Get on your bike
Bikes and the Netherlands might sound like a cliché, but it honestly isn’t. Cycling is a part of life here and we hope you’ll embrace it. Most of us own at least one bike – if we’re really enthusiastic, we’ll have one for work and another for leisure. If you love bikes, you’ll feel at home with our cycling culture. But even if you’re a bit nervous about biking, don’t be. There’s a broad network of bicycle paths throughout the cities and countryside, and our road rules were written with bikes in mind. So whether you’re picking up groceries, commuting to the office or out for a 90 km joyride, cycling is accessible to everyone. You don’t even need to wait till you buy your first bike. There are shared bike programmes all over the country, and almost every NS train station is home to natty yellow and blue bikes you can rent using your public transport chip card.
A soft landing in the Netherlands
There’s a good chance that your first stop in the Netherlands will be Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. You might even have flown via here before as it’s one of Europe’s busiest airports. This major transit hub can connect you directly to more than 300 international destinations. Schiphol never stands still, delivering a high-quality passenger experience to almost all of the world’s major airlines. And it’s backed up by the regional airports – Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Maastricht Aachen Airport, and Groningen Eelde Airport – which are often used for popular holiday travel routes.
Embrace public transport
Within minutes of coming through passport control at Schiphol, you can be downstairs in the NS train station, zooming towards Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven or even Maastricht. Intercity trains run frequently, supplemented by regional services that stop at all stations. It’s a great way to get around the country, the prices are fixed based on distance, and there’s a wealth of discounts available – for example, for travelling off-peak or on weekends. On top of that, the bigger cities are served by tram and metro services, while buses complete the network. Even better, you can hop from one service to another with only a single OV-chipkaart (public transport chip card). Not sure how to get somewhere? Centralised travel planners by the likes of NS and 9292 will help you get from door to door, even connecting you to shared mobility providers if you choose.
Hit the road
Yes, our road infrastructure is great too – though we’re working hard to reach our climate targets so we’re gradually moving away from a traditional driving culture. Fossil fuels will be a thing of the past on our roads before you know it. Amsterdam intends to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from the city by 2030. Of course, the automobile industry is adapting too. Electric vehicle numbers have been increasing exponentially and the Netherlands is leading the way in EV charging infrastructure too. In 2021, some 30% of Europe’s electric vehicle charging stations can be found here, and their number is continually increasing.