Amsterdam Bus – Lines, Tickets, Info and Tips (Guide 2024)

Want to take the bus in Amsterdam? In this guide we’ll give you an overview of bus travel in the city and beyond.

Amsterdam has a reasonable bus network which complements the coverage already provided by trams and the Amsterdam metro.

The Amsterdam city buses are run by the municipal transport company GVB (Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf) and these mainly serve the outer suburbs of Amsterdam. Other companies like Connexxion and EBS provide bus services to various places around the North Holland region.

Probably the most useful ticket is the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket here which is valid on all city and regional buses (as well as trams, metro and some regional trains).

For visitors, the most interesting bus services are GVB line 22, the Schiphol airport bus lines, the night buses and the regional buses to points of interest like the Waterland fishing villages, Zaanse Schans and Keukenhof.

GVB Amsterdam Buses

Amsterdam city transport company GVB runs a total of 44 bus lines in and around Amsterdam – serving the city centre and outer suburbs including some of the other train stations around Amsterdam.

This includes 33 day lines and 11 night bus lines and a fleet of 222 buses, some of which are electric.

gvb buses amsterdam central
GVB buses at Amsterdam Central

The main bus station in Amsterdam is at Amsterdam Central – located on the IJ-side (northern waterfront) on the upper level. This is accessible by taking the escalators from the IJhal area.

amsterdam central bus station
Amsterdam Central Bus Station

Electronic screens show you the next departing bus. Note that the EBS buses to the Waterland fishing villages no longer run from here – you need to go to Amsterdam Noord.

The GVB bus line 22 can be a useful service as it travels between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Amsterdam Muiderpoort stations via Amsterdam Central. It runs 4-6x an hour from 6am (weekdays) and 7am (weekends) to just after midnight.

gvb bus 22 amsterdam
GVB bus 22 in Amsterdam

It is good for the following places of interest: Amaze Amsterdam (Kabelweg), Museum Het Schip (Spaarndammerstraat), Westerpark (Nassauplein), Maritime Museum (Kattenburgerplein) and De Gooyer windmill (Oostenburgergracht).

gvb bus line 22 amsterdam route map
GVB Amsterdam Bus 22 route map

GVB has online Amsterdam bus maps available here

You can also ask for paper maps at one of the GVB Service desks which are located at Amsterdam Central, Bijlmer-ArenA, Noord and Zuid stations.

GVB has a detailed ‘Amsterdam Tram Bus Metro Ferry’ map which highlights its entire network – although the desk at Amsterdam Central often runs out of stock.

gvb amsterdam bus seats
GVB Amsterdam bus seats

Amsterdam Bus Tickets (2024)

There are various options for buying GVB Amsterdam bus tickets. Essentially, you can either pay for your single journey or buy a multi-day ticket which can offer significantly greater value. All passengers aged 4 or over must have their own ticket, children 0-3 travel free.

Travel using any type of ticket requires that you check-in and check-out of your bus journey by holding it or scanning it onto the special on-board card readers – located by the driver and at the exit doors. Your ticket is simply validated on first check-in.

Amsterdam Bus – Single Fares

There are essentially 3 types of single fare.

  • The standard single GVB 1 hour fare ticket which costs €3.40 in 2024.
  • A distance based fare – calculated as a €1.08 boarding fee plus a distance fee of €0.196 per km travelled. Distance fares apply when using a contactless payment option or credit on an OV-chip card.
  • A 1.5 hour Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket which costs €6.50 and is used for longer regional journeys.

Distance fares are generally always cheaper than the standard single unless you are making a longer journey with connections.

If you only need to make 1 or 2 journeys by bus then consider using OVpay, the relatively new system which allows you to check-in and out using a contactless debit/credit card or smartphone. Your account will be billed as a single transaction at the end of the day, but always check your statement for possible errors.

bus station amsterdam bijlmer arena
Bus station at Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena

We no longer recommend the OV-chip card (public transport smart card) for short-term visitors as it costs €7.50 (non-refundable) and to which credit needs to be added. You always need a minimum of €4 credit to travel by GVB bus with an OV-chip card. It is also a bit difficult getting unused credit back from an OV-chip card at the end of your trip.

The OV-chip card is being phased out by 2025 and a new OV-Pas with digital features will be introduced.

Most tickets can be purchased in advance at the GVB ticket office or GVB ticket machines. It is no longer possible to buy GVB tickets on-board from the bus driver.

gvb bus 22 at amsterdam sloterdijk
GVB bus 22 at Amsterdam Sloterdijk bus station

Amsterdam Bus – Unlimited Travel Multi-Day Tickets

There are a number of multi-day tickets for unlimited travel around Amsterdam. If you plan to use public transport more frequently then these can save you a significant sum of money. If used well the cost-per-ride can be significantly lower than standard one-way tariffs.

Best Value & Validity
Best for AMS airport
Best for Bus Excursions
GVB day ticketAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
GVB Day/Multi-Day ticketsAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
1/2/3/4/5/6/7 days1/2/3 days1/2/3 days
Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam
Valid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport busValid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport bus
Valid on regional NS trains + EBS/Connexxion/Arriva buses in region
24 hours basisCalendar day basisCalendar day basis
Digital + Card versionsCard onlyCard only
Order here Order here Order here
more infomore infomore info

We highly recommend the GVB 1-7 day tickets as it can really improve your stay in Amsterdam giving you the flexibility to just hop-on and hop-off city public transport as required.

However, if you wish to use the airport bus and regional buses then seriously consider the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

Amsterdam Airport Buses – Connexxion 397 and GVB 369

Connexxion runs the Amsterdam Airport Express service from Schiphol airport to the centre of Amsterdam.

The red bus 397 (R-NET branded) departs from Schiphol Plaza just outside the arrivals area and goes to Amsterdam Elandsgracht bus station including stops at Museumplein and Leidseplein – it does NOT go to Central station.

amsterdam airport express bus 397
Amsterdam Airport Express bus 397

A single (Bus Tram Metro ticket) costs €6.50 and the journey takes just over 30 minutes. You can buy airport bus 397 tickets online here (€6.50 single, €11.75 return – valid for 14 days).

Kids day tickets (€1) for children aged 4-11 are only available to buy from the driver, payment by card only.

amsterdam airport express bus 397 at van gogh museum
Amsterdam Airport Express Bus 397 outside the Van Gogh Museum

The 397 bus operates 4-6x per hour roughly between 0530 and midnight. During the night there is an hourly N97 Niteliner service on the same route.

The GVB 369 bus service (also R-NET branded) runs between Schiphol Airport/Plaza and Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. This trip takes about 40 minutes and singles cost €3.40 – note that it is much faster to take the train on this route.

The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket is valid for all airport buses.

gvb bus 369 schiphol airport to amsterdam sloterdijk
GVB bus 369 Amsterdam Sloterdijk – Schiphol Airport
gvb amsterdam bus 369 interior
GVB bus 369 – interior

See detailed info on travel from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to the city

GVB Amsterdam Night Buses

There are 11 GVB night bus lines which run through the night from 0030 when the metros and trams cease operation:

N81 Central Station – Sloterdijk station
N82 Central Station – Geuzenveld
N83 Central Station – Osdorp de Aker
N84 Central Station – Amstelveen Busstation
N85 Central Station – Gein via Amstel
N86 Central Station – Bijlmer-ArenA
N87 Central Station – Bijlmer-ArenA via Diemen
N88 Central Station – Nieuw Sloten
N89 Central Station – Vennepluimstraat (IJburg)
N91 Central Station – Nieuwendam
N93 Central Station – Molenwijk

A single costs €5.40 – tickets are valid for 90 minutes including transfers. Note, a standard GVB 1 hour ticket is not valid for travel on night buses. You can also pay a distance-based fare with an OV-chip card or by contactless card (OVpay).

Regional Buses around Amsterdam – EBS / Connexxion / Arriva

There are a number of regional bus services to various places of interest in and around the Amsterdam area.

Probably of most relevance to visitors are the buses to the popular Waterland area – which includes the traditional fishing villages of Volendam, Edam and Monnickendam – and buses going to the Zaanse Schans windmills.

Waterland buses are run by EBS using red and grey R-NET branded buses. The buses have free WiFi on board.

EBS lines run now from outside Amsterdam Noord metro station or at Amsterdam Noorderpark station which can both be easily reached from Amsterdam Central using metro line 52.

amsterdam noord bus station
Bus terminal at Amsterdam Noord metro station

Here are some lines of interest run by EBS:

Zaandam – Marken111Amsterdam Noord, Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam
Amsterdam Noord – De Rijp
Amsterdam Noord – Purmerend306/307/308 
Amsterdam Noord – Hoorn314Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Edam
Amsterdam Noord – Monnickendam315Broek in Waterland
Amsterdam Noord – Edam316Broek in Waterland, Monnickendam, Volendam
Amsterdam Noorderpark – Zaandam Zaanse Schans
Amsterdam Noorderpark – Zaandam Station
amsterdam noorderpark bus stop
Amsterdam Noorderpark bus stop

Connexxion operates buses from Amsterdam Elandsgracht (near Leidseplein) to Zandvoort via Haarlem (bus 80) and from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to the port of IJmuiden (R-NET bus 382). There is an Amsterdam Beach Tour ticket which is valid all day between Amsterdam, Haarlem and Zandvoort.

elandsgracht amsterdam bus stop
Bus stop at Amsterdam Elandsgracht

Bus to Keukenhof Gardens: Arriva operates the Keukenhof Express bus 852 from Amsterdam Europaplein to Keukenhof and bus 858 from Schiphol Airport to Keukenhof. These only run March to May when the spring flower garden is open.

keukenhof express bus at europaplein
Arriva Keukenhof Express bus at Europaplein Amsterdam

The best ticket for regional travel is the 1/2/3 day Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket as it is valid on all the above mentioned regional bus services around Amsterdam – as well as GVB transport within Amsterdam and some trains in the region. The 3 day ticket at €40.50 works out at just €13.50 per day.

Book the Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets online here and pick-up in Amsterdam when you arrive.

Alternatively, an EBS bus day ticket costs €12.50 for adults. It is valid the entire day (until 0100) on all EBS buses serving the Waterland, fishing villages (Edam/Volendam/Marken) and Zaanse Schans areas.

ebs bus waterland amsterdam
EBS bus interior

The downsides to the EBS day ticket is that you still need to travel to Amsterdam Noord to pick up the EBS buses. It is not valid on the metro line 52 to Noord unlike the Amsterdam & Region ticket.

Also, it is not seamless and straight forward to combine Waterland and Zaanse Schans without travelling back to Amsterdam and transferring between Noord and Noorderpark.

TIP: Don’t get on a bus with destination “Geen Dienst” – it actually means Out of Service!

Bus Amsterdam – Summary

Buses in Amsterdam can often be handy on some routes which are less accessible by metro and tram. The most useful bus services are the airport bus and regional buses to surrounding places of interest. Using a multi-day ticket can be convenient and offer visitors good value.

This article was originally published in 2010 and has been regularly updated. Last update 21 March 2024.

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