Public Transport

Train, Metro, Tram, Bus, and Bike


There are several types of transportation within the city. The most common types in Rotterdam are trams, bus, and metro (subway). In normal situations, public transport operates starting from 6 AM until 1 AM.

Most strategic locations can be reached by tram and metro. Some lines of the tram and metro available in Rotterdam are connected to smaller nearby towns, such as Schiedam and The Hague. Buses are the most common alternatives to reach suburban areas. 

For students with who travel for less than 5 km, it is recommended to use bicycles, as bike lines in Rotterdam are safe, with designated lanes and traffic lights. Aside from being a healthy alternative, biking also reduces pollution and is friendly to your pockets!


The most used type of transportation between cities is train, as it is fast, safe, and departs very frequently. For travel between nearby cities, such as Rotterdam-Delft, buses are also available, although the duration is slightly longer. 


To travel to countries that share their borders with the Netherlands, train is still the main mode of transportation. NS International provides routes to Belgium and Germany. As alternatives, German ICE and French Thalys also stop in major cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. Private bus companies such as Eurolines and FlixBus aso provide travel routes between countries with affordable prices.


To use public transportations in Rotterdam (and in the Netherlands in general), you would need OV-Chipkaart. This card can be topped-up with credit to pay for the transportation fee. There are several types of OV-Chipkaart that can be chosen according to your needs. 

  • Anonymous OV-Chipkaart
  • This card can be topped-up with as much balance as you want. This card can be bought from RET booths in Rotterdam Centraal or metro station Beurs. This card costs 7.5 Euro (with 0 Euro credit) and is valid for 5 years. Credit can be topped-up through opladen machines available in each metro station, RET booths, and some supermarkets, as well as yellow-colored buses. Don’t forget to check in and out every time you use the card!
  • Personal OV-Chipkaart
  • In terms of function, Personal OV-Chipkaart is more or less the same than Anonymous OV-Chipkaart, however, Personal OV-Chipkaart can only be ordered through online forms available in the OV-Chipkaart website. This card can be topped-up with the desirable credit through opladen machines available in each metro station, RET booths, and some supermarkets, or through the automatic top-up feature connected to your debit card. Forgot to check in or out? Personal OV-Chipkaart offers you the Mijn-OV page, where you can view your travel history and claim to forget to check-out from the menu in the Mijn-OV page.
  • Disposable Card
  • Single use OV-Chipkaart is valid for 1 hour (only for bus and tram) and costs 4 Euro. This card can be purchased directly from the tram or bus. There are other kinds of disposable cards, such as: RET 2 uur reizen (valid for 2 hours and can be used for metro), 2 metro reizen, RET 1, 2, or 3 days. 
  • Vordeelurenabonnement Kaart or Korting Kaart
  • This korting kaart is one of the most used NS products among Indonesian students in the Netherlands. If you pick this card, you can travel by trains with 40% discounts from normal ticket price (weekdays after 9 AM, weekend all day long). You can also travel with up to 3 people with 40% discount. This card also function as your OV-Chipkaart. To get this card, you can subscribe for one year for 55 Euro. This card can also be bought in NS counters in Rotterdam Centraal. 
  • NS Dagkaart
  • Several supermarkets and stores, such as Jumbo, Blokker, Hema, Albert Heijn, and Kruidvat periodically sells this dagkaart product. With this card, you can travel across the Netherlands with just 19 Euro all day long.