Is the I amsterdam City Card worth it? During my last trip to Amsterdam, I used the 72 h I amsterdam card and loved it. It’s a handy city card offering public transport and free or discounted entrance to most museums in Amsterdam. There is also a significant discount on some Amsterdam city tours, canal cruises, and bicycle rentals. Read my I amsterdam City Card review to see if it’s the right choice for your trip to the Dutch capital.
Is the I amsterdam City Card worth it?
I’m often undecided about the value of the city cards. Are they worth it? Or is it better to purchase all the entrance tickets separately? It depends on what kind of trip you will have. If you’d like to visit a few museums, use public transport and get some ideas of what to do during your trip to Amsterdam, then taking the I amsterdam City Card is worth it.
I used the 72 hours I amsterdam City Card during my last visit to the Dutch capital. I was in the city for three days, so it made sense to take the city card. I used it for free public transport in Amsterdam and free museum admission.
I used to live in the city and visited Amsterdam numerous times so I already know its museums well. I also already have my favourites there. However, I decided to make good use of the I amsterdam City Card and explore some new museums and cultural venues included in it.
How does the I amsterdam City Card work
You can buy your I amsterdam City Card online and pick it up at the I amsterdam Store. I collected mine in their store at Amsterdam Centraal train station. It makes it very handy because you can use your card immediately after arriving in Amsterdam.
The I amsterdam City Card comes in two forms. You can get a paper card that comes with a little booklet listing everything that’s included in it. Or, you can take a digital card and use it on your phone.
How to use I amsterdam City Card
Using the I amsterdam City Card is really easy. You start to use your I amsterdam City Card when you validate it for the first time. That could be when you first check in with it on public transport or when they scan it for the first time in museums. It is valid after that moment for the hours written on it. I had the 72 hours I amsterdam City Card, so I could use it for three days after validating it.
When entering and leaving public transport, you must check in and out with your card. And you always need to show it at the museum’s entrance, where they will scan it.
If you have a paper card, be careful not to lose it, because you must always have it with you. I was warned about that by the lady at the I amsterdam Store. Although I thought it was an unusual warning, I lost it in my backpack at one point. So, keep an eye on your I amsterdam City Card!
A similar warning goes to using a digital I amsterdam City Card. Keep your phone battery charged so you always have it available to use.
What’s included in the I amsterdam City Card
I amsterdam City Card includes free public transport in Amsterdam, which includes busses, trams and the metro. Amsterdam is a walkable city, but if you want to explore its museums and different neighbourhoods, public transport comes in handy. Ferries to Amsterdam Noord are free, so you can always use them, as well.
I amsterdam City Card also includes free entrance to many museums in Amsterdam. You can visit some of Amsterdam’s famous museums like the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, H’ART Museum, or Rembrandt House Museum for free with the I amsterdam City Card. Many more museums, like Eye Filmmuseum, Allard Pierson Museum, or Resistance Museum, are also included in the card.
Besides the free admission, some cultural venues offer discounts on entrance tickets to the I amsterdam City Card holders, such as Rembrandts Amsterdam Experience, STRAAT or Dutch National Opera & Ballet performances.
Besides these, you’ll also get free tickets or discounts on boat cruises, city tours and bicycle rentals with your I amsterdam City Card.
⤷ TIP: Check out the complete list of everything included in the I amsterdam City Card here.
Which museums aren’t included in the I amsterdam City Card
Not all Amsterdam museums are included in the I amsterdam City Card.
Van Gogh Museum is one of them. If you want to visit the museum with the largest collection of artworks made by that famous painter, you must purchase a separate ticket. Here is the link to the Van Gogh Museum ticket.
Another place that isn’t included in the I amsterdam City Card is the Anne Frank House. If you’d like to visit that museum, book your ticket on their official website at least six weeks before your visit.
Although the Rijksmuseum is included in the I amsterdam City Card, you must reserve a time slot for your visit. You can do that on the Rijksmuseum website on this link free of charge. Just click on a free ticket to receive your time slot in your email.
⤷ TIP: Buy your I amsterdam City Card on this link.
What to do in Amsterdam with 72 hours I amsterdam City Card
If you’re wondering is the I amsterdam City Card worth it, here is a benefit besides all the freebies included: its booklet is filled with great ideas about the places to visit in Amsterdam. Since I have visited major Amsterdam museums, like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, multiple times, this time I decided to use the card to visit some of the lesser-known or new cultural venues in Amsterdam.
Here is what I did during my three days in Amsterdam and the places I visited with the 72 hours I amsterdam City Card.
Day 1 with I amsterdam City Card
My first day exploring the Dutch capital with the 72 hours I amsterdam City Card was reserved for Amsterdam classics. I spent a day at Museumplein, Amsterdam’s art heart. The large square is home to some of the most famous Dutch museums, like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and some rising stars, like the MOCO Museum.
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam / Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9 am – 5 pm / Reservation needed
Rijksmuseum is one of my favourite museums in the world and a place where I feel at home. Its collection includes Dutch artworks from the Middle Ages until modern art. Its highlights are Rembrandt‘s Night Watch, Vermeer’s paintings, including the famous Milkmaid, artworks by Jan Steen, Frans Hals and other famous Dutch Golden Age painters. You can explore that fantastic museum literally for days.
However, I suggest spending around two hours at this museum. Go to its second floor to the main hall called the Gallery of Honour. You’ll find Rembrandt’s and Vermeer’s artworks there. When you reach the Night Watch, turn right and walk to its beautiful library. On the rest of the Rijksmuseum’s second floor, you’ll find more 17th-century paintings, furniture, and artefacts that depict life during the Dutch Republic.
⤷ TIP: After exploring the Rijksmuseum, go to its cafe and have lunch there. Located in one of the former Rijksmuseum courtyards, it’s one of the most beautiful museum cafes in Europe. You can have a coffee, a small bite or a proper lunch there.
⤷ Read more: 10 Things you didn’t know about the Rijksmuseum
MINA Gallery Cafe
Address: Weteringschans 69, 1017 RZ Amsterdam / Opening hours: Wed – Sun, 8 am – 6 pm / Free entrance
After exploring the Rijksmuseum, take a break at a nearby MINA Gallery Cafe. It’s a new cultural spot in Amsterdam, just around the corner from Museumplein. They host several temporary contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year, so something interesting will be displayed whenever you visit. You can enjoy a delicious coffee at their cafe, offering a fantastic view of a typical Amsterdam street.
Address: Damrak 26, 1012 LK Amsterdam / Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 10 am – 9 pm / No reservation needed
After wandering around its museums and galleries, finish your day in Amsterdam with the I amsterdam City Card on a canal cruise. Although exploring the city on foot is beautiful, there is something special about observing Amsterdam from its canals. A free canal cruise is included in the I amsterdam City Card.
⤷ Read more: Best canal cruises in Amsterdam
Day 2 with I amsterdam City Card
After exploring some of Amsterdam’s most famous museums, day two is reserved for some of its new venues and a bit of its hidden gems.
Museum van Loon
Address: Keizersgracht 672, 1017 ET Amsterdam / Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9 am – 5 pm / No reservation needed
Start your day by paying a visit to Museum van Loon. Located on one of the oldest city canals, Herengracht, it’s a hidden gem in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the historical house of the wealthy Van Loon family. It’s interesting to explore its interior and learn more about the lifestyle of wealthy Amsterdammers in the past. The house also has a beautiful garden in which you can get an insight into the life at the canal houses.
⤷ TIP: On the way to your next stop, take a break at Teds restaurant. It’s a popular brunch location in Amsterdam where you’ll enjoy a delicious meal in the lovely interior of this fun restaurant. It’s a popular place, so make a reservation a day before your visit.
Embassy of the Free Mind
Address: Keizersgracht 123, 1015 CJ Amsterdam / Opening hours: Wed – Sun, 9 am – 5 pm / No reservation needed
The next stop is another historical Amsterdam house turned into a museum. Embassy of the Free Mind is quite an unusual place. It tells the story of liberal Amsterdam and the way its residents always led the way in forward thinking. It combines a museum and library where you can find artefacts about the open-minded city and books about philosophy, alchemy, religion, and mysticism.
⤷ TIP: If you don’t think this is a place for you, go to the Anne Frank House instead. Although it’s not included in the I amsterdam City Card, it’s just a few steps from the Embassy of the Free Mind and worth visiting. Be sure to buy your ticket before the trip to secure your spot.
Address: Asterweg 22, 1031 HP Amsterdam / Opening hours: Sun – Tue, 11 am – 8:30 pm; Wed: 11 am – 9:30 pm; Thu – Sat: 11 am – 10:30 pm / Extra fee with I amsterdam City Card: 18,75 EUR
Finish your day at the new Amsterdam cultural venue, NXT Museum. Located in the Noord neighbourhood, you can get there on free ferries over the IJ canal. They depart from behind the Amsterdam Centraal train station. NXT Museum is dedicated to exploring digital art, so it’s a great place to visit if you’d like to learn more about the new directions contemporary art is taking.
⤷ Read more: Best museums in Amsterdam
Day 3 with I amsterdam City Card
Address: Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam / Opening hours: Sat – Wed, 10 am – 6 pm; Thu – Fri: 10 am – 9 pm / No reservation needed
Foam is Amsterdam’s museum of photography. They host several interesting temporary exhibitions annually during which you can explore the work of some of the best photographers in the world. It’s also a hidden gem in Amsterdam, so it won’t be as busy as the Van Gogh Museum. You’ll have a chance to explore it slowly while enjoying its fantastic artwork.
Address: Amstel 51, 1018 DR Amsterdam / Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 9 am – 5 pm / No reservation needed
H’ART Museum, a former Hermitage Museum, is one of my favourite museums in Amsterdam. Start your visit at their restaurant, where you can enjoy a lovely brunch and get re-energised after exploring the FOAM museum in the morning. They host fantastic temporary exhibitions going in-depth about their subject. Check their website to see what’s on during your visit and enjoy their program.
⤷ Read more: Best Art Cafes in Amsterdam
Rembrandt House Museum
Address: Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam / Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 10 am – 6 pm / No reservation needed
A former home of one of the most famous Dutch painters, Rembrandt van Rijn, is a place that shouldn’t be missed in Amsterdam. It’s included in the I amsterdam City Card, so be sure to include it in your trip. You’ll get to see what his house and studio looked like and learn more about his life and some of the techniques he used for his artworks. The museum organises daily art demonstrations during which you’ll see how the etchings were made or how pigments were mixed back in the 17th century. They also organise fantastic temporary exhibitions, so it’s worth visiting.
⤷ Read more: Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam
Conclusion: Is the I amsterdam City Card worth it?
So, is the I amsterdam City card worth it? My answer is definitely yes! If you’d like to visit more than three museums, use public transport during your stay and go on a canal cruise, the I amsterdam City Card is definitely worth it! It’s going to save you time and money. In fact, I liked it so much, I’ll use it each time I’m in Amsterdam.
However, if you’re coming to Amsterdam to have a relaxing few days without doing much, then the I amsterdam City Card isn’t for you.
You can read more about what is included in the I amsterdam City card and buy your I amsterdam City Card on this link.
I hope this I amsterdam City Card review was helpful in deciding is the I amsterdam City Card worth it during your trip to the Dutch capital.
Would you like to explore some other Dutch cities during your trip to the Netherlands? Here are some of the places I recommend visiting: