Ferries in Amsterdam:
info, tickets, lines & tips for passengers

The GVB ferries are very popular with visitors to Amsterdam. As well as crossing the IJ estuary, you can also take a short tour of the harbour on the ferries.
Best of all, the ferries are free to use in Amsterdam.

In this guide you will find all the important information for passengers and practical tips for using the ferries in Amsterdam.


Why are there ferries in Amsterdam?

The city centre of Amsterdam is separated from the Amsterdam North district by the IJ, an inlet of the Zuiderzee. This inlet is relatively wide. There is no bridge in the city centre.

That is why the blue and white ferries are a common sight and part of Amsterdam’s public transportation system. Last year the ferries transported more than 20 million passengers.
Just like the Metro, trams, and buses, the boats are operated by the public transport company GVB.

Map with ferry connections

The IJ separates Amsterdam Noord from the city centre. The ferries (dotted blue) offer a fast connection.

GVB ferries – lines and connections

There are currently eight lines in operation, three of which originate directly at the central train station (Centraal Station). The ferries transport pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds, and scooters. Cars are only being transported on the “Hempontplein – Zaandam” ferry, and for a fee.

The GVB ferries are part of the local transport system in Amsterdam. The central stop is Amsterdam Centraal station (Photo: travelguide.amsterdam)

Pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders do not need a ticket on the ferry. Use of the ferry is free of charge. (Image: travelguide.amsteram)

Schedule, timing, and operating times of the ferries

Here is an overview of the ferries in Amsterdam.

Ferries in Amsterdam – free sightseeing

  • The line “901/907 Buiksloterwegveer” is popular with visitors of the city. The route is a mere 400 meters long. You will quickly reach the film museum “EYE” or “Tolhuistuin”.
    The beautifully landscaped garden is located on the former Shell property. In combination with the Tolhuistuin Pavillion it is a popular location for cultural events.
  • For a short, free sightseeing tour in the harbour, we recommend taking ferry 906 to the former NDSM shipyard.
    Today this site is an interesting artists’ quarter. There is also the well-known Straat Museum for street art and graffiti. Several individual restaurants and cafés offer not only an interesting culinary offer, but also a wonderful view of the water.
  • Travelling on GVB ferries is free for pedestrians and cyclists (as of 2024).

The site of the former NSDM shipyard. The ferry ride to this interesting district is a nice and free sightseeing tour. (Image: travelguide.amsterdam)

Tickets for the public transport system in Amsterdam: Which ticket option is best for me?

Whether single ride via e-purse, also referred to as OV-card, all-day ticket, “I Amsterdam Card”, or “Amsterdam Travel Card”, you will find detailed information for all, as well as current fares here. It allows you to quickly and easily find the right ticket option for your stay in Amsterdam.
Researching all your options in advance and knowing which ticket option is best for you will save you money, time and avoid stressful situations once you arrive.

Our tip:

The single-day or multi-day tickets that are available for the public transport system in Amsterdam are typically the best choices for visitors.

These tickets allow unlimited use of the Metro (subway), GVB bus system as well as trams for the entire period of validity (1 – 7 days). Use of the ferries is always free of charge.

These tickets are rather inexpensive for a European metropolitan city. For 2024 fares range between €5.85 and €9 a day, depending on period of validity

You can buy your tickets online and in advance at no extra cost via the website of the authorised GVB ticket seller – click here –. You will not have to deal with ticket machines or the tariff system upon your arrival.

That saves time and nerves – after all, you will have better things to do in Amsterdam…

Ferries – FAQ 2024

GVB ferries are free for pedestrians and cyclists. To find out which ferry line is best for a harbour tour and other tips, see our travel guide.

For a short, free sightseeing tour of the harbor, we recommend taking ferry 906 to the former NDSM shipyard. The area is now an interesting artists’ quarter. The well-known Straat Museum for street art and graffiti is also located here. The use of the GVB ferries in Amsterdam is free. You don’t need a ticket.

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