Jun 13, 2015

At The Station

The bigger stations like Amsterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal will have the facilities listed below. Remember not all stations will have these facilities:

1. Toilets: WC or Toiletten. You will typically have to pay 50 cents. In many stations there is a bathroom attendant who can give you change but many of the newer stations have a coin operated entry - correct change only! You may also find a 2theloo stop if you are lucky!

2. Lockers: I wrote a full post on prices and availability here. Usually self-service.

3. Banking. You can usually find at the least an ATM (Geldautomaat in Dutch) in or near the station. Bigger stations will have a GWK Travelex which offers currency  exchange, money withdrawal (using credit card, cheque or debit card) and in some cases advance ticket sales for big events.

4. Photo Booths and Vending Machines
Not a whole lot I can say to this expect if you are lucky you will find a phone recharging vending machine - but usually just photos and snacks!

5.Shops. I mentioned a few shops in my post shops at the stations, but they can vary depending on the station. Larger stations are likely to always have a flower shop, shoe repair, book store, stationary/card store, a tobacco shop and sometimes clothes shops such as this underwear store called Jambelle. The typical chains such as HEMALa Place , KIOSK  will appear form time to time . Of course there are plenty of opportunities to get food at New York Pizza or the Doner Company or a coffee . The happiness station is always popular in summer too!

6. OV Service Points also known as the public transport service shop is a location where travelers can go if they have questions about trains, buses, trams subway or ferry travel. If you have a problem with your OV-card this is the place to go! The new point in Amsterdam central station is quite nice!To find the nearest service point to your location check the OV service point location finder here.

7.  Ticket Desks
Besides the train ticket desk and the international train ticket desk you can usually find ticket points for the bus/metro company

8. NS Information Booth
Can be seen by their yellow and blue NS colours - the staff there DO NOT SELL tickets just give advice. They can be very helpful as they have the NS train timetable APP with them to look up all the departures and can help you find your platform if you are lost! You can also see timetables on the walls 

9. Bike Rental/Bike shed/Parking
Many stations now offer the OV rental bike. I will write a full post on these soon it is cheap but there are a few conditions worth knowking about! 

As I was checking out the facilities I kept an eye out for phone chargers and/or phone booths. I see a lack of both - or they may be well hidden but this is something that travellers need a lot and I think these services should be readily available!