While you could well purchase daily and weekly transit passes, the easiest payment method to get around on mass transit is the ‘OV-Chipkaart’. Given a wide range of transit companies accept it, it will connect you across the country with ease. You have two options: Get a blue "anonymous" card (one that is not tied to a specific person, useful if you plan to share it with others) at train stations, tobacconists or supermarkets. Or to get the maximum value, get a yellow "personal" card, available online at www.ov-chipkaart.nl, with which you can subscribe to annually renewable discount offerings with your favoured transit companies.
Machines to top up your credit are located at train stations, our ubiquitous Albert Heijn grocery stores and more. U-OV is one of Utrecht’s regional bus and tram system, while NS is the national train system, with both local and intercity lines. If you have an OV-Chipkaart, it can also be used for U-OV vehicles. Note that they are unrelated entities, as the OV-Chipkaart serves as credit for fares on a wide range of domestic transit systems. Visit here to learn all about the U-OV system and to plan your first journey!
If you have a credit card, you could consider getting a Utrecht Region Pass instead of the OV-Chipkaart. Utrecht Region Pass is a "pay-as-you-go" public transport card with national coverage conveniently linked to your credit card. It provides easy and carefree access to the entire public transport system in the Netherlands, including the bicycle. You reserve it online here and collect it at a pick-up point (you will find the list of conveniently located pick-up points on the website) and then you are ready to travel. No worries about having enough balance on the card. And you never need to ‘charge it’. The payment takes place automatically via credit card. For any inquiry, a dedicated help desk is at your service to answer all your questions. The costs of travel are the same as when traveling with the ‘OV-Chipkaart’. Additionally, you can use Utrecht Region Pass to visit some of the most valued destinations and places of interest within the province.Get your Utrecht Region Pass