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 €55 a year and the price of a passport photo, you get 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 use it as an OV-chipcard.

Go to the NS website, click on ‘Arrange and buy’ and then on ‘The off-peak discount pass’ for more information.

Please note that the NS are planning on introducing new discount passes. You will find information on these passes on the same place on their website.

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.