Arriving by plane
The national airline is called KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) (Internet: www.klm.com). Good connections from many German, Austrian and Swiss airports to Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Maastricht.
Austrian Airlines (OS) flies from Vienna to Amsterdam up to four times a day.
Lufthansa (LH) and Eurowings (EW) offer several flights daily from many German airports to the Netherlands.
Swiss International (LX) flies daily from Basel and Zurich to Amsterdam.
The Swiss airlineSky Work Airlines offers a weekly direct connection between Bern and Rotterdam.
Frankfurt – Amsterdam: 1 hour 5 minutes; Munich – Amsterdam: 1 hour 35 minutes; Vienna – Amsterdam: 1 hour 55 minutes; Zurich – Amsterdam: 1 hour 35 minutes; Basel – Amsterdam: 1 hour 35 minutes.
Arrival by car
Car: The motorway connections to neighboring European countries are excellent.
Long-distance bus: Eurolines (Internet: www.eurolines.com) and Flixbus (Internet: www.flixbus.de) travel from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to the Netherlands. The IC bus (Internet: www.bahn.de/p/view/angebote/fernbus/index.shtml) travels from Düsseldorf to the Netherlands.
Arriving by train
Excellent connections from all major European cities to Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam and numerous other Dutch cities.
The ICE International runs on the high-speed Cologne-Rhine / Main line from Cologne or from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. It takes less than 4 hours to do this. An ICE International from Basel also connects the cities of Freiburg, Baden Baden, Karlsruhe and Mannheim with Amsterdam.
The Thalys connects Amsterdam with Brussels, Paris, London and Cologne, among others. There are three Thalys sales points in Germany:
– Thalys Store & More Cologne, Bahnhofsvorplatz 1, 50667 Cologne, (opposite the main entrance of the main train station), Tel: (0180) 500 90 73. Internet: www.voyages-sncf.eu. Tickets for the Thalys departing from Cologne as well as all SNCF and Eurostar train tickets to London can be booked there.
– Thalys Store & More Düsseldorf, Heinz-Schmöle-Straße 12 (entrance Bertha-von Suttner-Platz opposite the main train station), 40227 Düsseldorf.
– Thalys Store & More in Aachen Aachen Central Station
InterRail – Passes are also valid in the Netherlands, details s. Germany. Further information from DB (Internet: www.bahn.de), NS (Internet: www.ns.nl), ÖBB (Internet: www.oebb.at) and SBB (Internet: www.sbb.ch).
Arrival by ship
The most important ferry ports in the Netherlands are Vlissingen, Rotterdam and Hoek van Holland. Car ferries operate between the Netherlands and Great Britain on the following routes:
– Hook of Holland – Harwich (Stena Line, Internet: www.stenaline.co.uk ; travel times: 3 hours 40 during the day, 6 hours 15 at night),
– Rotterdam – Hull (P&O Ferries, Internet: www.poferries.com ; travel time: approx. 12 hours) and #
– Amsterdam – Newcastle (DFDS Seaways, Internet: www.dfds.co.uk ; travel time: approx. 16 hours).
P&O European Ferries also offers connections between the Netherlands and Great Britain via Belgium and France.
Note on rail travel
Chip cards: OV chip cards, which are valid on buses and trams as well as on trains operated by the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and are available from machines at stations and train stations, as well as buses and trams, can be used for a subscription, a route or an amount get saved. There is a disposable chip card for tourists. The chip card is held in front of a card reader at the beginning of the journey, when changing and at the end of the journey. More information www.ov-chipkaart.nl and www.ns.nl.
Special tickets:Network cards are valid for one day. With the supplementary cards, which are available in combination with the network cards, you can use all public transport in the country. There are also weekend discounts for individuals and groups within the Benelux countries.
Children under 4 travel for free within the Netherlands. Children between 4 and 11 years pay 40% for train journeys abroad and 50% of the fare for the Dutch route.
With the Railrunner tickets, children aged 4-11 travel accompanied by an adult over the age of 19 (maximum 3 children per adult) for only 2 EUR.
The dagkaartallows unlimited use of public transport in cities within a day. More information www.ns.nl.
The InterRail one-country pass is available for travel in almost 30 European countries including Macedonia and Turkey and is valid for 3, 4, 6, 8 days within 1 month in one country. Children aged 4-11 travel at half the adult price.
Out and about by ship
In the summer season you can translate from one Wadden island to the next: the so-called island hopping. On most ferries you can take your bike with you to explore the islands from the saddle’s perspective. The ferries run between Texel and Vlieland, Terschelling and Ameland, Vlieland and Terschelling and between Ameland and Schiermonnikoog.
Ferry connections over the IJsselmeer (formerly Zuydersee) to Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog, over the Waddenzee to the Frisian Islands and over the mouth of the Scheldt. The most important provider is Teso (Internet: www.teso.nl).
Canal trips and boat tripsare offered in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, Groningen, Giethoorn, Delft and Maastricht.
The hydrofoils the Fast Flying Ferries leave every hour within 30 minutes from IJmuiden to Amsterdam Central Station in the heart of the city and back.
Fast ferries run from Rotterdam to Dordrecht and back in 40 minutes, with stops in Ridderkerk and Alblasserdam.
In Dordrecht the Waterbus runs between the Drechtufer communities Dordrecht, Zwijndrecht, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht, Hendrik Ido Ambacht and Alblasserdam.
Cruise ships regularly dock at the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal (Internet: www.ptamsterdam.nl) near the center of Amsterdam.
Hansa Kreuzfahrten (Internet: www.hansa-kreuzfahrten.de) offers river trips through the north of the Netherlands around the Markenmeer and IJsselmeer.