Tourist hotspots know what competition is, and every year they find new ways to level up in travel. From advancements in buildings and transportation, to wilder, bigger, and more enchanting attractions, every place wants a high seat on travellers’ Bucket Lists.
Amsterdam, a historic & architectural marvel of a destination, with a notorious reputation as a youthful backpackers dream, is not immune to wanting to draw in more crowds, and various kinds of travellers.
Their reputation as perfect for hedonistic indiscretions in Europe persists today though (thanks to the notorious Red Light District), and so the city continues to evolve its offerings to attract family tourism, more sophisticated travellers etc.
They, after all, have the likes of edgy cool Berlin, trendy Copenhagen, and romantic Paris, to contend with.
The Dutch capital’s latest drawcard is honestly one of the greatest travel hacks I’ve come across – ideal for business travellers with a bit of time, families, squads doing Eurotrips, and solo travellers too.
Say hello to the I Amsterdam Card!
The I Amsterdam card is a city card that:
“offers a unique way to explore Amsterdam. You get access to all major highlights and more than 70 museums, city-wide public transport, a canal cruise and bicycle rent. Major benefits are that you can save money and get exclusive discounts at restaurants, attractions and concerts.”I AM Amsterdam (2022)
Choose between a 25-hour, 48-hour, 72, 96, or 120-hour card, and unlock Amsterdam with one card that lets you travel for free, dine for a steal, and see the attractions at a much-needed discount.
- free entry to more than 70 major museums and attractions
- free unlimited public transport
- free canal cruise
- Free I Amsterdam guidebook
- can be ordered online before your trip
Amsterdam has been praised for the stylishness of its people and the city’s overall aesthetic. With the I Amsterdam card, take a boat, train or tram to well-known chic De Pijp for a quick shop at their independent boutiques and concept stores.
Make use of the discounts offered up by the program to also go beyond the bustle, and see the infamous Dutch windmills and parish houses too.
Get even more acquainted with the famed Canal Houses and rotating photo exhibits from some of the most poignant and inspired photographers (up & coming, and established legends), by visiting photography museum Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam (aka Foam), which the card gets you access to.
Get your drink on after a day of art-loving in the museum district, with a stop and tour at the House of Bols. Your I Amsterdam card gets you a discounted tour (25% off) of authentic genever’s origins and modern mixology makings.
Here are the facts:
You can do Amsterdam even cheaper, but even with bicycles ready for rental everywhere, you’ll still end up having to pay for transportation sometime.
The card connects travellers to everything from the quiet boroughs to where live music (at Melkweg) takes centre stage, and a district (Reguliersdwarsstraat) you can safely party at until dawn. Experience the strumming of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra too, which is situated along the tram route you can tap into with the I Amsterdam card.
Want to get in touch with nature?
With where the I Amsterdam card takes you, you could go cycle through Tulip Fields, or head into the forest, to Amsterdamse Bos, to swim in wild swimming spots or picnic and have a Forest Bath.
You could also stick to the bustling city and head to a handful of totally free galleries, street art spaces, and museums. However, 3 of my most highly recommended Amsterdam must-sees (including a national landmark) require an entry fee:
- Moco Museum (€19) – for fellow art lovers of Banksy, Damian Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Jean-Michel Basquiat, etc.
- Rijksmuseum (€17.5) – for history buffs seeking Dutch Masters artworks, bibliophiles, and art lovers wanting to witness the likes of Van Gogh, and even Paco Rabanne’s designs.
- Fabrique des Lumières (€15) – for anyone who’s ever wanted to live in, and marvel at art like my personal favourite artist Gustav Klimt.
You could stick to a fixed meal plan, but immersing yourself in the local culture – including the famed Food Hall, Foodhallen, of the dynamic city – could be made easy with this card.
With the I Amsterdam card, for example, you get to try home-grown Spirits (free at De Drie Fleschjes), as well as bitterballen (traditional Dutch croquettes), getting the Heineken Experience, and a taste of the celebrated Dutch pancake, for a fraction of the usual cost.
The I Amsterdam Card is a game-changer, with a core idea that has been trialled around the world before. Glitches tend to happen between vendors’ understanding of the offer, the digital tech’s reading of the cards, and the usability of the various kinds of cards offered to people elsewhere.
The I Amsterdam card has none of the problems, and every service agent that’s part of the programme is in the know about how the system works. It makes life easy for the tourist.
- For transportation, simply tap into the card machines on the Tram, Ferry or in train stations.
- For discounts, see your I AM Amsterdam map or booklet for where you’re FREE to go, or DISCOUNTED at, and they’ll simply scan your card’s bar code when you arrive.
- Example: a swing ride that’s the highest in Europe – extending over the edge of the A’DAM Toren building.
I got to revisit places I truly enjoyed the first time (and on my dime) and get free experiences like Canal tours, thanks to the range offered up by the I Amsterdam card program.
Don’t sleep on this travel hack!