Related to this How do you exit Dutch railway stations with an international paper-based ticket?

I go to AMS fairly regularly and than normally just take the train into Centraal or Hilversum. Last time the wait at the ticket machines in the arrival hall was about an hour with 30-40 people lining up in front of every machine. Ironically buying the ticket took lot longer than actually riding the train.

Is there another (perhaps less known) place where to buy tickets? Can I buy them upfront online?

  • 1
    Not a full solution but do look around, sometimes people tend to gather around some machines without noticing others.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 13:07
  • Expect long waits during summer in AMS. I am afraid the only places to buy tickets (chip kart) is vending machines or on the counter.
    – pbu
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 14:09
  • There are quite a few vending machines as well as several ticket windows and those open on demand (if not always as fast as you would like.) Besides, there is online buying and OV-chip options which make the need for the machines less.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 17:29

3 Answers 3


Since you are using the Dutch transport service this often, you may consider buying an anonymous OV-chipcard (Dutch: "OV chipkaart"). Have it in with you and check-in once you are about to take the train.

As indicated in its website its [current] price is €7,50.


  • You can load a lot of credit once - say €50. This way, you will not have to buy the ticket every time.
  • In case you fail to check-out properly, you can ask for refund.


  • It costs € 7,50. But, again, that's not that much money if you are going to use it many times, and consider the amount of time you are saving...

You can find more information about the OV-chipcard in this answer to Why do people scan their Intercity / Sprinter tickets twice (on entry and exit) in Amsterdam?.

  • 1
    The most serious con, in my view, is that you have to have €20 on the OV Chip when you want to use the train. In the rest of the public transport you need to have €4 credit.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 17:41
  • @Willeke true, good point.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 14:39

When you arrive in Amsterdam you will find (if still there) one ticket machine in the area where you collect your luggage. Which is very nice if you have to wait for your luggage to arrive, but not worth waiting any longer than you need for your luggage.

When you leave the secure area you follow the signs for the train and you arrive in the main arrivals hall. In there is a series of ticket machines, at least 6 individual ones and around the area are ticket windows. Just be aware that buying from a ticket window is €0.50 more expensive than from a ticket machine.
And these days the tickets from the machines are already €1 more expensive than home prints or when traveling on the OV chip card.

When you are sure that you will travel that day, you can buy tickets online. The tickets for the Dutch trains are not timed, so if you have a ticket for one train on the day you can also use an earlier or later train, but just that one day. Only when you buy tickets for the Thalys you can only use it for that one train.

But I agree with one of the other answerers, consider buying in OV chip card. (Also available from the ticket machines and the ticket windows.) Put at least €20 on it and you can use any train (except the Thalys.) Although some fast trains like the one to Rotterdam/Breda and those to Germany, require a surcharge, which you can also put on the OV chip card. Remember that you need at least €20 on your OV chip card for train travel and at least €4 for bus, tram and metro.


Yes you can certainly buy them online on the Dutch Railways website. It's really just a train that happens to connect the airport, so you book it like any other train and print it at home before you go, make sure you carry an ID with the same name on the ticket

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