Luggage Lockers / Bag Storage


There are a few ways to store your bags when railing the trails around The Netherlands. The first and most convenient are the luggage lockers (bagagekluizen in Dutch) at the train station. These are at all the large train stations (Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, etc.). They are really easy to find as signs are typically in English in the bigger stations or you can follow the pictogram.

Luggage lockers are easy to use and are apparently secure. I say apparently because if anyone tries to break into them they do emit a very loud siren. How do I know this - well one day while trying to force my stuck locker open I managed to set it off - although many onlookers gave me the evil eye and it was quiet embarrassing- no security came and I had to jimmy the door open to retrieve my bag. So ‘secure’ but not 100% secure – but then again what is 100% secure really? Although the prices are not really bad, if you are on a budget it’s better to just travel light then having to depend on luggage lockers.

Luggage Lockers Prices:


Small locker:
0-24 hours= €3.85
25-72 hours= €5.55(per 24 hours)
After 72 hours=€3.85(per 24 hours)

Large locker: 
0-24 hours= €5.70
25-72 hours= €8.45(per 24 hours)
After 72 hours=€11.25 (per 24 hours)

You pay for the first 24 hours upon storage and the rest when you return. If you loose your ticket the lost ticket claim will cost an extra €10.00. It is important to remember that you can only rent a locker for 3 days. If it runs longer than this you will pay €7.60 per 24 hours but your locker can also be opened by NS. After 10 days the locker will be emptied and a fee of €70.00 will apply – the removed luggage will be sent to a Lost Property Office in Utrecht.

How do They Work

  • The first important thing to remember is that they only accept card payments (Pin, Chip, Maestro, Visa or Mastercard). You have to make the payment in advance and the payment is for the 24-hour rental period.   
  • Choose a locker and put in all your bags. There are typically small (90cm deep, 45cm high and 40cm wide) and large (90cm deep, 60cm high and 40cm wide.) options. Close the door and go to the ticket vending machine terminal beside the lockers. 
  • On the screen you will see your locker number and they will await payment. 
  • Once payment is made the locker will lock and you will receive a card with a bar code printed on it. Be sure you have a card with a bar code- if the payment is not accepted you will get a card with no bar code this is just a receipt of a non-payment transaction. The locker door will reopen if this happens so be sure to double check your card and don’t walk away until you are sure the locker has locked!
  • When you return you simply need to scan the bar code on the bar code reader and your locker will automatically open. 
Top Tip: Take your time and choose the correct luggage to store before payment. If you wish to retrieve it after you have paid you will need to rent a full new 24 hour and pay again
The main rail company in Holland NS have made a video showing how this works- you can find it here. It is in Dutch but it’s pretty self-explanatory. 



Other Options

Schiphol Airport: Luggage storage lockers are no longer available. They were removed in Jan 2018. There is a left luggage office called a baggage depot. This is located  in the basement between Arrivals 1 and Arrivals 2.  Prices start at €6 and all the details of price, size and storage times can be found on this page of the airport information.
Eindhoven Airport: Luggage storage lockers are no longer available at Eindhoven Airport. They were removed December 2017If you arrive at a smaller station that does not have luggage locker wall then  you can still store your luggage in a depot typically located near or in the bike shop/bike rental point. The fees are generally €5/day. These have been replaced by the luggage locker walls so it is not always possible- but at smaller stations worth asking!
 
Typically hotels/hostels will have no problem storing your luggage for you if you have stayed there for the night- you can even try asking/calling an hotel you are not staying in and offering to pay – again worth a try and has worked for me in the past.
 
When traveling in the UK I used to take my bag to the nearest free museum/gallery and store my bags there as if I was a visitor- this really only works if you are just looking for a place for a few hours and perhaps a coffee or donation in return would be a nice gesture.
 
There are offices near Amsterdam central station called 'Drop & Go'. They offer storage and you can even use their outlets to charge your devices print a boarding pass weigh your bags or pick up keys- awesome idea! 

If anyone else thinks of storage options drop me a line railthetrails@gmail.com and I will add it in

Buying Train Tickets in the Netherlands

How and Where to Buy your Train Tickets for Travel in Holland
 
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 already purchased your train tickets....well don’t panic - Here are 7 ways to purchase your Dutch rail ticket.

1. Purchase an e-ticket:

These single use tickets can be purchased online here via the national railway company of the Netherlands (Nederlands Spoorwegen NS). More details on how to do this step by step in a seperate blog post.

2. Buy Your 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.

3. Buy an anonymous OV-Chipcard:  
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. Travel with 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!