Vlaardingen is a suburb located to the west of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam does have its own international airport but the number of flights are limited and tend not to be cheap. The suggestion is to fly into Schipol Airport in Amsterdam or take the train from other parts of Europe into Rotterdam directly. The drive from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is about an hour at most or around 30 minutes by train direct from the airport.
The use of Trains within the Netherlands
The following is some information to help those using public transport to get around within the Netherlands.
For those of you that own a Dutch Public Transit Chipcard/OV-Chipkaart, make sure your card is charged - you can check this at all the yellow/blue ticket vending machines that are available at stations. If you don’t have one, you can buy an one at the airport. The card is valid for all means of public transportation, including certain ferries and fast ferries on the Rotterdam waterways.
If you want to travel by train, you need a minimum amount of €16,- on your card, unless you’re traveling with someone who’s got discount rights, in that case it drops to €6.- All other transportation companies have no such requirement and simply require a sum of €0.01 or more to be able to check in.
I would recommend you get one of these cards. You can always give them to family or friends traveling here or use it again during a later visit. Traveling on old fashioned paper tickets is much more expensive (1 euro per single trip by train domestic, €3.50 single trip international). All the machines dispense them. Ticket vending machines accept Maestro cards, Visa, Mastercard, but no American Express or Discover cards. The card is returnable and you can request the amount still left on your card to be transferred to your bank IBAN number.
Checking in and out is a requirement. If you do not check in, you are a fare evader. The ticket price will be increased by 40% and a fine of €70 will be added.
Checking in and out on Trains: Most stations have turnstiles that won’t open unless you check in or out. Schiphol is an exception, it doesn’t have turnstiles, it has these:
Hold your card in front of the white area until you hear a single beep for check in, double beep for check out, triple beep for error. The display shows you what’s going on.
If you plan on traveling through the country by public transit, contact Bas Penris for more information, because there are some caveats specific to the Netherlands.
Checking in and out of Metros (NOT streetcars/trams!!): Check in and check out will be provided by turnstiles. If you change from Rotterdam Metro to Dutch Railways, you check out with the Metro company and check in with the Railway company.
Checking in and out of bus's and trams: This is done in the vehicles while embarking/disembarking. Don’t hesitate, check in as soon as possible.
High speed railway link. If you’re arriving at Schiphol airport, there are two main connections to Rotterdam. Both are between 5 and 12 times an hour. By far the quickest way is the InterCity Direct which Dutch Railways run from Amsterdam Centraal through Schiphol to Rotterdam and Breda over a railway link that’s used for speeds up to 320kph/200mph. It takes 24 minutes to get to Rotterdam from Schiphol. There is a surcharge between Schiphol and Rotterdam Centraal, for which you can use these red devices:
These you only use once: At departure. The surcharge is flat fee and only applicable between Schipole Airport and Rotterdam Centraal. NS/Dutch Railway staff will be available on the platforms by the dozens usually to tell people to move it along, and they’ll answer your questions and can point you in the correct direction. The surcharge is €2,40 6:30-9:00 and 16:00-18:30, and €1,40 between those rush hours and the whole of Saturday and Sunday. Non high speed trains take just over twice as long but have the same frequency.
There are two trains you are not allowed to take. Technically they’re not public transit; Thalys services to Paris and Eurostar to London, both over Brussels.
If you fly into Rotterdam/The Hague airport, you can use the metro line to Rotterdam Centraal.
From Rotterdam Centraal, there might be a metro to Vlaardingen if it is completed by April. If there is, take it. If there isn’t, take the first bus connection that stops at Schiedam Centrum (5 minutes and about 20 trains an hour) and take bus line 713 from there to Vlaardingen.
Once you have chosen your hotel you will obviously know the address. At this point you can use the transport website to work out the route between your arrival point and the hotel and the hotel and the venue.
Any problems or questions please contact Bas Penris.