Buying Train Tickets in the Netherlands

So you have arrived in the Netherlands (the low lands, Holland - however you wish to call it) and you want to explore. If you are not organised enough to have pre-purchased your train tickets, don’t panic - Here are 7 ways to purchase your Dutch rail ticket.

1. E-ticket:

These single use tickets can only be purchased online via the national railway company of the Netherlands (Nederlands Spoorwegen NS).

2. Get a Ticket (Chipcard) at the Station Service Desk: 

If you choose this option the service desk will charge you a booking fee (this fee varies depending on the ticket you want to buy) and a credit card fee.


This is a good option for non Dutch residents who you plan to travel around the Netherlands a lot. Don’t forget you have to keep it topped up to a minimum of €4-€20 and it costs €7.50 to purchase.

4. Get a Personal OV-Chipcard: 

These are great and really take the hassle out of travel but they are only for residents of Holland. There are various subscription options available as explained in this post on the Personal OV-Chipcard

5. Purchase your Ticket (Chipcard) at a Self Service Ticket Machine:

Most train tickets can be purchased via the yellow ticket machines. This does not save you paying a ‘service fee’ but it does save you from queuing. Read this blog to learn how to use the ticket machines

6. Discounted Tickets:  

Tips and hints for getting a better value ticket such as the ‘koop kaartjes’ and ‘uutjes kaartjes’ from shops in the Netherlands

7. Rail Pass (InterRail or Eurail Pass):  

Prices vary depending on where you purchase the pass and the class you choose from but range from €125 upwards.

Remember that it is not possible to buy tickets on the train so be sure to have one before you enter the platform. Queues at the ticket desk in the airport can be long so a little planning ahead saves time and money!