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Long Stay NL; Best train options?

Hello,

I'll be in NL for about three weeks and plan on seeing many provinces beyond AMS.

What's my best option for train travel? I'd like to see multiple cities in one day; hop on/hop off.

I see the day card offering unlimited travel, but I don't think it can be loaded to an OV chipkaart nor paid with a USA credit/debit card.

Any options for unlimited train travel within a 3 week time?

Thanks!

Posted by
111 posts

Do plan to spend cash for Dutch trains; in Amsterdam Central station, even the staff at ticket windows don't take US credit cards. The Netherlands has quite a few discounts described in Dutch at http://www.ns.nl/reizigers/producten/abonnementen/index.html, but train station agents should be able to explain them in English. Also ask at the station about this offer that Rick describes:
For €55 and a photo, the Netherlands Off-Peak Discount Card (sold at stations) saves 40 percent on most tickets, and can be shared by up to three people outside of rush hours.

Posted by
2827 posts

Daniel,

There is a daily free train travel card that costs € 50,80 for second class travel on NS trains (so it leaves out a couple regional railways in the outer areas). It allows unlimited use of trains for one calendar day (not for 24h, notice the difference). It comes as a disposable OV-Chipkaart (an RFID card that you use to check-in and -out at the totems located on train stations, even with a day pass you must check-in and -out except when transferring from one train to another). More info here:

You can buy several day passes from the machines that take credit cards at Schiphol airport, if you want to. Just never check-in with several cards on your purse, or else you might risk simultaneously activating several of the cards at once and then, obviously, losing them.

As for the Dal Voordel (40% off-peak + weekend discount), there is a catch: you need to have a personal OV-Chipkaart and it takes a couple days, and a Dutch bank account, to get one.

Sometimes big stores or chains have promotions where they sell discounted day passes.

Posted by
1005 posts

Depending on your itinerary, your best option might be the Benelux Eurail Pass. See Rick's page on the Netherlands rail passes.

As far as the OV-chipkaart goes, I've only used it for buses and trams when I've been in the Netherlands for a long period (a week or more), and not for trains. I think because of the huge deposit they require for train use, it wasn't practical. As I understand the system, the Dutch link their OV-chipkaart to their Dutch bank account, so that avoids a large deposit for train use. But our brilliant Dutch commentators may have better information about this.

Posted by
1496 posts

As I live on the country-side in the most south-western corner of The Netherlands it takes almost an hour to get to the nearest railwaystation here. In my case using a car is the most convenient way to move around, not the public transport. I very rarely use the train in The Netherlands, and if so I buy an online return ticket. So I’m not a frequent user and so not familiar with the up-to-date costs and deals of traintravel, can give no solid information about the use of cards, even don’t have a OV-chipkaart. So sorry for that.
To give an idea: The train ride to Amsterdam alone takes 3 (boring) hours, way too long for me. So I will not do this kind of things often, it would be different if I lived close to a railwaystation. If I use the train it will be for a visit to Brussels, I just need a bit more then 1½ hours to get there from my home, in this case traintravel makes sense for me.

Posted by
34 posts

By unlimited day card, do you mean I can visit as many cities (as time allows) in one day?

Posted by
2827 posts

Daniel, a day pass (dagkaart) is a travel product that allows you unlimited travel on one specific day (technically, from 4AM of that day till 4AM of the following day, as "rail" days begin and end at that time),