This is a guest post by Susan Guillory of The Unexplorer.
While I prefer to travel like a local, I have to admit certain tourist tools make a trip better. When I visited San Francisco a year ago, I had my first experience using an all-inclusive pass that got me access to public transportation and entry into attractions.
So when I started planning my side trip to Amsterdam after spending two weeks in Provence, I was thrilled when I was offered a comped I amsterdam City Card.
Explore Art & Culture for a Fraction of the Price
The most appealing thing about the card is how many museums you get access to. There are 45 museums in Amsterdam proper that you get into free with your card, as well as an additional 20 or so on the outskirts of the city.
What can you see? 200 of Van Gogh’s paintings and 500 of his drawings at the Van Gogh Museum. Traditional Dutch costumes from all over the country at the Klederdracht Museum (Dutch Costume Museum). One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world at Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Gardens).
The list goes on and on.
Because I only had 24 hours in Amsterdam, I had to pick and choose what I did. I had a brief tour of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, which houses the largest collection of modern art and design in the Netherlands. I wished I’d had more time!
See Amsterdam from Another Perspective
What I was most excited about with the I amsterdam City Card was the free canal cruise. I’d been to Amsterdam many times but had never cruised its canals. There are actually several cruise options:
- Blue Boat Company: 75-minute cruise
- Canal Company Canal Cruise: Hop on, hop off tour
- Gray Line 100 Highlights Cruise: 1 hour cruise
- Lovers Canal Cruises: 1 hour cruise
I opted for the hop on, hop off tour. There’s an embark point near the Rijksmuseum (which, by the way, isn’t free with the card, but is discounted €2.50 with the card.), as well as throughout the city. I was so tired from exploring that I didn’t hop off at all, and rode back to Centraal Station, enjoying the views of the tall, stacked houses that lined the canals.
When You’re Tired, Put Your Feet Up
Another major perk of the card is the free public transportation. Amsterdam is a highly walkable city, but trust me: after eight hours of meandering, you’ll be ready to take a bus back to your hotel. In my case, I stayed at the Ibis Budget Amsterdam Airport, and couldn’t have walked back anyway. By the way, my hotel stay wasn’t comped, but I highly recommend this hotel for its low price (about €80 and convenience to the airport).
All in all, having the I amsterdam City Card enhanced my visit. It felt great to know I could walk into any of dozens of attractions and not have to pay! If you’re in the city for several days and plan to hit a lot of museums, you’ll save a lot with the card.
Susan Guillory received a complimentary I amsterdam City Card, however her opinions are her own.