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 30 bus lines around the city. There are a number of bus stop areas around Utrecht central station although these are changing regularly due to ongoing station renovations.

utrecht gvu bus station

Some places of interest to visit which may require a bus ride are the Rietveld Schroder House museum (line 4) and Utrecht FC football stadium (line 12). In addition, bus line 2 is a useful circular route which travels around the museum quarter.

Utrecht Bus Tickets: U-OV buses use the OV-chip card public transport smart card system. A one-time single (U-OV reiskaart) costs €2.70 which can be bought from the driver. Alternatively, use the e-purse on a personal or anonymous OV-chip card - this costs €0.88 (boarding fee) + €0.128 per km - you must check-in and -out of your journey. After 1800 on Thursday and Friday or the whole weekend can the single U-OV reiskaart be used as a return ticket.

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 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 - however the first stops are close to the Utrecht Geld (Money) Museum and the Jaarbeurs exhibition centre - though both are easily walkable from the station. 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 from Utrecht central to the university campus at Uithof is planned to be built and operational by 2018. This will replace some existing bus services.

Cycling - As in most Dutch cities, Utrecht has an extensive network of dedicated cycle lanes. Thousands of people visit the centre by bike each day - especially during the morning rush hour. There are a number of bike rental shops in Utrecht centre - for example, Fietspunt at Nobelstraat 293 (T: +31(0)30 230 0849) charges €8 for a 24 hour rental - note it is closed on Sundays. There are also OV-fiets outlets around the station which also rent standard bikes.

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