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According to amsterdam.info, there is a direct train from the Schiphol airport to the Amsterdam central station (Amsterdam Centraal).

Since I am going to buy the OV-chipkaart to use public transport after I get to the city, I was wondering: can this card be used for the train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal too?

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Do not forget to check out at Amsterdam Central Station. There are no gates whatsoever. –  Bernhard Jan 11 '13 at 15:38
    
And make sure you have the direct train to Amsterdam Central, and not one of the trains to another Amsterdam station which may not stop at Amsterdam Central. This is a frequent source of confusion. –  Daan Jan 11 '13 at 15:42
    
@Bernhard What happens when I forget to check out with the 24-hour card? I did that once during my trip and nothing bad seemed to happen. –  svick Jan 14 '13 at 0:25
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@svick When you check in, €20 will be subtracted from your account. When you check-out, the amount minus the ticket price will be put on your account again. Thus, you loose about €12 if the ticket is €8. You can get it reimbursed, but this is cumbersome and most people don't do it. With all responsibility for the passenger, they earn a lot of money. –  Bernhard Jan 14 '13 at 6:57
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@svick Ah, I misread that in your previous comment. I do not know the regulations for that exactly. Be sure to by the NS-chipcard in that case, because there was a time that the chipcards by other companies (bus, tram, metro) did not by default allow transport by train. The other way around should not be a problem. –  Bernhard Jan 14 '13 at 14:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes, you can. You should be able to buy a card at the train station or the Albert Heijn supermarket on the airport.

The Schiphol has a train station which functions just like any other train station, there is no special 'airport train' like you might find in other places. It's not even an end station, it has trains leaving in two directions. As you can see on the Railway Map (pdf) there are quite a few trains running through the Schiphol station.

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You can use an OV-chipkaart (personal or anonymous) to travel on trains in the Netherlands but you will need to activate it at a NS vending machine and to have at least €20 credit (boarding fee) when getting on the train. It's fine to go from Schiphol to the centre since you can probably use up the remaining credit during your stay in Amsterdam but it's a bit of a hassle on the way back if you don't plan to come back to the Netherlands (from Amsterdam CS to Schiphol, the fare is only €4 so that's €16 remaining on the card, plus the €7.5 to buy it in the first place, that's €23.5 on top of the actual fare to be able to use the card).

However, you cannot use the trains with a day pass from GVB (if that's the 24-hour card you mentioned in the comments). For a one-time visit, the best option is therefore to buy a paper ticket (or, soon, a disposable single-trip OV-chipkaart) to go back to the airport.

PS: There is also something called a Dagkaart that can be loaded on a regular OV-chipkaart but that's something else entirely. You get unlimited train travel on the NS network for one day for €50.80 (second class).

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