Utrecht Guide

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Getting Around Utrecht


The city of Utrecht lies some 45km south of Amsterdam.

Let's take a look at how to get around Utrecht by various forms of public transport - including buses, trams and trains as well as foot and bicycle.

See also our article How to Get to Utrecht which looks at international and domestic trains plus coach services.

On Foot - The cheapest and easiest option, Utrecht city centre is small enough so that the majority of visitors can quite easily get around solely (pardon the pun) on foot. From Utrecht central station you can access the city centre by walking through the attached Hoog Catharijne shopping centre. From the exit make your way to the Oude Gracht (old canal) and imposing Dom tower at the heart of the old centre. Just watch out for the cobbled streets and cyclists!

Buses - These can be useful if you need to head to the outer areas of the city. Buses are operated by U-OV (Qbuzz, owned by NS Dutch railways) which runs around 30 bus lines around the city. There are a number of bus stop areas around Utrecht central station, mainly at the Jaarbeurspein end of Central station.

utrecht gvu bus station

Some places of interest to visit which may require a bus ride are the Rietveld Schroder House museum (line 8, 12 or 41) and Utrecht FC football stadium (line 12). In addition, minibus line 2 is a useful circular route which travels around the museum quarter.

Utrecht Bus Tickets:  A one-time single (U-OV reiskaart paper ticket) costs €2.70 (2017) which can be bought from the driver. After 1800 on Thursdays and Fridays and over the whole weekend, the single U-OV reiskaart be used as a return ticket. Or buy one of the day cards: 1 day (€6), 3 days (€11.50) or 5 days (€16) all available as a paper ticket.

U-OV buses also use the OV-chip card public transport smart card system. When travelling you can use the e-purse on a personal or anonymous OV-chip card - this costs €0.89 (boarding fee) + €0.137 per km - you must check-in and -out of your journey.

Train - Utrecht Central is the main station of the city. There are a number of smaller stations out in the suburbs which can be reached using various stopping trains - Utrecht Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht Lunetten, Utrecht Maliebaan, Utrecht Overvecht, Utrecht Terwijde, Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn and Utrecht Zuilen.

Tram - There is a U-OV sneltram light-rail service from Utrecht Central which runs to the satellite towns of Nieuwegein and IJsselstein, a few kilometres south of the city. It is perhaps not of great use to visitors. The tram is also used by people visiting the Utrecht IKEA store - a short walk from stop "Kanaleneiland Zuid". OV-chip cards must be scanned at readers on the tram platforms rather than on board.

A new 7.5km tram line extension from Utrecht central to the university campus at Science Park De Uithof is planned to be built and operational by mid-2018. This will replace some existing bus services.

Cycling - Being a student city, cycling in Utrecht is very popular with an extensive network of dedicated cycle lanes. In fact, the busiest cycling path in the country can be found between Central Station and the Tivoli-Vredenberg theatre. The largest bike parking facility in the world will soon be opened at Central Station with capacity for 12,500 bikes.

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