Getting Here and Around
Traveling by public transport in the Netherlands is made easier by using the "OV-chipkaart" card. It is mainly useful for traveling by bus, since it is significantly faster and cheaper than buying separate tickets; for the trains there is no difference in price and you can also buy normal tickets. See the section on buses for more information on how to buy such a card in Utrecht.
Train tickets are available from the yellow ticket machines at the train station or from the ticket offices. You can also use the OV-chipkaart to travel by train, but your ov-chip has to be `activated’ for this. We strongly advise you to just buy a normal ticket at a ticket office. Information about trains can be found at http://9292.nl/en or http://www.ns.nl/en/travellers/home.
From Schiphol to Utrecht Centraal
Traveling by public transport can be a bit confusing in the Netherlands. Here are some pointers:
- During the day (between 6am and midnight), trains from Schiphol to Utrecht leave every 15 minutes (from platforms 1,2 or 3) and the travel time is about 32 minutes. There are slower trains traveling from Schiphol to Utrecht all night at a frequency of about once an hour. The price for a one way trip is €7.90. Reservations are not necessary.
- Train tickets are sold at yellow ticket machines, but you need a European bank card or cash in coins. You can also buy tickets at a ticket office in the train station. However, keep in mind that these are closed at night and they charge a fee of €0.50.
- A ticket is valid for one trip on that day and are not bound to any particular train. You can also buy return tickets (to return on the same day), which are called `retour’ tickets in Dutch.
- The Dutch word for platform is `spoor’ (pronounced as the the English `spore’).
- Trains to different destinations may arrive at the same platform, so always check the destination before you board the train.
- Sometimes only the final destination is indicated. From Schiphol to Utrecht the final destination is `Nijmegen’ or Utrecht Centraal.
- Use the website http://9292.nl/en to plan your journeys inside the Netherlands. It contains information about the schedule of buses, trains, trams and the metro, and also about how the OV-chipkaart works. It is particularly useful and complete.
To catch a bus, you have to signal the driver to stop (if not, he might not stop).
There are two methods of paying for a bus ride:
- You can buy a ticket directly from the driver. When you get on the bus, tell the driver at what bus stop you want to get off; you pay according to the distance. The costs for a bus ticket from the central station to Utrecht Science Park is about € 2.60.
- If you are planning to use the bus more often, then it is cheaper to pay with the OV-chipkaart (http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/?taal=en). You can buy an OV-chipkaart in Utrecht Central Station, at the GVU Service kiosk. This is located at `busstation Noord’, just outside the train station. The price of a card is €7.50.
You have to top up the credit on the OV-chipkaart, this can be done in two ways:
- Using the yellow ticket machines at the train station. This requires a European bank account (Maestro).
- By paying with cash at the GVU Service kiosk.
When you get on the bus you have to check in your OV-chipkaart, and when you get off the bus to check out. The system registers where you board, and when you exit the bus and determines the cost of the journey.
You can check in as follows:
- Hold the OV-chipkaart in the front of the OV-chipkaart logo (the hand with a card) on the `smart card reader’ located next to the driver on the bus.
- You will hear a beep and the green indicator will light up.
- The displays shows the text "Goede reis".
- Have a good trip.
Checking out is the same. There is a 'smart card reader' next to every door of the bus. The display shows the amount you paid for the trip and the credit you still have on the card. If you forget to check out, you lose € 4.-!!!
When you want to get off the bus, you first have to press one of the red STOP buttons, so that the driver knows to stop at the following bus stop. To open the doors, press the white button next to the door, and ... don’t forget to check out.
From Utrecht centraal to Utrecht Science Park (the Poisson 2012 Venue)
To get to the Utrecht Science Park (also known as "de Uithof"), you can take either bus line 11 or 12:
- Take bus line 11 from the bus stop Busstation Noord, and exit at the bus stop Botanische Tuinen (the stop before is Rijnsweerd Zuid).
- Take bus line 12 from the bus stop Busstation Zuid, and exit at the bus stop Padualaan (the stop before is Wim Sonneveldlaan).
Both the summer school lectures and the conference talks will take place in the Ruppert Blauw lecture room in the Educatorium building. Signs pointing to the building will be scattered in the vicinity of the building. See below the map of the Utrecht Science Park (also known as "de Uithof").
View Larger Map
To the Budget Accommodation Key-pick-up Location
Participants taking advantage of the Budget Accommodation will be housed at various locations around Utrecht city center or the Utrecht Science Park ("de Uithof").
Upon arrival, you can pick up the key to your room at:
3512 BN Utrecht
From Utrecht Central Station take one of the following buses and get off at the stop "Janskerkhof":
- line 11 - direction 'Uithof/AZU'
- line 3 or 4 - direction 'Burg. Fockema Andreaelaan'
- line 8 - direction 'Overvecht Zuid'
Janskerkhof 30A is located next to the church "Janskerk" in the centre of the square.
From Utrecht Central Station to the Mitland Hotel
- Take bus number 4 direction: F. Andrealaan or bus number 11 direction: De Uithof / AZU; Departure time: every 10 minutes between 07:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
- Get off in bus-stop 'Oorsprongpark'
- Cross the railway crossing
- First street to the left (Buys Ballotstraat)
- Turn right at the end (Cornelis Houtmanstraat)
- Straight on under the fly-over (Ariënslaan)
- Hotel Mitland is on the right after 50 meters
Here below is a map of the walking path from the "Oorsprongpark" bus stop to the hotel.
Click here to print the map
From the Mitland Hotel to the Utrecht Science Park (Poisson 2012 venue)
- Take bus number 11 direction: De Uithof / AZU; from the bus stop "Oorsprongpark", Departure time: every 10 minutes between 07:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
- Get off in bus-stop 'Botanische Tuinen'
- Walk to the Educatorium building (see map below). The summer school and conference will take place at the 'Ruppert Blauw' lecture room.
Click here to print the map
Biking is popular in the Netherlands, and our cities are well-designed to accommodate bikers: we have separate biking lanes all around the city. It is often as fast as public transport, gives much freedom in planning your trips, and lets you blend in with the locals. There are several viable routes from the central station to the conference venue, located in Utrecht Science Park (the `Uithof’). When lost, do not be shy to ask for directions from other bikers.
In some areas, certain parts of the `oude gracht’ and the shopping areas, it is not allowed to bike. There are traffic signs to warn you for this. As a rule of thumb, if there are no biking lanes and a lot of people walking, it is probably not allowed to bike.
View Larger Map
Below is a list of some bike rental shops. Take heed that these shops have restricted opening hours.
- € 8,- /bike/day or € 45,- /bike/week (and a guarantee of € 50,- )
- Address: Nobelstraat 293 (from the central station, take bus line 11 up to Stadsschouwburg).
- Contact: +31 30 23 00 849
- Opening Hours: Mon-Wed 8:00-18:00, Th 8:00-21:00, Fr 8:00-18:00, Sat 9:00-17:00, Sun Closed
- € 7,50 /bike/day (and a valid proof of id as guarantee)
- Address: Catharijnesingel 34 (leave the central station at stationsplein (south side), take a left to the Spoorstraat, and then take a left to the Catharijnesingel. From here it a short walk).
- Contact: +31 30 23 16 780
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fr 7:00-21:30, Sat 8:00-18:15, Sun Closed
- € 7,- /bike/day (and a guarantee of € 50,- )
- Address: Weerdsingel Westzijde 18 (from the central station, take bus line 6 (direction Zuilen) up to Sint Jacobsstraat. Follow the direction of the bus across a bridge and take a left at the traffic lights).
- Contact: +31 30 23 34 373
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fr 10:00-19:00, Sat 10:00-17:00, Sun Closed
View Bike rents in a larger map
The taxicabs at the central station are located at Busstation Zuid (just outside the train station). The prices are between 10 and 20 euros, even for very short distances. From any other location in Utrecht you can order a cab, by calling +31 30 23 00 400. You can also book a cab for the next day.
The city of Utrecht is not particularly suited for cars. The city centre has many one way roads and roads restricted to buses only. Therefore one often has to take not-so-obvious detours. In comparison, biking and public transport are efficient ways of getting around. We advise you not to rent a car.