This is anther article in this series about our favourite subscriptions with this super NS train deal. The other two were about Cineville and the Museum cards, both absolute essentials in my Dutch life. This one is too and I’ll explain why below. Due to Covid, I am not using any of them at the moment. Hopefully that will soon change. This third one is for people who want to explore The Netherlands without breaking the bank. I have never found a rail travel deal as good as this. It is called the NS Weekend Vrij, effectively yes, you guessed it, the Weekend Free. For the equivalent of less than 10 Euros a week, you get ‘free’ first class weekend train travel anywhere in The Netherlands. Read on to find out more about this super NS train deal.
‘Free’ Train Travel with the Subscription
It is a brilliant and simple offer. You pay a monthly fee and from Friday evening (18.30) to early Monday Morning (04.00) you can travel free on any train in The Netherlands. Also, it is valid on all public holidays too. There is a second class option for 31 Euros a month or a first class one for 37 Euros a month. If you are over 65, it is only 24 Euros a month. I have tried both and it is worth paying the little extra especially when the trains are very busy. Plus you get more room and feel like a Lord or rock star (or both) in your own mind.
Explore Then Netherlands
It is a great deal whichever way you look at it. There are weekends when I wake up with giddy excitement while I decide where I want to go for the day. I love getting an early train and arriving in Maastricht in time for breakfast and having a good look around. Or get some museum visits in using my Museumcard. It has opened my eyes to The Netherlands.
Seeing more of this beautiful little country was always the goal. Living in Amsterdam can often mean that you don’t send time exploring the other cities. Before Covid there was so much going on in Amsterdam, that it was quite rare to travel outside the city. I love Amsterdam and was always busy in the city. Then, I heard about the Weekend Vrij. It sounded to good to be true. Well it is true and it is excellent, not just good! I don’t own a car and I love train travel. It’s a match made in heaven.
See more Art and get more Culture
I bought a guide book for The Netherlands and I started to explore. Oh, the things I have seen. Previously a trip to Maastricht seemed like organising a trip to some far off land. The return train fair was 54 Euros second class 90 Euros 1st class. So after months and months of not getting around to visiting Maastricht, I was suddenly going all the time. Out early in the morning, visiting museums and looking around. A lovely lunch or a picnic and home in time for dinner. I went to the brilliant Bonnefantenmuseum twice to see the David Lynch exhibition, something that I absolutely loved.
It wasn’t just lovely Maastricht. I explored all around Limburg. I really got to know Rotterdam and The Hague a lot better with many visits to those cities and their fine museums. The things I have seen there: a lot of stunning exhibitions. Add to that regular visits to my favourite museum in the Netherlands, the Mauritshuis. Small, yet perfectly formed.
Which Dutch towns have you Visited?
There was Eindhoven, Den Bosch. Groningen and Daventer. Then there were shorter trips to Utrecht, Amersfoort, Leiden and Gouda. Even my trips to the Schipol airport were included when I was travelling. There are so many other places on my list I want to see. Once the Covid restriction on travel safely changes, I will certainly be jumping on trains and exploring more in this beautiful country.
It is just so relaxing to sit in a train rather than to drive. You can read, watch the flat scenery, play a game or have a snooze. You arrive in the centre of your destination, relaxed and full of energy for exploring. Then, on the way home you can relax again and rest your weary feet. Great days out are even better with a super NS train deal like this.
Hopefully, we will be able to do more travelling around soon. Yes there are still a lot of Dutch towns on my list to see and to return to. It’s nice sometimes to take the bike on the train and have a good look around the countryside too. The Netherlands, so much to see. What a beautiful country. So when we can, get on out there and explore The Netherlands.
Disclosure – International Locals has no commercial connection to the NS or the Weekend Vrij train deal. This is presented to you are as one of out top tips to explore The Netherlands.
See our information page for transport in The Netherlands.