Questions about transport and travelling in the Netherlands

You’re a newcomer and you want to see the most beautiful places in the Netherlands. But how do you get there? With the car? With the train? Or just with the bicycle? Travelling in the Netherlands can be a bit tricky, and that’s why New to the Netherlands wants to send you in the right direction!

How can you easily travel with public transportation?

Kazem is a newcomer from Afghanistan. Just like 1 million other Dutch people he takes the train every day. But how does such a train trip work? Kazem takes you along and shows you the way!

What do the Dutch think about public transportation?

Even if the train is only a few minutes late, you can see the Dutch looking very grumpy. Too late is too late they believe. And that is true of course, but actually it isn’t so strange that the train is late from time to time. The Dutch railroad network is the most highly travelled network within the European Union and after Switzerland and Japan it’s the busiest rail network in the world. In this video you can see how the railroad network in the Netherlands works:

Why do so many the Dutch ride bikes?

The first thing you notice in the Netherlands is the large number of bicycles all around you. There are actually more bicycles than people here. Everyone can ride bicycles in the Netherlands. It is also an important part of the Dutch culture. But why is that?

The Netherlands is a flat country and the wide bicycles paths make riding a bike fast and easy, but cyclists also have to obey the traffic rules. The next funny video explains the most important traffic rules to the newcomers who want to learn how to ride a bike.

 

How does driving a car work in the Netherlands?

Everyone who lives in the Netherlands and has any type of motorized vehicle (passenger car, cargo van, bus, motorcycle or scooter) and wants to go out on the roads must have a valid driver’s license. If you go out on the roads without a valid driver’s license and you get stopped that will cost you a 360 euro fine, but that is not all. If you cause an accident without having a valid driver’s license, and you don’t have any insurance you will have to pay all of the costs yourself.

Would you like to get a driver’s license? There are many driving schools in the Netherlands. Search via Google + your city and you are sure to find one!

How high are the traffic fines in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands has the most expensive traffic fines in Europe. If you drive a car, don’t be shocked by the following list:

  • Parking on an invalid parking spot: 370 euro
  • Driving through a red light with a car: 230 euro
  • Speeding 100 km/u up to and including 120 km/u with a distance of > 3 meter: 600 euro
  • Not wearing a seat belt in the car: 140 euro 
  • Driving without a license: 360 euro

Watch out! In the Netherlands you can get a fine when you disobey the traffic laws, even when you or on a bicycle, or travelling by train:

  • Not checking in on the train: 50 euro
  • No light on your bicycle:  55 euro
  • Not wearing a helmet while riding on a scooter: 90 euro

Did you know that... about public transportation?

  • Did you know that every year more than 100,000 people report to police that their bicycle has been stolen?
  • Did you know that you can buy tickets by the bus driver and that it only costs 1 euro for children per day?
  • Did you know that you can apply for an anonymous OV-chip card without needing a BSN number?
  • Did you know that you can apply for your personal OV-chip card via this link?
  • Did you know that you can plan your trip with the bus or train beforehand, or even during your trip? 
  • Do you think that the normal websites are too complicated? Then check out Steffie.nl. She explains in simple language how travelling with Public Transportation in the Netherlands works.

 

What are the traffic rules that I must obey?

Have you decided how you want to travel through the Netherlands? Whether you travel by car or on a bike or even if you are just walking: in every case there are traffic rules that are important for your safety. What do the drawings mean on the traffic signs? If I am on a bike and the other people are walking, who gets to go first? How can I make a turn or pass someone?

Are you interested and you would like to know more about the traffic laws? In this PDF brochure you will get an explanation about how you can safely take part in traffic by foot or on a bike. The explanations are in Arabic, English, French and Tigrinya.