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Cycling and public transport

The Netherlands is a small and densely populated country, which makes it easy to travel from one place to another.

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.

Transport by bike

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. Via Student Mobility you can also arrange a lease-bike: for a fixed monthly fee you will get a fully serviced bike.

Public transport options

  • Check in and out using a debit, credit card or OV-chipkaart 

    In the Netherlands you need to check in and out for each ride (train, bus, tram, metro) you make. This can be done by holding the card against the reader present on platforms or stations (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 mode of transport (e.g. from train to metro) or vehicle (e.g. different bus lines). 

    Since 2023 you can do this with a debit or credit card (unless you want to use a discount, see below). Another option is to buy an OV-chipkaart to travel around with the train, bus, metro and tram. There are two possibilities: 

    1. An anonymous card without any discount 
    2. A personal card for travel products, where you need a Dutch debit card 
  • 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.

  • Student mobility: public transport and bike options

    VU Amsterdam teamed up with Student Mobility to provide international students easy access to all forms of transport in the Netherlands. With Student Mobility you are able to receive a customized public transport card (+ an ISIC Student-ID) with special discounts for international students! You can use this card for train, tram, metro and bus.

    Next to the card you can also arrange a lease-bike: for a fixed monthly fee you will get a fully serviced bike. Sign up or order now and we will inform you in time about the pick-up and delivery options!

  • General season tickets

    Will you be travelling daily by train or bus, on the samte? 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.

  • app

    If you have a smartphone, the app 9292 (available in English) is a convenient way of planning your journey.