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Cost effective travel in the Netherlands

I've been trying to figure out how to most economically get around the Netherlands and am confused. If anyone can offer guidance, I'd appreciate it!!
Our hotel is just outside of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for 10 nights, from which we plan to do day trips around the country. Our itinerary includes Keukenhof, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Zaanse Schans Windmills, the city of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Geithoorn, Leiden, Delft, Gouda, Marken and Kinderdijk on our way to Bruges.
Any idea the best way to get around on a travel pass? Many thanks for any help you can offer!
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Posted by
161 posts

We visited most of your itinerary in 2019. No pass. Went by trains, very fast and efficient. Bought tickets for each trip at the train stations using ticket machines with US credit cards. No problem.

Posted by
8359 posts

You don’t need to go to Zaanse Schans since you plan to visit Kinderdijk. Zaanse Schans is buildings moved there from different locations. The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk are in their original locations.
May I ask why you are staying out near the airport instead of in Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague or Leiden? They are all on efficient train lines to take you where you want to go.

Posted by
101 posts

Thank you, 3lovetotravel! The longer I look at the info, the more I think just getting daily point to point tickets is likely the best option for us. Thanks so much!

Posted by
101 posts

Thanks, Suki. So you feel Zaanse Schans Windmills would be redundant since we're going to Kinderdijk? We're staying near the airport because we have a free hotel there. :-)

Posted by
161 posts

As Suki asked above, “why are you staying 10 days near the airport.” I suggest you reread RS book and pick a cute city in the north and in the south to save travel time and to better experience local life. We had 11 nights. First three in Amsterdam, then 4 nights in Hoorn, and 4 nights in Delft. Delft ended up one of my favorite places. Just an idea.

Posted by
101 posts

RnR, thanks! I'd read about the OV-chip card and was thinking of getting it. Does purchasing it reduce the price per trip or is it just a convenience factor? Also, can it be used to get to Bruges from Kinderdijk?
We've used the Oyster card in London and I think it reduced the cost per trip and was also more convenient that buying a ticket for each trip.
We're staying near the airport because we have an extremely convenient free hotel to stay in there.
We'll be in a beautiful BnB in Bruges, so saving a bit here....

Posted by
2207 posts

The anonymous OV-chipkaart costs 7.50E to purchase and you can avoid the paper ticket surcharges. So yes. you could "save" money but really it's about the convenience of being able to top up the card and simply scan in and scan out... on trains, trams, buses, and also the metro in Amsterdam.

Like many locals, I have a personal card - linked to my bank account - again, for convenience as it "automatically" tops up when I reach a certain preset level on my card.

I do not use my card when headed to Belgium as there is no way to scan out upon arrival. I've heard there's a way to do this... but for me... on those trips, I just buy my tickets online at the NS International website as I am walking - or riding - to the train station.

We are all waiting for the new OVpay system to be put in place, which will allow you to use your bankcard, Apple pay, or Google pay type system to check in and out... but no one knows when that will actually happen. We've heard sometime in 2022 but it will probably be delayed... as many things have been delayed these past couple of years. Its been tested and sounds great! Most locals would then probably use their smartphone.

Posted by
1703 posts

It’s true that the Kinderdijk windmills are in their original locations and not without reason on the UNESCO heritage list. It’s impressive seeing them together, but they function only as windpumps and still do if necessary. Those of Zaanse Schans can do other tasks like sawing, producing spice or vegetable oils and represent an early form of industrialisation the area of the “Zaanstreek” is known for. So more variety and not even on their original locations the windmills of Zaanse Schans are also icons of Dutch culture and despite very touristic also (if there is time left) worth visiting to my idea.

For going to Kinderdijk you can take the Waterbus from Rotterdam of Dordrecht, the latter has a lovely historic centre worth a stroll. Both places are on the same railway line to Belgium / Bruges.