Do you have questions about travelling within the Netherlands or Europe? On this page you will find information about travelling to the Netherlands, the public transport system within the Netherlands, cars and help with returning to your own country.
The Netherlands has an extensive network of public transport. The services below can help you find your way around the Netherlands by bus, tram or train. In general you only need one OV-chipkaart, with which you can check in and out with any carrier. There are special arrangements for refugees from Ukraine, as described below. On Expatica you can already find a short introduction to public transport in the Netherlands.
Termination of free travel right with local public transport
From the 1st of June 2022 the temporary arrangement for local public transport for refugees from Ukraine will expire. You may no longer travel for free on the day of arrival and you must therefore purchase a valid ticket. You can do this by buying a ticket from the transport company or by buying an OV-chipkaart, see the heading "Requesting an OV-chipkaart". If you are a pupil or student, you may be able to apply for free transport. Please contact the municipality where you are staying. Please note: free travel upon arrival in the Netherlands is still possible with the NS trains, see the heading below.
Travelling by train (NS)
On the day of arrival in the Netherlands, you can travel for free with the NS trains. You can do so by showing your Ukrainian passport or identity card and a German, Belgian, French or Austrian ticket that is not older than 24 hours. With this proof, you can pick up a free day ticket at the Tickets and Service offices at the (larger) NS train stations.
Do you travel by train often? A train subscription can then be beneficial. The NS offers various subscriptions. These allow you, for example, to travel at certain times a day with a discount. On the website of the NS you can order a subscription card. This card can also be used for the bus, streetcar or metro.
COA (Central Agency for Asylum Seekers) provides a lot of information about traveling by train in the Netherlands in this fact sheet. This fact sheet is available in Russian.
Travelling with the OV-chipkaart
With the OV-chipkaart you can travel with all public transportation across the Netherlands. You can buy the OV-chipkaart at stations, in several shops and supermarkets, but also online. More information about requesting the card can be found on this website.
Assistance with public transportation
Traveling by public transport in the Netherlands can be difficult. The public transport ambassadors are here to help. These ambassadors are volunteers, senior and experienced public transport users, who help others use public transport.
You can attend an online information session, visit a walk-in consultation or take a test trip. In a small group, an public transport ambassador will explain to you step by step how to apply for and use an OV-chip card in public transport, for example.
Children, young people and the elderly in public transport
Children between the ages of 4 and 11 travel for free with an OV-chipkaart through the 'Kids Vrij' arrangement. It is compulsory to purchase an OV-chipkaart for this purpose. They receive a 34% discount on the rest of the public transport system (bus, tram, metro). Children up to and including 3 years of age travel for free in all public transport.
Adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age can travel at a discount by train outside rush hour with the Youth Day Card. This dayticket costs €7,60 and is exclusively available in the NS-app. In the rest of public transport they have to pay the same as adults.
Elderly people (65+) do not get a discount on trains, but they do on other public transport. Like children between the ages of 4 and 11, they receive a 34% discount.
More information on public transport discounts can be found on the OV-chipkaart website.
Trip planning (9292)
On the 9292 website you can plan your trip by public transport to your destination. Enter your current location and your desired destination, and the service will show you which bus, tram or train to take. 9292 is also available as an app for your smartphone.
You can easily rent bicycles from the NS. This is possible at most train stations. This costs €4.15 per bicycle per 24 hours. More information can be found on the website of the NS. In addition, you can buy a second-hand bicycle through online market places or Facebook groups. See the section on online marketplaces in the category Food, clothing and other items.