Getting There & Getting About

International Airports

Internal Transport

The Netherlands has a relatively limited domestic air service, mainly due to its small size. However, city-hopper flights may be taken from Amsterdam to Maastricht and Eindhoven, taking just 30 or 40 minutes respectively.

There are regular ferry services to the Wadden Islands (Ameland, Schiermonnikoog, Terschilling, Texel and Vlieland) across the Ijsselmeer (former Zuyder Sea) and Schelde Estuary. Anyone wanting to visit any of the five Wadden Islands may want to purchase a Wadden Ticket, which allows return travel by bus, train and ferry to an island of choice. It is worth bearing in mind that no cars are permitted to Vlieland. There is also a ferry service to the Frisian Islands across the Waddenzee.

The country has an efficient, cheap rail network connecting all towns. Local and intercity trains run at least half-hourly on all principal routes, and bus timetables are integrated with rail times. The InterRail One-Country Pass offers travel for 3, 4, 6 or 8 days in one month within The Netherlands. There is also the Holland Rail Pass, which allows unlimited travel in The Netherlands for either 3 or 5 days within one month. However, this pass is only available to those who reside outside Europe, the CIS, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

The Netherlands also has an excellent road system, although it can become very busy at times around major centres; the rush hours (7-9 am and 5-7 pm) should be avoided. There is a severe shortage of parking space in central Amsterdam. All roads are well signposted with yellow 'N' symbols indicating small routes, red 'A's indicating national highways, and international highways indicated by green 'E' symbols. Speed limits are 50 kph (30 mph) in towns, 80 kph (50 mph) on major roads and 120 kph (75 mph) on motorways. Car hire is available from airports and main hotels. Drivers should be particularly aware of cyclists; often there are special cycle lanes.

There are around 17,000 km (10,600 miles) of designated cycle tracks around The Netherlands, which due to its generally flat landscape, is ideal. Bicycles can be hired from all main railway stations, but must be returned to the station from which they are hired.

Long-distance coaches operate between the cities and there is also an extensive regional bus network.

In the Netherlands, it is more usual to book a taxi by phone than hailing one in the street. They should have a meter to indicate the fare, including the tip. Treintaxis (train taxis), serving many railway stations, may be shared with others at a reduced price per person.

In Amsterdam, there is an excellent network of buses, water buses, trams (17 lines), ferries and 4 underground lines; tickets are cheaper if purchased in advance of boarding. The I Amsterdam card offers free travel on all the capital's public transport, as well as entry to museums and attractions for 24, 48 or 72 hours. A 'pay as you go' smart card, the OV Chipkaart, is also available and will be valid throughout the country by 2009. Visitors can also hire pedalos (also known as canal bikes) and boats to explore the canals.

The Hague has bus and tram services, and Rotterdam has excellent bus and tram services and a two-line underground network, which all work on a zonal system.