With an extensive network of cycle lanes, bicycle parking everywhere and even traffic lights specifically for bicycles, there is no safer or easier place to cycle than here. We also have an excellent public transport system that makes it easy to travel longer distances.
Cycling and public transport
Cycling in the Netherlands
The Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, is a bicycle-friendly place. Cycling is the most common way of getting around. It is fast, it is environment-friendly, and easy! And of course it is also one of the cheapest methods of transportation.
Most students arriving for the first time in Amsterdam find that buying a (second-hand) bike is not only an affordable way to travel between home and study, but also a great way of getting to know the city and the surrounding area. It may take some practice to learn to ride your bike like a Dutchie, but once you have learned it you will soon find yourself enjoying this piece of Dutch culture.
To make sure you buy a bike with excellent quality at a decent price, VU Amsterdam teamed up with The BikeBoys. The BikeBoys is founded by two students who realised that it was a challenge for students to buy a good quality second hand bike. Now, years later, The BikeBoys is still being managed primarily by students who give you great tips and tricks for Amsterdam while you collect your bike!
All the bikes are secondhand, but they feel brand new. The old frames of Amsterdam bikes are used and given a new life, renewing the mechanics and tyres where necessary. Of course, all are equipped with lights and a bike bell. Moreover, they meet all safety requirements and are checked on brake functionality, overall stability of the bike and tyres. Would you like to have your own bike as soon as you arrive in the city? Then make sure to order your bike via the BikeBoys website.
Public transport options
Public transport card: OV chipkaart
In the Netherlands you need an OV-chipkaart to travel around with the train, bus, metro and tram. There are two possibilities:
- An anonymous card without any discount
- A personal card for travel products, where you need a Dutch debit card and the buying process is written in Dutch
It is very important that you remember to check both in and out when using your OV-chipkaart. This can be done by holding the card against the reader present on platforms (for trains and metro) and on board the vehicle (for buses and trams). You must also check in and out when changing to a different line or mode of transport.
Student travel product
Some students may be eligible for the student travel product. This travel product is part of the Dutch student finance system. It enables you to travel by Dutch public transport for free or at a reduced rate, either during weekdays or weekends.
Note specific requirements apply and that only students with a Dutch nationality, EU/EEA and Swiss students, as well as some students with a residence permit can apply. You can find all details on the governmental DUO website.
Public transport card for international students
Just arrived in the Netherlands and unfamiliar with the Dutch public transport system? For international students, VU Amsterdam teamed up with 'Student Mobility'. They will also be present during the Practical Matters Day.
Their Tripkey Mobility Card grants you a 15% discount during weekends and weekday off-peak hours on all trains of the Dutch Railways, or Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). Not only will you receive a travel card but also a digital ISIC student ID. This 12 month membership will be your ticket to the biggest network of global student benefits in the world. More information can be found on the Student Mobility website.
Summer of 2022 - Day tickets for 1 euro!
In an attempt to encourage those in the Dutch capital to ditch the car in favour of public transport, GVB has launched a new 1-euro day ticket. Throughout the summer months, those living and working in Amsterdam will be able to travel via any and all trams, buses, and metros over a 24-hour period for just 1 euro.
Anyone hoping to make use of the 1-euro ticket can apply for it via a form on the GVB website. Applications will be open until August 26, and all tickets must be used by September 30 at the latest. For more information, please see the I am Expat website.
General season tickets
Will you be travelling daily by train or bus? Then it may be cheaper to purchase a season ticket with the public transport organisation directly. For train tickets you can take a look at the NS website and for public transport within Amsterdam you can read more on the GVB website.
If you have a smartphone, the app 9292 (available in English) is a convenient way of planning your journey.