Public transportation and OV-card
If you wish to travel by train, bus, tram or metro (subway/underground rail system), you will need an ‘OV-chipkaart’ (Public Transport Chip Card). This is a smartcard, which allows you to travel and, for example, to enter metro stations. If you are planning to utilise public transport frequently during your stay in Holland, it would be advisable to purchase your own ‘OV-chipkaart’.
Travelling with the “OV-Chipkaart”
The ‘OV-chipkaart’ is a means of payment for the Dutch public transport system. The smartcard is the size of a bankcard and contains an invisible chip. The ‘OV-chipkaart’ can be loaded with credit in Euros, whereby you can then travel anywhere within the Netherlands, or with a travel product, such as a single or a season ticket.
When you arrive in the Netherlands and if you are planning to utilise the public transport system, you will need to visit a public transport Service Desk, a vending machine at a railway station, or a tobacco or convenience store to purchase your ‘OV-chipkaart’.
There are two types of ‘OV-chipkaart’ available, as follows:
- The anonymous ‘OV-chipkaart’
- The disposable ‘OV-chipkaart’
For further information regarding the ‘OV-chipkaart’, please download the brochure or visit the following website: Train tickets
The Netherlands has a modern and extensive railway network. Intercity trains run regularly between all Dutch cities. Local trains also stop at intermediate stations. On most trains, you can choose to travel by first class or second class. Reservations cannot be made for seats on standard train services. Tickets may be purchased from ticket vending machines at railway stations or via the Internet. It is advisable to check if any special offers may apply.
Railway stations are generally located centrally. For further and detailed information regarding departure times and fares, please visit the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) website, or contact the Public Transport Travellers’ Information Line via the telephone number, 0900 9292 (EUR 0.70 per minute), which can only be called from within the Netherlands. Or visit the 9292 website.
Outlying villages in the Netherlands are all linked by bus services. All larger towns and cities also have their own extensive bus and/or tram networks and provide regular services. For travel between cities, travelling by an express bus service or an Interliner bus offers a comfortable alternative to rail travel. Bus and tram services do not offer separate classes of travel. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the only Dutch cities with (moderate) underground railway systems. Local and regional buses depart from the Central Bus Stations, which are generally located at or near the Central Railway Stations.
Traveling by train can be quite expensive. Luckily discounted tickets are often available at the following websites.