Getting here & around

"I love my city most when I’m biking" - Aubrey

The Netherlands has a very good public transportation network, which makes it easy to get around. You can easily plan your trip with the door-to-door journey planner: http://9292.nl/en/ or download the free 9292 app.

The OV-chipkaart

The OV-chipkaart is the means of payment for the entire public transport system throughout the country (bus, train, tramway and subway). The card is the size of a bank card and contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipkaart can be loaded with credit in euros with which you can travel anywhere within The Netherlands. You can click here for more information about the OV-chipcard. You can also buy a single use/disposable OV-chipkaart at train stations. Another option would be the ISIC/OV-chipkaart; a custom-made mobility card for international students with a train discount. Order the ISIC/OV-chipkaart prior to your arrival to Utrecht, don’t wait too long as stock is limited!

How to get to Utrecht from Schiphol Airport

After arrival at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, you can take a train to Utrecht Central Station. The train station is part of Schiphol Plaza, just follow directions for ‘trains’. The airport and train stations are often very busy, so beware of pickpockets.

Prepaid or disposable OV-cards are available from the yellow machines near the platforms at Schiphol Plaza or from the ticket offices. There is a direct train to Utrecht every 30 minutes and the journey takes about half an hour.

When in doubt, you can always ask someone at the ticket office. For journey advice and time tables you can also check: Travelling by train with NS pdf guide,  www.ns.nl or download the free NS Reisplanner Xtra app.

Bus aan de Heidelberglaan

Travel within Utrecht

From Utrecht Central Station you can either take a bus or a taxi. Maps of Utrecht University can be found on www.uu.nl/maps.

By bus

To pay for buses, trams and metro in the Netherlands you need an OV Chipcard. To travel to De Uithof you can take bus 12 or 28 from Central Station.

By taxi

There is a taxi platform at Utrecht Central Station, just follow the signs. Within the city there are several taxi platforms, for instance at Vredenburg and Janskerkhof.

The bike

On arrival you will notice one thing very quickly: almost everybody in the Netherlands rides a bike. These bikes generally are old, have two locks and are ridden at speed. More often than not people seem to carry everything with them on their bikes; shopping bags, beer krates, a passenger or multiple children.

The Netherlands started actively encouraging riding a bike in the 1970s. This means there are a lot of seperate designated bike paths and places to park your bike. Even specific traffic laws have been introduced to protect cyclists. The Netherlands have made it a priority to make it a perfect place to ride your bike.

However, there are some things you will need to know before you enjoy this biking paradise. Check out our Cycling Crash Course below!

 

Cycling Crash Course - About Your Bike
Cycling Crash Course - Parking
Cycling Crash Course - Rules of the Road

Some Final Tips

Before you arrive

  • Practise riding a bike before you get here. Riding a bike here has been described as participating in the Tour de France for normal riders, bringing up your skill level cannot hurt.
  • Do some further Youtube research on what to expect e.g. Utrecht Bike Rush Hour.

When you are here

  • Buy a used bike that does not look too new or expensive, as bike theft is rather common. Buying two very good locks is a must.
  • Buy detachable bike lights and a rain suit.
  • Stick to the bike paths.
  • Do not swerve or suddenly stop on a bike path.
  • Always lock your bikeframe and frontwheel, with at least two locks.
  • Add an eye-catching detail so your bike will stand out in a sea of parked bikes.