GETTING TO UTRECHT
Utrecht is centrally located and easily accessible from the Netherlands and abroad. Plus, Utrecht is conveniently located near the international airport Schiphol, and the city’s ultramodern train station offers fast rail connections to various destinations in the Netherlands and abroad.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the internation airport closest to Utrecht. A regular Intercity rail service (up to 4x hourly) connects Schiphol Airport to Utrecht Central and it stops at Amsterdam Zuid and Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA. From Utrecht, the trains continue south to either Nijmegen (via Arnhem) or Venlo (via ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven). The Schiphol-Utrecht journey takes just over 30 minutes and costs €9.50 (2nd class) and €15.68 (1st class).
A taxi from Schiphol to Utrecht would normally cost around €90 on the meter. Some companies can offer lower fixed fares.
Utrecht is easily accessible by car using the A2, A12, A27 and A28 highways – the A2, the major north-south artery linking Amsterdam to Maastricht; the A12 linking Arnhem and Den Haag; the A27 which connects Almere to Breda and the A28 which goes to Groningen via Amersfoort and Zwolle.
You can find affordable parking on the outskirts of the city at one of the Utrecht P+R sites and ride a bus or light rail downtown. Utrecht P+R sites charge €6 for car parking which includes public transport tickets into the city for up to 5 people. Locations are P+R Westraven, P+R Utrecht Science Park, P+R Papendorp and P+R Leidsche Rijn.
We don’t particularly recommend driving into Utrecht city centre, as car parking rates are high and some roads only allow travel by bus and taxi.
Utrecht Central Station is the largest transportation hub in the Netherlands and an important entry and transfer station.
The regular ICE International train between Frankfurt/Cologne/Dusseldorf and Amsterdam makes a stop at Utrecht Central. There is also a daily ICE service to/from Basel in Switzerland.
If you are travelling to Utrecht from Germany on the Berlin-Amsterdam IC train, then make a change at Amersfoort. From there connect onto a Dutch NS Intercity train which takes just under 15 minutes to get to Utrecht.
The ÖBB NightJet train service between Amsterdam and Vienna/Innsbruck makes a stop at Utrecht Central.
Arriving at Utrecht Central Station
Utrecht Central Station and the surrounding area has been undergoing a significant renovation for many years. Upstairs from the rail platforms is the main hall which has a spectacular undulating roof. Here you will find the gates for checking-in/out with OV-chip card tickets.
The station hall has two travel centres for NS domestic/international rail tickets and local Utrecht public transport tickets. Station facilities include ATM machines, a bureau-de-change, toilets, luggage lockers and various shops: AKO newsagents, Albert Heijn To Go mini supermarkets, ETOS chemist and HEMA store. There are also a good number of cafés, restaurants and fast food outlets.
If heading towards Utrecht city centre, leave via the covered pavilion square at Stationsplein-Oost (located past platforms 1-4 and the city-side U-OV bus+tram station). Then continue walking through the redeveloped Hoog Catharijne shopping centre which will get you to Vredenburg square.
The opposite end of the station (past platform 20) leads you to the Jaarbeursplein (near the Jaarbeurs Exhibition & Convention Centre) where you will find more U-OV city buses, a taxi rank, U-OV trams to Nieuwegein and IJsselstein and regional/international bus services.
Utrecht Central Station has the biggest bike parking facility in the world, which has a capacity of 12,500 bikes.