Traveling by train The Dutch train system is quite straightforward, but it might help getting acquainted with some details before your first encounters.
When you are entering the Netherlands through the airport Schiphol (Amsterdam), getting to Middelburg is rather easy. There is a train station situated directly underneath the airport that has a direct connection to Middelburg. Make sure to purchase a ticket to Middelburg that is valid on the day that you are traveling. In order to catch the right train, you’ll have to take the train that is headed in the direction of Vlissingen. Your train ride will be roughly 2.5 hours.
Train tickets can be bought at the yellow ticket machines (English menu is available). You can also buy tickets in advance online (www.ns.nl), but the yellow machines are very user-friendly and easy to understand. However, the machines do not accept foreign cards and sometimes don’t even take cash, so be prepared to either buy your ticket at a counter (for €0,50 extra), or have a Dutch bankcard at hand. After having bought at ticket you need to scan it in front of a OV scanner to ‘check-in’.
After you’ve settled down, you might want to leave Middelburg every once in a while. As public transport is expensive in the Netherlands, it is important to know some ways in which you can save money.
In case you are traveling together with a Dutch student that has a student OV (Dutch students travel for free or with discount), you can have 40% discount on your own ticket as long as you stay with your fellow student that has the student card. If you have an OV chipcard you have to go to the ticket machine and select “samenreiskorting”. If you do not have an OV chipcard you select the discount option.
Once in a while, certain retail stores (e.g. HEMA, Kruidvat) sell tickets that allow you to travel unlimited for one full day and cost about 15 euros. Keep track of this deal! Students sometimes sell these tickets on the “Welcome to UCR Class of 20xx” pages as well.
Traveling by bus Traveling by bus without an OV chipcard is expensive. You will need to buy individual tickets to and from your destination. The main reason you would want to use a bus in Middelburg is to go to the beach or to one of the smaller villages. To go to other cities you should use the train. You can check the local bus lines via 9292.nl (Dutch) or 9292.nl/en (English).
(Parts of) this text was been written by the Red Cross Studentdesk Zeeland.