Netherlands By Bike


Getting Around by Local Transport

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Den Haag

Local Transportation

Introducing the largest rapid transit providers in the Netherlands

You will undoubtedly want to park your bike and use local transit to get around and sightsee.  Here are the transit companies that operate services in the three largest cities of the Netherlands. These services include Metro, Tram, Bus and Ferry. All of these are covered by your ov-chipkaart with the exception of the Fast Ferry and Water Taxi, which are both located in Rotterdam. The Amsterdam GVB ferries are completely free!


The official route maps are available below for you to review and download. These are a great way to see the layout of each city's transportation system and provide a different perspective that you won't see on a street map. Hopefully these will spark some imagination on new adventures and places to see.


Quick and Efficient

> Den Haag> Rotterdam> AmsterdamTram Map (pdf)Trams operate on surface streets and serve the local city neighborhoods. These are a fun way of seeing the city on your own because they operate frequently and you can hop on and off as you please!
You should know that Trams will not stop at a station if there is no one present or a rider does not press a STOP button located next to each of the exit doors. Be sure to plan ahead so you can anticipate your stop. Bicycles are not allowed on trams.
OV-chipkaart scanners are located on board the tram and are typically next to the door allowing for easy swiping as you enter and exit the tram. You must always check out regardless of whether you are transferring to another tram.


Faster and Fewer Stops

> Rotterdam> AmsterdamMetro Map (pdf)Metros operate below ground or on elevated tracks and serve a wider area outside the city limits. They are faster and stop at fewer stations.
You can take your bicycle on the Metro for an extra charge during non-peak hours and must use the area reserved for bikes. For Metro service between Den Haag and Rotterdam, there is direct metro service on Rotterdam's Line E.  You will find elevators in all Metro stations that require access to lower or upper platforms from the street level.
OV-chipkaart scanners are located at entry and exit gates or near train platforms. You do not have to check out if transferring to another metro. Only check out at your final destination.


Serves local and outlying areas

> Den Haag> Rotterdam> AmsterdamBus Map (pdf)Buses are abundantly available and serve a wide range of local and rural destinations throughout the Netherlands. The Dutch bus system is efficient, modern, and clean, and embraces environmentally clean technology.
They accept OV-Chipkaart with card scanners located on board the bus near all doorways. Bicycles are not allowed. Be sure to alert the driver of your stop ahead of time, as they won't stop unless necessary.
Buses can be fun as you can watch the world go by and take in small Dutch villages along the way. Looking for a bus ride? Try the Aalsmeer flower auction outside of Amsterdam. This is the busiest floral market in the world.


When you just need to get to the other side

> Rotterdam  (Fast Ferry)> Rotterdam  (Waterbus)> AmsterdamFerry Map (pdf)Both Amsterdam and Rotterdam are surrounded by major waterways and at some point you'll want to get around the water with your bike.
Amsterdam operates a free ferry shuttle system that is located behind Amsterdam Centraal Station and crosses the IJ to Amsterdam North. Just hop on and off with your bike! A bicycle bridge is being discussed to cross this busy waterway yet allow large ships to pass under. Stay tuned!!!
Rotterdam has an abundance of waterways due to its location near the North Sea and the Nieuwe Maas River. Your ov-chipkaart is welcome on the Waterbus ferry only. Bicyles are allowed on Waterbus but not the Water Taxi.      

Some Rotterdam Options...

Rotterdam | Kinderdijk



Water Taxi

- discontinued -

(October 2021)


Sometimes you just want comfort and convenience

Taxis are easily found outside the arrival terminal at Schiphol airport for transport to Amsterdam city center, which takes about 15 minutes. Be sure to ask for the rate in advance (typically €50) and always look for a blue license plate when you want a professional and licensed driver.


If Uber or Lyft is more your style, they charge about the same as a regular taxi.  The most convenient pickup location is at the Sheraton Hotel which is accessed by using the pedestrian bridge located in the main arrival hall.


Most hotels will summon you a taxi or you can call them directly. They are also located outside most major train stations. You typically can not hail a taxi on the street as they don't cruise around looking for fares. Tipping is definitely not expected.


After a long flight and a case of jet lag, you may want to consider storing your bike at the Schiphol Baggage Depot for the night and take a comfortable ride into Amsterdam to check into your hotel (assuming that is your itinerary). You can easily return to Schiphol in the morning by train to claim your bike and re-assemble after a good night's sleep!

A blue license plate signifies a licensed taxi.

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The Hague