Taylor, who has been in detention in Sierra Leone since March 29, face charges over some of the worst atrocities committed in Africa, including the death, rape or mutilation of hundreds of thousands of people.
He arrived in Rotterdam on a UN-chartered plane and was led into a waiting van with his hands tied, flanked by several officials, and was taken to a detention centre in The Hague.
Taylor, 58, will be tried by a branch of the Sierra Leone tribunal using the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, with proceedings expected to begin in several months.
The former warlord’s successor as Liberia’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, had called for the trial to be moved to Europe, fearing the sight of him in the dock could spark unrest in Africa.
“We’ve got three million Liberian people that we want to concentrate on,” Ms Sirleaf said.
The charges Taylor faces stem from his alleged backing of Sierra Leonean rebels, who terrorised victims by chopping off their arms, legs, ears and lips during that country’s 1991-2002 civil war.
Taylor he has also been linked to violence in his homeland and elsewhere in West Africa.
He was detained in Freetown, Sierra Leone, after his capture in Nigeria, where he had been living in exile since August 2003.
The prosecutor who drafted Taylor’s indictment hailed his transfer as a great day for victims and survivors of Sierra Leone’s conflict.
“This is for and about the people of West Africa,” David Crane, the former prosecutor at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, told The Associated Press.
“For them to see Charles Taylor – who was so feared – humbled before the law, it is special because justice is being done. He’s been terrorising that part of the world for at least a decade,” said Mr Crane.
“He has incredible power, influence – almost mythical powers. People are afraid of him.”
Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He faces life imprisonment if convicted.
He is specifically accused of sponsoring and aiding rebel groups which perpetrated murder, sexual slavery, mutilation and conscription of child soldiers in Sierra Leone’s civil war, in exchange for a share in the lucrative diamond trade.
He pleaded innocent to all charges, in his first appearance before the court.
Taylor and former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic are the only sitting heads of state ever to be indicted on war crimes charges.
Milosevic died earlier this year in a UN cell in The Hague before his genocide trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia could be completed.
Witnesses in the Taylor trial, which is expected to start in January and last about a year, may include atrocity survivors and members of his former inner circle.
The Netherlands had agreed to host the trial on condition that a third country jail Taylor if he is convicted or take him in if acquitted.
Several countries refused, but Britain announced last week it would jail him if he were convicted.