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Last updated : Nov 2009
Netherlands Getting There - International Travel
Netherlands International Travel - TravelPuppy.com
Air

The Netherlands’ national airline is KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM).

KLM flies direct to all major European, North American and Asia-Pacific cities. KLM Excel flies between London Stansted and Maastricht. Most major international airlines, and some low-cost carriers fly to Amsterdam.

Departure tax: None.

Netherlands’s principal international airports are detailed below:


Amsterdam (AMS) (Schiphol)

Amsterdam Schipol Airport is 15km (9 miles) southwest of the city, approximately 20 minutes by train.

KLM buses provide a daily service from 0600 hrs-0000 hrs departing every 15 to 30 minutes, stopping at a selection of major hotels and returning to Schiphol.

There is a direct rail link between the airport and Amsterdam Centraal Station, with trains every 15 minutes from 0600 hrs -0000 hrs and every hour through the night. Trains to Zuid Station (Amsterdam South) run every 15 minutes from 0525 hrs -0015 hrs, return is from Zuid Station, Parnassusweg/ Minervalaan (via tram no. 5 from the city centre) from 0545 hrs -0040 hrs.

There is also a service to the RAI Congress Centre every 15 minutes from 0525 hrs-0012 hrs. Return is from RAI station (via tram no. 4 from the city centre) from 0545 hrs-0040 hrs.

Plentiful taxis are also available to the city.

Airport facilities include restaurants, duty-free shops, currency exchange machines, banks, an art gallery, baby rooms, showers, a business centre, conference rooms and car hire.

Rotterdam (RTM) (Zestienhoven)

Rotterdam Zestienhoven is 8km (5 miles) northwest of the city approximately fifteen minues away.

Bus no. 33 departs every ten minutes. Return is from Central Station travelling time is 20 minutes. Taxis to the city are also available.

Airport facilities include restaurant, bank, outgoing duty-free shop and car hire.

Eindhoven (EIN) (Welschap)

Eindhoven Welschap is 8km (5 miles) from the city.

Coaches run every 15 minutes and taxis to the city are also available.

Airport facilities include car hire, ATMs, restaurants and outgoing duty-free shops.

Maastricht (MST) (Aachen)

Maastricht Aachen is 8km (5 miles) from the city.

Airport facilities include outgoing duty-free shop.

Groningen (GRQ) (Eelde)

Groningen Eelde is 9km (6 miles) from the city.

Enschede (ENS) (Twente)

Enschede Twente is 8km (5 miles) from the city.

Sea

The major ferry ports are Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland), Rotterdam and Vlissingen. Regular car and passenger ferries are operated from the UK to The Netherlands via the following routes and shipping lines:

Stena Line (telephone number: (08705) 707 070:
Harwich to Hook of Holland - travel time – 3.40 minutes (day), 6.15 minutes (night) with two sailing daily.

P&O Ferries (telephone number: (08705) 202 020
Hull to Rotterdam (Europoort) - travel time – 12 hours, one sailing nightly.

DFDS Seaways (telephone number: (08705) 333 000 (within the UK) or (01255) 240 240 (outside the UK)
Newcastle to Amsterdam - travel time – 16 hours.

Note: Hoverspeed UK and P&O European Ferries run services to The Netherlands via Belgium. French ports also provide connections.

Rail

Eurostar operates direct high-speed trains from London (Waterloo International) to Paris (Gare du Nord) and to Brussels (Midi/Zuid). It takes three hours from London to Paris and it takes two hours 40 minutes from London to Brussels.

Local trains run between Brussels and Amsterdam (travel time – approximately 2 hours 45 minutes). Eurostar operates 8 daily services to Brussels and Thalys International runs 6 daily trains (seven in summer) onwards to Amsterdam and other Dutch destinations.

The Eurostar trains are equipped with standard-class and first-class seating, buffet, bar and are staffed by multilingual, highly trained staff. Pricing is competitive with the airlines, and there is a large range of different tickets and prices. Children aged between 4 to 11 years benefit from a special fare in first class as well as in standard class. Children under 4 years old travel free but cannot be guaranteed a seat. Wheelchair users and blind passengers together with one companion get a special fare.

For further information and reservations, contact Eurostar (telephone number: (0870) 600 0792 (travel agents) or (08705) 186 186 (public, within the UK) or (+44 1233) 617 575 (public, outside the UK only) or Rail Europe (telephone number: (08705) 848 848). Travel agents can obtain refunds for unused tickets from Eurostar Trade Refunds, 2nd Floor, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PD, UK. Complaints and comments may be sent to Eurostar Customer Relations, Eurostar House, Waterloo Station, London SE1 8SE, UK (telephone number: (020) 7928 5163; e-mail: new.comments@eurostar.co.uk).

Rail travellers not using the Channel Tunnel link need to make some form of sea crossing, usually by ferry or hovercraft. For details on sea crossings, see also under Sea above. The cost of the crossing is usually included in the price of the rail ticket.

There are plenty of rail passes on offer to travellers visiting The Netherlands, including discounts for young and senior citizens. For further details, contact Rail Europe.

Road

The Netherlands is connected to the rest of Europe by a superb network of motorways and roads. All roads are well signposted with green E symbols indicating international highways, red A's indicating national highways, and smaller routes indicated by yellow N’s.

The national speed limit is 120kph (75mph). Although frontier formalities between The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium have now all but vanished, motorists, particularly on smaller roads, should be prepared to stop when asked to do so by a customs official.

The yellow cars of the ANWB/Wegenwacht (Royal Dutch Touring Club) (telephone number: (70) 314 1420) patrol major roads 24 hours a day with qualified mechanics equipped to handle routine repairs.

In case of emergencies, assistance is available (telephone number: 60888 within The Netherlands only).

The Channel Tunnel

All road vehicles are carried through the tunnel in Eurotunnel shuttles running between the 2 terminals, one near Folkestone in Kent, with direct road access from the M20, and one outside Calais, with links to the A16/A26 motorway (Exit 13). Each shuttle is made up of 12 single and 12 double-deck carriages, and vehicles are directed to single-deck or double-deck carriages depending on their height. There are facilities for cars and motorcycles, coaches, caravans, minibuses, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft). Bicycles are also provided for. Passengers generally travel within their vehicles. Heavy goods vehicles are carried on special shuttles and drivers travel in a separate carriage.

Terminals and shuttles are equipped for disabled passengers, and Passenger Terminal buildings contain a variety of shops, restaurants, bureaux de change and other amenities. The journey takes approx. 35 minutes from platform to platform and about one hour from motorway to motorway. Services run every day of the year, and there are between two and five an hour, depending on the time of day. There is a reservation system and a turn-up-and-go service. Motorists pass through customs and immigration before they board the shuttle without further checks on arrival. Fares vary according to length of stay, time of day and time of year and whether you have a reservation or not. The price applies to the car, regardless of the number of passengers or size of the car. The fare may be paid in cash, by cheque or by credit card. For further information, contact Eurotunnel Customer Services UK (telephone number: (08705) 353 535).

Coach

Eurolines run coach services from the UK to The Netherlands and from The Netherlands to various destinations throughout Europe. They have an office in Amsterdam at Julianaplein 5, 1097 DN (telephone number: (20) 560 8788; fax number: (20) 560 8717, e-mail: info@eurolines.nl). Further information can also be obtained by calling Eurolines in the UK (4 Cardiff Road, Luton, Bedfordshire L41 1PP, telephone number: (08705) 143 219, fax number: (01582) 400 694, and www.nationalexpress.com).

Car hire

Major companies can be found in all the main cities and incloude Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz.
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Netherlands.