There are 49 bus lines running in Amsterdam. With such an extensive network, there are many ways of getting around the city and to its surrounding areas via this form of public transportation. Furthermore, buses in Amsterdam accept diverse forms of payment, including the strippenkaart, the OV-chip card and payment on the bus, so this adds to their convenience. On the other hand, buses do not run as frequently as trams or metros, and they are slower and stop more often, so it takes longer to make your commute.
Bus stops are easily recognisable as they are marked on the streets and they always have benches and network maps on the curb. The buses themselves will be noticeable as well, since they are quite uniform in their design, and they usually display their points of departure and destinations on the front, side and back of their bodies, so you can tell that they are part of Amsterdam’s public transportation network. Buses generally stop at each point on their route, and this is of course the case, when there are passengers waiting along the way. Within buses, there are square yellow buttons that you can press to let the driver know that you would like to get off at the next stop.
When you use a prepaid strip ticket, the fare is calculated by zones per hour. You can see how many zones you will be traveling on the maps that are available in all stations and at every bus or tram stop. On your strippenkaarten, you will always have to use one strip for the trip that you are making and then an additional strip for each zone that you are traveling per hour. You can purchase strip tickets that contain different numbers of strips, and these are available containing 8, 15 or 45 strips with the larger tickets offering better deals. Alternatively, you can pay for your individual bus rides, and you will receive a single strip ticket that is valid for one hour of travel between the number of zones that you purchase. This is not the best option if you are traveling from one point to another, especially within one zone, since you will pay the same price as someone who is free to travel anywhere in the city for the entire hour, which amounts to 2,80 euro. However, it also might not be practical to purchase an entire strip ticket, so this is always an option. Bus drivers will typically provide you with change, if they have it accessible. When there are lines and lots of passengers, sometimes providing change is not convenient, and if they do not have it, they will ask you for the exact amount of change that is required for a trip. This is why it is always a good idea to keep a strippenkaart with you or to have exact change in your wallet when planning to travel by bus. The OV-Chip card is another way that you can pay for transport via bus in Amsterdam. Like on the metro, this form of ticketing calculates your fare by how many kilometres you travel (0.145 euros/km), in addition to the 86 cent base price per trip.
Like metros and trams, buses in Amsterdam run roughly between the hours of 6AM and midnight or 1AM, but unlike other forms of public transportation, there are night buses when the others stop running. These are less frequent than the main lines that run, and they are more expensive, but only by a bit, and they are definitely the most reasonable form of transport that runs throughout the night and into the early morning. It is important to note that night buses do not accept normal strippenkaarten or OV-chip cards, but instead must be paid for upon entry, in cash.
Maps for buses can be found online and downloaded from the GVB website