Is this your first time traveling to the Netherlands? Trains, buses, trams and metros can bring you almost everywhere. In this blog we guide you how to use public transport in Holland. So without further ado, ensure you’ll arrive at your destination smoothly with our trips and tricks!
Public transport: Train, Metro, Tram and Bus
The Netherlands make use of so-called OV chip cards. These are suitable for travelling by train, tram, metro and (water)bus. You can purchase two different OV chip cards: anonymous cards or personal cards. These are both around 7,50 euros and have a validity of 5 years! After purchase you do need to load credit on the card.
You could also buy a single journey ticket, which is a disposable card. In a tram or bus you can pay at a staff member inside the vehicle, the trains and metro tickets can be bought in a vending machine at the station. But be aware: you can only pay using a debit card!
Need a little help planning your trip? Visit the 9292 website or download the app. This app will conveniently show you all the public transportation options.
For longer distances there are trains, and buses (Flixbus and Eurolines) for more affordable Europe trips. They go to nearly every large city in Europe!
Private transportation: Taxi, Car and Bike Rental
Taxis are a relatively more expensive option. If you opt to get a taxi we advise you to take the official ones. There can be scammers at the taxi pick-up location in the airport or in Amsterdam City Centre, so please be aware of them to prevent your trip from turning sour.
We have teamed up with TaxiTender to provide you with a online taxi booking service! You can pre-book an official taxi here and with a lower price than if you would get a taxi on the spot!
Car rental is recommended when you have to reach places not easily connected to the public transport system, such as visiting family and friends.
Bike rental is a fun way of getting around the city, but be aware bikes are also a mode of transportation in Holland and traffic is very busy! However the country is famous for it’s bike facilities and bike lanes throughout the country. There are numerous long distance bike routes in the country which make is a superb off the beaten track activity and sports destination.
Now that you know a little more about Dutch public transportation, let’s dive into local transportation of Holland’s most-visited destinations!
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
The airport is connected by intercity trains to all parts of the country. It also has a direct connection with Brussels and Paris. With only one transfer you can reach many main German cities and even London! You will find the train ticket office of NS opposite of the Burger King in the main hall at the airport. Visit the NS website to check the schedule by simply selecting your location of departure and destination into the search bars. It will not only provide you with all the different time slots, but also the right platform from which the trains will depart. Trains to Leiden, the Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam depart every 10-15 minutes during daytime.
When you arrive at Amsterdam Central Station, don’t forget to admire the beautiful traditional architecture of the station!
There are plenty options to start your Amsterdam journey! It is lovely to walk towards the city center, but for for some destinations further away it is more convenient to take public transport.
You can even take the ferry to cross the IJ river! The white and blue colored trams are right in front of the station. If you want to use the metro, just look for the “M” sign in front of the station and make your way down to the recently renovated underground system. The buses are located at the back of the station, where the ferry departs as well.
Plenty of choice, right? To make it even more convenient for you, all transportation modes in Amsterdam are executes by GVB. You can buy a GVB day ticket that that can be used for all.
In the most beautiful city of Holland (we might be biased ) you can make use of both public buses and rental bikes. The buses can be found at the front of the station on the city side. For those interested in museums there is also a special museum bus, OV-museumlijn 10! This bus can bring you to different museum stops in Leiden.
You could also order a taxi or rent a bike. Since Leiden is a relatively small city, perfect for a nice stroll, we do not recommend ordering a taxi. If you do prefer to take one, the taxi pick-up area is located at the front of the station on your left, on top of the bike parking area. You can rent bikes at places such as NS Fiets or EasyFiets.
Interested in having a stroll around Leiden yourself? Book a city walk!
You can explore the historical city of The Hague by tram or bus from the local HTM transportation company. The buses can be found upstairs in the train station. The trams are located both inside and at the exit of the train station. Be aware there are two main railway stations in The Hague. When you want to visit the city centre choose CS, which stands for ‘Central Station.’
In Rotterdam, the city of tradition and modernity, the public transportation is carried out by the RET. You could buy day tickets that cover tram, bus and metro. You can buy them online or at the service desks in the railway station. If you are bored of the regular transportation possibilities, try the waterbus! The waterbus can take you to different places by cruising the river Maas! You can buy your ticket for the waterbus online, or at the machines – only in cash.