International travel and opening gates

On your international trip you will come realise that a lot of Dutch stations have gates. The square barcode on your HomePrint Ticket or Mobile Ticket and single-use smartcard are specifically designed to open the gates at the station. On this page we provide you with information about opening the gates with different tickets.

Opening gates

Using an international ticket with a square barcode

Opening the gates

With an international ticket, you do not have to check in. At more and more Dutch stations, however, the gates are closed. You open a closed gate with the square barcode on your international ticket. To do this, put your ticket in the NS International App or print your ticket (PDF).
If you show the barcode as a PDF or screenshot from your phone, you may have problems opening the gates. The gate will not open or you will wrongly pay a ticket, up to € 20. You can avoid this by putting the ticket in the NS International App or printing it.

Has money been wrongly debited?

If you show the ticket as a screenshot from your phone, money may have been wrongly debited. You can recognise a wrongful debit on your bank statement by the reference starting with NLOV, the amount and the time of check-in. From 6 days after the journey until 60 days after the journey, you can request a refund on

View video that shows travelling abroad with an international ticket (Dutch)
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An international ticket with a single-use smart card

Are you travelling with an international ticket and a single-use smart card? Then you can check in in the Netherlands with the single-use smart card to open the gate. You will not be able check out abroad and when returning not be able to check in. When you returning in the Netherlands you can check out using your single-use smart card at the cards and so leave the station.

View video that shows travelling abroad with a single-use smart card (Dutch)
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With an NS subscription in combination with an NMBS or DB subscription

Are you a frequent traveller to Belgium or Germany in combination with an NMBS or DB subscription? Then you can request a square barcode to open the gates in the Netherlands. This will prevent you having to pay the entry fee, when you open the gates on your OV-chipkaart in the Netherlands without checking out abroad.

Request barcode

Request a keycard at Within 5 working days, you will receive an email with a square barcode in return. With it, for a few days, you can open the gates and arrival and departure station in the Netherlands without using your OV-chipkaart.
Pay attention! You can only request the square barcode if you have one of the following NS subscriptions on your OV chip card:

      • Weekend Vrij of Dal Vrij
      • Studentenreisproduct
      • Traject Vrij to the last domestic station

    Ask for help at an information column

    Are the gates not opening or do you not have a (working) square barcode on your international ticket?

    Go to an information column by the gates and press the blue i-button for assistance. You will be connected to a member of the NS staff who will gladly help you.