Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.


Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, characterised by a picturesque canal system, as well as the infamous red light district. The relaxed atmosphere of the city makes it a very popular tourist destination, with a variety of visitor attractions and things to do.

Most visitors to Amsterdam arrive by airplane, but overland routes are becoming increasingly popular. Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam Centraal) has direct train services to Brussels as well as Paris, Berlin and Moscow. International bus services operated by Eurolines also serve the city, arriving and departing at Amstel Station.

How to get to Amsterdam from
Route 1:

This route is particularly popular with people wishing to travel to/from ferries at Hook of Holland. It is part of the DutchFlyer service which links the United Kingdom to the Netherlands.

The journey is either made onboard NS InterCity trains or NS Sprinter services, depending on the exact journey, and where you change trains. Trains between Amsterdam and Rotterdam / Schiedam are generally InterCity, whilst Rotterdam / Schiedam to Hook of Holland are generally Sprinter trains.

Route 2:

The City Night Line service between Amsterdam and Copenhagen takes place aboard the Borealis sleeper train. A restaurant car serves passengers between Hamburg and Copenhagen. There are two border crossing points at Emmerich and Flensburg.

Route 3:

If you are travelling between the Edinburgh (or elsewhere in the north east of the UK) and Amsterdam, there is a great alternative to flying which involves just three trains and a ferry. The journey between London and Edinburgh takes between four and five hours, with services running fairly frequently (see the East Coast Mainline website for precise timings). The London - Amsterdam (Dutch Flyer) service takes around 14 hours, and you can choose whether to travel overnight or by day.

Route 4:

There is one direct service per day between Amsterdam and Prague, although there are plenty of indirect services that involve a change at Berlin (although that route is dealt with on a separate page). This service is operated daily by Deutsche Bahn's City Night Line sleeper service, Kopernikus / Phoenix, and calls at Cologne and Berlin en route.

Route 5:

A frequent service operates each day between Amsterdam and Berlin, with a total journey time of just over six hours. In the Netherlands, the train starts/ends its journey at Amsterdam Schiphol (the city's main airport).

An alternative overnight service is available, running between Amsterdam and Moscow via Berlin if you would prefer. Connecting services to Hamburg are available from Osnabrück.

Route 6:

The Amsterdam to Moscow sleeper train is a EuroNight sleeper service, also calling at stations including Berlin and Cologne. It runs once a day, every day, with a variety of sleeping options, and covering a total distance of 2,757km.

If travelling to/from Scotland or northern England, this route can be quicker than rail-only alternatives, when combined with the Harwich - Hook of Holland (Stena Line) service.

The sleeping car has ten compartments which are configured as either 3-berths, 2-berths or single berths. You can opt to share a multiple berth compartment with a stranger, if you would rather not pay the extra for a single berth. Each compartment doubles up as a sitting room during the day time, with beds that fold down for the evening. Each room has its own basin, and towels and toiletries are provided.

There is a dining car that serves the train between Rzepin and Warsaw, so make sure you bring some extra food and drink with you to last the journey. The carriage attendant is also able to serve tea to passengers en route.

Route 7:

There are a number of services that operate between Amsterdam and Frankfurt. This particular service is the high-speed Inter City Express (ICE), operated by Deutsche Bahn.

Route 8:

The key cities of Amsterdam, Munich and Innsbruck are connected by an overnight City Night Line (CNL) sleeper service known as 'Pollux', that also travels via Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

The same journey can be made during the day if so desired, although requires a change of train at Frankfurt.

Route 9:

An alternative to the Dutch Flyer or International Rail options for travelling between London and Amsterdam is to catch a Eurolines coach. The route offers up to ten services between the cities each day, and it is one of the most carbon-efficient ways of travelling. On some services, Eurolines Plus coaches are used, which offer passengers DVDs and extra legroom. One other advantage of travelling by coach is the luggage allowance; each passenger is allowed two medium sized suitcases, a much greater free allowance than is offered by budget airlines.

Passengers must check in at least 30 minutes before the coach is due to depart (although they can check in from 1 hour before departure, and at London check in closes 15 minutes before departure). You will need to show your passport or travel documentation before being issued with a boarding card. If you are travelling with luggage, make sure it is labelled as it will be stored under the coach.

This route involves a sea crossing which, depending on which service you are on, will either by by Eurotunnel or by P&O ferry (except where stated). When you get to the port/train terminal, you will have to get off the coach and go through border control. 

Route 10:

The Dutch Flyer service, operated in partnership between Stena Line, National Express East Anglia and Holland's NS railway, is a city-to-city service combining rail and ferry routes to link London and Amsterdam in around 14 hours. Travelling overnight is the best option, although not the cheapest (as purchasing a cabin is mandatory), as you maximise your time at your destination. 

Each day, there are two Dutch Flyer services in either direction. When travelling from Amsterdam, you need to change trains at Schiedam. When travelling from London on the Sunday evening or Saturday morning service, passengers need to change train at Manningtree to reach Harwich.

London to Amsterdam on the Dutch Flyer:

 StopMonday - FridaySaturdaySunday
TrainLondon Liverpool St06.3818.2006.3819.00b07.55b19.02
Harwich Intnl.08.1020.0108.0920.2209.2520.48
FerryHarwich Intnl.09.0023.1509.0023.1510.0023.15
Hook of Holland16.4507.4516.4507.4518.0007.45
TrainHook of Holland17.3708.3717.3708.3718.5508.37
Schiedam C.18.0309.0318.0309.0319.2109.03
Schiedam C.18.1609.1618.1609.1619.2709.16

a = Change trains at Schiedam for Amsterdam
b = Change trains at Manningtree for Harwich

Amsterdam to London on the Dutch Flyer:

 Schiedam C.12.4520.1512.4520.1512.4520.15
 Schiedam C.13.1820.4813.1820.4813.1820.48
 Hook of Holland13.4221.1213.4221.1213.4221.12
FerryHook of Holland14.3022.1514.3022.0014.3022.00
 Harwich Intnl.20.0006.3020.0006.3020.0006.30
TrainHarwich Intnl.20.4507.1520.4507.2020.3507.15
 London Liverpool St.22.1408.5422.1408.5921.5908.54

a: Change trains at Schiedam for Hook of Holland


Route 11:

The journey between Paris and Amsterdam is very fast onboard this Thalys service. However, if travelling from the United Kingdom towards Amsterdam, you are best off taking the Eurostar to Brussels, and then joining this Thalys service there (rather than going into Paris), as it is much cheaper and quicker.

Route 12:

A new long-distance international coach service, known as iDBUS, offers travellers a new direct service between Paris, Lille and Amsterdam, with connecting services to London and Brussels. The service, managed by French rail operator SNCF, hopes to become a major player in the European coach market.

The journey between Paris and Amsterdam takes nearly seven hours, whilst the trip between Lille and Amsterdam takes between three and a half and four hours. 

Route 13:

Rail travel between Amsterdam and Berlin is very stress free but since 2008 it does require a change of train if you travel to/from Amsterdam Centraal station. This is because all services to Berlin now depart from Schiphol Airport station and call at Amsterdam Zuid instead.

There are different options available depending on where in Amsterdam you would like to leave from. The simplest journey is made from Amsterdam Zuid, which is a direct service.

If you would rather travel from Amsterdam Centraal, it is recommended that you catch the Intercity to Amersfoort Schothorst and change at Hilversum. This is because the connecting trains are scheduled to arrive at Hilversum at adjacent platforms making the switch very easy, no escalators, lifts or long walks. The timetables are set so that the Amersfoort Schothorst Intercity leaves Amsterdam Centraal in good time and the wait at Hilversum is no more than 5 minutes.

All the Amsterdam Centraal departures are on trains destined for "Amersfoort Schothorst" so look for that on the departure boards.

This scheme also works if you travel from Berlin to Amsterdam, with the schedules allowing very convenient connection times at Hilversum.

There is a buffet on the train serving hot and cold food, drinks etc; and there is a large space for carrying bikes in one of the coaches which holds and hangs up to 20 bikes.

Thanks to Rich Lenthall for this travel tip.

Flightless Holidays in Amsterdam

School Disco Mini-Cruise to Amsterdam

Fancy letting your hair down for a trip to Amsterdam? Why not go on a school disco themed mini-cruise to the city, departing from Newcastle!

Holland and its Tulips Cruise

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Holland on this rail/cruise holiday that takes in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.