Arriving at and Travelling from Schiphol

If you plan to travel by air, please book your ticket to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. If you travel by train (or Thalys) the nearest train stations for international trains are Den Haag HS, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam and Utrecht (when coming from Germany). All these train stations have a connection to Leiden Central Station.

Schiphol Plaza
©Shirley de Jong

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has a good train connection to Leiden Central Station (every 15 minutes). After your arrival at the Airport, walk towards the central hall of the terminal (the so-called ‘Schiphol Plaza’). Train tickets for travel within the Netherlands can be purchased at the yellow ticket machines located in Schiphol Plaza, near the entrance to the railway platforms or at the ticket counters. These ticket counters are located in Schiphol Plaza, near the red-and-white-checked cube.

The journey to Leiden Central Station takes 15-20 minutes and the train leaves every 15 minutes. A single ticket costs about €6. The train to Leiden usually leaves from platform 5 or 6. Should you wish to view the train schedules beforehand, please visit the website of the Dutch train service.

If you would like to take a taxi, please make sure to take a taxi from a registered company and avoid unsolicited rides from taxi touts. Please visit the official Schiphol website for taxis for more information.

Travel by Train

Railway travel is a comfortable way to get around the Netherlands. You can plan your journey online or use the NS-app. You can use these features to plan your journey to any destination in the Netherlands, not just from railway station to railway station.

Ticket are valid for the journey, the date and the class that are shown on the ticket and can be bought online or at the railway station. At the station you can buy a single-use chipcard or an OV-chipkaart (smart card) at an NS ticketing machine (available at every station) or service desk. The single-use chipcard is perfect for incidental travelers, but cost €1 more per trip. You don’t have to charge credit to the card but you do have to check in and out. If you buy a single-use chipcard or e-ticket, you can choose to travel 1st or 2nd class while buying your ticket.

Tickets can also be bought online or in the NS-app with a credit card or using iDEAL (available to almost all customers of Dutch consumer banks). You can then download and print the e-ticket yourself or open the ticket on your smartphone. You can board the train with this e-ticket and open the gates that will be present at some stations. E-tickets are personal. As a result, they are only valid in combination with a valid proof of identity. Do not forget to bring your passport or ID card when travelling.

If you plan to use the train more often while staying in the Netherlands and do not have a credit card, we recommend buying an ‘anonymous OV-chipkaart’. You can buy them at NS ticketing machines or the service desk. There is a one-time fee of €7.50 for an anonymous OV-chipkaart (which can also be used on buses, trams and metros). Prior to travelling, you must charge credit to your anonymous OV-chipkaart, which can be done at an NS ticking machine. If you want to travel by train, you need at least €20 worth of credit on your OV-chipkaart! You must check in prior to every trip and check out at the end. Look for the OV-chipkaart pillars on the station.

Travel by Metro, Tram or Bus

Most destinations in Leiden city centre can easily be reached on foot but busses are also available for longer distances. In cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague there are also metros and trams. These cities also offer special one to seven-day public transport tickets for tourists. Otherwise you can use single-use chip cards (that can be bought on busses and trams or at the metro stations but please note that you cannot pay cash in many buses and trams) or an ‘anonymous OV-chipkaart' (also for railway travel). This smart card costs €7.50 but comes without travel credit, so you must charge credit to the card at a service desk or (NS) ticket machine with the pink OV-chipkaart logo. You must have at least €4 worth of travel credit on your anonymous OV-chipkaart to use the bus, tram or metro. Once charged, you can use your anonymous OV-chipkaart on the bus, tram and metro right away! Always make sure to check in when boarding your bus, train or metro and don’t forget to check out. A practical site where you can plan your travel by public transport is: https://9292.nl/en (there is also an app). Another app to plan your travel is Moovit.

Arriving in Leiden

When arriving in Leiden you can cosider visitng the Tourist Information Centre to help you find your way in the city of Leiden. The VVV – the Tourist Information Centre can provide you with ideas for trips, a city plan, advice on accommodation and much more. The Tourist Information Centre is very easy to reach; it is ideally located, near Leiden Central Station and the bus station. They can help you with transport, accommodation, restaurants, tickets and much more. A visit to the Tourist Information Centre will smooth your path for the rest of your stay.

VVV Leiden, Stationsweg 26, Leiden
Opening hours
Monday to Friday: 7.00 – 19.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 16.00
Sunday: 11.00 – 15.00
Website: VVV Leiden