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How to use the ov-chipcard in Rotterdam

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Chances are that you’re going to use public transportation in Rotterdam, such as the metro, bus, tram, train or maybe even the waterbus. In order to travel with the public transportation in Rotterdam you’ll need an ov-chipcard. With this card you can travel with every transportation type and easily switch between them. On this page we talk about the different tickets for public transport and how to use the ov-chipcard in Rotterdam.


What kind of tickets for transportation are there in Rotterdam?

To travel in Rotterdam and surrounding areas you’ll need the ov-chip card. If you have this almighty card, you can even use it in city and regional transport throughout all of the Netherlands.

For the public transport in Rotterdam there are multiple possibilities of tickets you can purchase:

  • Anonymous ov-chip card
  • Personal ov-chip card
  • Ov-chipcard with a subscription
  • RET day ticket
  • Hour cards

So, there is not just one option for tickets during your travels in Rotterdam. Which one you buy all depends on how often you’re going to use the public transportation system. For instance, if you’re only using it once, a disposable hour card makes sense. If you’re using the transportation system a bunch of times on one day, we recommend a day card. But if you’re using it a few times over a longer period of time, we recommend buying an anonymous card or a personal card.

The only difference between an anonymous and a personal card is that a personal ov-chip card contains your personal information. This means you can also put a subscription on it. Both the cards can be used up to five years.


Where can I buy an ov-chip card?

You can’t buy a personal ov-chip card in the store, but it’s possible to do this online. When getting one online, you can make a balance or a subscription and get the ov-chip card delivered at home or any other address.

The anonymous ov-chip card can also be purchased online and it’s possible to do this in a shop or at one of the vending machines at a station.

Stores where you can get an anonymous ov-chip card:

  • Stores such as Primera, AKO and Readshop
  • Supermarkets
  • Bruna’s
  • Vending machines on the NS stations
  • Service stations on the stations

The RET hour cards can be purchased separately from vending machines or the tram/bus driver. Often it is more advantageous to have an ov-chip card and set up a balance than buying an hour’s ticket. Especially if you plan to travel more often through Rotterdam, it’s useful to have an anonymous or personal ov-chip card.

More information about buying the ov-chipcard can be found here.


How does the ov-chip card work?

Whenever you enter public transport in Rotterdam, keep your ov-chip card against the card reader to check in. If there is sufficient balance or a valid travel product on your OV chip card, the gate will open or you’ll see a green light. At the end of your trip you must check out the same way. The display will show you how much balance you have. During travel, you pay per kilometer traveled.

To travel with an OV chip card you need to charge it. This can be done with vending machines that you can find at any train or metro station. It’s possible to see how much your journey will cost at 9292.


Hopefully we have just made traveling in Rotterdam a little bit easier. Be sure to check out our other articles about public transport!

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