Hop on a train in the Netherlands and you’ll be travelling with the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch railway in English) or NS for short. NS trains offer a simple and convenient way to discover everything that Holland has to offer, with an extensive railway network across the country. From the bustling streets of Amsterdam, quieter towns full of culture and even trains to take you cross-border, there are so many destinations waiting to be explored.
Want to know more about travelling on NS Trains in the Netherlands? We’ve put together this handy guide on where NS trains can take you, how often they run and most importantly how to book your NS tickets.
First things first, where exactly can NS trains take you? Take a look at our rail map below to see some of the amazing places in the Netherlands that you can explore by rail.
To make your journey as smooth and comfortable as possible, NS trains are usually divided into different zones – meet & greet, quiet and work and rest. If you’re looking for a peaceful trip, head to the quiet zone where seats are set out in rows rather than facing each other.
Those wanting to socialise should check out the meet & greet zone, which features lounge seating and an open atmosphere.
We know Amsterdam and Rotterdam are on most people’s bucket lists when it comes to the Netherlands but hopping on an NS train also makes it easy to enjoy amazing experiences outside of the main cities. If you’re looking to soak in some of the famous countryside, there are plenty of options for you. In need of inspiration? We’ve highlighted some of the most popular train journeys and NS train schedules our customers take on NS trains below.
You’ll be pleased to know that buying and using NS tickets is a simple and straight forward process. Many people travel using an OV Chipkaart – a magnetic card that can either be used for a one-time journey or topped up – you’ll find these available to buy at stations, newsagents and even some supermarkets. By purchasing your NS train tickets via our website or app, you’ll receive an email with your PDF ticket as a handy attachment – just print this out before taking your train.
For those that aren’t fluent in Dutch, we’ve explained the main ticket types you’ll come across when travelling on NS trains below.
|Discounted price for train travel, weekdays or weekends, combined with admission to Dutch museums.
|The simplest ticket there is, valid for a single journey only.
|Want to go there and back? This return ticket is valid for one round trip.
|Another round-trip ticket, but only for use during the weekend.
|Similar to a travelcard in the UK, this one-day ticket allows you to board unlimited trains throughout the day.
|If you’re thinking about using multiple modes of train, this ticket also allows for travel on buses, trams and subways.
|Zomertour and Zomertour Plus
|Two-day ticket across the Netherlands.
|AKA “Railrunner”. Children between 4 and 11 can purchase this discounted ticket from €2.50 that’s valid for the whole day. Children aged three and under may travel for free.
There are six different types of train services in Holland, all operated by NS and offering different opportunities to travel around the Netherlands and further afield.
Many stations offer a secure luggage storage service. The lockers are secured electronically and can be rented for up to three days at a time. There are two sizes of locker available – small and large. Small locker dimensions are 90x45x40 cm and prices start from €3.85. Large locker dimensions are 90x60x40 cm and prices start from €5.70.
Most NS Intercity trains have free WiFi – those that do will have a WiFi logo on the outside of the train. If your train has a WiFi connection, connect to the "WiFi in the train" network.
Small animals can ride free on NS trains, provided they travel in a suitable transport cage, bag or basket – the maximum size of which is 30x30x55 cm.
Guide dogs travel for free providing they’re recognizable as guide dogs for the blind and you buy a guide rate ticket.
Large dogs can also travel on all NS trains providing they are leashed and muzzled. Day cards for dogs can be purchased at self-service ticket machines and are priced at €3.10.
Outside peak hours (09:00 to 16:30 and after 18:00), weekends, public holidays and during the summer months, you can transport your bike on NS trains. You just need to buy a bike ticket, at a cost of €6, at one of the vending machines. The bike must be placed in the appropriate spaces, indicated by a bicycle symbol, on the side of the cars.
Foldable bicycles can be transported as normal luggage. For more information on transporting your bike, you can visit information points inside the stations.