A Week in the Netherlands

After spending Konigsdag in Amsterdam (you can read all about that particular adventure here), I went on a brief trip to Belgium and came back to spend the rest of my stay in the Netherlands. There’s a lot to see and explore outside of Amsterdam, especially in the spring! For example, Keukenhof, one of the world’s largest gardens, is only open for 8 weeks from April to May. 

FLIGHT:
JFK to AMS (Amsterdam)
Cost: $987.66 roundtrip
Direct Flight

My visit was at the end of April to the beginning of May so it was peak spring season. I broke down my trip into the following:

Delft and Den Haag were put together into one full day trip while Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans were another full day trip. It takes a while to get to Giethoorn from Amsterdam and if you plan on renting a boat there to take around the canals, that also takes time so I would spend at least a full day there.

Getting around the Netherlands is fairly easy – if you have a chipkaart, you can just beep in and beep out at every station and bus inside the entire country (no need to buy separate tickets as you just need to top up the card). To plan out longer distances and figure out which trains and buses are needed to get to cities and towns outside of Amsterdam, 9292 is a great site to plan out and budget transportation.

GETTING AROUND:
Single Journey: €2,90
OV Chipkaart: €1,20

Chipkaart Non-Refundable Fees:
Anonymous Chipkaart Cost: €7,50
Personal Chipkaart Cost: €7,50 (Residents only)

It’s cheaper to buy a chipkaart if using public transport and trains frequently. Otherwise, buy single journey

There are a few rules in using both regular single journey tickets and chipkaarts. You must always check-in and check-out. If you have a single journey ticket, and you don’t check out, you cannot utilize the free transfer that comes with the ticket. Not checking out invalidates the ticket and will generate some annoyance with the bus drivers. Chipkaarts have the same rules but there are monetary penalties, which are outlined below.

CHIPKAART:
Minimum card balance of €4 (public transport) and €20 (train)

ALWAYS CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT ON THE CARD READER

If you forget to check-out, €4 will be deducted from the chipkaart for public transport and €20 will be deducted from the chipkaart for trains

If you’re staying in Amsterdam for at least 5 days, I definitely recommend getting the anonymous chipkaart. You can easily make up for the non-refundable fee after a few rides since the fares are lower with chipkaarts.

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