Utrecht Guide

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How to Get to Utrecht, Netherlands

 

The city of Utrecht lies in the centre of the Netherlands and is about 45km south of Amsterdam.

Utrecht Central Station is the main domestic railway hub of the country with direct rail services to most of the major Dutch cities. There are also some international trains and coaches serving Utrecht.

Getting to Utrecht from Amsterdam Schiphol airport - There is a regular Intercity rail service (up to 4x hourly) from Schiphol Airport to Utrecht Central which first makes stops at Amsterdam Zuid and Amsterdam Bijlmer. The trains continue south to either Nijmegen (via Arnhem) or Venlo (via 's-Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven). The Schiphol-Utrecht journey takes just over 30 minutes and costs €8.70 (2nd class) and €14.80 (1st class).

A taxi from Schiphol to Utrecht would normally cost around €90 on the meter. Some companies can offer lower fixed fares. For example, local Utrecht taxi company UTC (+31(0)30 2300 400) has a fixed €55 Utrecht-Schiphol fare either way if booked in advance.

utrecht central station

Getting to Utrecht from Amsterdam Central - Intercity services (direction Maastricht and Nijmegen) run every 15 minutes to Utrecht Central. The journey takes 27 minutes with a single stop at Amsterdam Amstel. One-way tickets costs €7.50 (2nd class) and €12.80 (1st class). It is also possible to travel on the non-stop ICE international service between Amsterdam and Utrecht (22 minutes, runs every 2 hours) if paying the domestic supplement of €2.40.

Getting to Utrecht from Rotterdam - There is a 4x hourly service from Rotterdam which goes to Utrecht via Rotterdam Alexander and Gouda. This 37 minute trip costs €10.30 (2nd class) or €17.50 (1st class). Some trains continue to either Groningen or Leeuwarden.

If you are heading to Utrecht by rail from France/Belgium/UK - then you should change at Rotterdam and not Amsterdam. This can include Eurostar passengers from London who changed in Brussels, Thalys passengers from Paris/Brussels/Antwerp and Intercity Brussels passengers from Brussels/Antwerp.

Getting to Utrecht from Eindhoven - Intercity services run from Eindhoven to Utrecht Central via 's-Hertogenbosch 4x hourly (direction either Schiphol Airport or Alkmaar). The 50 minute trip costs €14.30 (2nd class) and €24.30 (1st class). More info here for those arriving at Eindhoven airport.

Night train service - Note there are hourly night trains running to/from Utrecht which serve the cities mentioned.

All above prices are valid for 2016. There is a €1 surcharge to purchase disposable train tickets - see our guide how to buy a Dutch train ticket.

International train services to/from Utrecht - The regular ICE International train between Frankfurt/Cologne/Dusseldorf and Amsterdam makes a stop at Utrecht Central. There is also a daily service to/from Basel in Switzerland. In addition, all the night train sleeper services to/from Amsterdam (Basel/Zurich/Munich) make a stop in Utrecht.

utrecht central station platforms

Arriving at Utrecht Central Station

On arrival at Utrecht central station head upstairs from the platform to the new main hall which has undergone a major renovation. Here you will find the reader machines for checking-in/out with OV-chip card tickets.

The station contains a NS domestic and International rail ticket counter, ATM machines, a bureau-de-change, toilets and left luggage lockers. There are a number of cafes and fast food outlets -  if needing to wait a good place is the Bistrot Centraal on the upper level. The station has various shops including AKO newsagents, Albert Heijn To Go mini supermarkets, ETOS chemist, HEMA and Holland & Barrett.

The station has multiple exits which can confuse visitors. If walking to the city centre, most people leave via the connected Hoog Catharijne shopping centre (located past platforms 1-4). Between the station and shopping centre there is an Utrecht info booth with maps available. If you need a taxi, then take the stairs/escalator down on the right just before leaving the station.

The opposite end of the station (past platform 20) leads you to the Jaarbeursplein (near the Jaarbeurs Exhibition & Convention Centre) where you will find U-OV city buses, trams to Nieuwegein and IJsselstein plus the following coach/bus services:

Eurolines - There is a 2x daily coach serving London Victoria (a day service and an overnight service). There are also direct Eurolines services from Utrecht to Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Prague and Barcelona. Onward connections throughout Europe are possible. The Eurolines Utrecht ticket office can be found at Domplein 9 in the VVV tourist office.

Flixbus - The German bus company also operates coach services to/from Utrecht including Antwerp, Paris and a variety of German cities.

Brabant Liner - This is a domestic intercity bus (services 401 run by Arriva) which travels between Utrecht and the southern city of Breda. The journey takes about 90 minutes. In Breda, the bus arrives just outside the railway station.

NS replacement buses - During periods of maintenance and/or service disruptions, rail replacement buses run from Jaarbeursplein.

Driving to Utrecht - We don't recommend visitors drive if they only need to visit the city centre, as parking rates are expensive. Utrecht is a central motorway hub surrounded by the following roads - the A2, the major north-south artery linking Amsterdam to Maastricht; the A12 linking Arnhem and Den Haag; the A27 which connects Almere to Breda and the A28 which goes to Groningen via Amersfoort and Zwolle.

a27 road utrecht

See also how to get around Utrecht by public transport

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