10% discount to the ARTIS Amsterdam Zoo, but it would be a welcomed family-friendly addition to the Amsterdam Pass official lineup.
There’s also a very important caveat you should be aware of regarding the Amsterdam Airport Express: If you’re arriving late in the day, you should not use your pass for the Airport Express.
Your pass is activated when you use it for the first time, so it wouldn’t be smart to scan your pass and board the Amsterdam Airport Express at 9 pm. That would count as the first day for your pass and would be a complete waste.
So, here’s my advice: If you’re landing in Amsterdam in the morning and plan to go sightseeing that day, use your pass for the Airport Express. If you’re getting in later or don’t plan on doing any sightseeing your first day, don’t use the pass from the airport.
Who Should Buy the Amsterdam Pass
First-time Visitors – If you’re visiting Amsterdam for the first time, you’ll benefit from having access to almost all the top attractions at a discounted price. Fast-track entry at select sites and not having to buy tickets in advance will make your experience more relaxed.
Power Sightseers – All-inclusive passes are best for people who love jam-packed itineraries. If you get excited just thinking about planning out your days so you can hit as many attractions as possible, you’re going to save a ton of money with the Amsterdam Pass.
Museum Buffs – If you adore museums, you’ll love that this pass hooks you up with access to more than 20 of the city’s best (except for the Van Gogh Museum).
Who Should Skip the Amsterdam Pass
Travelers Who Like to Take it Slow – If you enjoy sightseeing at a relaxed pace or if you like to take days off in between, you won’t get your money’s worth from this pass.
People Who Don’t Care for Sightseeing – If museums, tours, and historic sites don’t interest you, you’ll get limited value from the Amsterdam Pass.
Travelers on a Tight Budget – The Amsterdam Pass is a great price for what you get. But if you’ve maxed out your travel budget on flights and hotels, or if you’re more interested in saving your money for fine dining or nightlife, skip the sightseeing pass and explore the free sights instead.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Amsterdam Pass
- Visit at Least Three Attractions a Day – If you want to maximize the value you get from the Amsterdam Pass, use it as often as you can. That said, you don’t want to rush your experience. Doing at least three attractions a day usually means saving a decent amount of money while still having time to enjoy the attractions.
- Do Some Expensive Attractions – It’s likely impossible to visit all 50+ attractions, so even if you want to see everything, you’ll need to make some choices. To save the most money, use the Amsterdam Pass for the attractions that carry the highest regular admission prices. After you pass expires, you can pay out of pocket for any cheaper attractions you couldn’t fit in. Also, remember the pass comes with some coupons and discounts, so take advantage of that!
- Buy the Pass on Sale – What’s better than saving money? Saving even more money! This pass goes on sale pretty often, so be sure to grab it then!
- Don’t Use the Airport Express if You’re Arriving Late – This is a big deal: Do NOT use your pass to board the Amsterdam Airport Express if you’re arriving late in the day (or don’t plan on sightseeing your first day). As soon as you scan that pass, you’re on the clock. It doesn’t matter if it’s 8 am or 8 pm, that counts as day one!
How to Buy the Amsterdam Pass
Does this sound like a good fit for you? Buy the Amsterdam Pass online here!
When it comes to getting and using the pass, you have two choices. You can pick up the pass in Amsterdam or use the mobile pass on your smartphone.
If you want a physical pass, you have to present your email confirmation voucher (printed or electronic) at one of four redemption centers in Amsterdam. If you’d prefer the convenience of a mobile pass, simply download it and present the QR code when you head to your first attraction.
Keep in mind, once you buy the pass, you have a year to activate it. After that, it expires.
Bottom Line: Is the Amsterdam Pass a Good Buy?
I think the Amsterdam Pass is an excellent buy for the right type of traveler. If you enjoy busy, consecutive days of sightseeing, you can get incredible value and selection from this pass. Saving 40-50% is absolutely on the table.
If you prefer to space things out, an all-inclusive pass won’t be the best fit, and you should look elsewhere.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Amsterdam Pass review and that you’ve found it helpful. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy travels!