Public transport in the Netherlands can be confusing when you don’t know how to buy tickets and how the system works. We will give you some tips and tricks that will make your trip to the Netherlands go much smoother.
Types of public transport
In most big cities in the Netherlands, there are trams, metro, trains, and buses. It depends on where you’re going what type of transport is recommended. Trains are easier for long-distance travel, longer than 30 minutes (yes this is long in the Netherlands!). For short-distance trams, metros and buses tend to be more convenient.
The most important thing to have when you want to use public transport in the Netherlands is the OV card. You can buy one online (at http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl), at the ticket machines and ticket booths at train stations and in some supermarkets. The card will cost you 7,50 euros and you can use it multiple times. Otherwise, you have to buy a ticket every time you are traveling and this will cost you an extra euro every time. Especially tram tickets can be quite expensive when you buy a paper ticket every time, while it’s not that expensive if you check-in and out with your OV-card. You can use the OV-card for all the different types of public transport, except for taxis of course. When you buy the card make sure that you load some money on it at the ticket machines, you’ll find them at stations or in supermarkets. You’ll need at least 20 euros on your card to check-in at the train station for example. When you don’t want to use the card anymore you can apply for a credit refund at the website ov-chipkaart.nl.
With the OV-card you can even rent a bike at NS train stations, this will cost you 4,15 euros per 24 hours. This is the daily rate for up to 72 hours straight, after that, you’ll be charged an extra 5 euros. The only downside is that you have to hand in your bike at the same station you rented it or this will cost you an extra 10 euros. The maximum rent period is 21 days. We would recommend hiring one for the day and getting a new one when you need it. The bikes can be hired at any train station.
Apps that you should use
There are multiple apps that you can use to plan your trip by public transport. You can use Google Maps to plan your trip and use the public transport option. There is also an app from the biggest train company in the Netherlands, NS. They will usually recommend you to go by train when it’s possible. Our personal favorite is the app 9292, this app will also recommend buses, trams, and metros if this is more convenient.
Living in the Netherlands
If you are going to live in the Netherlands do check out different train discount subscriptions, like NS flex for example. There are different subscriptions and you can change your NS flex every month depending on how much you intend to travel. You’ll also get a monthly bill instead of having to reload your card every time.
Do you want more tips? Don’t hesitate to send us a message, we are happy to help!