OV card and traveling to Hague and Rotterdam

  • 13 October 2021
  • 14 reacties
  • 201 Bekeken

Hello everyone MIke here from Canada!  We are coming to town and this is our dream, land in AMS, go to Haarlem for the christmas market for a night, next day train to The Hague, 2 days there, train to Rotterdam and then 2 days there and then train back to Ams.  I have been searching the trains there and see these cards.  Do they work on long distance train rides or it is only local ones around Amsterdam?  Can you also use them on the bus and trams as well?  Thanks everyone!  Great website!  




Beste antwoord door Eberkhout 14 October 2021, 12:22

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Hi Mike Lake and welcome to our NS Community!

What kind of cards/tickets are you talking about exactly? And when will you come to the Netherlands and when will you return? 

Reputatie 6
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Hi Mike, and happy Canuck thanksgiving. Just learnt you do it earlier as the southern neighbors.

Frankly; for ONLY these fairly short rides, do not bother with this chipcard, which costs 7,50 and lasts for 5 years. Simply buy single tickets when you go, from a machine or on your fone (load the NS app). You load money on this card so you will always have some left at the end. Also to use a TRAIN you need to have at least 20 eur on it-every time, even for very short rides. You can also use it on any local bus/tram/metro, these rides will not cost very much (mostly 1-2 eur) and there you do gain indeed compared to buy from driver tickets-these must always paid by bankcard. A chipcard works like about any smartcard-like the TTC-charlie but here in NL you MUST also always check OUT-to determine the fare as these are different for every stop and go by the KM. Main stations have gates so you cannot forget that.

To avoid many hotel changes, visit Haarlem in the day and take an onward train to den Haag same day-your ticket will allow this. OR do these visits from same place in AMS=so you do not need to carry luggage etc.

On all segments there are at least 4 trains/hr so you do not really need to preplan seriously. The rides take like 18-30-20 mins for A-H-dH-R.

There are also tourist aimed unlimited travel tickets for a small or larger area around AMS-but none of these cover d Hg nor Rtm-only some do Haarlem so for you this is not worthwhile.

On the tripadvisor touristy forum you can find detailed explanation of how to pay for travel here in NL

Thanks so much for that and kudos on the Thanksgiving!  Color me extremely impressed.  hehe  That was basically what I was wondering.  Does that tourist unlimited pass thing work to dH and Rtm so the answer is no there.  How about on the first day?  We had planned to get an uber from the airport to Haarlem and just bus it to the city center for the Christmas market.  If we got an unlimited ticket can we use that to get to the airport to Haarlem and in and around Haarlem or is Haarlem outside the limit of that card?  Not a big deal either way!  I have the NS app on my phone from the last time!  Thanks for all the advice.  We will be coming mid December.  

Reputatie 3

Like bahnrider said there is no point in buying an OV Chipkaart for such small trips. At least for the train rides you're better off buying tickets (issued at disposable chip-cards) from the vending machines at the railway stations.


For transport within the cities that you plan to visit the specialist tourist offerings could be worth your money. These come on disposable chip-cards and can be bought at railway stations, tourist offices, sometimes on board of the bus or tram, and some hotels sell these at the reception.


For the Amsterdam region the Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket covers Haarlem, Amsterdam as well as the bus between Schiphol and Haarlem (bus 300 runs every 5 minutes or so - if you don't choose to use Uber after all). It also covers some train lines as shown on the map linked on this site: Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket | I amsterdam . But indeed it does not cover trains to The Hague.


Various products exist in the South Holland province, check the full offering here: How does it work | Tourist Day Ticket ( These are also issued on disposable chip-cards. A tourist ticket covering the full province costs €14,50. This ticket does NOT cover Dutch Railways (NS) trains, but it does cover the metro line between The Hague and Rotterdam.


Finally, a day pass the for The Netherlands complete exist. This covers all forms of public transport, including all trains. The cheapest option (off-peak) is €43, but only rarely is this pass more economical than buying loose tickets (Holland Travel Ticket | Tickets & Supplements | NS)


Finally, for planning your journeys it's efficient to use, it covers all forms of public transport in the Netherlands. They also have an app that you can download on your smartphone.

Holy crap you all certainly know a lot about all things Netherlands! hehe  WOO HOO!  Cant wait.


If I was to buy the single day pass out of the airport, I could use that to take bus 300 to Haarlem and then use it again to go from our hotel to the Christmas market and back again to the hotel all on the one ticket for the day right and even back again the next morning to the train station to get on the train to The Hague.  (Which would be a separate ticket) that is as opposed to buying 1 ticket to get to Haarlem, one ticket to get to the hotel, one ticket back to the christmas market and one ticket to go back to the hotel once it was over is that right?  

Reputatie 3

The Amsterdam and Region Ticket (one day pass) will cover all those bus trips on the same calendar day. So the trip on the next morning will not be covered (unless you buy a two-day pass).

But for only those three bus trips (Airport → Haarlem; to and from the christmas markets) the Amsterdam and Region ticket may not be the most economical (€19,50).

It's probably just as cheap to buy tickets on the go from the bus driver (major credit cards accepted). From the airport to Haarlem should be €6,50, a bus ticket for a journey within Haarlem should be €2,50. … some money saved to spend on a Gluhwein!

Safe travels!

Thanks Eberkhout!  Sounds like just buying the tickets is the way to go!  I looked at Uber and it turns out it is 50-60 Euros just to go from the airport to Haarlem so I am sure the bus or train for the 4 of us is probably about the same price.  


I think the options are train to Haarlem, bus 2 to get to the hotel or bus 300 to Haarlem and bus 2 to get to the hotel.  I assume you just get out at the bus station and buy another ticket for the 2 bus, the ticket for the 300 is not the same one is it?


Then to get from Haarlem to the hotel in The Hague it seems you need to take 2 trains, is that also one ticket or two?  Thanks everyone!  



37m by train every 30 minutes


US$11 - US$26

Den Haag HS

Change / Transfer

Den Haag, Station Hollands Spoor

12m by tram every 15 minutes



Den Haag, Adriaan Goekooplaan

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There is a company that lends out ov-chipcards (pick up at the Hertz desk at Schiphol Airport and travel all you want) for all public transport, billed afterwards via your VISA/Mastercard/Amex credit card.

Forgot the name but someone else here will remember.

Badge +3

Oh, the one I had in mind was but they suspended their services.

There must be some other way to do all you want at a reasonable price. At ticket machines at Schiphol Airport (machines with a ‘big belly’) or the NS Service Desk at Schiphol Plaza you can get an ov-chipcard for € 7,50.

Those (anonymous) cards are valid 5 years but of course need balance loaded on them for travel. When leaving NL, get leftover balance back at the NS Tickets & Service desk at Schiphol.

For train, the balance needed is €20, for bus/tram/metro (local) you need €4 and for Qliner 300 it’s probably €8 or so.

Trips will be billed according to the distance travelled, so if the entry fee (train) is €20 and a ride costs € 5,50 your card balance will be credited € 14,50 so make sure to always tap in and out.

Unfortunately you can only pick up the cards around Utrecht. 

Badge +3

Unfortunately you can only pick up the cards around Utrecht. 

Yes! Those cards I meant… but the pick-up locations link on that website is totally broken, too.

@Mike Lake if you have friends/relatives in NL, they could order personal cards in your name(s) but they will be liable for any travel costs (no credit card payment possible).

A personal card (photo needed) with NS Flex Dal Voordeel 40% off-peak reduction (train only) costs €5 then for a month, and has a 7 days manufacturing/delivery time.

No balance needed (auto debit afterwards) for all public transport including OV-bike rental.