Living in The Netherlands: Dutch Transport System

On September 4, 2015 by Dutch Umbrella Company

This month, WePayPeople expat desk are having a “transport month” and will be keeping you up to date with everything you need to know about getting around The Netherlands. If you want us to write a blog for you, please contact us below.

The Netherlands is renowned for its public transport links. Getting used to the system however does require some effort. Below you will find details which we hope will save you time and money when navigating around the Dutch public transport network.

Bear in mind that whenever you use your OV-chip card for public transport to check in, you must also check out at the other end.

Trams, metros, buses, ferries…

The GVB (gemeentelijk vervoersbedrijf/ civic transport company) runs trams, metros, buses and even ferries. Other major cities make use of different providers, although they all except the OV chip card as a form of payment. These can be purchased at stations throughout The Netherlands, and topped up at the yellow “OV-Chipkaart” machines found in all major stations, some newsagents and Albert Heijn supermarkets.

For more information, make sure to read the “OV chip card” blog next Monday, 9th September. 

The GVB contains information in English at this link, has maps showing all Amsterdam services at this link and a route planner incorporating all available public transport in the City at this link.


National rail services in The Netherlands are operated by the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). Tickets can easily be purchased from train stations, either at the client service kiosks or the electronic ticket machines found at the entrances to most larger stations. These ticket machines have English language options available, and cost 50 eurocents less than purchasing a ticket at the kiosks.

For regular travellers, you may consider purchasing a discount card (Kortingskaart). These cards come in various guises, but benefits as a minimum entitle the holder and up to three people travelling with you to 40% reduction in ticket prices. You can purchase one of these cards at any of the customer service desks found at your local train station.


There are also some 250 locations now offering bicycles as a form of public transport. Unlike the private bicycle hire locations, the “OV-fiets”  are offered through the OV Chip Card system. The OV-fiets cost as little as €3.15 per day and can be located through their website following this link.

Be sure to read OV-fiets blog on Monday 16th for more information!

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