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I want to take the train from Haarlem (The Netherlands) to Antwerpen (Belgium) and would like to take my non-folding bike with me. It is unclear to me where I can buy a ticket and what the special periods/routes are when this is not allowed at all.

What I've found so far

I know that the Dutch railroad provider (NS) allows to travel with a bicycle:

  • during off-peak hours
  • for €7.50 one way

I found that the Belgian railroad provider (SNCB) allows to take a bicycle with you:

  • whenever, but after asking the conductor
  • for €4 one way

However, according to the NS International website (where I intend to buy my ticket) one can take the bike:

  • only on the Intercity Brussels
  • for €12 one way, and if travelling in July/August an extra €4 reservation fee

I am confused on what kind of ticket I should buy and if I should choose a specific route. I can e.g. take an intercity + regional train or two intercity trains (or the Thalys, but that's very expensive, so I don't consider that). Can I take a bike on both options?

Should I buy separate bike tickets from NS and SNCB on-line or should I buy the NS International ticket?

Question

Which train ticket do I need to buy and what train lines can I choose to be able to take my bicycle with me?

2
  • If you take the IC Brussel directly from Rotterdam to Antwerpen, it seems like the €12 bike ticket is enough. If you want to take a domestic train on either end though, it's not really clear. It sounds like you have to buy the bike ticket in person or over the phone though, so I guess you can find out what all it covers at that point.
    – jdouglas
    Dec 25, 2021 at 15:40
  • I chose Rotterdam as a "random" location to not disclose my actual location, but I have to travel to Rotterdam from another train station 60 minutes away. Will the 12e ticket still be enough in that case? I will clarify this in my question. Dec 25, 2021 at 20:40

1 Answer 1

4

In a terribly long 1 hour call with NS International I managed to book a train+bike ticket.

To answer my own question, here is what I learned:

  • You need the 12 euro international ticket, regardless of any regional trains before/after the international part.
  • It is only possible to book a ticket by phone or at a physical NS International desk. Booking a bike ticket on-line is impossible It's only the year 2021 after all...
  • If using the phone, you need to pay by credit card and hand over all your information (name, d.o.b., credit card number, CVC code).
  • Tickets are linked to a name, you need to show a photo ID when a train conductor checks the ticket. If buying by phone, triple check that the person on the other end got the name right, as otherwise they might misspell your name and you need to call (and wait) again to get that corrected.

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