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?

  • 2
    Do not forget to check out at Amsterdam Central Station. There are no gates whatsoever.
    – Bernhard
    Jan 11, 2013 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, 2013 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, 2013 at 0:25
  • 1
    @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, 2013 at 6:57
  • 1
    @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, 2013 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


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 of 2015 (pdf) there are quite a few trains running through the Schiphol station.


You can use a pay-as-you-go OV-chipkaart to travel by train in the Netherlands (including between Schiphol and Amsterdam CS) but you will need to activate it at a NS vending machine and to have at least €20 credit (boarding fee) when “checking in”. Anonymous pay-as-you-go cards are also available from NS vending machines for €7.5.

It's fine to use pay-as-you-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, so that's €23.5 tied into the card on top of the actual fare).

However, you cannot use the trains with a day pass from GVB (if that's the 24-hour card you mentioned in the comments) as it does not cover NS trains. Although it is technically also an OV-chipkaart, you cannot use it for pay-as-you-go either. For a one-time visit, the best option is therefore to buy a single-use OV-chipkaart from NS to go back to the airport. You would therefore use two different RFID cards, one for the GVB network and one for NS trains.

For more details on the OV-chipkaart system, see also OV-chipkaart or GVB day pass for within Amsterdam travel?

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).

  • For the €20 boarding fee problem, you do have the option of getting your card balance (but not the €7.5 card fee) refunded at the staffed ticket windows at Schiphol. So if you have time to take care of that at the airport and don't mind having the money temporarily tied up, you can get the rest of the money back. Still not worth it unless you're taking a number of NS journeys though, because the €7.5 is non-refundable. Jun 11, 2019 at 4:31

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