You will find many forms of public transport available in The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and surrounding region of the Netherlands. Some are common, others more unique.
Here are ten types of public transport available in Holland…
TRAIN: NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) is the Dutch national rail service operator, which is majority owned by the government. 3 types of trains run: Intercity (express), Sprinter (local) and High Speed. More info
TRAM: Tram service is provided at the municipal level. Only 4 cities in the Netherlands operate tram transport systems: Amsterdam (GVB), The Hague (HTM), Rotterdam (RET) and Utrecht (Qbuzz). In all cases, tram service goes beyond municipal borders into neighboring cities. Amsterdam’s trams reach Amstelveen and Diemen, The Hague’s trams connect Delft, Rijswijk, Wateringen, Voorburg and Leidschendam. Rotterdam’s trams reach Schiedam and Barendrecht and Utrecht’s trams reach Ijsselstein and Nieuwegein.
METRO: Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the only two cities that operate underground transport by Metro.
The Amsterdam Metro network consists of five lines 50/51/52/53/54 and conncets the neighboring cities of Amstelveen, Diemen and Oude-Amstel.
Rotterdam Metro has five lines A/B/C/D/E and connects the neighboring municipalities of Capelle aan den Ijssel and Schiedam. Beurs is the Metro hub; the only station which all 5 lines run through.
RANDSTADRAIL: This light rail service was designed to connect the larger Rotterdam – The Hague metropolitan area via an underserved corridor of suburbs. RET operates the north-south service (Metro line E) which connects Rotterdam to The Hague via towns of Bergschenkoek, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Pijnacker, Nootdorp, Leidschendam and Voorburg. Bikes are allowed on Metro E for free weekdays from 09:00-16:30 and again after 18:30, and all day on weekends.
HTM operates the east-west RandstadRail service (Tram 3/4) which connects The Hague with Zoetermeer via Voorburg and Leidschendam. Bikes are allowed on Tram 3/4 for free weekdays after 19:00 and all day on weekends.
BUS: Bus service in the Netherlands is operated at the municipal level. Key bus transport providers are GVB in the Amsterdam region, HTM in the Haaglanden region (includes The Hague), RET in the Rijnmond region (includes Rotterdam), Connexxion, Arriva and Qbuzz in other areas.
WATERBUS: Due to the topography of the province’s southern portion, water transport is an efficient means of travel. Waterbus service is operated by Aquabus connecting the Rotterdam metro area with the Dordrecht metro area, including suburb towns in between (such as Krimpen aan den Ijssel, Ridderkerk, Kinderdijk, Alblasserdam, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Papendrecht, Zwijndrecht and Sliedrecht). The catamaran-looking boats stop at key landings along the route which makes the Waterbus service a great option for sightseeing (they offer a hop-on-hop-off ticket and you can bring your bicycle on at no additional charge).
BICYCLE: OV-Fiets are bicycles which can be rented at all major train stations in Holland. You use the same OV-Chipcard (universal travel card) used for train, bus, metro, tram and ferry transport. In order to access this service, you must load the OV-Fiets app onto your OV-Chipcard and then you are good to go. Reservations are not required. Simply select a bicycle and the attendant will scan the bar code on the bike as well as your card.
WATERTAXI: In Rotterdam, Watertaxi transport is offered along the Maas river and offshoot waterways with nearly 50 boarding locations spanning from Kinderdijk in the east to the port of Rotterdam in the west and Pernis and Spijkenisse in the south. Rates are by distance. Extended transport can be requested for as far as Dordrecht. The watertaxi boats travel at up to 50 kph, are windproof and heated during colder months.
FERRY: There are many ferry services in Holland, especially in the Amsterdam and Rotterdam areas. Some of the ferries which offer regular scheduled passenger transport include the Amsterdam ferry (operated by GVB), Maassluis-Rozenburg ferry (operated by Connexxion), the Hook of Holland-Maasvlakte Fast Ferry (operated by RET) and the Schoonhoven-Groot Ammers Ferry.
AIR: Scheduled airline flights are offered at several airports in the Netherlands. These include Schiphol Amsterdam Airport (AMS), the third largest airport in Europe based on passenger volume, Eindhoven Airport (EIN), Rotterdam-The Hague Airport (RTM) and Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA). All offer flights to destinations in Europe. Schiphol also offers international overseas flights to destinations around the world.