Travelling in North Brabant region

  • Trein op het spoor bij de wijk Brandevoort in Helmond
  • Gezin stippelt een fietsroute uit op het routebord
  • Deelfietsen of huurfietsen in Tilburg
  • Spoorpark Tilburg met trein

With the right preparation, Brabant is easy to explore, whether by car, train, bus or e-bike. But it’s important to remember that not everything will be the same as you are used to! We have summarised a few tips to help make your journey through the region a smooth one.


By public transport

There are no trams or underground networks in Brabant. If you want to use public transport, you have a choice of trains or buses. The Dutch railway operator ‘NS’ (Nationale Spoorwegen) operates a website and an app that can assist you with connections. The service only allows you to book railway tickets. Apps like ‘9292’ can be used to search for and book connections on all forms of public transport across the Netherlands. You can then get your tickets electronically on your phone.

For spontaneous travellers: railways tickets can also be purchased from ticket machines at the station and on platforms. Bus tickets can also be obtained from the driver when boarding. Please note that cash can no longer be used to purchase tickets on the bus itself.

If you don’t want to book your tickets in advance, the OVpay* system is now available in the second class area of all public transport in the Netherlands. You simply use an NFC-enabled credit or debit card or mobile device to tap in at the OVpay reader when you board and to tap out again when you get off. Your selected payment method is also valid as a ticket substitute when held at the ticket inspector’s reader. All amounts you have paid on a single day are added together and tend to appear on your statement the following day as a debit marked ‘NLOV’.

Dutch people often travel using a rechargeable ‘OV-Chipkaart’, but this is not a worthwhile investment for tourists due to the initial purchase costs, which cannot be refunded, and the difficulty incurred in obtaining a reimbursement for remaining credit after a shorter stay.

Worth knowing

Children under the age of four travel free on public transport in the Netherlands. The full fare applies from the age of twelve onwards. Discounted fares are often available for children between the ages of four and eleven.

*The OVpay system is not suitable for travellers whose children are over four but do not yet have their own credit or debit card, as all travellers must tap in and tap out with their own card.

Access barriers are in place at railway stations across the Netherlands. To access the station, the cash code or QR code of the (e-)ticket or the (mobile) credit or debit card (for OVpay) must be presented at the reader. The same must also be done when checking out and leaving the station. If you are travelling with Deutsche Bahn from Germany, tickets issued since 2017 will have a barcode for connections in the Netherlands, which can be scanned at the access barriers in just the same way.

Tip: If several people are booked on one ticket, the ticket will need to be presented at the reader several times. Travellers should then pass through the barrier one at a time, without taking the ticket with them. Only the last person on the booking should take the ticket through.

By car

Speed limits
Visitors to the Netherlands usually appreciate the well-developed, modern road infrastructure. Be that as at it may, it should not act as an incentive to drive too fast! Speeding is not just dangerous, but can be expensive too – speeding fines in the Netherlands are generally high. Please note that the speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/h (approx. 30 mph) and just 80 km/h (approx. 50 mph) outside urban areas. Different speed limits apply on the motorways during the day and at night. Between 06.00 and 19.00, you are usually permitted to drive at 100 km/h (approx. 60 mph). Outside of those hours, the speed limit will be 100 (approx. 60 mph), 120 (approx. 75 mph) or 130 km/h (approx. 80 mph), depending on where you are. You should make sure that you always observe the speed limit signs.

Parking in Brabant
In larger cities like Breda, Tilburg, ’s-Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven, multi-storey car parks are usually the best option when it comes to parking, as they are centrally located and cheaper than on-street parking. In cities, the most cost-effective option is P+R car parks (often called ‘Transferium’) which are usually located outside the city centre. P+R car parks have bus connections into the city.

If there is neither a car park nor a multi-storey car park, you can also park your car on the street. Remember that this is usually quite expensive and the number of spaces available will be limited. Make sure that you do not park in a residents’ car park (indicated by a sign saying ‘uitsluitend voor vergunninghouders/bewoners’).

It is also important to note the different parking zones:

  • Blue lines in car parks indicate parking spaces that are free of charge for a limited time. Always observe the signs telling you how long you can park for. Parking here is only permitted with a blue parking disc.

  • A dashed yellow line at the edge of the road indicates a parking prohibition, a continuous line indicates a stopping ban.

Payment methods for parking

As in many other countries, there are car parks where you receive a ticket at the entrance barrier. You pay at the payment machine using your ticket at the end. Payment/parking machines in multi-storey car parks or car parks often only work with credit or debit cards, and cash payments are not necessarily an option.

In the Netherlands, it is very common to have to enter your registration number at the parking machine. A receipt or ticket no longer needs to be placed on the dashboard, instead the registration number is registered electronically. With these types of machine, you usually have to specify in advance how long you intend to park for. If you leave the car park earlier than planned, the remaining amount will not be refunded. At some car parks, you may also be able to present your credit or debit card at the entrance barrier itself (e.g. at almost all QParks). The barrier will then open and you are ‘checked in’. In that case, you do not need to go to the payment machine to check out at the end. Your registration number will be registered and your parking fee will charged when the card is presented at the exit barrier.

In the Netherlands, parking using a parking app is also commonplace, with the most well-known provider being ‘EasyPark’. Here, too, you enter your registration number and payment method to start the parking process. You don’t need to specify how long you intend to park in advance, but simply stop the parking process manually when you begin your return journey. The corresponding amount is then charged to your selected payment method. This way, you never underpay or overpay. The apps use GPS to identify your location and display the parking options and tariffs that are available. The location is marked with a number, which is usually also indicated on the parking machine if there is one nearby. The number will sometimes be displayed on a blue sign with a telephone symbol on a post close to the car park (e.g. in Eindhoven).

Mit Leihrad oder -scooter

Für kürzere Distanzen oder besonders sehenswerte Strecken kann sich auch ein Leihfahrrad oder -scooter lohnen. In den meisten Städten und touristischen Gebieten gibt es Fahrradverleihgeschäfte, in denen man Fahrräder stunden- oder tageweise mieten kann. Diese Geschäfte bieten oft verschiedene Fahrradtypen an, einschließlich Citybikes, Elektrofahrrädern und Tandems. Auch viele Unterkünfte verfügen über einen Fahrradverleih als zusätzlichen Service für ihre Gäste.

In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg und Breda stehen auch öffentliche Leihsysteme für Scooter und Fahrräder zur Verfügung. Mittels App können verfügbare Räder und Scooter in der Nähe angezeigt und ausgeliehen werden. Anbieter in den Städten sind:

  • ‘s-Hertogenbosch: GO Sharing und Movelo für Räder, Felyx und Check für Scooter
  • Eindhoven: GO Sharing und TIER für Räder, Check und GO Sharing für Scooter
  • Tilburg: GO Sharing für Räder, Scooter und Felyx für Scooter
  • Breda: Check, GO Sharing und Felyx für Scoote

(Angaben ohne Gewähr, Stand Februar 2024)

Das ist Brabant - Spannend, überraschend, ein bisschen eigenwillig und sehr gastfreundlich

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