Eurostar London-Amsterdam Review
Since April 2018 Eurostar has been operating a direct London-Amsterdam train service which runs 2x daily Mon-Fri and 1x daily on weekends. This is a fast, comfortable and convenient way of travelling from London to Amsterdam on the new Eurostar E320 trains. We recently made the London-Amsterdam trip by Eurostar and offer this trip review.
The Eurostar trains depart from London St Pancras station at 0831 and 1731, arriving in Amsterdam at 1312 and 2212, respectively. Eurostar is planning to add a 3rd (and possibly 4th) daily service sometime in 2019. This will also take some pressure off Amsterdam Schiphol airport which has many flights between London and Amsterdam.
One should note that currently the Amsterdam-London return trip cannot be made seamlessly. London-bound passengers still need to get off at Brussels Zuid/Midi for UK immigration and customs formalities before taking another Eurostar. It is hoped that direct Amsterdam-London services can be in place by the end of 2019.
London-Amsterdam Eurostar trip
We made the journey between London and Amsterdam by Standard Premier class in October 2018 on the evening departure. We paid our own way, €102 one-way for the trip.
The Eurostar departs from its terminal at the beautiful London St Pancras station. This is located in the north of London next to Kings Cross station and a short walk from Euston. You can arrive by tube via any of the Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly, Circle, Hammersmith & City or Metropolitan lines.
The public area inside the station contains quite a decent range of shops, cafés and restaurants. Upstairs you will find the longest champagne bar in Europe, the Betjeman Statue, the famous Dent clock and Paul Day's 9m tall statue of an embracing couple known as "The Lovers".
There are 3 classes of travel on the Eurostar:
Standard Class - This is effectively 2nd class with the normal 2-2 configuration seating, seat pitch of approximately 32.5" (82.5cm) and food/drink available for purchase at the Café Métropole bar buffet car. One-way fares for London-Amsterdam start from £35 or €40.
Standard Premier - A first class "lite" product using dedicated carriages with 1-2 configuration and seat pitch of approximately 37" (94.5cm). A complimentary light meal and drinks are served at your seat and a selection of magazines is available. One-way fares for London-Amsterdam start from £79 or €99.
Business Premier - A flexible fare business product using dedicated carriages with similar 1-2 config and seat pitch as Standard Premier. A full 3 course meal with drinks is served at your seat (culinary director is currently Raymond Blanc), plus newspapers and magazines are available. At the main Eurostar stations you get fast-track check-in and a business lounge (pictured) which has free refreshments and WiFi.
Ticket prices are by no means cheap, priced from around £260 or €299 one-way.
You can check-in up to 30 minutes in advance on the Eurostar in Standard or Standard Premier. Business Premier passengers can arrive up to 10 minutes before departure. However, we advise getting there about 1 hour before as check-in queues can sometimes be long for the standard classes.
You need queue to go through a check-in gate (where you scan or insert your ticket) and then an immediate security check of your luggage. This is followed by a UK exit check and then French border control.
You are then in the main departures lounge area which is used by all Eurostar passengers going to Paris and Brussels. This area has a newsagent, a bar and café. Free WiFi is available.
Boarding is called about 20 minutes before departure and you go up the escalators to the platform. Check your boarding pass for the coach number as there are different escalators for coaches 1-5 and 6-18.
On the E320 trains, business/standard premier coaches are located at 1-3 and 14-16, with standard class carriages 4-13. The bar buffet is found in coach 8 and 9.
Once onboard the train you can place large cases in the luggage racks near the doors. Otherwise there are overhead racks for medium and smaller bags. Standard Premier class has magazines available for reading (such as Time, Economist, Wired etc) but no newspapers.
There are UK and Euro power points available on all seats on the E320 trains. USB sockets are also available in Standard Premier/Business Premier seats.
The carriage filled up and shortly after the doors were closed and the train departed. We were soon up-to-speed, passing through Ebsfleet station and out of London towards the Channel tunnel. In terms of scenery, probably the highlight of the Eurostar trip on the UK side is crossing the viaduct over the river Medway near Rochester.
In Standard Premier, morning services before 11am get a light continental style breakfast (pastries, yoghurt and juice) with coffee or tea, served about 25 minutes into the journey. If you travel after 11am you will get a (cold) light meal with the option of soft drinks, wine or beer plus tea and coffee. If you have dietary requirements you can pre-order a special meal via the online booking portal.
To be fair, the food offering used to be a lot better when Standard Premier was known as Leisure Select a few years back.
Continuing the journey, the train slows down for the 50km channel tunnel section which takes about 20 minutes. It then speeds up again on the French side for the high speed run to Brussels Zuid/Midi.
After a short stop, the train continues through Belgium (standard track) and speeds up again after passing Antwerp. The final leg of the trip is on the Dutch high speed track and the train makes a stop at Rotterdam before finally terminating at Amsterdam Central station.
Overall, travel on the Eurostar is highly recommended with its city centre to city centre convenience. Standard Premier class is a comfortable and civilised way to travel in a quiet cabin and will make a good start/end to your trip.
For further info see our guide international trains to/from Amsterdam
How To Book Tickets
You can check timetables, prices and make bookings for Eurostar and other international train services at the NS International site