Public transport and the public transport card: Dutch public transport

In addition to paper tickets, many Dutch people use a public transport card called the ‘OV-chipkaart’. You can use the OV-chipkaart on the train, bus, tram and metro services. Several different types of public transport cards are available – read on to find out more.

NS ticket machine

Choose the right card for you

A disposable paper ticket is probably the best option if you only plan to use the train, bus, tram or metro once. However, the OV-chipkaart can save you money if you plan to use the train, bus, tram or metro more frequently. You can credit these cards with funds, and top them up at the yellow ticket machines, which are operated by the national train carrier ‘Nederlandse Spoorwegen’.

It’s easy to buy an OV-chipkaart at a station. Just follow the on-screen prompts at the yellow ticket machines, or ask for one at a service desk. At Schiphol, the ticket machines are located right next to the escalators that descend to the train platforms.

Always check in and out

It’s important to always check-in and check-out when you travel. It’s easy – you just need to swipe your card at the yellow card readers. At Schiphol, the designated yellow card readers for the trains are located at the top of the escalators and lifts inside Schiphol Plaza.

A quick tip – you need to swipe your card before you board the train and metro. For the bus and tram, you swipe them after you are on board.