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I absolutely love the NS app. It's just perfect: fast, simple interface, accurate information, lots of extra details are included too (tariffs, how crowded the train is expected to be, average delay for that train on other days).
The NMBS should stop wasting money on their own app and get a licence on that instead. I'm really waiting for the day that the NS integrates NMBS live information in their app (which they might as NS International is merged back in NS as NS Reizigers).
In addition to what others have said, you can also get the NS Reisplanner Xtra app on your phone. It comes in English and will allow you to plan journeys, check platforms and train times and give you updates in case there are delays.
Almost all trains and train stations have wifi, so it really helps you get around.
If you need any other forms of public transportation in the Netherlands (trams, metro, busses), you can use 9292ov.nl.
If you want to save a euro or two over buying a ticket at the counter on the day, you could buy a ticket in the NS app. (Android link, but I'd be shocked if there's not an iPhone app too if that's what you have.) This has always accepted whatever card I've used in it, and it gives you a QR code in the app that you can scan at the gates.
This is the official app for the planning of train commutes (my link appears to be for android, look for 'NS Reisplanner Xtra') you can change the language to English. The word for settings is 'instellingen'.
9292 public transport is great, the go-to companion app that covers every mode of public transport, I use it myself all the time. Good choice!
NS Xtra, if you are doing by train with the national railroads (NS), this app will show a lot more train-specific information.
HERE Maps: This is the perfect app for offline walking/pedestrian navigation (including turn by turn navigation). Just download the areas (like Amsterdam) before hand and you will never get lost
Since it rains a lot here, a rain radar app is recommended:
- If you plan on using public transport a lot, consider getting an 'OV Chipcard'. This the contactless/NFC card you put money on and you can use it with every mode of public transport. Just make sure you check in & out when switching vehicle/mode.
If you want to get from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the city, it is recommended to use the train. The station is right underneath the terminal, accessible from the main plaza. Service has high frequencies to anywhere in the country and it is way cheaper than a taxi. Only thing to keep in mind are planned disruptions due to construction works during weekends.
This used to be the case, not sure if it has been addressed: the ticket machines at Schiphol Airport do not accept credit cards without a chip, if you want to buy your train ticket.
Don't be afraid to just ask people for help: almost everybody speaks English, so no need to bother with phrase books or translations.
The winter is kicking off here, we've had some snow this past week and more is expected this week. This often has repercussions for public transport and traffic, and it might disturb your plans to go cycling (great choice btw, love the fact you are spreading out to cover the more 'rural' areas).
That is all I can think of, of the top of my head. Should be a good plan you have there, just keep the weather and travel times in mind.
Have fun, hope you have a successful trip! :)
... the taxi stand (especially the one at Schiphol) is the best bet you have, they look expensive... they are sometimes grumpy... they look annoyed because the across the street there are idiots holding "TAXI" signs that stealing their customers. BUT THEY ARE REALLY THE BEST BET YOU HAVE. If you have a problem with a taxi driver, ask for their license or take a picture of it if it's well presented. (IT SHOULD BE) And please file a complaint here >>> https://www.taxiklacht.nl/pages/taxiklacht/HOE%20HET%20WERKT?windowuid=uid1566230126
Don't ever take up offers from random taxi drivers holding taxi signs and screaming at the top of their lungs, that's not how taxi drivers in the Netherlands legally operate.
One last tip and great idiot filter, only take a taxi that have blue license plates, any other colour is by default not a real taxi. Many companies (like IBM) refuse a "taxi" on their site if they don't have a blue license plate.
*rambling mode on*
But the one that gets me the most EVERY time are tourists that fall for the "hotel close Amsterdam" trick, and then realize their hotel is in the freaking middle of nowhere next to a highway. Like.. COME ON! YOU HAVE GOOGLE MAPS!!! And then don't bother to figure out how public transport works and then taking a taxi for EVERYTHING.
Like... how!? don't you tourist plan anything? Don't you look in to alternatives?
The tools are there, the information is there, did you simply not think about it?
My brain hurts so many times that I see people at the taxi stand asking me where the train station is, or even worse, how expensive a taxi ride to the train station is, and i'm like "YOU JUST WALKED OVER IT! HOW COULD YOU MISS IT!?"
And then that look that they expect a taxi ride to Amsterdam to be cheaper then a train ride.. and my brain goes like "HOW!?".
*rambling mode off*
But my advise is in general, avoid the thought of getting a taxi in general. Use it for those "I F-ED UP I'M LATE AND I NEED TO GET THERE NOW" moments. If you don't have a car, really organize your head around using public transport. Get a subscription / discount for usage of public transport that are applicable to your situation.
Use websites like:
Welcome to the Netherlands! Amsterdam is, like almost any other European capital, very safe. Don't worry about not speaking the language, everyone will be able to communicate to you in English.
The easiest way to get around the city is by public transport. Be aware that the public transport system is almost completely cashless, so I recommend you to get an unlimited travel pass, you can compare a few here. You can use the NS website (or even better, their app) to plan your routes. Car services like Uber are also available.
Be sure to see a bit of the Netherlands outside of Amsterdam too! Because of the extensive public transport system, you should have no problems getting wherever you would like to be. A few places I can recommend you to check out are Utrecht and Rotterdam, as these are close to Amsterdam. If you happen to have a bit more time, I recommend you to check out Leeuwarden in the North of the Netherlands as well! Leeuwarden was the European Capital of Culture in 2018, and was placed in the top three most beautiful destinations in Europe by Lonely Planet. It's a two hour, direct train ride from Amsterdam.
Be sure to let me know if you have any questions! :)
Great advice yes! Check the NS website, key things to note:
And you can in fact rent 2 bikes with 1 card, source in Dutch because the English version somehow does not list this. Does not mean you can't.
Main budgetary items:
Highlights of Dutch residency:
Variations may of course apply in your specific circumstances.
I support the people saying it's dangerous to go driving. Look into the Dutch public transportation system. Dutch railways are called the NS and there are multiple companies that run the busses. It's very well maintained and easy to use. I personally use it every single day to get to school and my SO.
There are two apps that I recommend checking out and I use both multiple times a day. First is the NS Reisplanner (travel planner) which is for trains only and check out the 9292 app for all public transportation, including bus, tram and metro.
Reisplanner is an official app while 9292 is third and that's why 9292 will have ads. You can use these to see the costs of wherever you wish to go so you can plan ahead. Both are available in English.