Buying a ticket every time you board a train, metro, tram or bus is very inconvenient so we highly recommend you to get an OV-chipkaart. For a one-time fee of €7.50, you can get the reloadable e-card. Checking in and out of the public transport has never been easier!
There are 2 types of OV-chipkaart, anonymous and personal*
*You won’t be able to apply for the personal one when you just arrived because it requires a Dutch bank account.*
We recommend you to:
- Get the anonymous one first (you can sell it later when you apply for the personal one, or keep it for your guests). The main difference between anonymous and personal OV is that you can add subscriptions to the later, more about it on 3.2. Also, the personal OV allows auto-reload and it’ll have your handsome/pretty face printed on it 😉
There are several ways to get connected in Amsterdam, you shouldn’t be panic. In addition, you can consider the options we have offered below:
1. Using your Existing Mobile Phone in Amsterdam
If you already have a GSM compatible phone and your phone is unlocked, you are good to go. What you need to do is just to get a Dutch SIM card. See section 2.3 for more info about the provider options. If your phone is locked by your provider (contract) or has a region lock, you will need to get it unlocked first at a mobile store (Note! this will void the warranty). Otherwise, you may choose to get a new phone altogether.
2. Buying a New Mobile Phone
Is your phone not Dutch-SIM compatible? Or is it as old as a brick? Why not get a new phone? You have 2 options when buying a new phone in Holland; a prepaid plan (losse toestellen) or a phone contract.
Losse Toestellen: buy an unlocked phone without any subscription. You will need to get a prepaid SIM card separately.
Phone Contract: if you’re planning to stay for a year or longer, contract may be a better deal because you will pay less for the phone (some can even be free). Your option ranges between 1, 2 or even 3 years contract. The only downside is that your phone will be locked by the provider and you can’t change your subscription till the contract ends.
3. Choosing a Service Provider
Now that you have a mobile phone, choosing a provider is your next challenge. Just a heads-up, this is not an easy feat to do! More often than not, you would want to try a few on your own before you can decide a favorite. Up to this moments, even the committee members are still debating which provider is better (i.e. call rate, value-for-money, signal coverage, internet speed, internet quota, well you know the drill). Popular choices you may want to check out: KPN (Dutch national operator, best coverage, most expensive rates); T-mobile (attractive phone contracts, good coverage); Vodafone (good coverage better than T-mobile, but surcharge for 4G) or Lebara (cheapest rate & free sim, poor coverage).