I wasn’t in Amsterdam for very long so to maximize my time for touristy sites and activities, I did my research and got the I amsterdam city card. It was assuredly the best bit of planning I did for the trip. The card is an incredible value and really pays for itself if you plan on visiting at least a few of Amsterdam’s most famous museums (for example).
To sum up the perks of the card: free and unlimited public transportation within Amsterdam city proper; a free canal cruise; and free entries to a large number of museums. You can have the card sent to your house or pick it up at the airport or central station. I opted to pick it up upon arrival at the airport.
The card swipes you onto the buses and trams but also comes with a very useful map of Amsterdam that marks the attractions that the I amsterdam city card will give you free access to. We didn’t use the map for actually navigating around the city (our phone maps were easier) but it was easy to see if other museums we didn’t know about were nearby ones we were planning to go to with the I amsterdam map.
My favorite feature of the card was the canal cruise. It’s a one hour boat tour with three or four companies (pick one) that has various pickup points along the route. Along the water was really the best way to see the city. In terms of other modes of transportation, I found Amsterdam to have a really easy-to-use and extensive public transportation system that made it easy and free for us to get around by combination of tram and foot. Amsterdam also has uber, but with the i Amsterdam city card, we never used it except to get to and from the airport.
Amsterdam has a number of very famous world-class museums like the Van Gogh museum or the Rembrandt museum, but to get an idea of some of their lesser known institutions, I checked out the i Amsterdam site for information on the ones that would be free to visit with my i Amsterdam city card. For example, I wouldn’t have visited the Eye Filmmuseum without having read about it on the i Amsterdam site.