Cheap NS Train Day Tickets from Blokker and other Dutch Stores

blokker ns train day ticket

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.

Kruidvat (chemist)

NS Day Ticket (valid on weekends only, OV-chip card). Usual price €13.99. Last sale period: 30 Jan – 12 Feb 2017. Last travel validity: 4 Feb – 16 Apr 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. Last sale period: 7 – 18 Jan 2017. Travel validity: 9 Jan – 19 Feb 2017. See below for more info.

Albert Heijn (supermarket)

NS Day Ticket (valid after 0900 on weekdays, no restrictions during evenings or weekends, OV-chip card). Price €16. Last sale period: from 27 Feb 2017. Last travel validity: 27 Feb – 7 May 2017, not valid on King’s Day 27 Apr 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.

Etos (chemist)

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)

Cheap Dutch Train Day Tickets from Kruidvat

kruidvat ns train day ticket

A few times per year, Dutch chemist chain Kruidvat offers its Trein Dagkaart (train day ticket) which allows unlimited travel for 1 person on the entire Dutch rail network for one Saturday or Sunday. Costing just €13.99 (or €12.99 each for 2 tickets; €11.99 each for 3 tickets) this ticket is valid for a period of about 3 months and remains one of the great travel bargains of the Netherlands!

The Kruidvat day ticket is a disposable OV-chip card and is valid for 2nd class travel on NS Dutch Railways plus all other domestic Dutch train companies – Arriva, Breng, Connexxion, Syntus and Veolia. Travel is also allowed on Intercity Direct and ICE International trains with the appropriate domestic supplement; it is NOT valid on the Thalys service.

You must check-in and check-out of your journey by placing the ticket against the special card readers on the platforms. You can only use the ticket on a single day during a weekend.

Latest Kruidvat Train Ticket Dates

The current Kruidvat train day tickets are valid for 1 day’s travel on a Saturday or Sunday between 4 February and 16 April 2017. These are on sale only between 30 January and 12 February 2017.

Tickets can be bought at any Kruidvat store or online at kruidvat.nl. For online purchases there is a maximum of 4 tickets per client with payment possible by iDeal (Dutch bank transfer), MasterCard and Visa. Delivery costs €3.99 but becomes free for orders over €50 (4 tickets). Delivery is for Dutch addresses only or pick-up at a Kruidvat store of your choice. Unfortunately, no international delivery is possible.

These train tickets are very popular and can sell out quickly. If you are looking to buy and are in town when they are available then do hurry over to a Kruidvat store as soon as possible.

Interesting Dutch train day ticket itineraries

The best use of these tickets is to take long trips and/or make multiple stopovers during your travel day. An obvious use is to head out to some outlying Dutch cities such as Maastricht, Middelburg or Groningen. A standard return ticket from Amsterdam to these cities would normally cost around 50 euros, so the savings can be significant. Examples are:

Is there a Primark in Amsterdam?

primark store damrak amsterdam

Primark’s new flagship store in Amsterdam opened on 1st December 2016, after about 3 years of building work in the former C&A complex. The location of Primark Amsterdam is at Damrak 77, opposite Beursplein and very close to Dam Square. It is a 5-10 minute walk from Amsterdam Central station.

Primark is a discount clothes store from Ireland which has become very popular in the UK and internationally with around 300 stores worldwide. Primark has been present in the Netherlands for a number of years but previously lacked an Amsterdam store.

At 8,800m² in floor space spread over 8 floors, the Primark Amsterdam is the largest Primark in the Netherlands. Multiple entrances are on Damrak, the parallel Nieuwendijk street and the Beurspassage which connects both streets.

primark-amsterdam-map

Opening times of Primark Amsterdam: 0900-2100 Mon-Sat, 1100-1900 Sun.

Primark shares the building with the C&A store.

Primark stores near Amsterdam

There are 2 Primark stores a short distance from Amsterdam and accessible using public transport.

Primark Zaandam – Zaandam is just a 12 minute train ride north of Amsterdam. The Primark store is at Ankersmidplein 7, Zaandam. It’s just a short walk across from Zaandam station. Open daily: Mon (1100-1900); Tue/Wed/Fri (0900-1900); Thu (0900-2100); Sat (0900-1800); Sun (1000-1700).

From Amsterdam Central station there are up to 8 trains per hour to Zaandam and a day return costs €5.40 (2016 price) + €1 for a disposable ticket. For more on how to buy a Dutch train ticket see here.

Primark Hoofddorp – Hoofdorp town is just 5 minutes by train west of Amsterdam Schiphol airport or just over 20 minutes from Amsterdam Central. From Hoofddorp station you then need to walk about 15 minutes to the main shopping area.

primark store hoofddorp netherlands

The store address is Winkelcentrum Markthof, Marktplein 254, Hoofddorp. Open: Mon (1100-1800); Tue/Wed/Thu/Sat (0900-1800); Fri (0900-2100); Sun (1200-1800).

Other Primark stores in Netherlands

With the Amsterdam store included, there are a total of 16 Primark stores in the Netherlands. Here is a complete listing of all locations of Primark shops in the Netherlands:

Primark Amsterdam – Damrak 77, 1012 LM Amsterdam
Primark Almere – Metropolestraat 11
Primark Alkmaar – Laat 128
Primark Arnhem – Ketelstraat 45
Primark Dordrecht – Modepassage Drievriendenhof 16
Primark Eindhoven – Vestdijk 2
Primark Enschede – H.J Van Heekplein 90
Primark Groningen – Westerhaven 44
Primark The Hague – Spui 50
Primark Hoofddorp – Marktplein 254
Primark Nijmegen – Plein 1944 No. 136
Primark Rotterdam Alexander – Poolsterplein 100
Primark Rotterdam Zuidplein – Zuiderterras 147-151
Primark Venlo – Oude Markt 36
Primark Zaandam – Ankersmidplein 7
Primark Zoetermeer – Burgermeester van Leeuwenpassage 2-8

From what we can see, Primark’s low price fashion model seems to be doing well in the thrifty Dutch market. The stores are busy (especially at weekends) attracting large variety of shoppers from native Dutch to those from immigrant communities as well as visitors and tourists.

See our guide to Dutch chain stores.