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Rotterdam is well connected to the Netherlands railroad system and has many international train connections. The major train hub is Rotterdam Central Station in the middle of the city centre with non stop train services to other big cities in the Netherlands such as Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Also most international trains, like the Thalys from Brussels and Paris, call at Rotterdam CS. From Rotterdam Central Station you can get anywhere in Rotterdam by changing to other trains, trams, buses, lightrail, metro or by taking a taxi or even a rental bike!
There are several other train stations in Rotterdam, most of them on the North-South line from Amsterdam to Dordrecht (Rotterdam CS, Rotterdam Blaak, Rotterdam Zuid, Rotterdam Lombardijen) The other stations in Rotterdam are on the East-West line from Hoek van Holland to Utrecht (Schiedam / Rotterdam West, Rotterdam Noord and Rotterdam Alexander). Not every train calls at every station, so always check the travel information at the station or online at The Dutch Railways internet site. The railway station Feyenoordstadion is only open for events at the Feyenoord stadium in Rotterdam.
The Dutch Railways offer a fast InterCity train service connecting Rotterdam non stop with other big cities in the Netherlands, while slower regional trains call at nearly every station. The ticket rates are equal. The fastest city-centre-to-city-centre trip times to Rotterdam are:
|42 min||Paris North (Thalys)||2 hrs 37 min|
|26 min||London St. Pancras|
|3 hrs 55 min|
|The Hague HS (InterCity)||19 min||DÃ¼sseldorf (ICE)||2 hrs 41 min|
|Utrecht (InterCity)||38 min||Cologne (ICE)||3 hrs 07 min|
|Antwerp (Thalys)||32 min||Berlin (ICE)||6 hrs 55 min|
|Brussels South (Thalys)||1 hr 10 min||Frankfurt Airport|
|4 hrs 11 min|
Seven days a week, the Dutch Railways offers an hourly night train services (midnight till 4 am) connecting Rotterdam Central Station with The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. You can travel by train from Rotterdam CS to Gouda and Utrecht every Friday and Saturday night aswell.
Train tickets can be purchased at the ticket machines at every railway station. The machines accept both EC- and credit cards (€0,50 surcharge) and cash. Most bigger stations do have a ticket office as well, but you will be charged a small fee for using the sales offices instead of the machines. To be able to travel by train in Holland, you must purchase a Travel Chipcard in advance with a minimum prepaid credit of €20,-. Please note that this chip card must be validated for train travel first, which can be done electronically at the ticket machines as well. If you only travel by train once in a while, it's probably cheaper to buy a 'classic' paper ticket at a €1,- surcharge. This paper train ticket also has a chip inside. No matter what train ticket or chipcard you buy, the golden train rule applies: always check in at the electronic gates and check out at the gates on your destination!
It's allowed to take your bicycle on board the Dutch trains during the weekend and on weekday from 9 am - 4 pm and after 6:30 pm, but you'll have to buy a separate electronic ticket with a flatrate of €6.
On the route Breda - Rotterdam - Schiphol - Amsterdam, the Netherlands Railways offer an InterCity direct train every 30 minutes. This InterCity Direct takes you to your destination in 25 minutes less time, compared to the regular InterCity trains. You have pay a surcharge (€2,30 per stretch) which can be purchased at the surcharge ticket machines at the InterCity Direct platform. This enables you to choose to take the InterCity Direct or wait for the next regular train.
It is not possible to make a seat reservation on a Dutch domestic train. Trains in the Netherlands have second class and some first class sections. The 2nd class seat comfort is fine, but during rush hours it's usually very crowded and you might not find a free seat.
International train tickets (Thalys, ICE, TGV and Eurostar) and seat reservation can be purchased at the Service Centre at Rotterdam Central Station or can be booked online at www.nsinternational.nl.
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