Netherlands Questions

May 6th, 2018, 02:12 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 52
Netherlands Questions

Hi all,

I have a few quick questions about my trip to the Netherlands I was hoping you all could help with:

The first is regarding the OV Chipcard. Is getting this necessary? I'm trying to figure out how much this saves on each trip but couldn't find exact numbers. It seems similar to an Oyster card in London but without the huge savings. Additionally, if I'm understanding correctly, the 7.5 Euro for the card itself is non-refundable - is that right? The trains almost seem like a subway since they come so often and at a set price. I was thinking of just buying the trains when I get to the station each day. Is that a good idea?

The second is regarding a trip Rotterdam to kinderdijk windmills. I saw that they were accessible by waterbus and that this takes 30 minutes each way. I also saw a Tourist Transport card for 13.5 Euro which I believe would include the waterbus transportation as well as all transportation within Rotterdam. Do I have all of this information correct? Additionally, I was having trouble finding the timetable for the waterbus from Rotterdam to the windmills. I was thinking of doing them early in the morning if possible.

Thank you all for your help, it's very much appreciated!
sadclown is offline  
May 6th, 2018, 02:32 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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The anonymous Chipcard requires a minimum amount of 25 euros on the card for train travel each time you start a trip by train. It can be used between the airport and Amsterdam upon arrival (purchased at the airport), but hoping to use it for train travel while in the Netherlands will eventually end up with more than the 7.50 euros of credit left on the card when you are ready to leave the country, unless you are spending quite a bit of time and money riding Amsterdam's public transportation system. On the other hand, the card is useful in Amsterdam and may represent savings because it charges per distance rather than a fixed price, and the fixed price usually covers the maximum distance available on the particular line; that's my understanding of how it works. Even if you just come out even--assume that the savings represent the original cost of the card--it is very convenient as you do not need to navigate payment each time you use a tram or bus. The card is good for public transportation everywhere in the Netherlands. We used it mainly in Amsterdam, but also used it in Utrecht with no problems. You can recharge for a fee at the tourist office in front of the Centraal train station, or use a chip credit card at a kiosk (no fee) in the train station; if your credit card does not work, try your ATM card which will act as a debit card.
Michael is offline  
May 6th, 2018, 03:53 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
The first is regarding the OV Chipcard. Is getting this necessary?
No, there are other options to pay for your trips like singles and (multi-)daycards

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
I'm trying to figure out how much this saves on each trip but couldn't find exact numbers.
On train tickets (single or return) you pay a one euro surcharge for "paper" tickets. This surcharge does not apply to the ov-chipcard, but does also not apply to e-tickets bought on ns.nl/en (You'll either have to print the e-ticket or load it onto the NS app)
The difference for bus/tram/metro-tickets is larger. Depending on how often you need buses or trams, day passes can just slightly be more expensive or even cheaper.

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
Additionally, if I'm understanding correctly, the 7.5 Euro for the card itself is non-refundable
Correct

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
I was thinking of just buying the trains when I get to the station each day. Is that a good idea?
Depending on where you want to go, that is ok. For some destinations NS offers discounts on DiscoverHolland.com

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
The second is regarding a trip Rotterdam to kinderdijk windmills. I saw that they were accessible by waterbus and that this takes 30 minutes each way.
Correct

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
I also saw a Tourist Transport card for 13.5 Euro which I believe would include the waterbus transportation as well as all transportation within Rotterdam.
It only covers transport via bus, tram, metro and some ferries in the province of South-Holland. This ticket is not valid on trains and not in and around Amsterdam: https://touristdayticket.com
If you are staying in Rotterdam, buy the Tourist Day Ticket, otherwise you might want to buy: https://www.discoverholland.com/DayTrip/57/Kinderdijk

Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
Additionally, I was having trouble finding the timetable for the waterbus from Rotterdam to the windmills.
https://www.waterbus.nl/reisplanner (van = from, naar = to, vertrek = departure, aankomst = arrival, plan deze reis = plan this trip)

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
The anonymous Chipcard requires a minimum amount of 25 euros on the card for train travel each time you start a trip by train.
For NS trains it is officially 20 euros, but in practice 15 euros balance is enough. And you need that balance each time you check in.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
and the fixed price usually covers the maximum distance available on the particular line;
The fixed price depends on the company. GVB in Amsterdam has a fixed price of 3 euros for 60 minutes. Other bus companies charge a fixed fare for a single ride or charge a fare per "zone".​​​​​​​
floris_07 is offline  
May 6th, 2018, 04:55 PM
  #4  
 
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Regarding the Waterbus from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk and back. On the boat, money was collected,2 Euro or you could use your OV Clipkaart to pay. There were machines on the boat to add money to your OV Clipkaart as well. Easy. We loved this day at Kinderdijk.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 7th, 2018, 12:42 AM
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Regarding the Waterbus from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk and back. On the boat, money was collected,2 Euro or you could use your OV Clipkaart to pay. There were machines on the boat to add money to your OV Clipkaart as well. Easy. We loved this day at Kinderdijk.
If you buy a ticket on the Waterbus, you can only pay cash, not by card. A single ticket from Rotterdam to Kinderdijk is 4 euros.
https://www.waterbus.nl/storage/WAT_...018_web_V1.pdf

The ov-chipkaart and Tourist Day Ticket are valid as well.
floris_07 is offline  
May 7th, 2018, 10:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by sadclown View Post
Hi all,

I have a few quick questions about my trip to the Netherlands I was hoping you all could help with:

The first is regarding the OV Chipcard. Is getting this necessary? I'm trying to figure out how much this saves on each trip but couldn't find exact numbers. It seems similar to an Oyster card in London but without the huge savings. Additionally, if I'm understanding correctly, the 7.5 Euro for the card itself is non-refundable - is that right? The trains almost seem like a subway since they come so often and at a set price. I was thinking of just buying the trains when I get to the station each day. Is that a good idea?

The second is regarding a trip Rotterdam to kinderdijk windmills. I saw that they were accessible by waterbus and that this takes 30 minutes each way. I also saw a Tourist Transport card for 13.5 Euro which I believe would include the waterbus transportation as well as all transportation within Rotterdam. Do I have all of this information correct? Additionally, I was having trouble finding the timetable for the waterbus from Rotterdam to the windmills. I was thinking of doing them early in the morning if possible.

Thank you all for your help, it's very much appreciated!
Waterbus timetable is at https://www.waterbus.nl

Waterbus offers a dayticket at a reduced rate, and you can buy that once on board.

You can also use an ov chip card on waterbus, which reduces the fare by half.

If you public transport a lot, an OV Chipcard might be the better deal. Fares are the same. But buying "tourist" day tickets and multi day passes is always more expensive than buying point to point with a chip card.
menachem is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 12:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Originally Posted by menachem View Post
But buying "tourist" day tickets and multi day passes is always more expensive than buying point to point with a chip card.
No, it is not. It all depends on how often and for what distance you want to use public transport. (Multi-)day passes and deals like those on DiscoverHolland can actually be cheaper than using an anonymous ov-chipcard as the ov-chipcard has no cap. Single tickets for bus/tram/metro are usually more expensive. Depending on the distance and the transport company that can be double or just a few cents. For train travel a single ticket from the ticket machine costs only one euro more if you buy the ticket from the counter or the ticket machine. The e-ticket you can buy online (ns.nl/en , printed or app needed) is the same fare as the ov-chipcard.
floris_07 is offline  
May 8th, 2018, 10:04 PM
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by floris_07 View Post
No, it is not. It all depends on how often and for what distance you want to use public transport. (Multi-)day passes and deals like those on DiscoverHolland can actually be cheaper than using an anonymous ov-chipcard as the ov-chipcard has no cap. Single tickets for bus/tram/metro are usually more expensive. Depending on the distance and the transport company that can be double or just a few cents. For train travel a single ticket from the ticket machine costs only one euro more if you buy the ticket from the counter or the ticket machine. The e-ticket you can buy online (ns.nl/en , printed or app needed) is the same fare as the ov-chipcard.

You're right of course. I think it comes down to: do you want to spend the 7.50 to buy a chip card?

For long distance train travel in NL it also might pay off to figure out whether stores like Albert Heijn or Kruitvat have deals on cheap NS tickets.
menachem is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 01:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 48
According to a friend, it is important to have your OV-chipkaart when you plan to travel by train, most of trams and bus lines. It can be used within Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands.
NorenePalmer is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 04:24 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13,361
Most buses and trams no longer accept cash payments so you either need to have an OV chipkaart, a tourist card of some sort, or have a pre-purchased ticket from a machine.

One thing to be careful of at some train stations is to check in and out at the right gate for the train company you are travelling with, so an NS gate if using NS, or an Arriva gate (for instance) if using a different company. You also have to check out and recheck in if your journey uses a different train company at some point.

You have to activate an OV-chipkaart for use with NS if you buy somewhere other than at an NS sales point. You do this at a ticket machine.

To travel on an NS train you have to have a minimum of €20 on your card before you start your journey 9and the same for the return leg). Other train companies require a minimum of €10.

You can reclaim the balance from an OV-chipkaart but it isn't that easy to do.

E-tickets for NS are only available if you have a Dutch bank account as they only accept Ideal payments. They are now also available for on your mobile phone, but again only with a Dutch account.
hetismij2 is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 07:33 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
E-tickets for NS are only available if you have a Dutch bank account as they only accept Ideal payments. They are now also available for on your mobile phone, but again only with a Dutch account.
NS accepts payment by credit card nowadays. (Changed very recently)
floris_07 is offline  
May 9th, 2018, 10:14 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Originally Posted by floris_07 View Post
NS accepts payment by credit card nowadays. (Changed very recently)

If you download the NS Reisplanner Xtra app (IOS and Android) you can download the mobile ticket you bought online to that, instead of having to print it out. You use the QR code of the ticket to open the turnstiles.
menachem is offline  
May 11th, 2018, 08:06 PM
  #13  
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I'm just getting the chance to read all of this now. You all have been so helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply. I really appreciate it!
sadclown is offline  
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