Tip – The Netherlands

Quite a general posting this for the whole country, as far as I could find. Overall, the Netherlands were great. Wonderful people, dead easy to get around and so forth. Ideal for cycling. Cycle paths (and therefore safe walking) is possible not just within towns and cities, but between them all. Superb.

An issue, however, with the public transport. You must ensure you have change to buy a ticket. The inspectors are very strict and the excuse of “I couldn’t pay, no matter how hard I tried” will not work. Many stations are unmanned, and only have ticket machines. None of these accept notes or credit/debit cards. Even if you find a ticket office, you will need cash as they won’t accept Visa.

Actually, hardly anywhere in the Netherlands takes Visa. Maestro is the plastic of choice, if you’re one of the few people that have a compatible card.

One way to save cash on the public transport is to get a discount card, though these are only really worthwhile for the long-term resident. I’m not sure if they do short-term ones, but the annual pass is around 50 Euros and gives 40% off fares to the holder and any two people accompanying them. This is a superb idea, and at that rate of discount could pay for itself in even two weeks, depending on the travel you’re doing.

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