Dutch public transport
The Hague region has an outstanding public transport system. Over 30 bus- and tramlines will take you quickly and safely to your destination in and around The Hague. Also, The Hague region is easily accessible by train with several train stations within the area.
Get your travel card: OV-chipkaart
When you live in the Netherlands and want to make use of public transport, you can buy an anonymous OV card or a personalized OV card (OV-chipkaart).
Anonymous OV card
If you travel by public transport occasionally or do not wish to share your personal details, an anonymous OV card will probably be the most convenient option for you. You can purchase an anonymous OV card at stations, in newsagents and at service counters for €7,50. Your card will be valid for 5 years.
One of the advantages of getting an anonymous card is that you can share your card with the whole family (but not at the same time). However, you cannot load any personal travel products, such as a pass for commuting, onto an anonymous OV-chipkaart. It is also not possible to travel with an age discount. This is only possible with a personal OV card.
Personal OV card
If you often travel by public transport, a personal OV card will probably be the most convenient option for you. You can apply for a personal OV card online. You will need a digital photo and to pay using iDEAL. The personal OV-chipkaart costs € 7.50. Your card will be valid for 5 years.
With a personal OV card you can:
- Add personal travel products such as a monthly pass, season ticket or bus pass to the card.
- Automatically enjoy any applicable age discounts when you travel on credit. You will not need to do anything for this discount to be applied.
- Use Automatic reload so that you always have sufficient credit on your card.
- View your travel details online through My OV-chip and can very easily print off a travel expenses overview for your employer.
- In case of theft or loss of your card, you can have it blocked to prevent misuse.
How to load credit on your card
There are a number of ways to load your OV card.
- You can choose automatic reloading so that you never have to think about credit.
- You can load your card using a loading device. There are loading devices throughout the Netherlands where you can load your personal or anonymous card. You can find them at stations, on some buses, in supermarkets and newsagents. Find a loading device near you here.
- You can place your order online and load at a pick-up device. Order €10, €20, €30, €40 or €50 of credit online and pay using iDEAL. Load the credit onto your card at a loading device. You can a loading device at stations, on some buses, in supermarkets and newsagents. Find a loading device near you here.
Travelling by bus, tram or metro
The principle bus, tram and metro operator (the RandstadRail) in The Hague region is HTM. Others are Arriva and Connexxion. Going to hotspots such as the city centre or Scheveningen by public transport is advised, as parking can be expensive and finding a parking spot can sometimes be hard. In The Hague, the city centre and Scheveningen can be easily reached by bus and tram. Plan your trip through 9292 or Google maps.
How to use your OV card
Make sure you have a minimum of 4 euros on your OV card before you swipe it on a bus, tram or metro. If you don’t swipe out at your end station, or anytime within the next 6 hours, you will lose this balance and you will need to reclaim these costs. If you are going to switch to a train, you will also need to check out first and then swipe your card at an NS checkpoint.
Travelling by train
The Netherlands has an extensive network of railways. The NS (National Railways) is the Dutch railway company and its trains are recognizable by their yellow and blue colours. Travelling by train has many advantages: trains in the Netherlands are most often on schedule, they are very comfortable and clean and most of the staff speaks English. The NS also operates a night train, which stops at the Hollands Spoor station.
In Dutch trains, you can choose travelling first or second class. These classes are marked inside and outside the trains. You will normally pay for a second class ticket if you check-in. If you wish to have more comfort and space, you can opt for travelling 1st class, in which case you will have to pay extra. You can switch classes on your OV-chipkaart at an NS ticketing machine. On the screen, tap ‘Change class’ and select ‘1st class today’.
How to use your OV card
Make sure you have a minimum of 20 euros on your card (10 euros if you have a discount from season tickets) before you swipe your OV card at the railway station. If you do not swipe out at your end station, or within the next 6 hours, you will lose this balance and you will need to reclaim these costs.
If you switch to a local train company, for example Arriva in the southern provinces, you will need to swipe out at an NS checkpoint and swipe your card at an Arrive checkpoint. If you switch trains of the same provider, you will not need to check out and in.
Depending on how often and how far you travel, it may be profitable for you to get a season ticket. Once you’ve purchased this and loaded it onto your OV card, you will be able to travel with a considerable discount.