International TravelRail Travel

Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train (Complete Guide)

A great way to travel between Amsterdam and Berlin during the day is by the Intercity train service.

This gives you centre-to-centre convenience, no check-in or security lines and a regular service running every 2 hours. It can be easily booked via the NS International site (euros) or the Trainline site here (multi-currencies) with prices starting at only €38 one-way.

Deutsche Bahn (DB German Railways) and NS International (Dutch Railways) jointly run a 6x daily direct train between Amsterdam and Berlin –  this is a standard Intercity (IC) rail service, not a high-speed one – and the journey time is just under 6 hours.

In the Netherlands it is known as the Intercity Berlin. We’ve made this trip multiple times and here is our detailed guide to Amsterdam-Berlin by Intercity train. The info here is applicable if travelling in either direction – Amsterdam to Berlin or Berlin to Amsterdam.

Intercity Berlin timetable (2024)

Amsterdam to Berlin (daily)

IC 141IC 143IC 145IC 147IC 149IC 241
Amsterdam Centraal dep055907590959115913591559
Berlin Hbf

Berlin To Amsterdam (daily)

 IC 240IC 148IC 146IC 144IC 142IC 140
Berlin Hbfdep060608061006120614061606
Amsterdam Centraal arr120014001600180020002200

Amsterdam-Berlin Map & Route

The Intercity Berlin train runs from Amsterdam Central to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) – and then terminates at Berlin Ostbahnhof.

amsterdam-berlin rail map

This service makes a number of stops – in the Netherlands at Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer and Hengelo.

ic berlin train at amsterdam central
Amsterdam-Berlin IC train at Amsterdam Centraal

It crosses into Germany at Bad Bentheim and then makes further stops at (among others) Rheine, Osnabrück Hbf, Bünde(Westf), Minden, Hannover Hbf and Berlin Spandau.

amsterdam-berlin intercity train route


Total journey time: 5 hours 52 minutes (Amsterdam-Berlin) and 5 hours 54 minutes (Berlin-Amsterdam).

Total distance: 635km

Maximum speed: 200kmh (on the Hannover-Berlin section)

Amsterdam-Berlin train ticket fares

Booking for Amsterdam-Berlin rail tickets opens 180 days before travel.

intercity berlin train
Intercity train departs Berlin for Amsterdam

The cheapest one-way ticket price for Amsterdam-Berlin in 2nd class for the trip is €37.90. This is the Supersparpreis Europa fare which is only valid on the particular departure time selected and is non-changeable/non-refundable. It can be easily found if booking 2-6 months in advance.

There are more flexible fares available. The Sparpreis Europa fare from €44.90 one-way is changeable and refundable for a fee and includes a City ticket for Berlin public transport. The fully-flexible Flexpreis fare is priced €147 one-way and also includes the City ticket component.

1st class Amsterdam-Berlin one-way fares start from €49.90 (the non-changeable Supersparpreis Europa 1st class), from €58.90 (Sparpreis Europa 1st class, changeable and refundable for a fee) and from €257 (Flexpreis full-flex fare).

As you get closer to the departure date the cheaper fares will tend to sell out and you may only find higher fares available.

Children 0-4 always travel free. In addition children ages 4-14 can travel free with any standard adult passenger on a (Super) Sparpreis fare – though you must include the child on your ticket when booking.

Book your Amsterdam-Berlin tickets

Amsterdam-Berlin train tickets can easily be booked at any of these 3 sites at the same fares:

ns logo

Book at the NS International site – this is the Dutch Railways international arm, it has a clear interface, payment in euros and no booking fees.

db logo

Book at Deutsche Bahn site – the German Railways official site with payment in euros, no booking fees. You can also select your seat for this route.

trainline logo

Book at the Trainline site (UK based) which offers payment in multiple currencies although there is a small booking fee.

Choose direct trains services when booking. You might see slightly cheaper fares that include regional trains and multiple changes. There is also a slightly faster connection to an ICE for Hannover-Berlin but it’s not worth the bother of changing trains to save a few minutes.

Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity train

Deutsche Bahn operates its IC1 carriages on the Berlin-Amsterdam route, each of which are 26m long. Although introduced in the 1970s they have been continually modernised.

intercity berlin train at berlin hbf station
Amsterdam-bound Intercity train at Berlin Hbf

They are currently pulled by a Dutch Railways NS-branded Siemens Vectron locomotive.

intercity berlin locomotive at Berlin Hbf station
Intercity Berlin locomotive at Berlin Hbf station

From mid-2025 it is planned that new ICE-L trains (essentially Spanish made Talgo 230 trains) will be deployed on the Berlin-Amsterdam route. These can travel at up to 230kmh so we could see a reduction in the journey time by around 30 minutes.

Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity train – Seats & Facilities

The Intercity Berlin has a current configuration in 2024 of 9 air-conditioned IC1 rail carriages with a total of 674 seats. This is made up of seven 2nd class carriages (seating 632) and two 1st class carriages (seating 42).

Each carriage has a number – currently 24 to 32, with the 1st class ones being 31 and 32 – marked on a display near the external doors. Seat numbers in each carriage are also clearly marked on the aisle seat and above at the luggage rack.

Seats on the Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity

2nd class seats are mainly in a 2-2 open plan configuration with ‘airline style’ unidirectional seating. These seats can be reclined slightly using a lever and most have a drop down tray table.

Where the seating changes direction in 2nd class you can find 4-seater tables. There are a few 2nd class mini compartments reserved for families with children and there are also various spaces for wheelchairs.

The 2nd class seats are comfortable if a little firm – and after about 3 hours you may start to feel this on your bottom! Legroom is very good and certainly more than an economy class seat on a plane.

intercity berlin 2nd class seats
Intercity Berlin – 2nd class seats
intercity berlin 2nd class seats side view
Intercity Berlin 2nd class seats – note the seat numbers marked

The 2nd class seating map for a typical carriage looks like this:

intercity berlin seat map 2nd class
Intercity Berlin – typical seat map for 2nd class (carriage 27)

The 1st class seats are configured in 6 seat mini-compartments with an aisle at one side of the train. This seating is perhaps not to everyone’s taste as when fully occupied you will be facing directly opposite somebody and sharing leg space.

intercity berlin 1st class cabin
Intercity Berlin 1st class seats

The 1st class seats themselves are very comfortable and softer than the 2nd class seats. If either seat comfort or being in a quiet area are important to you then they are worth booking for the 6 hour Amsterdam-Berlin trip.

The 1st class seating map looks like this:

intercity berlin seat map 1st class
Intercity Berlin – typical seat map for 1st class (carriage 32)

Seat reservations (a specific carriage and seat number) are included with 1st class tickets.

Seat reservations for 2nd class are not mandatory outside of peak season. Each seat has a small LED display above showing whether or not the seat is reserved and if so for between which cities.

We do recommend paying the extra €4.90 per seat to ensure you get a dedicated seat and don’t have to play musical chairs – especially when busy. Consider that the train also carries a good number of domestic passengers both on the Dutch side and in Germany.

Note, seat reservation is mandatory for the period June-August 2024.

Facilities on board

  • The windows on the Intercity Berlin IC trains are large and offer great views.
  • Free WiFi is available at to all passengers – access info is at your seat.
  • There is a European power outlet shared between each seat pair.
  • Toilet facilities are available at the ends of each carriage.
  • For 2024, the bord bistro bar carriage has been removed and is replaced by a small kiosk selling drinks and snacks.

Luggage on Intercity Berlin

Unlike flying there are no extra charges for bringing luggage with you on your Intercity Berlin journey. The train has overhead luggage racks above the seats and also some extra racks at the end of the carriages.

intercity berlin 2nd class
Intercity Berlin 2nd class and overhead luggage racks

You can bring 2 items of regular luggage with maximum size 70 x 50 x 30 cm and 1 small item of hand luggage. It is possible to bring an item of oversized luggage if required.

You must be able to carry these on board yourself and they must be able to fit into the luggage racks. You cannot leave your luggage in the aisles.

Please keep an eye of your belongings at all times because opportunist thieves can be present on the route.

Bicycles on the Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity

It is possible to bring a bike onboard the Intercity Berlin train. There is a specially marked cycle carriage – normally located at the end carriage 24 – which has capacity for 16 bikes and also has 2nd class seating. You will need to make a reservation for your bike.

intercity berlin (amsterdam-berlin) can take bicycles
You can take your bike with you on the Amsterdam-Berlin train

Amsterdam-Berlin train trip scenery

The rail journey between Amsterdam and Berlin is quite scenic and you will pass through green countryside of eastern Netherlands and through Germany. It is always fun to guess the moment when you have crossed the border, as this is not marked.

If you are taking a train earlier in the day you should see the Intercity Berlin coming the opposite direction every hour or so.

intercity berlin train at apeldoorn
Amsterdam-bound train at Apeldoorn (NL)
amsterdam-berlin train trip - dutch countryside (east netherlands)
Countryside in eastern Netherlands from the Intercity Berlin train
crossing Ijsselspoorbrug at deventer
Crossing Ijsselspoorbrug at Deventer from the Intercity Berlin train
amsterdam-berlin train trip - german countryside
German countryside from the Amsterdam-Berlin train

Some points of interest on the German side are the Kaiser-Wilhelm monument on the Wittekindsberg hill near Minden and the old Volkswagen factory at Wolfsburg station. These are both on the northern side of the train and are more clearly seen on the Berlin-Amsterdam leg.

intercity berlin at hannover
Intercity Berlin at Hannover
volkswagen (VW) factory at Wolfsburg from intercity Berlin train
Volkswagen (VW) factory at Wolfsburg from the Amsterdam-Berlin train
intercity berlin train arriving at berlin hbf
Almost there…arriving at Berlin Hbf

If you are travelling from Amsterdam to Hamburg, Copenhagen and other Scandinavian destinations you can use the Intercity Berlin from Amsterdam to Osnabrück and then change there for the ICE train to Hamburg.

Amsterdam Central Station

The magnificent Amsterdam Centraal station was competed in 1889. It was designed by Pierre Cuypers who was the noted architect of the city’s Rijksmuseum.

amsterdam central station
Amsterdam Centraal station

The modernised section of the station at the IJ waterfront side features shops, restaurants and some great views.

amsterdam central station - Ij side (waterfront)

The Intercity Berlin train generally departs from platforms 10/11 and arrives at platforms 14/15 – though you can check the live departures and arrival info at Amsterdam Central here

intercity berlin trains at amsterdam centraal
Intercity Berlin trains at Amsterdam Centraal

All 1st class passengers can get access to the basic NS International lounge at Amsterdam Centraal.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof station

Berlin’s main station is a modern glass structure opened in 2006 which has multiple levels. The Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity train operate from the upper level (east-west) platforms – normally arriving at platforms 11/12 and departing from platform 13. You can check live arrival and departures info at Berlin Hbf here

berlin hauptbahnhof station
Berlin Hauptbahnhof
berlin hauptbahnhof upper platforms
Berlin Hauptbahnhof upper platforms

There are more rail platforms (running north-south) at the underground level of Berlin Hbf. The station has many good food outlets and even an organic supermarket.

berlin hauptbahnhof hall
Berlin Hbf hall

Those with a fully-flex 1st class ticket can access the DB Lounge at Berlin Hbf.

db lounge at berlin hauptbahnhof
DB Lounge at Berlin Hbf

What are the other options for Amsterdam-Berlin travel?

The European Sleeper is a 3x weekly night train service which serves the Amsterdam-Berlin route. You can find out more on our Amsterdam-Berlin travel page which overviews all trains, flights and buses between the cities.

Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity: Summary

The Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity service provides a comfortable and scenic day trip between two principal European cities at very reasonable fares. If you book well enough ahead you should be able to find tickets under €50. With children travelling for free it is an excellent option for family groups.

Book with NS International site or the Trainline site

Sources: our own trips provided the main context in addition to info from Deutsche Bahn and NS.

This article was originally published on 31 May 2024.

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