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?

  • 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
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 15:42
  • The reimbursement website is only in Dutch and is sufficiently complex my Dutch-born colleague told me to forget the $5. (This was failure to check out and in when changing from a mainline train to a commuter train.) I think forfeited chipcard amounts are a major source of the Netherlands' revenue. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 18:19

3 Answers 3


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.

  • Link is dead. (Which is why it's recommended to embed things like that directly in the answer.)
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 20 at 17:53

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. Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 4:31

2024 update. You can still use an OV-chipcard in all trains in the Netherlands as long as you have €20 or more on it when you start the journey.

Now you can also use a contactless bank card, creditcard, payment app on the telephone or smartwatch.

Like with the OV-chipcard a €20 reservation is made when you check in and the actual cost of the travel is charged instead when you check out at the end of the journey.
Only one person per card (real or in phone or watch) and I do not know whether two to the same bank account will work.

  • 1
    It doesn't matter what's backing a card, whether it's a bank account, a line of credit, or a pre-paid sum of money. The merchant (the OVpay system in this case) is never even told. So multiple cards backed by the same account have to work.
    – TooTea
    Commented May 20 at 7:51

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