Public transport in The Netherlands can be quite convenient and easy to use.  There’s plenty of trams, buses and metros that allow you to easily go from one place to another within a city, and trains that can bring you to other cities in and outside the country as well.

However, when you first arrive to The Netherlands you will probably go through a couple of situations that most of us have experienced, three of which I can think of being:

1-      you will probably try to go in and/or out the tram using the wrong door, and

2-      you may possibly have problems using the chip card system unless someone explained it to you before, and

3-      many Dutch people stand in the middle of the hallway when traveling standing

Possible Confusing Situations for Newcomers

Starting with situation 1: Most trams have separate doors to walk in and to walk out. Usually (at least in Amsterdam), you may walk in using the front and last doors, and you may walk out using the middle ones. But, there are signs on the doors signaling this, so if you get confused just look at the signs.

Continuing with situation number 2: You will need to have a chip card in order to travel by tram or bus. You may buy a permanent one and add money to it every time you need it, or you can buy daily/temporary ones in the trams and other selling points (there are many different kinds of chip cards, you may want to read about it in the official website of NS: http://www.ns.nl/en/travellers/ov-chipkaart ). Every time you step in a tram or bus, you must scan your card in front of the machines that are located at each door, and every time you step out you must check out doing the same.

And moving on to situation number 3: If you step on a tram or bus where all seats are taken and people have to travel standing, be prepared to have people standing in front of you in the middle of the hallway. It is as if (often it is literally this) they are walking on and then decide to stop somewhere and stay exactly in the position and direction they were facing when walking, but now standing still. In my birth country and all other countries I have seen so far, people stand on the side facing the seats and the windows in order to allow other people to walk by and move around. I have never seen this other public-transport-standing-style before, and after years living in the Netherlands I still find this somehow amusing/annoying/ intriguing J

Once you absorb these three pieces of information (which sound very easy but I see tourists and new visitors struggling with it every day!), you should look like a pro from the first time you try the Dutch public transport!

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