How to get around
You will notice that the Netherlands has a very well-organised and quick infrastructure. With over 152 million kilometres of tracks the country has the busiest railway network in Europe. Furthermore, it has over 135 thousand kilometres of modern roadways, 35 thousand kilometres of bicycle paths and more bikes than people! So no worries, you will find your way from point A to point B, one way or the other. Let us help you with some more information on the ways of transportation in Utrecht and the Netherlands.
Would you like more information on how to get around? Please get in contact with the International Welcome Centre Utrecht Region (IWCUR) for advice.
The Dutch public transport consists of many different forms, such as trains, busses, trams, metros, ferries, OV-bikes etc. To travel with the Dutch public transport, you could well purchase daily and weekly transit passes. However, the easiest payment method to get around on mass transit is the ‘OV-Chipkaart’. Given a wide range of transit companies accept it, it will connect you across the country with ease.
You have two options: Get a blue "anonymous" card (one that is not tied to a specific person, useful if you plan to share it with others) at train stations, tobacconists or supermarkets. Or to get the maximum value, get a yellow "personal" card which includes your name and picture, available online at www.ov-chipkaart.nl, with which you can subscribe to annually renewable discount offerings with your favoured transit companies. Note that the cards need to be bought and you need a minimum amount available on your card to be able to travel (€4 for buses/trams/metros and €10/€20 for trains). Machines to top up your credit are located at train stations, the ubiquitous Albert Heijn grocery stores and more.
U-OV is one of Utrecht’s regional bus and tram system, while NS is the national train system, with both local and intercity lines. If you have an OV-Chipkaart, it can also be used for U-OV vehicles. Note that they are unrelated entities, as the OV-Chipkaart serves as credit for fares on a wide range of domestic transit systems.
Utrecht Region Pass
Instead of getting an OV-Chipkaart, you could also consider getting the Utrecht Region Pass. The Utrecht Region Pass is a pay-as-you-go" public transport card with national coverage. You will not need to top-up your balance no more, as payments take place automatically via your credit card. You can reserve the pass online and collect it at a pick-up point of your choice. The costs of travel are the same as when traveling with the ‘OV-Chipkaart’. Additionally, you can use Utrecht Region Pass to visit some of the most valued destinations and places of interest within the province.Get your Utrecht Region Pass