A number of Dutch retail stores occasionally offer deals on day tickets for unlimited travel on NS trains. In this article we will keep up-to-date on the latest rail offers available over-the-counter from various Dutch stores.
Here is a summary of the NS train day tickets (NS dagkaartjes) regularly on offer. Bear in mind that sales periods are short and the tickets are often unavailable. You will note that each store has slightly different travel validity restrictions for its tickets.
NS Day Ticket (valid on weekends only, OV-chip card). Usual price €13.99. Currently not available. Last sale period: 26 Sep – 9 Oct 2016. Last travel validity: 1 Oct 2016 – 1 Jan 2017. For a full explanation see our article Kruidvat NS day tickets
Blokker (houseware store)
NS Day Ticket (valid off-peak on weekdays, anytime at weekends, OV-chip card). Price €14.50. Sale period: 7 – 18 Jan 2017. Travel validity: 9 Jan – 19 Feb 2017. See below for more info.
Albert Heijn (supermarket)
NS Weekend Ticket (valid from 1830 Friday until 0400 Monday, OV-chip card) gives unlimited train travel over the whole weekend. Price €15. Currently not available. Last sale period: 21 Nov – 4 Dec 2016. Last travel validity: 25 Nov 2016 – 29 Jan 2017.
HEMA (general store)
NS Day Return (valid after 0900 on weekdays with no evening restrictions, anytime at weekends, e-ticket). Usual price €19. Includes HEMA drink and snack. Currently not available. Last sale expired: 25 Sep 2016. Last travel validity: 5 Sep – 20 Nov 2016.
NS Day Return (“super dal” ticket, valid only after 1100, OV-chip card). Usual price €19.90 for 2 tickets (which is €9.95 per ticket). Currently not available. Last sale expired: 27 Mar 2016. Last travel validity: 14 Mar – 22 May 2016.
How To Use the NS Day Tickets
All the tickets above are valid on the entire Dutch rail network including NS and other operators: Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Syntus and Veolia. Domestic rail travel is also valid on Intercity Direct (Schiphol-Rotterdam) and ICE International trains (Amsterdam-Utrecht-Arnhem) as long as you purchase the appropriate supplements. No travel is permitted on the Thalys trains.
For OV-chip card tickets, you must always check-in and check-out at the card readers for every segment of your trip when you leave the station. The card is simply activated on the day you travel by checking-in for the first time.
E-tickets are personal and need to be printed out with your name and date-of-birth. You need to bring accompanying ID. With e-tickets you do not check-in or out but you can use the special barcode to open gates if required (an increasing number of Dutch stations are using closed barriers).
Blokker NS Day Tickets
Household retail chain Blokker offers a 1 day off-peak ticket (Dal Vrij Dagkaart) a few times per year which costs around €15. These are available over-the-counter and are in the form of an OV-chip smart card. The Kruidvat and Blokker tickets are the most popular offers and can sell out quickly.
The Blokker NS tickets are valid during off-peak hours on weekdays and anytime at weekends – unlike the Kruidvat tickets which are only valid over the weekends. This means you cannot check-in during the peak hours of 0630-0900 and 1600-1830 Monday to Friday. However you can travel during the peak hours if you have checked-in before 0630 or 1600.
There are around 600 Blokker stores in the Netherlands. Locations in Amsterdam include:
Kalverstraat 41 (main shopping street)
Jodenbreestraat 19 (near Waterlooplein)
Stadhouderskade 111 (near Heineken Brewery)
Ceintuurbaan 109A (De Pijp)
Haarlemmerdijk 72 (north-west)
Spaarndammerstraat 99 (north-west)
Maasstraat 37 (Rivierenbuurt)
Rijnstraat 64 (Rivierenbuurt)
Oostelijke Handelskade 1029 (Zeeburg)
1E Oosterparkstraat 197 (east)
Beethovenstraat 76 (Apollo/old south district)
Zeilstraat 2 (old-south)
Kinkerstraat 260 (old-west)
Bilderdijkstraat 169 (old-west)
Jan van Galenstraat 107A (west)
Mercatorplein 88 (west)