Local information


Conference venue:
Green Lecture Hall
Hijmans van den Bergh building
Universiteitsweg 98 Utrecht
T: +31 (0)88 75 555 55 (reception)


ITP/ conference secretariat
Ms. Olga Sobrino-Gutierrez and Ms. Riny de Haas
Minnaert building, room 402 Leuvenlaan 4
3584 CE Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 253 5928
F: +31 (0)30 253 5937
E: igst@uu.nl



Public Transport


Traveling by public transport in the Netherlands is made easier by using the "OV-chipkaart" card. It is mainly useful for traveling by bus, since it is significantly faster and cheaper than buying separate tickets; for the trains there is no difference in price and you can also buy normal tickets. See the section on buses for more information on how to buy such a card in Utrecht.

Trains
Train tickets are available from the yellow ticket machines at the train station or from the ticket offices. You can also use the OV-chipkaart to travel by train, but your ov-chip has to be `activated’ for this. We would advise you to just buy a normal ticket at a ticket office or machine. Information about trains can be found at

Public transport travel planner 9292ov.nl (train + bus + metro + tram + walking)

NS Travel Planner (trains)
Schiphol Amsterdam Airport Information

From Schiphol to Utrecht Centraal
Traveling by public transport can be a bit confusing in the Netherlands. Here are some pointers:
  • During the day (between 6am and midnight), trains from Schiphol to Utrecht leave every 15 minutes (from platforms 1, 2 or 3) and the travel time is about 32 minutes. There are slower trains traveling from Schiphol to Utrecht all night at a frequency of about once an hour. The price for a one way trip is €7.90. Reservations are not necessary.
  • Train tickets are sold at yellow ticket machines, but you need a European bank card or cash in coins. You can also buy tickets at a ticket office in the train station. However, keep in mind that these are closed at night and they charge a fee of €0.50.
  • A ticket is valid for one trip on that day and are not bound to any particular train. You can also buy return tickets (to return on the same day), which are called `retour’ tickets in Dutch.
  • The Dutch word for platform is `spoor’ (pronounced as the the English `spore’).
  • Trains to different destinations may arrive at the same platform, so always check the destination before you board the train.
  • Sometimes only the final destination is indicated. From Schiphol to Utrecht the final destination is `Nijmegen’ (also 'Arnhem' is frequently listed) or Utrecht Centraal.
  • Use the website 9292.nl/en to plan your journeys inside the Netherlands. It contains information about the schedule of buses, trains, trams and the metro, and also about how the OV-chipkaart works. It is particularly useful and complete.
  • Please note that it is not possible to buy tickets on the train!

Buses
Bus timetables can be checked online on 9292.nl/en, or, specifically for Utrecht, on www.gvu.nl.
To catch a bus, you have to signal the driver to stop (if not, he might not stop).
There are two methods of paying for a bus ride:
  • You can buy a ticket directly from the driver. When you get on the bus, tell the driver at what bus stop you want to get off; you pay according to the distance. The costs for a bus ticket from the central station to Utrecht Science Park is about € 2.60.
  • If you are planning to use the bus more often, then it is cheaper as well as easier to pay with the OV-chipkaart (http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/?taal=en), as the same trip costs you about € 1.50 instead. You can buy an OV-chipkaart in Utrecht Central Station, at the GVU Service kiosk. This is located at `busstation Noord’, just outside the train station. The price of a card is €7.50.

    You have to top up the credit on the OV-chipkaart, this can be done in two ways:
    • Using the yellow ticket machines at the train station. This requires a European bank account (Maestro).
    • By paying with cash at the GVU Service kiosk.

    When you get on the bus you have to check in your OV-chipkaart, and when you get off the bus to check out. The system registers where you board, and when you exit the bus and determines the cost of the journey.

    You can check in as follows:
    • Hold the OV-chipkaart in the front of the OV-chipkaart logo (the hand with a card) on the `smart card reader’ located next to the driver on the bus.
    • You will hear a beep and the green indicator will light up.
    • The displays shows the text "Goede reis".
    • Have a good trip.

    Checking out is the same. There is a 'smart card reader' next to every door of the bus. The display shows the amount you paid for the trip and the credit you still have on the card. If you forget to check out, you lose € 4 !

    When you want to get off the bus, you first have to press one of the red STOP buttons, so that the driver knows to stop at the following bus stop. To open the doors, press the white button next to the door, and ... don’t forget to check out.

Directions to Utrecht Science Park - Hijmans van den Bergh Building (conference venue)

Entrance of Hijmans van den Bergh Building

To get to the Utrecht science park (also known as "de Uithof"), you can take either bus line 11 or 12.

To arrive at the conference venue:

  • Take bus line 11 from the bus stop Busstation Noord, and get off at the stop "Heidelberglaan". From there it is a two minute walk to get to the Hijmans van den Bergh building (where the conference will take place).
  • Take bus line 12 or 12S from the bus stop Busstation Zuid, and also get off at the stop "Heidelberglaan".


To get to the institute for theoretical physics:
  • On line 11 get off at "Botanische Tuinen"
  • On line 12/12S get off at "Padualaan"


The conference takes place in the "groene zaal" (green hall) of the Hijmans van den Bergh building. On the first day we will have some signs up in the vicinity of the building. See below for a map of "de Uithof", with indications of the location of the conference venue (red) and the institute for theoretical physics (green) with closest busstops (blue).




View IGST13 directions in a larger map
From Utrecht Central Station to the Mitland Hotel
  • Take bus number 4 direction F. Andrealaan or bus number 11 direction De Uithof / AZU, departing every 10 minutes between 7am and 12pm
  • Get off at bus stop "Oorsprongpark"
  • Cross the railway crossing
  • First street to the left (Buys Ballotstraat)
  • Turn right at the end (Cornelis Houtmanstraat)
  • Straight on under the fly-over (Ariënslaan)
  • Hotel Mitland is on the right after 50 meters

Below is a map of the walking path from the "Oorsprongpark" bus stop to the hotel.


View Walking directions to Ariënslaan in a larger map


To get to the conference venue from the Mitland hotel, take bus 11 in direction "De Uithof/AZU" from the bus stop "Oorsprongpark", departing every 10 minutes between 7am and 12 pm.


Biking, taxis and car rental

Biking
Biking is popular in the Netherlands, and our cities are well-designed to accommodate bikers: we have separate biking lanes all around the city. It is often as fast as public transport, gives much freedom in planning your trips, and lets you blend in with the locals. There are several viable routes from the central station to the conference venue, located in Utrecht Science Park (the `Uithof’). When lost, do not be shy to ask for directions from other bikers.

In some areas, certain parts of the `oude gracht’ and the shopping areas, it is not allowed to bike. There are traffic signs to warn you for this. As a rule of thumb, if there are no biking lanes and a lot of people walking, it is probably not allowed to bike.


View Larger Map
Bike Rental
General information on bike rental in utrecht can be found here. The following are some of the options (note that these shops have restricted opening hours).
  • Fietspunt:
    • € 8,- /bike/day or € 45,- /bike/week (plus deposit of € 50,- )
    • Address: Nobelstraat 293 (from the central station, take bus line 11 up to Stadsschouwburg).
    • Contact: +31 30 23 00 849
    • Opening Hours: Mon-Wed 8:00-18:00, Th 8:00-21:00, Fr 8:00-18:00, Sat 9:00-17:00, Sun Closed
  • Laag Catharijne:
    • € 7,50 /bike/day (plus valid proof of ID as deposit)
    • Address: Catharijnesingel 34 (leave the central station at stationsplein (south side), take a left to the Spoorstraat, and then take a left to the Catharijnesingel. From here it a short walk).
    • Contact: +31 30 23 16 780
    • Opening Hours: Mon-Fr 7:00-21:30, Sat 8:00-18:15, Sun Closed
  • Het Fietspad:
    • € 7,- /bike/day (and a guarantee of € 50,- )
    • Address: Weerdsingel Westzijde 18 (from the central station, take bus line 6 (direction Zuilen) up to Sint Jacobsstraat. Follow the direction of the bus across a bridge and take a left at the traffic lights).
    • Contact: +31 30 23 34 373
    • Opening Hours: Mon-Fr 10:00-19:00, Sat 10:00-17:00, Sun Closed
  • It is also possible to rent a bike through Hotel Mitland (see accommodation)

View Bike rents in a larger map
Taxi
The taxis at the central station are located at Busstation Zuid (just outside the train station). The prices are between 10 and 20 euros, even for very short distances. From other locations in Utrecht you can order a taxi by calling +31 30 23 00 400. You can also book a cab for the next day.

Car Rental
The city of Utrecht is not particularly suited for cars. The city centre has many one way roads and roads restricted to buses only. Therefore one often has to take not-so-obvious detours. In comparison, biking and public transport are efficient ways of getting around. We do not advise getting around especially the city center by car.

Food

Lunch and dinner on campus
The workshop will take place at the campus de Uithof, and lunch will be provided in the restaurant of the Hijmans van den Bergh building. Dinner is not provided. Please note that options for lunch and dinner at the campus are limited, and include a takeaway pizzeria (Pizzeria Tricolore) and a burger restaurant (The Basket).

Dinner in town
In the city center you will find a wide range of restaurants. To know what to expect, some prince indications:
  • Typical mains in a standard restaurant: 13-17 euros
  • Mains in better restaurants: 20+ euros
  • Pizzas: 8-15 euros
  • To-go options (wok,pizza,pasta,mexican,fast-food): 5-10 euros



Shopping

There are many shops in the centre of Utrecht. Shops will open at appr. 10h30 and close at 18h00(21h00 on Thursday at 17h00-18h00 on Saturday). Supermarkets will open at 8h00 and close at 20h00 - 22h00 (depending on the supermarket). On Sunday most shops are closed.
At de Uithof there is a supermarket, bookshop and a kiosk. In the kiosk you can buy postcards, stamps etc.


Tourist information

The city of Utrecht is located in the geographical centre of the Netherlands, and has a rich and long history. Traces of this history can be found everywhere in the medieval town centre. The city’s many monuments, including the eye-catching Dom tower and the canals with the wharves (unique in the world), are definitely worth paying a visit. For tourist information, visit Utrecht your way.