Inexpensive train tickets: cheap train travel in the Netherlands

klok 10 Sep 2018 12:28

Would you like to visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht or another Dutch city for an affordable price? Keep on reading! It is often possible to find cheap train tickets online. On this page, we share the best offers and discounts we could find. For Dutch travellers, this overview is incomplete. As the tickets sold by Dutch Railways (‘NS Spoordeelwinkel’) can only be purchased with a Dutch bank account (iDEAL), we did not include these tickets on this page.

‘Where better to buy train tickets than at the train station?’, you might think. While you can certainly purchase train tickets at every Dutch train station, al lot of (cheap) train tickets are only available online (either via the website of Dutch Railways or partner-website). These online tickets might be very attractive option for foreign travellers, as these e-tickets do not require the purchase of an “OV-chipkaart” (a public transport member card). This is very beneficial, as an OV-chipkaart costs €7,50 and train travel requires a deposit of at least €20. The promotions discussed in this article are especially interesting for travellers who wish to travel a longer distance (as far as this is possible in the small country of the Netherlands). If you wish to travel a short distance (for example from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal), it might be cheaper to purchase a full rate, regular train ticket. Check our price comparison tool to find out what train ticket is the most affordable and the best suited to your needs.

Day Ticket for € 19

Do you want to criss-cross the Netherlands and visit multiple destinations in one day? If you don’t mind travelling outside of peak hours, the NS Day Ticket might be perfect for you! You can purchase this ticket for only €19 at the Dutch website ActievandeDag (actievandedag.nl). On Saturday and Sunday you can travel without limitations, but on Monday until Friday you are not allowed to travel between 6:30-9:00 and 16:00-18:30. You are obliged to print this ticket. Read more about the NS Day Ticket.

NS Day Return Ticket for € 23

A Day Return Ticket allows you to travel between two train stations of your choice. Whether you want to go shopping in Groningen, have dinner in Maastricht or explore Rotterdam – it is all possible for just €23! While this is more expensive than the aforementioned NS Day Ticket, the Day Return Ticket also allows you to travel during evening peak hours.  However, just like the Day Ticket, you cannot travel before 9:00 on Monday until Friday. You can print the Day Return Ticket or load it on the Dutch Railways app. Are you interested in the Day Return Ticket? Check out our article NS Day Return Ticket €23. Buy them here online.

Holland Travel Ticket Off Peak for € 39

As you can see, the Holland Travel Ticket Off Peak is more expensive than the aforementioned tickets. However, this is not without reason: the Holland Travel Ticket does not only allow you to travel by train, it is also valid in the bus, tram and metro. On Monday until Friday, you cannot use this ticket between 6:30am and 9:00am, but during the rest of the week you can use the public transport network without limitations. You can purchase the Holland Travel Ticket Off Peak on the train station. However, keep in mind that the Holland Travel Ticket is not always the cheapest option. It might be less expensive to use another special offer for your train ticket, and to buy a ticket for the bus, tram or metro separately. After all, the chance that you spend €15 on a bus, tram and metro on one day is rather small.

Two one-way tickets for € 24.

For just €12, you can make a one-way trip to the train station of your choice. The tickets are sold in pairs. This is very beneficial for travellers who are not returning to the place of departure on the same day, or for those that want to make a one-way trip with a companion. Keep in mind that the one-way tickets are not valid before 9am on Monday to Friday. However, in the weekend the tickets can be used all day.

NS Group ticket

Are you planning a fun day trip with all of your friends? Or are you getting ready for a relaxing weekend away with your family? Have a look at the NS Group Ticket! This is a one-way ticket for 4 or more people travelling to the same destination. For groups of 4, the NS Group Ticket retails for just €30. Every additional person costs an additional €1,50, with a maximum of 7 people per group ticket.

Good to know:

  • In the weekend, in the evening and at night, maintenance is often carried out on and around the railroads. For this reason, it is important to check beforehand whether your train is running and whether there are any delays. Construction on and around the tracks is announced at least 10 days before departure.
  • You cannot use your train ticket in buses, metros and trams.
  • You cannot use your train ticket for the Eurostar and the Thalys.
  • Ultrafast trains called Intercity Direct operate between Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam and Breda. If you’re travelling between Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam, you are required to pay an extra fee per person, per one-way trip. If you would like to avoid this fee, you can take the slower, regular Intercity train.
  • An Intercity-Express (ICE) train rides to and from Germany a few times a day. This train stops in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Arnhem. If you wish to use the ICE for a domestic trip, you are required to pay a small fee.
  • The websites that sell train tickets are mainly written in Dutch and usually only have a Dutch customer service. The website of the Dutch Railways is the exception: not only is the website also available in English, you can also call with the customer service in English.
  • Make sure to check the terms and conditions of the offer. Is the website only available in Dutch and are you unsure until when you can use your train ticket? Don’t worry: you can easily find the end of the travel period without any knowledge of the Dutch language. Simply look for the words “geldig t/m”. After these words you will find the final day of the travel period.
  • Most train tickets are sold as e-tickets. This means that you can either print the ticket or show it on your mobile phone (unless indicated otherwise). However, if you wish to show the ticket on your phone, you need the Dutch Railways App (‘Reisplanner Xtra’).

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