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Transport in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has a wide transport network from which you can choose for your everyday travel, as well as for your leisure travel. Find out more in this article.

There are various ways to move from one place to another in the Netherlands. In fact, the country has an extensive transport network consisting of several means of transport, namely the train, the subway, the bus, the tramway, etc. You can also rent or buy a car if you have a valid driver's license, or even rent a bike.

Make sure, however, to choose the best means of transport according to your needs and budget. Public transport is definitely the Dutch’s' favorite and the most practical means of transport.

Train

The Dutch railway stretches over some 2,809 km and is managed and maintained by ProRail. This public body is also responsible for the primary network's development and exploitation and for the allocation of traffic rights.

Hence, the train is the most recommended means of transport as it serves most Dutch cities. The network provides at least one train every 30 minutes. Rates are quite affordable, especially for children.

 Good to know:

Some trains also serve foreign cities bordering the Netherlands such as Brussels and Northern Paris.

Bike

In the Netherlands, the number of bikes available is probably higher than the number of people living there. In fact, the bike is one of the Dutch’s' most faithful ally, not only for environment reasons but also to the rising prices of fuel. You can also seize the opportunity to discover the country by biking here and there. You can even go to work by bike, like many Dutch.

Moreover, you can even embark your bike on the Intercity rail by purchasing the Dagkaart Fiets which is a specific ticket, costing some 6 euros. Note, however, that bikes are not allowed on board during peak hours in July and August due to the limited number of seats.

 Good to know:

Bike rental is a common practice in the Netherlands. In general, you will pay around 8 euros per day if you prefer short term rental. If you choose long term rental, fees can be negotiated with the bike rental company.

Public transport

Subway, tram and buses have applied the same national pricing system. However, only buses provide night services in some cities, including week-ends. Public means of transport are easily accessible in all Dutch cities thanks to numerous bus stations and bus stops. You can even travel to smaller cities and villages.

Amsterdam, Diemen, Ouder-Amstel, Rotterdam, Schiedam Spijkenisse, Capelle aan den Albrandwaard and Ijssel have a subway system as these are deemed to be the major and busiest Dutch cities.

On the other hand, the tram is deemed to be the most practical means of transport in the Netherlands. You can purchase your tickets from the driver or the tram controller once you are on board. Note that the tram is available as from 6am from Monday to Friday, as from 6.30am on Saturday and as from 7.30am till midnight on Sunday. Night buses then take over.

OV-chipkaart

The OV-chipkaart is an anonymous smart card which allows you to travel within the public transport network. It is available as from 7.50 euros at automatic sale machines which you can find at bus and train stations, Bruna stores, in supermarkets and at OV counters. The OV-chipkaart has a 5 years validity period and can be used in trams, buses and subway.

Note that the OV-chipkaart can be recharged at automatic counters and distributors. However, credit card refill is not authorized.

Ferry

Ferry is another common and rapid means of transport in the Netherlands given the high volume of water in canals. Hence, you can use the ferry to travel with your bike, motorcycle or car so as to avoid bridges and tunnels. The Fast Flying Ferries provide shuttle trips to Amsterdam by transiting through the Northern Sea, as well as Ijmuiden and Velsen. Ferrys also connect Amsterdam to Rotterdam.

Tourists are very likely to visit the country aboard ferries. You can inquire about their travel itineraries with the local Tourism Office.

Taxi

You can also find taxis around the Netherlands, although it is a less common means of transport. In fact, most major Dutch cities host a taxi network. You can easily identify them thanks to a Taxi sign on their roof.

In general, 4 passengers having hired a taxi will pay a maximum rate of 7.50 euros, including the first two kilometers. For each additional kilometer, you will pay between 0 and 2.20 euros per kilometer. Moreover, you will have to pay a maximum of 33 euros per hour if the taxi is made to wait.

As regard taxi vans, they can carry 5 to 8 passengers for some 12.20 euros, plus an additional 0 to 2.52 euros per hour for each additional kilometer.

 Good to know:

You can also share a taxi in the Netherlands. Hence, both parties having hired the taxi will share the fees. You can find shared taxis near most bus and train stations.

 Useful links:

Holland.com - Transport in the Netherlands www.holland.com
NS (Intercity) - Netherlands Railways www.ns.nl
GVB - Amsterdam en.gvb.nl
RET – Rotterdam www.ret.nl
Connexxion www.connexxion.nl
Hermes www.hermes.nl
Ferries in the Netherlands www.holland.com/uk/tourism

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