Rotterdam offers an extensive amount of sharing mobility services to sustainably travel around the city. With initiatives such as MoBike, Donkey Republic, Uber JUMP, and Felyx there are plenty of affordable options to travel from A to B. Sharing mobility services are ideal means to discover the city on a sunny day as an alternative to public transport in a sustainable manner.
Dutch rail services are widespread across the country, in most cases provided by Dutch Railways (Dutch: Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS). Paper train tickets can still be bought directly from ticket machines at the stations, but the OV-chipcard can also be used.
If you plan on travelling by train a lot, it might be a good idea to buy the off-peak discount pass. For €56,- a year and the price of a passport photo, you will receive a 40% discount on all off-peak train journeys (i.e. after 9:00 on weekdays and at any time in the weekend). If you have an off-peak discount pass, you can also utilise it as an OV-chipcard.
Go to the NS website, click on ‘Arrange and buy’ and navigate to ‘The off-peak discount pass’ for more information.
You can find the international NS guide for travelling in the Netherlands here. The PDF guide provides you with all the information you need about your journey by train.
With pricing ranging from €0,10 to €0,30 per minute, the rates compete with costs for public transport. An interesting alternative, if you want to travel to our university in a sustainable way. There are several possibilities to grab a bike. Donkey Republic offers bikes and e-bikes, Uber JUMP only provides e-bikes and MoBike only provides regular bike rides.
For a fixed amount starting from €13,50 per month, Swapfiets supplies you with a bike that is always at your disposal. Not working as it should be? Swapfiets will have a new bike delivered in front of your door within a day, free of costs.
Do you want to get around quickly, easily and cheaply? Then we recommend to buy a bicycle (Dutch: fiets) upon arrival in the Netherlands! It is practical and also allows you to experience something typically Dutch.
At the beginning of each semester, bicycle lessons are organised for new international students (if the weather permits). You can sign up for these lessons on this pageOpens external. During these lessons, professional instructors will teach you the basics of cycling and Dutch traffic rules.
Bicycle (repair) shops
A second-hand bicycle in reasonable shape will cost you approximately € 150. Second-hand bicycles can be bought at most bicycle shops and at the bicycle shelter at Central Station (see the overview of bicycle shops in Rotterdam for more options). We strongly advise against buying a cheap bicycle on the street as these bikes are usually stolen. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! See these 'Instructions for purchasing a bike' for more advice on what to look out for when you buy a bicycle.
There is a bicycle shop on the Woudestein campus at the Institutenlaan Tinbergen Building (H). Provisional opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can contact them directly at email@example.com or (010) 40 88550.
At Erasmus MC there is a bicycle repair shop in the basement of the He-building, open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
Don't feel like peddling? No worries, Felyx offers e-scooters that you can rent with their app. There are three different stands on campus where the e-scooters can be found, making them easily accessible. If Felyx is not available, GO Sharing and CHECK offer cheaper alternatives.
We advise you not to take your car with you to Rotterdam if you live there, because public transport is well organised, there are enough options available to transport yourself by bicycle and a parking permit is very expensive. It is also possible to rent a car for occasional use. With StudentCar you can rent a car per hour and pick up the car on campus Woudestein.
For traffic rules in the Netherlands, see the traffic regulations websiteOpens external of the Dutch government. Anyone who wishes to drive a car in the Netherlands must be 18 years or older and must have a valid driving licence.
If you are staying in the Netherlands for a maximum of 3 months and you are not registered at any municipality in the Netherlands, your current driving license is valid.
If you stay longer than 3 months and you are registered at a Dutch municipality, your foreign driving license is only valid for 6 months. After 6 months you either have to exchange your foreign driving license for a Dutch driving license or take a new test for a Dutch driving license.
EU/EEA citizens and citizens from Taiwan, Israel, Japan, the States of Jersey (UK), the Isle of Mann (UK), Switzerland, Monaco and Singapore can exchange their driving license. Others have to apply for a Dutch driving license by taking a Versneld Bijzonder Examen (VBE) (i.e. Driving Test with Priority). Consult the Yellow Pages for a good driving school.
Please bear in mind that obtaining a Dutch driving license can take a few months. For further information, please check the website of Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen (CBR): www.cbr.nlOpens external (only in Dutch).
The Netherlands can easily be reached by airplane.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is about 40 minutes by train from Rotterdam. This is the largest airport of The Netherlands, and will probably will be welcoming you when you first arrive here. Travelling from and to Rotterdam from the airport is easiest by trainOpens external.