The best way to… get around
Dagkaart: Something every student should know about is the so-called ‘dagkaart’ – a day ticket. Several times a year, they’re available at store like Hema, Kruidvat and Blokker for around 15 euros. This ticket allows you to escape the library every once in a while and travel by train through the Netherlands for one day – from Groningen, that basically means a trip to Amsterdam and back.
Hitchhike: Don’t be shy! Hitchhiking is a great way for students to leave their comfort zone and travel cheaply at the same time, especially with a buddy. You can try your luck at the ‘liftplaats’ – hitchhiking place – in Groningen, located near the Central Station at the intersection of Emmaviaduct bridge and Stationsweg, or you can check websites like hitchhikers.org or liftplaats.nl to arrange your next lift.
Facebook: Social media is your friend when it comes to cheap transportation. You can make use of several Facebook groups, such as ‘Ride Sharing Groningen,’ where you can pair up with people to drive to any destination by car. It’s an easy way to split the cost of the expensive gas and you get great conversation for free!
NS Groepsretour: Since traveling alone can be quite boring, invite your friends to come along! The NS ‘Groepsretour’ – group roundtrip – ticket allows you to travel for 55 euros with four friends to any destination within the Netherlands. You can even add more people – up to 10 – by paying 2,50 euros per person.
If you can’t find a group of friends, try to find a stranger at the Centraal Station who travels with the popular ‘Dal Voordeel’ – non-peak hours discount – that allows you to travel with a 40 percent discount in the weekend or after 9 o’clock on weekdays. When they agree to ‘take’ you, you can enjoy the discount, too!
- Spoordeelwinkel: Want to visit a Dutch city but don’t know what to do there? Check out what the ‘Spoordeelwinkel’ – rail deal store – has to offer. Here, you can find trips such as a visit to the zoo in Rotterdam or sightseeing in Amsterdam – sometimes these packages include a stay in a hotel.
The real bargain here is the greatly reduced train ticket that comes with the offer. You could actually just use the ticket for a trip to Rotterdam without even visiting the zoo. Or, you could leave the train somewhere along the way. Either way, you still end up paying only half of what a regular NS ticket would cost you.
Now that you know how to travel without breaking the bank, go for it! Be it public or private transportation, getting around this flat little country is even easier with these tips.