I recently visited Amsterdam with my favorite travel buddy (my sister) and about 2 minutes after landing and clearing customs we stumbled upon a little kiosk that transformed our trip. Here's why!
Because most of our trips are very last minute due to my work schedule, I'll admit that I don't do a lot of pre-planning for travel. This is obviously wonderful for spontaneity but terrible for actually knowing what the heck you're doing once you land.
These two fly by the seat of our pants gals learned a valuable and money saving lesson. Well, it sort of landed on our laps and whew it was a good one. The I Am Amsterdam card can be purchased at the Airport or at one location in the City Center. You can buy 24-72 hour cards. We grabbed the 72 hour card as we were in town for four days, the cost was 69 Euros and hit the ground running.
Here are 5 ways the I Am Amsterdam card saved us money.
1. The card offers unlimited metro, tram and bus rides. Though Amsterdam is a very walkable city most everyone who lives there rides bikes everywhere, the trams are extremely convenient and go most parts of the city. We hopped on and off dozens of times and when we were tired of walking it was fun just to ride around and stare out of the window while we rested.
2. This is a big one, the I Am card allows free entrance to about 20 different museums. So instead of paying between 9 and 25 Euros to enter each museum our card let us museum hop indiscriminately for days. Bonus: Not only did we get in for free but we were able to skip the four hour wait at the Anne Frank House and walk right up to the door and entire at our scheduled time. Since tickets for the Anne Frank House are almost always sold out online - the card was a big help. Same thing at the Van Gogh Museum - we were put into a separate line that moved in about 10 minutes avoiding the hour long wait on the standard queue.
It was also fun to take a peek at places that I might not have gone to if I had to pay a separate entry fee. We gave the Tulip Museum a gander simply because it's sisters favorite flower.
3. There are loads of coupons for local restaurants (not just tourist traps). The Pancake Bakery is a canal area staple located right down the street from Anne Frank House. I should note that by Pancake, they mean crepe. Don't go looking for American pancakes. But seriously, yum!
4. There are three major canals throughout Amsterdam. The I Am card offers one free canal cruise which is pretty amazing. Some douche lord did try to unzip my bag and pick pocket me while waiting on the line for the cruise. He and another woman were pretending to wait on line and I felt him touching my bag and freaked out. I should have pushed him into the water but like, jail so...I didn't.
FYI, that little white sliver in the middle is the most narrow house in Amsterdam. Can you imagine?!
5. The I Am card comes with A-mag Amsterdam Magazine (value 3.50 Euros) - it's kind of like Time Out New York filled with cool articles, and features on the more local underground goings on. Lots of store features and we checked a few incredible concept stores, there are listings for festivals, free concerts, art shows, parties and more.