How do I get to a Dutch castle hotel?
Many of the Dutch castle hotels on this site can be reached using public transportation if you’re traveling light. A few of the castle hotels are even right in the center of town. Transportation networks in the Netherlands reach all but the more rural areas. To get from city to city, the train is the way to go, while local buses serve the towns and villages. If you’re planning on passing through the Netherlands or focusing on vacationing in the countryside, your own rental car gives you the most independence. And a bicycle gives you the greatest independence of all!
Fast, easy, and efficient, you can practically get from one end of the country to the other in a matter of a few hours. There is a catch though: unless you possess a Dutch debit card (or happen to have a lot of euro coins in your pocket), the ticket kiosks will deny you. If you find a human to sell you a ticket, unless your credit card has a chip embedded in it, you’ll be directed to an ATM machine to withdraw cash—after you’ve stood in line. This applies mostly to U.S. credit cards. At Schipol Airport and Amsterdam’s central train station, you will find more tourist friendly machines. Until some standardization is figured out, bring cash. It’s not just the Netherlands (although the Dutch debit card only is not too global thinking), but in most of Europe. Most ticket sellers are friendly and will help you to get the lowest fare—not as low as you’ll get from the kiosks though.
Train passes in the Netherlands are not really worth it.
A rental car is really the best way to reach the small towns and enjoy the special areas of natural beauty in the countryside. Driving in the Netherlands is a breeze, but count on hard-to-find parking places, with exorbitant charges if you do find a spot, plus rush hour woes in the cities. One way to manage your vacation costs, especially if you have a car, is to stay outside the city, leaving your car in the hotel lot (usually free), and taking public transportation into the center.
Highways are excellent and well sign-posted.
The Netherlands is one of the best countries in the world to bicycle in. Since everybody cycles, there is an awareness of bicyclists’ rights. You’ll find over 20,000 km of dedicated bike paths. You can rent one anywhere—at the train station or your hotel. Riding makes the perfect day trip since so many sites are compact to an area. Besides, most (but not all) of the country is flat.
Throughout the Netherlands you’ll see green-and-white signs designating routes called LF (landelijke fietsroutes), or long-distance routes that cross from one end of the country to another. These are a lot of fun, and routes range from several hours to several days. Excellent maps may be purchased in the Netherlands with all the details you need.
You may bring your bicycle onto trains if there is room for a small fee. Carriages for bicycles are marked.
In the cities, especially Amsterdam and Rotterdam, you cannot be too paranoid about bike theft. Seriously paranoid. Some train stations have secure storage areas—use them. Never leave any loose items on your bike.