I love the traveling by train in the Netherlands and I have had to do it quite often in the last two months – I live in Utrecht while my boyfriend lives two hours away in Groningen. The intercity trains are mostly on time, they have wi-fi and I get to see sheep and cattle out the window! The train system is fairly easy to navigate using the 9292 app and there are plenty of trips that go all over most of the Netherlands about four to five times an hour. However, I have found that train travel in the Netherlands can get pretty pricey – especially if you are using it most weekends like I am. Here are four cheaper ways to travel by train around the Netherlands.
1. Easy Group Return Tickets
These €9 one-day return tickets cover routes that go all over the Netherlands. You can go from Maastricht to Amsterdam and back which usually costs about €50 if you were paying the normal price. To get these tickets you can join the Facebook group named Easy Group Return Tickets – ALL stations & routes – DUTCH BANK or PAYPAL. You need to have a dutch bank account and you need to order your ticket at least the day before your travel to ensure that you get one. Once you have sent your place of departure, place of arrival, name, birthdate, email address and sent a confirmation of payment your ticket is confirmed. Tickets are bought early in the morning and sent to you by 8AM.
2. The NS website
If you have an OV chipkaart, you can sign up on the NS website to get 40% discount in off-peak hours for €50 a year which is what I bought. This has been a real help as a trip to Groningen that would normally cost about €24, I can go there for €14.50. There are other variations of this, you just need to look through all the options on the website and see which types of discount best suit your travel needs.
3. Kruividat and Etos
Kruividat is a local store that sells tickets for €14 that will take you anywhere in the Netherlands on the weekends. They are unfortunately only valid for one day but you can go to multiple destinations on that day which would normally cost you a lot more depending on where you wanted to go. Etos sometimes has tickets on sale where by two people can travel for €19.90 on one ticket (so €9.95 each). They last for about a month after the purchase. Hoover, this means that you always have to travel with someone.
4. The NS group ticket
The NS website also offers cheaper tickets for people who are travelling in a group of four to ten people. You can get your one-day return ticket for €7 if there are ten of you in the group and for about €13.50 if there are only four of you. These can only be bought online.
For more information on Dutch train travel have a look at the Dutch railway website.