Tipping is not required. In a sit-down restaurant tips around 10% are common.
The tap water in the Netherlands is drinkable, enjoy!
The common way of travelling by public transport in the Netherlands is by using an 'OV Chipcard'. The OV Chipcard is a chargeable card that can be bought at a regular price of € 7.50, for instance at vending machines inside metro and railway stations, in tobacco shops or in supermarkets.
Make sure you 'check-in' with your OV Chipcard at the start of your ride, and don't forget to 'check-out' when leaving. When using the Intercity Direct (the high-speed train), make sure to check-in an extra time at a supplement post on your departure platform.
If you are just planning to use public transport occasionally, you could also decide to buy single tickets inside the bus, tram or at vending machines inside railway stations. Single tickets are also available for journeys by train. Please note that travelling is slightly cheaper with the OV Chipcard, compared to buying single tickets.
All information about trains in the Netherlands can be found at NS (de Nederlandse Spoorwegen). For a detailed planning of your public transport journey — including other public transport such as buses, trams and metro — use 9292.
There are frequent direct trains that connect Schiphol Airport with Utrecht Central Station in about 30 minutes. The train also runs at night, but only once per hour. Plan your journey and find prices at NS.
On the 27th of April we celebrate the day of birth of the King. Everyone is in orange on King's Day. This may be one of the more special days of the year to be in Utrecht, but note that it can get very crowded!
De Parade is a theatre festival which travels through the Netherlands every summer, making stops in the largest cities of the country. In Utrecht, the festival can be visited in the Moreelsepark – get directions. The festival offers concerts, numerous cool acts and theatre performances. Above all, De Parade is known for its wonderful festival atmosphere, with plenty of food stands and bars to keep you going. Learn more about De Parade and book your tickets at the official website (Du).
During this recurring 9-day event early autumn, Utrecht is transformed into the film capital of the Netherlands. All types of Dutch film are shown, discussed and celebrated at various locations in the city. Have a look at the official website for the latest news.
Saint Nicholas arrives in Utrecht circa 3 weeks before the 5th of December (the evening of the celebration). The arrival is a big festivity for children, with a parade through the city centre and a boat tour over the canals. Learn more about this year's edition on the official website (Du).
In Utrecht, bikes are more common than cars. Have a look at the official website of the tourist office for an overview of trusted bike rentals.
Utrecht has beautiful and unique canals, and it's definitely recommended to see the city by boat. Many canal tours are being offered, and they are easy to join. But you could also try a canoe or a paddle boat – fun guaranteed! Have a look at the official website of the tourist office for an overview of trusted rentals and tours.
There are so many insider tips and tricks about Utrecht, even for locals it’s hard to keep up to date. The local website Indebuurt (Du) is a great source of inside information about Utrecht.
Find an overview of the parties in Utrecht per day at Partyflock.
Check if it will rain today in the Netherlands at Buienradar (Du).
Find real estate for rent or for sale throughout the Netherlands at Funda.
The Netherlands is known as a very tolerant country. A country where it is allowed to smoke marihuana about anywhere, although it is formally not legal. But beware, the Netherlands has a number of surprising rules in place, which are strictly enforced. The official website (Du) of the Public Prosecution Service offers a list of violations and the applicable fines.
Taxi apps like Uber work well in Utrecht.
The tourist office of Utrecht is always ready to help. Their office can be found at the foot of the Dom Tower – get directions. Check out their official website for further info about Utrecht and the surrounding region.
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