Public Transport in the Netherlands

Trains and buses the Dutch way

No car? No bike? No problem!

Not so fast. Public transportation in the Netherlands is well organized, but before you hop on a bus or on a train you need to know certain things and be prepared. Read this article to find out how to plan your journey, where to get your tickets, and how to get smoothly from A to B.

Plan your journey

Whether you need to take a bus or a train, the website or the app 9292 is the thing you need. Fill in your departure address and your destination address and the app will give you precise instructions when to leave the house, how to find the right stop, and which bus or train you should take. You can find detailed explanation of how 9292 works in our other article about useful apps in the Netherlands.

If you need to take a train, you can go to the official NS website or download their app. Be sure to check for storingen en werkzaamheden (breakdowns and railworks) to make sure your train is not delayed, cancelled, or replaced with a bus. Unfortunately that happens more often than you’d expect.
And remember: buses and trains do not go round the clock. Public transportation run from around 6:00 AM till 1:00 AM.

Remember that if you need to catch a bus from a bus stop in Eindhoven you need to wave at the bus once it is approaching the bus stop. That’s the signal for the driver to stop and let you in. If you want to get off the bus, push the stop button before your bus stop to let the driver know.

How to pay for your journey

The easiest way to make sure you always have a ticket is to get an OV-chipkaart.

OV-chipkaart is a plastic card you can use on all means of public transportation around the Netherlands. You can find more information in English here.

There are two types of OV-chipkaart – personal (which you can apply for on the internet) and anonymous (which you can buy in Primera or Bruna shops).

Personal OV

This is the backside of a personal OV. Your photograph, name, and date of birth will be on the other side.

If you want to find more information and apply for a personal OV, check the official OV website.

Anonymous OV

This is the backside of an anonymous OV. On the other side you will find its serial number and expiry date.

Find more information about personal and anonymous OV on the official OV website.

You can charge your OV in many places around your city. Yellow charging machines are located around the city, usually in supermarkets. You can also do it at the train station or online (if you have a personal OV).

You can find such machines in a lot of supermarkets in your neighborhood. It’s convenient to charge your OV after grocery shopping.

At the train station or the airport you can find these machines. You can charge your OV here, but also buy a single, return or seasonal train ticket.

OV-chipkaart is by all means the most convenient way to pay for your bus journey, but it is also possible to buy a single ticket at the bus driver. With trains you have so much more possibilities. You can use your OV-chipkaart, you can buy a tickets at one of the ticket machines at the train station.
You can also buy your ticket on the official website of NS or via their app.

Occasionally shops such as Kruidvat or Albert Heijn sell day tickets in promotional prices. It’s a very good solution if you are planning a day trip. These tickets allow you to unlimited train travel for a day, all day during weekends and outside rush hour on weekdays.

Whatever you choose we wish you safe and punctual travels.
Extra tip:
If you are going to the main train or bus station on your bike, remember where you park it. Sometimes it can be difficult to find it again!