Departing from Vienna [AUT], Transavia was a very cheap way to travel to the Netherlands. I decided to get a one-way ticket because I thought, “Well, I have time now. There could be a time I could be less worried about money but I am young.” But I am young. The time to do such things is now, isn’t it? If you’re young and you have the time to travel somewhere, even if just for the weekend, do it. Many wish money would be no object but worrying about it only closes us in more and holds us back.
If you need money, you’ll find a way to earn it.
So there I was, browsing tickets and stumbling upon a one-way ticket to Rotterdam for 47€. First thing I thought was “Whaaat?”, since flying to the Netherlands again was a wish of mine. And shortly after I was holding my phone in my hand, confirming my booking. Truth be told, I had been to the Netherlands only about two months before that, but there was so much more to see. Utrecht intrigued me. I’ve seen pictures, I’ve heard it’s beautiful, so I chose it for my first 5 days in the Netherlands.
After flying in to Rotterdam, you usually don’t wait too long for your hold luggage if you have one. And after that, depending on where you want to go, you can either take
- a taxi or
- the bus.
A Taxi to Rotterdam Centraal (the central train station) costs about 22€ and the bus ticket, which is valid for 1 hour, costs 3€ and the ride is about 10-15 minutes on either. If you take the bus, you will get a card that you have to check in with at the little installations for the ov-chipkaart. The cards have a chip that track the times you check in and out (checking out is necessary as well). It’s not as complicated as it sounds, really. Unless there are no busses or other transportation to and from the airport, I advise to choose the bus over a taxi as it is cheaper and there is not really a significant difference in time. And also there is Wi-Fi on the bus!
If you are heading somewhere else like me, not staying in Rotterdam, you’ll have to get a train ticket at one of the automats (or bus ticket if you choose to take a bus to other parts of the country). My chip-card from Rotterdam to Utrecht cost 11.10€. The ride was about 1 1/2 hours.
I was picked up at Utrecht Centraal but chose, despite a big suitcase and a smaller backpack, to walk by foot. It was a good 20-30 minute walk due to me being slowed down by luggage but it was also a time to see some of the city on the way. And what could I say? Bikes. Bikes everywhere! But it being my third time in the Netherlands, it wasn’t that much of a surprise. You should know though, that it’s probably more likely to be run over by a bike than by a car. So be careful and always look when crossing streets and watch out where the bike roads on the street are. Other than that, there is nothing to fear! 😉
You probably know that Marijuana is legal in the Netherlands, like a couple others things, but Utrecht, different from Amsterdam, doesn’t invite you with the smell of weed. It’s a university city/town, so meeting a lot of young people is very common. It has plenty of hip(ster) cafés and places. The biggest red light district was in Utrecht, which was more like a long street with house boats, but I was told that due to illegal activities involving underage girls it was closed. You can still go and see the red light street along the water with the boats though.
Much like a little Amsterdam with its canals, I dare say it could be seen as the little, more innocent version of the capital. With not nearly as much coffeshops like Amsterdam, but twice as many boutiques and little shops and cafés, it has already won my heart.
What a beautiful city to see.
Were you Rotterdam inbound before?
Where did you go from there? Did you stay to see the city?
I’d love to know!