The XVIIth International Congress of Celtic Studies – Utrecht 2023

Travel to and from Utrecht

This page provides a brief overview of travel options to the Netherlands for international delegates, including journeys by train, ferry, plane, and car.

Public transport in the Netherlands

Image of tram and fieldIf you plan to use Dutch public transport, the easiest way to go about this is to acquire an OV-Chipcard, onto which you can upload credit. OV-Chipcards may be purchased at airports, railway stations, newsagents, or supermarkts. For more information, see the OV-Chipcard website.

It is also possible to purchase separate (disposable) tickets for individual journeys. On busses and trams, this can generally be done via the chauffeur. For the trains and metros, there are automats at the stations where tickets can be purchased.

Public transport journeys may be planned via the 9292 website: https://9292.nl/en. Train journeys may also be planned via the website of the Dutch Railways (NS) (https://www.ns.nl/en/journeyplanner/#/), where train tickets may also be purchased.

Your journey on public transport may be complemented by the rental of so-called OV-fietsen (public transport bikes), which are available at train stations throughout the country and which may be rented using your OV-Chipcard. The rental costs 4,15 for a period of up to 24 hours.

Travel by train

One of the most environmentally friendly options to travel to the Netherlands is to travel by train. You can plan your international journey via the Dutch Railway (NS) website for international trains (https://www.nsinternational.com/en).

From the direction of Ireland or England/Wales

The Eurostar train departs for the Netherlands from London St. Pancras International Station or from Ebbsfleet International Station either directly or with one change at Brussels-Midi/Zuid. It is possible to travel to Utrecht from Eurostar Stations Rotterdam or Amsterdam. Tickets for the Eurostar may be purchased on their website or via the Dutch Railways international website.

London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet International Station are themselves linked to most areas in the UK, including Holyhead, where the ferry from Dublin docks. For regional tickets to London, see the website of your regional train service. For ferries between Ireland and Wales, see the Stenaline website.

From the direction of France or Belgium

From the direction of France and Belgium, the Netherlands may be reached with the Thalys. The Thalys will take you as far as Rotterdam or Amsterdam, from where you may travel on to Utrecht using the Dutch Railways. The Thalys departs from Brussels-Midi/Zuid or Antwerpen Centraal (Belgium) or from Paris (France), all of which are serviced by regional Belgian and French railways.

Tickets for the Thalys may be purchased through their website. For regional tickets, see the website of your regional train service.

From Brussels-midi/Zuid or Antwerpen Centraal, there is also a regional intercity connection to Rotterdam or Amsterdam for which tickets may be purchased through the Dutch Railways (NS).

From the direction of Germany/Austria/Switzerland

Tickets for journeys from Germany may be purchased through the website of the German Railways or via the Dutch Railway’s website for International trains. The website or app of the Austrian Railways (ÖB) also offer the option to purchase tickets for international journeys as does the website of the Swiss Railways (SBB).

It is also possible to take a Nightjet train to Utrecht from either Austria, Germany or Switzerland to Utrecht. A seat on this train can be booked via the official website of Nightjet  or via the Dutch Railway’s website for international trains.

Travel by ferry

It is also possible to take the ferry from Ireland and Britain to the Netherlands. Some possible options are given below:

  • Stenaline has routes between Harwich and Hook of Holland, which is connected to the metro line through station Hoek van Holland Haven, from which there is easy access to nearby train station Schiedam. For planning your journey, see the section ‘Public Transport in the Netherlands’.
  • P&O Ferries has routes between Hull and Rotterdam, and between Dover and Calais. Unfortunately, Europoort Port of Rotterdam is not very well connected to Utrecht by public transport. However, it is possible to travel to Utrecht by car, for wich see the section ‘Travel by Car’. Calais is connected to the French railway network, for which see the section ‘Travel by Train’.
  • DFDS Seaways has routes between Newcastle and IJmuiden, Dover and Dunkirk, Dover and Calais. The IJmuiden terminal is connected to train station Beverwijk through bus 74. To plan your journey, see the section ‘Public Transport in the Netherlands’.
  • Irish Ferries has routes between Dover and Calais.

Travel by Plane

Schiphol Airport (AMS) is our biggest airport, located near Amsterdam. The airport is connected to the railways through Schiphol Airport Railway Station, from where it is a 30-minute train journey to Utrecht Centraal. On how to buy train tickets in the Netherlands, see the section ‘Travel by Train’ or ‘Public Transport in the Netherlands’.

Eindhoven Airport (EIN) is our second biggest airport. From Eindhoven, shuttle bus 401 or regular bus 400 will take you to the train station Eindhoven Centraal. From there, your train journey to Utrecht Centraal will take approximately 50 minutes. Bus tickets can be purchased in the bus itself.

A relatively small airport is Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTM). From here, bus 33 will take you towards Rotterdam Centraal station. The train journey from Rotterdam Centraal to Utrecht Centraal is approximately 40 minutes. Bus tickets can be purchased in the bus itself.

Travel by car

It is also possible to travel to the Netherlands and Utrecht by car. For this, online journey planners (such as Google Maps) will give you accurate routes and travel times. Driving in the city centre of Utrecht is strongly discouraged, however, and an environmental zone is in operation for diesel cars and camper vans.  There are a number of parking options just outside of the centre that offer a direct link to public transport (the so-called P+R Transferia). The Dutch government provides up-to-date information on large road works on the following website: https://www.vananaarbeter.nl/werkzaamheden (Dutch).