© AAMAS-05


travel information

Because of its central geographical position in the country, the city of Utrecht has very good connections with all the main cities and airports in the Netherlands.

The Utrecht Centraal railway station is a main node of the Dutch railway network and also serves as a major regional bus station.

visa information

Please check the visa page for information about obtaining a visa for coming to AAMAS.

For any questions or problems concerning visa's please contact the FBU Conference Office at aamas2005@fbu.uu.nl. Please note that invitation letters can, unfortunately, only be written after registration and payment for the conference has been completed.


a) by plane: Because of its centric position in the country, Utrecht is well connected to several airports in the area:

Schiphol Airport [AMS] (40 minutes): Schiphol is a major international airport and gateway for people traveling to Europe. Direct flights can be taken from almost any country in the world to Schiphol. From Schiphol Airport there are trains leaving for Utrecht every 15 minutes. The train station is inside the airport, and has direct access from Schiphol's main hall. You can buy tickets at one of the several vending machines or in the train information desk. The train-ride to Utrecht takes about 35-40 minutes (please note: for the fastest trip you should change trains in Duivendrecht).

Rotterdam Airport [RTM] (1 hour): this airport is an alternative destination (specially for some low-fare airlines). Bus service 33 operates between Rotterdam Airport and Rotterdam Central Station. Bus 33 departures every 10 minutes and the transit-time is approximately 20 minutes. The bus stop is right next to the terminal building. Travelcards suitable for local buses can be purchased at the Information Service Desk on Rotterdam Airport. From Rotterdam Central Station there are direct trains connecting to Utrecht Central Station. The train-ride takes about 35-45 minutes.

Eindhoven Airport [EIN] (1 hour 20 minutes): this airport is another destination for standard and low-fare airlines. Bus service 401 connects Eindhoven Airport to Eindhoven Central Station and the transit-time is approximately 25 minutes. From Eindhoven Central Station there are direct trains connecting to Utrecht Central Station. The train-ride takes about 50 minutes.

Other airports in the area with a good connection by train:


b) by train: Quite some international trains stop in Utrecht Central Station. For all those that do not stop in Utrecht, travellers can change trains in Amsterdam Central Station or Rotterdam Central Station.

The Dutch Railway System (NS) is overall fast and efficient. Those interested can find a travel planner (in English) at www.ns.nl, but trains are often so frequent that it is not uncommon for the Dutch to go to the railway station unprepared and just see when the next train goes. Reservations are not available for domestic trains and are also not necessary; there usually is enough space. For a few international trains (like the superfast ICE to Germany or the Thalys to France) there is a surcharge required ("toeslag vereist") when used for domestic trips. Usually the best approach is not to bother and take the next regular domestic train instead.

Notice that in the timetables (as posted in the railway stations) only the departure time is given, and not the time the train will reach its destination. Furthermore, during the train ride the stations are not always called in advance, so one has to watch carefully when to get out. Sitting in front of the train helps (as it is easier to recognise the station names in a relatively early stage). Another help is to bring with you this handy railway map.

As the NS is cutting back on its staff, most tickets are nowadays sold by vending machines. Note that the new model vending machine does not take cash; it accepts plastic only (debit-cards as well as some credit-cards). It is still possible, however, to buy a ticket at the counter; for this, an extra fee of € 0.50 per ticket is charged.

Those who want to do more extensive train travel (for which Utrecht is a good base, as it is located centrally in the country), the railways have an offer called "Zomertoer". For € 69 two persons can have unlimited domestic train travel for three seperate days. Notice that the normal price of a day-return ticket to Amsterdam is € 10,80 so this action only pays off for those interested in travelling somewhat further.

For the Dutch railways, a travel planner is available on the NS-website (click "English"). Also available is a travel planner that takes any two arbitrary addresses in the Netherlands and calculates how to get from A to B by all combinations of public transport (dutch only).


c) by car: The Netherlands has a very extensive network of highways. Highways in the Netherlands are free, in very good condition and have clear road signals.

Please check the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions site to learn more about Dutch traffic regulations and allowed driving licenses.


d) public transport: Utrecht and all Dutch cities have a very good public transport system. In the case of AAMAS-05, any hotel that is not within walking distance of the Utrecht train station (which are many) can be reached within 20 minutes. The conference venue is accesible by several bus lines (e.g., bus 11 and bus 12).

Public transport inside a city (bus, tram, underground): All Dutch cities have an extense network of bus lines. Bigger cities (such as Utrecht and Amsterdam) also have some tram lines. Amsterdam even has a underground network. For any public transport inside any city of the Netherlands, travelers should buy either:

  • A strippenkaart: it is a long card that gives a limited number of trips. The card is divided in several cells (strippen). Depending on the duration of the trip, the driver will stamp two or more cells.
  • A OV pass: there is also the option to buy a pass for a period of time (e.g., a week, a month or a year). This option is good if one plans to make an intense use of the public transport during that period.

    PLEASE NOTE: with the registration to the AAMAS conference you will get a 5-day OV pass (Monday to Friday).

Public transport from city to city: see the train section. (Please note: you cannot use the strippenkaart for inter-city transport).

Taxi: taxis in the Netherlands are safe but a bit expensive. Sometimes taxi drivers use to charge extra fees to tourists, which do not know the standard fees. Please take into account that:

  • A taxi from Shiphol to Utrecht costs around € 50
  • A taxi from Utrecht Central Station to any location within Utrecht should cost less than € 10.

To plan your trips with the Dutch public transport system, there is a travel planner that takes any two arbitrary addresses in the Netherlands and calculates how to get from A to B by all combinations of public transport (dutch only).