Buses and Trains

bus or train?

Most places within Maastricht are easily accessible by bike but the bus is your best bet if you are commuting from Maastricht’s outskirts. Trains, however, are the fastest option for those living in Maastricht’s Heer/Randwyck and Limmel/Nazareth both of which have train stations. Trains are also a better option if you need to travel to another city or country. Although buses stop in nearby cities and towns like Valkenburg or Sittard, they take significantly longer and may even be more expensive. If you’re going to Belgium, you can take the Belgian buses from Maastricht Central station or the train headed to Liège from Maastricht Central station or Maastricht Randwyck station.

buses

The bus service is provided by Arriva Transport and the main bus station is Maastricht Central. All buses stop there, as well as the international buses to Belgium (Hasselt) and Germany (Aachen). The bus station is divided into two sections: city buses and regional buses.

The city buses will take you everywhere in the city, while the regional buses have destinations like Aachen, Maastricht-Aachen airport, or Valkenburg. The city buses stop at the covered section of the station, the regional and international buses by the bicycle racks. If you’re travelling by city bus make sure you’re on the right side of the platform. The buses at the section closest to the train station go to the outskirts, the buses on the other side head towards the city center. (There are currently constructions underway at the train station. Therefore the covered section is temporarily out of use. Make sure to check the signs at the bus stops for the number of the line you need to take!)

If you need more information on the routes of the different bus lines and you want to see the network map of Maastricht and surroundings, you can download all the Arriva network maps of Limburg. Alternatively, you can visit the Arriva information desk and ask for direct advice. You can find the info desk in the great hall of the Maastricht Station.

Although trains normally represent a faster and cheaper alternative to regional buses, the cheapest and fastest option to get to Aachen is the regional bus number Qliner 350. For €6 you can buy a day pass which counts as a one way ticket to Aachen. If you need to get back to Maastricht, buy a return ticket for €8,50 instead. This site provides the most accurate information on prices and planning your journey.

night buses

If you need to go from A to B on a weekend night, Arriva is providing night buses for a selection of routes on Friday and Saturday night. These routes include lines 1, 4, 5, 6 & 50. Check out the timetable for detailed information.

IC Bus Dusseldorf-Maastricht-Liege

The German railroad company Deutsche Bahn has recently introduced a new InterCity bus-line from Düsseldorf through Maastricht to Liege. The bus goes back and forth twice a day and only stops in those 3 cities. This is a great alternative to the sometimes difficult public transport to Düsseldorf or Liege. The bus has free on-board WiFi and a free entertainment portal, it has power outlets at the seats and you can even use a BahnCard to travel with discount. Customers have to comfort to use one ticket for their entire journey by IC Bus and by Deutsche Bahn train.

The Bus stops at the other side of the train tracks behind the train station in Maastricht. Just cross the tracks by using the overpass in the station and the IC Bus stop is just to your left as you leave the station. The bus goes to Düsseldorf ZOB bus station and to the bus stop at the Liege-Guillemins train station. According to their schedule, the Bus will go from Maastricht to Liege daily at 12:25pm and 06:25pm and it will arrive approximately 40 minutes later in Liege. If you intend to go from Maastricht to Düsseldorf, you can catch the Bus at 08:20am and 02:50pm and you will be traveling for about one and a half hours.

Prices start from 9€ from Maastricht to Düsseldorf and from 7€ from Maastricht to Liege. In order to book a ticket and reserve a seat, as well as finding exact times and prices download this flyer and visit their website.

trains

Maastricht has three train stations: Maastricht Noord in Limmel/Nazareth, Maastricht Central station in Wyck/city centre and Maastricht Randwyck, in Heer/Randwyck. Trains leave from Maastricht Randwyck to Maastricht Noord via Maastricht Central station at least twice an hour – same goes for the other way. Maastricht Central Station has the most international connections to Belgium (Liège) and national connections to all the parts of the country including Amsterdam and Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport).

If you want to travel within the Maas-Rhine Region you can take one of the Arriva trains. Arriva is providing regional public transport within the whole Euregio Maas-Rhine, which expands well into Germany and Belgium. You can find a map of the area covered by Arriva here.

If you want to board a train to travel longer distances, for example if you decide to go to Amsterdam, you will have to take one of the trains provided by the national railroad company NS.

payment

The main way of paying for Dutch bus and train services is by holding an OV-chip card in front of the card reader at arrival and departure. Learn more about OV-chip cards and how to use them here. If you forget your OV-chip card or you have not purchased one yet, then it is still possible to buy regular tickets (disposable OV-chip cards). For trains this can be done at an NS ticket machine in any station. The machines are easily recognizable by their large size and yellow colour. If you’re travelling by bus, you can buy paper tickets from the driver in cash or with debit card. Please take into account that paper tickets are almost always more expensive than paying for your travel with an OV-chip card.

money saving options

A day pass (dagkaart) is a great money saving option if you need to travel by bus several times on a single day. You can buy them from a bus driver for €6. This grants you unlimited travel after 09:00 with the Arriva buses for one day. Remember to store your ticket securely and show it to the driver whenever you enter a bus. The Arriva website provides details about the day pass (all in Dutch).

For €12.50 you can buy a dagkaart which allows you to travel on Arriva trains as well as buses in Limburg. This ticket is valid on the route Maastricht Randwyck – Kerkrade Centrum between 09:00 and 16:00. You can buy the tickets from the Arriva ticket machines in the station. If you need to travel by bus or train before 09:00 A.M. you will have to buy an additional ticket (‘PLUSkaart’) for €2,50. Have look at the terms and conditions of this offer (only in Dutch).

The NS only offers a day pass if you have an OV-chip card and it will cost you €51,40. Read the most up-to-date information about prices and conditions on the NS website.

Arriva offers another type of dagkaart which is not valid for all of the Netherlands but for the whole Euregio Maas-Rhine. For 18.50€ you can use a variety of trains and buses in the provinces of Limburg (Netherlands) and Liege (Belgium), as well as in the Regio Aachen (Germany). The ticket is valid for the whole day on which it is stamped; it’s valid for a single person on regular calendar days and on holidays it is even valid for up to 2 adults and 3 children. For more detailed information go here (all in Dutch).

NS Group return ticket

An NS group return ticket is a way of travelling cheaply by train by signing up for a group ticket. This ticket allows a group of between 4-10 persons to travel to and from any destination in the Netherlands within the same day. You do not need to be departing from the same station, there is no requirement to travel together on any of the legs, and you don’t even have to know each other. The only requirement is that you travel on the same day and that you are going to the same destination (however, you can always get off at an earlier station on route). You can only buy the ticket online. With a quick search, you can also find many Facebook groups dedicated to group tickets where you can find a deal with anyone travelling to the same destination as you. Although it is still possible to share the ticket with strangers, it has become more difficult since January 2017. NS has changed the procedure to buy one of the tickets: when you buy a NS group return ticket now, you have to submit the information of all individuals using this ticket. Names and other information has to be submitted immediately and can’t be changed afterwards anymore. So make sure to find a definite group to travel with before purchasing the ticket!

The group must have one lead booker, who buys and pays for the ticket via iDEAL. The booker can enter the details and print e-tickets for everyone who is travelling, or choose the option “passenger enters details”. Every passenger can then print their own e-ticket. The more people who travel using the group ticket, the cheaper the price. For four persons you pay €13.75 each, but for 10 people you only pay €7 per person. This is quite a significant discount, if you consider that a normal price return ticket to Amsterdam from Maastricht costs around €50.

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