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Last updated : Nov 2009
Netherlands Getting Around - Internal Travel
Netherlands Internal Travel - Getting Around Netherlands - TravelPuppy.com
Air

KLM Cityhopper (WA) operates between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Transavia Airlines (HV) (part owned by KLM) also run scheduled flights. Martinair Holland (MP) operates passenger and cargo charter services. Enquire at KLM offices or at The Netherlands Board of Tourism for further information (see Contact section).

Sea

Ferry services operate to the Wadden Islands, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog, Terschilling, Texel and Vlieland, across the Ijsselmeer (former Zuyder Sea) and Schelde Estuary.

There is also a ferry service to the Frisian Islands across the Waddenzee.

Boat Tours runs excursions from Amsterdam, Arnhem, Delft, Giethoorn, Groningen, Maastricht, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Stena Line operates a daily service for private cars, freight and trailers.

Wadden Ticket: For travellers wanting to visit any of the Wadden Islands (five islands), the Wadden Ticket allows return travel by bus, train and ferry to an island of choice. The pass is valid for one day of the departure journey and one day of the return journey, although the period between the two must not exceed a year. Contact The Netherlands Board of Tourism for further details (see Contact section).

Rail

The highly developed rail network, of which about 70% is electrified, is cheap and efficient, and connects all the towns. Both Intercity and local trains run at least half-hourly on the principal routes. Rail and bus timetables are integrated, and there is a common fare structure throughout the country.

NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen is the state-owned rail company and operates all lines within the Netherlands.

Cheap fares

Holland Rail Pass allows unlimited travel in the Netherlands for either 3 or 5 days within one month. Reduced rates are available for senior citizens (over 60), travellers under 26 years and children. Every second person travels half-price. Tickets must be purchased from International Rail before travel.

Summer Trip Passes are available between 1st July to 9th September and give two people 3 days of unlimited travel within a period of 10 days for only a single fare. Summer Trip Plus Passes are available for unlimited travel on all public transport buses and trams in town and country, and on the underground system in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Tickets cost between €45-72.50.

Euro Passes are available for travel in The Netherlands and Belgium. Three- to eight-day passes are available.

The Benelux Tourrail Card allows unlimited travel for any 5 days within a one-month period, covering The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Inter-Rail passes are also valid in The Netherlands.

Children under 4 years of age travel free on all journeys within The Netherlands. Child’s Railrunner tickets, which cost €1, are available for children aged between four and 11 years travelling with a fare-paying adult (19 years or older), and include up to 3 children travelling with any one adult. Contact the Railway Authority of any of the participating countries for prices and further information.

Road

There is an excellent road system. Visitors to The Netherlands may use credit cards when obtaining petrol.

The motoring association in The Netherlands is the ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club), PO Box 93200, 2509 BA The Hague (telephone number: (263) 860 249).

Driving regulations

Driving is on the right. Drivers should be particularly aware of cyclists and there are special cycle lanes.

There is a chronic shortage of parking space in central Amsterdam, and the rush hours (0700 hrs-0900 hrs and 1700 hrs-1900 hrs) should be avoided throughout the whole country. Parking fines are severe.

Headlights should be dipped in built-up areas, but it is prohibited to use sidelights only.

Children under 12 years of age should not travel in the front seat. Seat belts are compulsory.

Speed limits

80kph (50mph) on major roads.
120kph (75mph) on motorways
50kph (30mph) in towns.

Documentation

An International Driving Permit is not required, as long as a driving licence from the country of origin is held. EU pink format licences are accepted. However, it is sometimes advised for non-members of the EU. Trailers and caravans are allowed in without documents. A Green Card is advised, but not compulsory. Without it, drivers with motor insurance policies in their home country are granted only the minimum legal cover in The Netherlands, the Green Card tops this up to the level of cover provided by the driver’s own policy.

Bus

Extensive regional bus networks exist. Long-distance coaches also operate between the cities, but costs are generally on a par with trains.

Bicycle hire

Bicycles can be hired from all the main railway stations, but must be returned to the station from which they are hired. A refundable deposit is required.

Car hire

Available from airports and the main hotels. All European car hire companies are represented.

Taxi


Taxis have an illuminated taxi sign on the roof and there are taxi ranks at railway stations and at various other points throughout the cities. Rather than hailing taxis in the street, it is more usual in The Netherlands to order a taxi by telephone. Taxis should have meters inside to indicate the fare, including the tip.

Urban Transport

Public transport is very well developed in the cities and large towns. A strippenkaart national fares system exists. Strips of 15 tickets each are widely available at railway stations, post offices and also at some tourist offices and are accepted anywhere in payment of standard zonal fares. There are also individual and multi-day tickets for the within the cities. For more detailed information on travel within Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, see below.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam has an extensive network of buses, trams and also the underground (GVB), with frequent services from early morning to around midnight. There are less frequent services throughout the night at a higher cost. Full information on services, including a map, day tickets and strippenkaart (strip-tickets) can be obtained from the GVB office in front of the Central Station (0700 hrs-2230 hrs daily) or the GVB Central Office at Prins Hendrikkade 108-114.

Tram

Amsterdam’s 17 tram lines provide a frequent , reliable service, fast, and reliable service, making the tram the best way to travel around the capital. The Trams operate from Monday-Friday 0600 hrs-2400hrs and on Saturday from 0630 hrs and on Sunday 0730 hrs.

The tram system (as well as the buses and the underground) enables reasonably quick travel even during the rush hour. Trams leave from Central Station: 1 and 2 traverse the main canals, 19 takes a route to Museumplein and Concertgebouw and 9 and 14 to the Muziektheater and Waterlooplein market.

The Circle Tram operates through central Amsterdam, taking in major attractions and hotels.

Underground

Amsterdam’s underground lines all originate at the Central Station and serve the southeastern business district as well as the suburbs. Trains run from Monday-Friday 0600 hrs-0015 hrs and on Saturday from 0630 hrs and on Sunday 0730 hrs. The GVB is very easy to use.

Taxi

Taxi can be fairly expensive and can be ordered by telephone or picked up at taxi ranks located at the Central Station, Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein.

Fares are indicated by the meter and a small tip will be appreciated.

Car hire

The major European firms, including Avis and Hertz, are represented. Cars can also be hired through most hotels. Parking regulations are quite strict and failure to park in prescribed areas or to pay the parking fee can result in a fine and the prospect of the car being clamped or towed away.

Water travel

Canal Buses run every 25 to 45 minutes between the Central Station and Rijksmuseum and children under the age of five travel free.

Watertaxis (Monday-Sunday 0900 hrs-0100 hrs, carrying eight to 25 passengers).

Museum Boats (departing from Prins endrikkade every 30 minutes in summer and every 45 minutes during the winter).

Waterbikes for 2 to 4 people, with a route map provided are all available.

Boat hire Visitors can hire pedalos (also known as canal bikes) and boats to explore the canals.

Bicycle hire

This is an excellent way to travel around Amsterdam, and it seems nearly everyone is trying it. Cycle lanes are clearly marked by the white lines, but visitors are advised to watch out for trams, cars and pedestrians. There are numerous companies hiring out bikes locally.

Rotterdam

Rotterdam has excellent bus and tram services and a two-line underground network, which all work on a zonal system. Information is available from the Central Station.

Car hire

The major European firms, including Avis, Hertz and other international agencies are represented.

The Hague

The Hague has bus and tram services and Information is available from the Central Station, Koningin Julianaplein.

Car hire

Avis and Hertz, and other international agencies, are represented in Rotterdam.

Travel Times

The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Amsterdam to other major cities in The Netherlands.
  Air Road Rail
The Hague
- 0.40 0.44
Rotterdam
- 1.00 1.00
Utrecht
- 0.25 0.30
Groningen
- 2.00 2.20
Arnhem
- 1.10 1.10
Maastricht
0.40 2.30 2.30
Vlissingen
- 2.00 2.45
Eindhoven
0.30 1.30 1.25
Breda
- 1.30 1.50
 
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Netherlands