London is a major world city and capital of the United Kingdom. It is located about 360km west of Amsterdam over the North Sea.
Let's look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and London by air, train, bus and ferry...
1. Flights Amsterdam-London
Amsterdam-London is a very popular air route with flights operating between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and 6 airports around London - Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), City (LCY), Luton (LTN), Stansted (STN) and Southend (SEN).
Flying time generally takes between 45 and 60 minutes although flights into London Heathrow can be delayed slightly by the management of air traffic into rotating stacks. As the UK is not part of the European Schengen border agreement you will need to go through passport control at both sides. UK passengers will also need to submit "advance passenger information" to the airline prior to travel.
No frills heavyweight Easyjet connects Schiphol to London Luton (~6x daily), Gatwick (~8x daily), Southend (~3x daily) and Stansted (~4x daily) using Airbus A319/A320 aircraft. Return prices start at about £80/€95 when including checked luggage. At Amsterdam Schiphol, Easyjet check-in desks are located at Departures Hall 3 - usually queues are not too bad except for peak times - and flights depart from budget pier H.
British Airways (Oneworld alliance) flies from Amsterdam to London Heathrow (~8x daily), London Gatwick (~3x daily) and London City airport (up to 7x daily) with a reduced schedule at weekends. Aircraft used are mainly Airbus A319/320/321 plus a few Boeing 737s from Gatwick and the occasional larger Boeing 767 on the Heathrow route; smaller Embraer aircraft are used out of London City.
BA flight prices can be a little more expensive than Easyjet and the service is more geared to business passengers or those with onward connections. BA has its own Galleries lounge at Schiphol, as well as multiple lounges at Heathrow and Gatwick. Return economy prices are from approximately £85/€100 - the very cheapest fares being the hand-luggage-only fares to/from Gatwick. BA also sells more expensive Club Europe (business class) tickets on the London-Amsterdam route.
Flights departing Amsterdam leave from the D gates. Note, BA also flies from Rotterdam airport to London City up to 5x daily.
Prices can be a bit more expensive than Easyjet and BA - expect to pay from about £120/€140 return if checking in luggage. Do not try to book a one-way flight with KLM as they charge expensive fare tariffs for one-ways.
KLM caters for its frequent flyers with its Crown lounges at Schiphol. KLM should be noted for having an excellent network from Amsterdam to all over the UK.
No-frills airline Vueling operates 2x daily between Amsterdam and London Luton using Airbus A320 aircraft. Return fares start from around €65 excluding any optional extras.
Note, Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Eindhoven airport, 90 minutes south of Amsterdam. It currently only serves Dublin from Amsterdam Schiphol.
2. Amsterdam-London by Train
Travelling between Amsterdam and London by rail is a certainly viable option. There are currently no direct routes - you need to make a change at Brussels and possibly Rotterdam. Journey time for Amsterdam-London is about 4 hours 40 minutes on high speed trains and about 6 hours using Intercity services between Brussels and Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam-London rail journey is made up of 2 main parts:
(2) The Brussels-London part of the journey is made by high speed Eurostar trains running 6-7x daily via Lille and the Channel Tunnel. This trip takes 2 hours though you need a little extra time beforehand to check-in and go through security and border checks. Check out our detailed review of the London-Brussels Eurostar train.
Classes of travel on Thalys are Comfort 1 (1st class) and Comfort 2 (2nd class). Comfort 1 includes drinks and snacks served at your seat, newspapers/magazines and free WiFi internet. Comfort 2 passengers can purchase food and drink at the onboard bar. All seats have individual electric power outlets.
Intercity trains have 1st class and 2nd class carriages. The Intercity Brussels trains often have an attendant passing through the train selling drinks and snacks.
Eurostar has 3 main classes of travel: Standard (2nd class), Standard Premier (1st class 'lite') and Business Premier (1st class). Standard Premier passengers get roomier seating, drinks and a light meal served at their seat plus a selection of magazines. Business Premier ticket holders get a full meal and drinks, newspapers and magazines as well as Eurostar lounge access. Standard passengers can buy refreshments at the onboard bar buffet car.
Note that Eurostar does not offer onboard WiFi but plans to introduce it in the near future. UK and Euro electrical power outlets are available for Standard Premier and Business Premier passengers - plus Standard coaches 5 and 14.
It is possible to purchase through-tickets for the Amsterdam-London rail journey.
Booking from the UK, London-Amsterdam tickets using Eurostar+Thalys are priced from £52 one-way, £92 return in 2nd class (Standard+Comfort 2) and £100 each way in 1st class (Standard Premier+Comfort 1). Note that the fully flexible Business Premier tickets come in at around a hefty £300 each way. Eurostar's UK site currently does not sell tickets for Intercity trains to Netherlands.
Eurostar also sells a fare from London to any Belgian station - priced from £51 single, £62 return. If coming to the Netherlands you would then have to buy an additional ticket between Essen (Belgian border) to your Dutch destination station.
Booking from Netherlands, the cheapest fares using the Eurostar+Intercity trains are €59 each way (2nd class+Standard) or €130 each way (1st class+Standard Premier). These fares are valid to any Dutch station. Thalys+Eurostar one-way fares start from €59 (Comfort 2 + Standard) or €109 (Comfort 1 + Standard Premier).
How to book online: try Belgian Rail's excellent international site B-Europe (accepts all credit cards) or the NS International site
When travelling Amsterdam to London do allow enough time for checking in/border control/security at the Eurostar terminal in Brussels. We suggest arriving at least 1 hour beforehand if possible.
Future: From December 2017, a twice daily direct London-Amsterdam Eurostar service is due to start.
For more info see our international trains from Amsterdam article.
3. Amsterdam-London by Coach
From the UK, promo online funfares start at £15 one-way. A standard single (fully flexible) costs up to £50. From Netherlands promo fares are as low as €19 single, with a standard single up to €50.
Megabus (now part of Flixbus) also runs a 2x daily coach service between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and London Victoria. The journey takes about 10 hours and includes a ferry crossing. One-way fares start at about €25 each way, special offers can be cheaper.
OUIBUS is a premium coach service run by French Railways (SNCF). It operates a 2x daily service between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and London Victoria - prices start at €25 or £23 one-way.
4. Amsterdam-London by Ferry+Train combo
There are various ticket options available. From the UK, the Rail & Sail Harwich to any Dutch station costs from £42 one-way; from any AGA station to any Dutch station costs from £49. Overnight sailings require a compulsory cabin - cabin fees start at £32 for a single berth. Cabins cost half-price for day sailings.
Buying from Netherlands, the journey from Hoek van Holland to any AGA station costs from €49 (day) and €76 (overnight). More info see Ferries UK to Holland
AGA stations include London Liverpool Street, Norwich and Cambridge.
If travelling from Hoek van Holland to Amsterdam then it's a short walk to the Hoek van Holland Haven train station. Take the half-hourly Sprinter service going towards Rotterdam - you can change for Amsterdam at either at Scheidam Centrum or Rotterdam. The quickest trains to Amsterdam are the Intercity Direct service from Rotterdam - though they require an extra €2.40 supplement ticket before boarding.