Public Transport Netherlands – How To Get Around

In the Netherlands, there is definitely one thing well arranged and that is public transport. A wide network of busses, trains, metros, bikes and even ferries is active all over the country. This makes it super easy to get from one place to another in the country of tompoezen and klompen! Let me tell you all about public transport and how to get around in the Netherlands. 

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Public Transport Netherlands - How To Get Around

Awesome Apps/ Websites To Sort Public Transport In The Netherlands

There are a ton of websites in the Netherlands that will inform you about public transport. But the huge amount of websites and information can be kind of overwhelming. That’s why I will break it down for you into the three most practical websites/apps. 

App 9292 or 9292.nl

9292 is an app and a website where you check your route with public transport in the Netherlands. This app shows you which services of public transport you need for your trip, which lines you need and what time they leave. A plus about the 9292 App is that it also shows delays. 

NS App

NS stands for Nationale Spoorwegen or national train tracks. In the NS app, you will find all the information about public transport, how they connect, and at what time they are leaving (just like 9292). Within this app, you are also able to buy an online ticket, which is super handy when you travel to the Netherlands because you don’t have to wait in line at a ticket machine. 

Personally, I am a big fan of the NS App. This app is more detailed than 9292, you can order your tickets via the app; utilize the discounts and cheap deals for a day out in the Netherlands via the link with Spoordeelwinkel. Plus you can include the NS Bike in your route. 

Google Maps

Of course, you can also use Google Maps. This app shows a huge overview of how to go from one place to the next. But because there are so many options you might get lost in the information. Google Maps however is great while you are on foot or a bike!

Forms Of Public Transport In The Netherlands

NS Bikes

Since you are researching information about the Netherlands you might have already noticed that the Dutch people love cycling. You can find more bikes than people in the Netherlands, as there’re cycling paths all over the country. 

Therefore, taking a bike to explore certain cities is a lot of fun and a cheap way to get around.  At all the larger train stations in the Netherlands, you’ll find an NS Bike station. With the OV chip card, you can rent these bikes. 

A big pro is that you can pick up one of these bikes at one station, but it does not matter where you put your bike back as long as it is in another and NS Bike Point. 

Tip ➳ Check the website Holland Cycling Routes for the most beautiful bike routes in the country.

Tip 2 ➳ A great destination for a cycling trip in the Netherlands  is Zeeland

Trains

For traveling long distances trains in the Netherlands are definitely the best way to get around. The largest train company is the NS,  but you have also have got the Ariva and the Thalys. 

In the NS trains, there are first-class and second class carts. Moreover,  there’s also the option to sit in a “No Talking” section. When you get on the train, pay attention to these first and second class carts as you need to pay extra for a first-class ticket.  Personally, I don’t find that these first-class tickets are worth their money,  so I recommend you to always buy a second class ticket. 

Often there are discounts offered on Spoordeelwinkel.nl. Here you can also find cheap day trips and discounts on train tickets. For example a 2-way train ticket with lunch. 

More great resources are Hema.nl or Kruidvat. They often offer day-tickets for the train for 15 euros. Which is super cheap!

Busses, Trams and Metros

The main way the (train) stations are connected is by bus. In the larger cities there is a bus almost every 10 minutes and in smaller villages every 30 minutes.

Moreover, in the larger cities like Rotterdam, you’ll also find trams and metros. 

OV Chipcard For All Public Transport In The Netherlands

You might wonder “How do I pay for public transport?”. Fortunately, there is one universal way to pay for the buses, trams, metros, NS bikes, and trains. This is the OV chip card, which literally stands for the public transport chip card. 

When you are traveling in the Netherlands with public transport, having an OV chipcard is super practical. You can buy either an anonymous OV chip card or a disposable OV chipcard. Get the anonymous OV chipcard for when you are more than 1 week in the Netherlands, or get the disposable one if you are only using public transport for a few days. Both cards can be bought at the ticket machines or the information desk at a station. 

At the ticket machines on the stations, you can put cash on your card and when you use a public transport service you check in with your OV card by scanning it at one of the OV check-in poles. When you arrive where you need to be, you check out again at an OV chipcard scanner. 

Tip ➳ If you are leaving the Netherlands and there is still cash on your OV chip card, you can ask for a credit refund here.

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