Getting around in the Netherlands | Undutchables

Getting around in the Netherlands

When moving to a foreign country you are confronted with a lot that is done differently. One something that is very important is getting around in that new country. Luckily we have some information for you about the transportation here in the Netherlands. Getting around in the Netherlands is hardly a problem. The Netherlands’ transport system is structured in a way that even the most remote areas are accessible by public transportation. Be it trains, trams, metros, busses and taxis, you are most likely able to easily arrange a way to get to your final destination. Now, we know what you are thinking; a taxi is not exactly a form of public transportation. But we will explain our reasoning in more detail in this article. If you ask any one living in the Netherlands what they think about NS, the passenger railway operator, chances are that you might just have started a never ending discussion. Trains in the Netherlands are generally on time. The times that the trains have delays, these are quickly resolved. In the more dire cases, when it is storming or snowing, you should however be prepared to wait longer on delayed and cancelled trains or commuting in a crowded train. Even so, we can proudly say that the Netherlands offers well-arranged train transportation. NS offers both domestic and international rail services. Their domestic services are covered by the NS Sprinter, which covers the routes with the most stops at shorter distances, and the Intercity with transits from city to city. Scheduling a train trip can be done online at www.NS.nl.

There are a number of train tickets available when travelling with NS. The most basic ones, the one-way and retour tickets, have a fixed price depending on your journey. NS also offers the day tickets. With this unlimited ticket you can travel a whole day throughout the Netherlands. NS often offers limited deals and tickets. These are usually the discounted day tickets, starting from € 14, sold through local retailers (Albert Heijn, Kruidvat, Hema, Etos). For more information on these deals see treinreiziger.nl. Please note that this website is in Dutch. But if you are looking for a bargain this is a site we can absolute recommend.

Unlike the normal taxis there is also the option to book the NS taxi. The NS Zonetaxi is the NS door-to-door service that offers the possibility of traveling comfortably and easily from and to more than 130 NS network stations. The tariff structure for such a taxi ride starts at €6 for the first 2 kilometers (this applies for a maximum of 4 people). The Zonetaxis can be booked either online or by calling the number 0900-6798294. To get to the Zonetaxis from the train station follow the ‘taxi’ signs. This will lead to the NS Zonetaxi cab stand. Complementing the trains are the extensive city and regional lines. These companies vary per region but the connections are often well structured. To make use of these means of transportation you can either use the single-use chip card (can be purchased in the bus, tram and stations) or the anonymous OV-chipcard. In addition to the bus and tram service, some cities also have a metro service. The metro covers longer routes within (and sometimes outside) of the cities. Tickets for the metro can be bought at a ticket machine at the metro station or, just like with all the other forms of transportation, the OV chipcard can also be used to travel with the metro. Local timetables can be found online and at the stations. 9292.nl also offers the option to plan your journey starting from point A to B and includes the total fare price. Most bus, tram and metro services run from 6am until approximately midnight. After midnight the bus nightlines are implemented. The costs for these lines are generally more expensive (when purchasing a single ticket) but is definitely a great option when there is no any other way home.

Checking-in is mandatory to be able to make use of the public transportation. You can do so with a single ticket or the OV-chipcard. You need to be aware that there are regular check ups in the public transportation. If you are not in possession of a valid ticket you have to, of course, pay a ridiculously high fine. If you are, however, feeling curiously rebellious, keep in mind that the controllers sometimes do employ a special tactic. They now and then go incognito. You won’t be able to recognize them because they won’t be wearing their uniform, but normal civilian clothing. Very sneaky! Therefore we recommend you to always buy a ticket. Now go on and start your journey!

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It's where the rich use public transportation.”

Gustavo Petro
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