To travel between Amsterdam (Netherlands) and London (UK) by scheduled public transport you basically have 4 choices available:
Air travel from London airports to Amsterdam Schiphol; Eurostar train (London-Brussels) then an onward Brussels-Amsterdam train; Eurolines or Megabus coach (bus) services; and finally a combined rail-ferry service. Let's consider each in turn...
Amsterdam Schiphol is served by a number of carriers who each fly to one or more of London's 6 airports. As the UK is not part of the European Schengen border agreement you will need to go through passport control at Schiphol both on arrival and on departure. In the UK arriving passengers will also go through border control checks - and you will need to submit "advance passenger information" prior to travel.
Easyjet is probably the most popular carrier that connects Schiphol to London Luton, Gatwick, Southend and Stansted airports. Whilst good value, Easyjet does charge for extras like checking-in luggage and "speedy boarding". If you do need to check-in a bag at Amsterdam Schiphol, Easyjet desks are located at Departures Hall 3 - usually queues are not too bad except for peak times. Easyjet flights depart from the budget pier H - you will go through a security screening on reaching that pier. There are no shops/cafes beyond that point.
British Airways flies to London Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports. Flights departing Amsterdam leave from the D gates - sometimes there is a security screening right before the gate. BA flight prices are a little more expensive than Easyjet and the service is more geared to business passengers or those with onward connections. BA also has its own Galleries lounge at Schiphol, as well as multiple lounges at Heathrow and Gatwick. Return economy prices are from approximately £80/€100 - the very cheapest fares are to/from Gatwick though they don't include checked luggage. BA also sells more expensive Club Europe (business class) tickets on the London-Amsterdam route.
KLM is the national Dutch carrier although these days owned by Air France. It serves London Heathrow and City airports from Amsterdam - economy and business prices are similar to BA. It 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.
However, unlike the other airlines they will penalise you with full fare prices if you try to book a one-way flight only. It also charges for checked luggage unless you are a Flying Blue member.
Air France-KLM subsidiary CityJet flies from Amsterdam to London City airport. Note, Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Eindhoven, 90 minutes south of Amsterdam. (See Eindhoven Airport to Amsterdam for more info)
|The London-Amsterdam journey can be done by high-speed rail and is split into 2 parts: (1) A Eurostar train between London St Pancras and Brussels Zuid/Midi which goes via the Channel Tunnel and takes around 2 hours. (2) Taking the Thalys train between Brussels and Amsterdam, a journey which now takes 1h 50mins. Note, reservations are mandatory on all the above trains.|
Total travel time (depending on the Brussels connection) ranges from 4h 40 mins to around 6 hours.
There was also a new high speed FYRA service introduced between Brussels and Amsterdam though this is currently not running due to major operational problems. The lowest one-way 2nd class fares for travel with the Thalys and Eurostar are €79 ex-Netherlands or £73 ex-UK - however these are very difiicult to find. There is also the option of taking a fixed price Intercity trains but you need to make a change at either Antwerp, Roosendaal or Den Haag HS.
Eurolines runs an international coach service between London Victoria and Amsterdam. There are 4 daily services to Amsterdam - 2 night-time and 2 daytime services - and the journey takes around 11 hours. One of the night services uses a P&O ferry to cross the channel whilst the others go via Eurotunnel trains.
Promo prices start from €15 single ex-Amsterdam and £15 single ex-London. For more info see Eurolines coach to Amsterdam.
Megabus also runs a cheap 2x daily coach service between Amsterdam and London Victoria. See Megabus Coach London-Amsterdam
4. Ferry-Rail combo
There is the "dutchflyer" rail-ferry option available from Stena Line ferries in conjunction with National Express East Anglia (NEEA) and NS Dutch railways. The ferry operates between Hoek van Holland (near Rotterdam) and Harwich - this journey takes 6 1/2 to 7 hours.
The ticket includes a rail journey from London Liverpool Street to Harwich International. You can also get a Dutch train ticket included which can take you from Hoek van Holland to Amsterdam or any other Dutch station - change first at Rotterdam Central.
Singles from London to any Dutch station costs from £45 for a day ferry without cabin. Overnight sailings including cabin start at £75 each way.
Buying from Netherlands, the journey from any Dutch station to any NEEA station costs from €58 (day) and €83.50 (overnight). More info see Ferries UK to Holland