The best way to move around in Tilburg is by bike! You might think that taking the bus is also easy but it usually takes a lot of time and it gets expensive. It is really safe to bike in Tilburg because there are bike paths everywhere. There is even one long bike bath from University to the City center called ‘the red bike lane’ where you barely run into traffic lights. As you can tell by this picture of our Central Station, many people use a bike!
If you want a new bike, go to the bike shops. You can find them by going to Google Maps and searching for “Fietsenwinkel” (which means bicycle shop). New bikes are expensive and there is a chance your bike gets stolen, so we recommend just buying a second-hand one!
Travelling by public transport is quite convenient in the Netherlands and in Tilburg. When you want to plan your trip, the best website to look at is www.9292ov.nl. It has an English version and is very easy to use.
Tilburg has three train stations: Tilburg Centraal (you probably arrived here), Tilburg Universiteit and Tilburg Reeshof. The first you will use the most, since the Tilburg Centraal is by the city center and you can get on to Intercity-trains here to other main cities.
At Friday and Saturday nights, trains go every half hour on the following routes: Eindhoven – Tilburg – Breda – Dordrecht – Rotterdam
Eindhoven – Den Bosch – Utrecht
When you just want to use the train, you can also look at www.ns.nl, which is the website of the Dutch Railway system. Here you can also check the fares.
Travelling by train will save you a lot of money when you have a discount card from NS, called OV chipcard. This is only valid on non-peak hours, but you get a 40% discount on your train ticket, and you can take 3 friends who get the same discount if they travel together with you! The card with the discount plan costs 55 euro, so try to calculate beforehand that you will actually save money with this card.
The bus operator in Tilburg is Arriva: www.arriva.nl. You have to pay for the bus with an OV-chipkaart. This is a system of paying, introduced a couple years ago. It can be used for busses, trains, metro and trams. For the metro and trams it is obligated to have one, there is no other way to purchase a ticket. For the busses it will be like this soon, so it is best to get one.
How does it work?
You will notice the white poles on Central Station and the yellow cabins in the buses. They all have the same pink logo on it. These are the checkpoints.
- Purchase a card. For this you can go to Central Station. In the centre you find a desk: ask the people behind this desk about the anonymous OV Chip-card.
- Charge your card. You can charge money on your card at the regular train ticket machines, or at the machine that can be found at the entrance of the Library (University). You cannot travel when your card is empty, so make sure you have enough credit.
- Travel! When you enter a means of transportation, hold your card in front of the checkpoint until it beeps. You are now checked in. When you leave, do the same thing. Don’t forget this, because you cannot check in again if you did not check out!
Generally, the OV Chip-card is cheaper than a normal single use ticket because you pay a small amount when you purchase a ticket. So we recommend this card above others: it is easier and it will pay itself back during your stay here.
Outside the Netherlands
If you want to travel to somewhere within Europe, best is to go by train or airplane.
On this website of NS, various destinations are offered where you can go by train. They also offer train tickets to various aiports around and within the Netherlands, like Dusseldorf, Weeze, Brussels, Amsterdam and Antwerp
The biggest airport in the Netherlands is of course Schiphol, in Amsterdam. The airport that is closest to Tilburg is Eindhoven Airport, which sometimes has quite cheap rates. Another airport that you might find cheap flights on is AIrport Weeze in Germany. This is close to Dusseldorf Airport.