Small country, many options
In the Netherlands, you have many options to move around. From cycling to public transport. Read more about transport in the Netherlands, how to travel and which apps to use to plan your trip.
OV chipkaart and more
The OV chipkaart is your first essential for using public transport. This card is used to check-in and check-out when traveling. By topping up money you are able to travel.
There are two types of OV chipkaart. The first is an anonymous one. It looks the same as the personal OV chipkaart, except it has a blue color. This card requires credit of at least €20 to be able to travel by train and €10 to travel by bus.
The personal one is yellow and requires at least €10 to travel by train and €4 to travel by bus. Moreover, it is possible to get a discount subscription for traveling.
Buying and topping up a card and activating subscriptions
Topping up an OV chipkaart and activating subscriptions is easily done at the NS machines, characterized by the blue and yellow colors. Here you can also check your current balance. Moreover, here you can easily get an anonymous OV chipkaart.
Read more about traveling with an OV chipkaart here.
Using the OV chipkaart
Using the OV chipkaart is the easy part! Just check in when starting your journey and check out when arriving where you are going.
In busses, the place to check in is a small post within the bus. When traveling by train, check in at the station. Stations either will have small posts or gates where you can check in.
Do note: if you forget to check in you risk a hefty fine!
Of course, it is also possible to order traditional tickets for busses, trains, et cetera. However, usually, this is more expensive if you plan on traveling more frequent.
When traveling by bus using an OV chipkaart, the price is calculated by distance and time spent during transportation. Traditional tickets are a set price, usually higher than the calculated price when traveling with an OV chipkaart.
When traveling by train, when ordering a traditional ticket, you will receive a ticket which works similar to the OV chipkaart, however, it will always cost €1 more than traveling with an OV chipkaart.
Types of transportation
In the Netherlands, trains are generally used for traveling between cities. It is an easy and conscious way to travel. Most trains run on green energy. Every city and most villages are connected by the train network within the Netherlands resulting in little travel time.
Do note: sometimes it is also possible to travel by bus between cities or villages.
Buses, trams and metro
For travel within and even to and from different cities, there are many options. Every city has buses to connect different neighborhoods and nearby villages. Some of the major cities also provide options such as metros and trams.
Do note: carefully watch which line number and name are above the bus, tram or metro, as often one line goes two ways!
Bicycles, cars and taxis
Do it the Dutch way! Hop on a bicycle to travel within a city and travel environmental friendly! Did you know there are more bicycles in the Netherlands than there are people? You could also travel by car or taxi, the highways are among Europe's best.
Do note: taxis are extremely expensive in the Netherlands compared to public transportation.
Planning your trip
Apps for traveling within and between cities
9292OV is the Dutch app to plan trips within and between cities. It is up to date with current information, such as delays. Fill in the address where you are going and the address where you are coming from, and the app will show you the route.
Google Maps can be used to plan any trip within the Netherlands, from public transport to private transport. The app shows current travel information, bicycle routes, and is up-to-date with all the public transport information including delays.