Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and due to its location and history it has a lot to offer: there is too much to see, but everything is expensive. Getting a Museumkaart if you are planning on staying for a long period of time, or an IAmsterdam Card or Holland Pass in case you are here for a visit can be a great idea to save some money and don’t miss out on any activity.
The IAmsterdam Card and the Holland Pass are great deals if you want to do a lot of activities. You can choose how much to spend and the more activities you do, the more money you will save. Museumkaart is a great chance for Amsterdamers to visit museums in Amsterdam and all over the Netherlands.
I personally love visiting museums, so living in Amsterdam and having my museum card allowed me to enjoy the city more than I could have ever imagined. I got to discover my favourite museums and recommend the best experiences for anyone visiting. However, for those visiting, the IAmsterdam Card and the Holland Pass are much better options. Which one should you get? Well, keep reading this article and I may be able to help you figuring that out!
Museumkaart vs IAmsterdam Card vs Holland Pass
When you look for information about good deals to explore the city of Amsterdam, you will come across these three ALL-INCLUSIVE cards: Museumkaart vs IAmsterdam Card vs Holland Pass. Each of them has a different purpose, and all of them are great deals to enjoy this city.
The whole idea behind these cards is for you to prepare your visit beforehand and get rto know what places to see, as well as saving some money in the meantime. If you want to see more during your visit to the capital of the Netherlands, these deals are worth it. Each of them would work for a specific combination, and the three most popular ones are:
- MUSEUM CARD: For locals, the Museumkaart is the best deal of all times. For tourists, only if you are interested in art museums and if the 5 museums you can get in are worth in total more than the 65 euros you pay for it.
- IAmsterdam CARD: In the case of IAmsterdam Card, it offers more popular options like the Heineken Experience or Madame Tussauds. It is, however, more expensive than the Holland Pass.
- HOLLAND PASS: In this case, it is the cheapest option and a good deal for combinations such as bus or boat tour, museums and other interesting activities.
It is also important to take into account that there are a lot of museums that are free for children, here you have the list to check them out. This is why there are no good deals for a “children pass”.
These three options are good, but maybe there is one that would suit your needs better. To learn more about it and find out which one is your best fit, keep reading this article, I hope I can be of some help!
I cannot recommend enough the Museumkaart, but mostly for those who live in the Netherlands. Let me explain myself:
The Museumkaart is a great deal for those art lovers who live in the Netherlands: the museukaart or museum card is a personal and untransferable card that allows the cardholder to enter up to 400 museums in the Netherlands an unlimited amount of times. It has a duration of 1 year and it costs 65 euros for adults and around 33 euros for people under 18. You can purchase them here, but you may want to know some more about them before that:
- The average price of a museum ticket is 15 euros, therefore, after your 4th entrance to any museum, you are already getting your money’s worth.
- If you are NOT a resident of the Netherlands, you are only allowed to use this card 5 times in a maximum of 1 month. Depending on the cost of the museums you choose, it may be worth it, but in general, it is only a couple of euros cheaper, not more.
- There are over 40 museums affiliated to the museum card in Amsterdam.
- There is a total of 400 museums you can access to in the Netherlands.
- Not all the affiliated museums are free: some of them ask visitors to pay a fee that never goes higher than 5 euros.
- It is an exclusive museum card, so no other touristic activities are included.
- In certain museums (like the Rijksmuseum or the Stedelijk Museum) you don’t have to queue if you own a Museumkaart.
- In certain others, you will have to queue and get your ticket anyway (i.e. Anne Frank’s house or the Van Gogh Museum).
- There are a lot of popular museums and touristic places in Amsterdam that are not included: for one, MOCO and also Artis and Micropia or Madame Tussauds.
To sum up, YES, tourist CAN get a museum card, but only to be used 5 times in total, and it is not always paying the 65 euros, it depends on which museums you are interested in going to. For locals YES, it is the best deal you could ever think of, I cannot recommend it enough!
There are two ways of getting one: either going online and register for your card as a local or as a tourist or going to one of the designated locations before your first visit to the museum (where you can use it right after signing for it): for instance, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum, among others.
I Amsterdam CARD
According to their website, the IAmsterdam card has been the number 1 card for tourist for decades. You can order your card online and you can make it for a trip from 24 to 120 hours and from 60 to 113 euros. Included with this card, there is access to over 44 museums and attractions.
Prices per person are:
- 24-hours: €60
- 48-hours: €80
- 72-hours: €95
- 96-hours: €105
- 120-hours: €115
If you compare all the advantages and activities you can get with this card, it definitely is a great deal for your money. Amsterdam is a very expensive country, so I would recommend you to check beforehand all the activities that you want to do and see how much it is going to be. So, what do you get if you purchase an IAmsterdam Card? Here are some of the options:
- FREE TRANSPORTATION: You get unlimited rides on the GVB buses, trams and metros for the period of time you purchased. This card does NOT include train travel. A one day pass on the GVB would normally cost you 17 euros per day. This will be automatically activated the first time you check in a tram, bus or metro.
- FREE CRUISE: You can cruise the canals (boat ride around the city of Amsterdam, Haarlem or Zaanse Schans). Among the affiliated cruises you have: Lovers Canal Cruises, Canal Tours Amsterdam, Stromma, Blue Boat Company, Amsterdam Circle Line and some cute trips in Zaanse Schans and Haarlem.
- DISCOUNTS: You get a 25% discount before ordering food and drinks at specific locations (music and stage, attractions, transports and rental and free giveaways).
- FREE MUSEUMS: ARTIS-micropia, ARTIS zoo, Diamond Museum Amsterdam, EYE Filmmuseum, all the exhibitions of the Hermitage, Hortus – Botanical Garden, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Nemo Science Park or the Rijksmuseum and much more you can check here.
- FREE IAMSTERDAM MAGAZINE: to be picked up at the airport or Amsterdam CS.
You need to know that for some museums you need to book a time slot in advance, as soon as you get your IAmsterdam Card (here) and in order to organise your experience, you may also want to download the IAmsterdam Card App and plan your visits.
When you have bought your card, you can choose to have it delivered to your home for an additional shipping cost or you can pick up your card in Amsterdam at either the Amsterdam Central Station or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Even though there is no discounted price for children, many of the activities offered are very kid-friendly, so it may still be worth the price, once again, it is all about calculating it when planning your visits.
The third most popular option is the Holland Pass: this card offers either 3, 4 or 6 credits in two categories: silver and gold. Each museum or attraction accepts either gold or silver credits in exchange for a free entrance (and you get a book with all the useful information about the museums and what is the cost of each museum or activity reflected in credits).
When you run out of credits, your Holland Pass is also a discount card offering smart savings up to 50% and the discount as well as your remaining credits will last up to a month since the first time you use it. You can get a Holland Pass here.
Therefore, what you get when you buy a Holland Pass is:
- ENTRANCE TO A BIG ATTRACTION OR MUSEUM: with all the types of passes you will get at least one gold credit, which means at least one entrance to either the Rijksmuseum, Heineken Experience, Nemo Science Park and other popular options that you can check here.
- EXTRA ACTIVITIES: with your silver credits you will be able to join other activities such as a Tour of the Johan Cruijff Arena Stadium
- FAST ENTRANCE: At Madame Tussauds, the Rijksmuseum and the Moco Museum we also offer fast-track entrance. Only on these attractions, you will save time, most of the rest require you to exchange your credits for the actual ticket.
- DISCOUNTS: you will get up to a 50% discount with this card (among the activities you get discounts on you can find cruises, bike renting, souvenir shops, restaurants and tours).
The card works the following way:
- SMALL (45 EUROS): you get 3 credits 1x GOLD 2x SILVER
- MEDIUM (60 EUROS): 4 credits 2x GOLD 2x SILVER
- LARGE (75 EUROS): 4 credits 3x GOLD 3x SILVER
Museumkaart vs IAmsterdam Card vs Holland Pass
Maybe after reading this you are still hesitant and don’t know which one of the three cards you want to purchase when visiting Amsterdam, so here you have an example:
Let’s say that you want to get the museum card when you come to Amsterdam and this can be an example of your itinerary:
|Van Gogh Museum||18,50 €|
|Stedelijk Museum||18,50 €|
- You pay about 65 euros for the Museumkaart, so if you get to use all 5 entrances to museums, one of them will end up being free.
- In some museums such as the Stedelijk Museum or the Rijksmuseum, you won’t have to queue, only show your card.
- It lasts 31 days, so if you are staying for a long holiday you have many chances to use it.
- You can use it in the whole country, not only Amsterdam.
- You can ONLY visit museums with that card and no discounts.
- Anne Frank’s house is not included and neither is MOCO and other museums.
- If you are staying for a short period of time you may not be able to visit all these places and then it is the same as just buying the tickets for each museum separately.
MUSEUMKAART CONCLUSION: The Museumkaart is a great option if you ONLY want to visit museums when you come to Amsterdam
Children are free most of the time, and this is something that applies to all cards. Students have reduced fees in most museums and attractions, and children have a lot of discounts, mostly up to the age of 12.
The IAmsterdam Card has several options, therefore, one can choose for how many days to use the card, so here there is an example of 1 day (60 euros) and 2 days (80 euros). If you do this itinerary of 1 or 2 days doing these activities, this is what it would cost you:
|1 DAY||GVB (transport)||15 €||2 DAYS||GVB (transport for two days)||30 €|
|Van Gogh Museum||19 €||Van Gogh Museum||19 €|
|Canal Cruise||15 €||Canal Cruise||15€|
|Johan Cruijff Arena Tour||15€|
- If you do at least 3 activities during the day and use the public transportation to get there, one of those activities will end up being FREE (1day ticket costs 60 euros, and my example is 73 euros).
- You can pick it up at Amsterdam CS or at Schiphol and start using it since then to get to the hotel or whenever you want. It starts whenever you use it for the first time.
- You can buy it online and download the app, preparing all your visits in advance.
- You can repeat the activity as many times as you want
- It doesn’t only work for museums, there are many activities included.
- It is a MARATHON! Don’t expect a relaxed holiday if you want to do so many activities in one day. You need to have everything super coordinated and know your itinerary well.
- It is an investment, so you need to be sure that you want to visit all these places.
IAMSTERDAM CARD CONCLUSION: If you are planning on doing a lot of activities in a short period of time, it is definitely worth it. If you are not sure or you know already that you may want to slow down, take your time and do other activities like shopping or walking around, it may not be the best option. You will have to calculate it!
The HOLLAND PASS has several options, a small, medium or large pass that one can use up to 31 days since the first activity you decide to do with your pass. If you get a SMALL PASS (45€) or MEDIUM PASS (60€), this is an example of an itinerary of possible activities you can do with and this is what it would cost you:
|SMALL PASS||Rijksmuseum||20€||MEDIUM PASS||Rijksmuseum||20€|
|(45 EUROS)||MOCO Museum||15€||(60 EUROS)||Madame Tusseauds||24,50€|
|Semi-Open Boat Cruise||13€||MOCO Museum||15€|
|Semi-Open Boat Cruise||13€|
- You have a month to use it, so no rush!
- You can use it in the whole Netherlands: there are activities that you can do in other cities such as Rotterdam, Delft, Utrecht, Haarlem, etc. This is great if you don’t know if you are going to stay only in Amsterdam or if you want to get to know more about this beautiful country.
- It is one of the cheapest deals and the cheapest card.
- You can easily pick it up at the airport or at Amsterdam CV
- You get discounts of up to 50%, including Keukenhof and bike rental shops.
- The SMALL PASS is not the best deal ever, you will only end up saving some euros, not much.
- Some times you will have to exchange the “golden and silver credits” for the actual tickets, which means queueing anyway.
- No free transportation nor canal cruises.
HOLLAND PASS CONCLUSION: It is a great option to combine activities in other parts of the Netherlands, but there are better options to do a lot of activities in Amsterdam. The good part is that you don’t have a time limit, having a month to use them up allows you to relax during your holidays.