How to Get to Utrecht
The city of Utrecht lies in the center of the Netherlands and is about 45 km south of Amsterdam.
Utrecht Central railway 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 – If you arrive at Schiphol airport, follow the signs to the trains. You can buy a full-fare one-way ticket at the yellow ticket machines at the airport (close to the entrance to the train station). There are English instructions available, and tickets can be paid using coins or debit card.
There is a regular rail service from Schiphol to Utrecht Central which makes stops at Amsterdam Zuid and Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA. The train continues south to Maastricht or Heerlen. The journey takes 31 minutes and costs €8.70 (2nd class) or €14.80 (1st class).
A taxi from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Utrecht would normally cost around €90 on the meter. Some companies can offer lower fixed fares. For example, local Utrecht taxi company UTChas a fixed €55 Utrecht-Schiphol fare either way.
Getting to Utrecht from Amsterdam Central railway station – Train services run every 15 minutes via Amsterdam Amstel. The journey takes 27 minutes. One-way tickets costs €7.50 (2nd class) or €12.80 (1st class).
Getting to Utrecht from Rotterdam – Train services run every 15 minutes from Rotterdam to Utrecht, via Rotterdam Alexander and Gouda. This 38 minute trip costs €10.30 (2nd class) or €17.50 (1st class).
If you are heading to Utrecht by rail from France/Belgium/UK, 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 passengers from Brussels/Antwerp.
Getting to Utrecht from Eindhoven – An intercity train service runs from Eindhoven to Utrecht via Den Bosch every 15 minutes. The 50 minute trip costs €14.30 (2nd class) or €24.30 (1st class). More information for those arriving at Eindhoven airport can be found here.
International train services to/from Utrecht – The regular ICE train between Frankfurt/Cologne/Dusseldorf and Amsterdam makes a stop at Utrecht Central railway station. 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/Berlin/Copenhagen/Prague/Warsaw) make a stop in Utrecht.
On arrival at Utrecht Central railway station head upstairs from the platform to the main hall. From there, you could walk to the conference venues and city center in approximately 20 minutes. Exit through the Hoog Catharijne shopping center. If you want to take a bus, head towards the Jaarbeurs exit of the railway station. All buses depart from the bus station under the railway station, near the Jaarbeurs exit. Bus services run very frequently to Janskerkhof bus stop, which is 5 minutes away from the conference venues. Once every 15 minutes you can take bus number 2 to Domplein, which is the nearest bus stop to the conference venues.
Single-use railway tickets – These are disposable chip cards and can be bought at any Dutch train station. Most visitors to the Netherlands can make do using these single-use tickets. They carry a €1 surcharge in addition to the standard fare. They are paper tickets, with the date and route printed on them and can only be purchased on the day of travel. To validate the ticket, passengers must check-in and check-out of their journey using the card readers near the platforms or at the gate barriers. The card is disposed after use – it cannot be used again.
Single-use bus tickets (U-OV Travel tickets) – These disposable tickets can be bought on the bus or at the ticket vending machines at the Utrecht Central bus station. The U-OV Travel ticket is only valid at U-OV operated buses or trams in the Utrecht region (i.e., all local public transportation). The validity of the ticket starts immediately when you buy the ticket. Depending on the travelling distance, tickets cost €2.70, €4.40 or €6.40. The bus driver or staff at the U-OV Service Store (located in the main hall of Utrecht Central railway station) can help you to decide on which ticket you need. To get to the conference venues or city centre from the Utrecht Central bus station, you need a ticket of €2.70. If you wish to buy a ticket on the bus, be sure to keep change ready! You cannot pay with a credit or debit card, or with notes larger than €20.
The U-OV Travel ticket as a return ticket – You can use the U-OV Travel ticket as a return ticket on all the U-OV bus and tram services on Thursday evening (after 6pm), Friday evening (after 6pm), Saturday and Sunday on the same day.
Day tickets for local buses and trams – If you plan to travel more often for one day or several days to various places in the municipality of Utrecht, you could consider buying the U-OV Day ticket. The ticket is offered for 1 day (€6), 3 days (€15.50) or 6 days (€16), and is valid on all U-OV operated buses and trams. The U-OV Day ticket can be purchased at the U-OV Service Store.
OV-chip card (OV-chipkaart) – The OV-chip card is a public transport card which is accepted by all operators in the Netherlands (for bus, tram, metro and train). You can buy an anonymous OV-chip card for €7.50 at the ticket vending machines at any train station (e.g., Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Central railway station, Utrecht Central railway station) or at the U-OV Service Stores. This OV-chip card is valid for 4 years, so you could use it for future visits to the Netherlands. Please ensure you have enough credit on your OV-chip card before you travel. You can add credit to your OV-chip card at any public transportation machine, which are located at railway and bus stations and at various shops and supermarkets. You must always check-in at the start of your travel and check-out at the end. When travelling by bus, you check-in and out on the bus. When travelling by tram, check-in and out on the tram platform. When travelling by train check-in and out at your departure station and at your final destination. You do not have to check-out if you transfer to another train – only when you’ve reached your final destination. At bigger railway stations you should check-in and out in the main hall, at small train stations you check-in and out on the platform. When you check-in you pay a starting rate of € 0.89, then you pay € 0.132 for each kilometre you travel.
For information about the Dutch railways (NS) and for train schedules, see www.ns.nl. For information about local public transportation in Utrecht, see www.u-ov.info. For general information about public transportation in the Netherlands and the OV-chip card, see www.ov-chipkaart.nl. For a general public transport route planner, see www.9292.nl.
Driving to Utrecht – We don’t recommend visitors to drive to Utrecht if they only need to visit the city centre, as parking rates are high. 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. We recommend to use Google Maps to plan your route in the Netherlands.