Amsterdam has a number of direct international rail services which can connect you to Belgium, France, Germany, UK and beyond. High speed rail travel in Europe is a good alternative to flying and gives a real feeling of travel.
In this article we overview all international trains running to/from Amsterdam.
How To Book Rail Tickets: You can check timetables, prices and make bookings for all the international train services listed below at the NS International site
International Rail Map Amsterdam
Firstly let’s start with our international rail network map for scheduled trains operating to/from Amsterdam Central. The map covers rail services from Amsterdam to Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
Amsterdam-Paris, Amsterdam-Lille: Thalys
The Amsterdam-Paris rail route is served by the Thalys, an international high speed train service owned by SNCF French railways in partnership with Belgian railways.
In the Netherlands the Thalys travels on the HSL-Zuid high speed line from near Amsterdam to the Belgian border reaching speeds of up to 250km/h.
The Thalys runs 10x daily between Amsterdam Central and Paris Nord and makes stops at Amsterdam Schiphol, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels Zuid/Midi.
From Amsterdam the journey times are 1h 12 to Antwerp, 1h 50 to Brussels and 3h 18 to Paris.
Note there are 2 additional Thalys services each day operating between Amsterdam and Lille Europe via Rotterdam/Antwerp/Brussels which takes 2h 36.
Seats on the Thalys are sold in a similar way to airline tickets. Non-flexible, advance purchase fares are cheapest whilst prices rise significantly closer to the travel date or if buying flexible fares.
The Thalys has a 3 class service: Standard, Comfort and Premium – all seats on the Thalys have individual electric power outlets.
Standard has 2nd class seating, free WiFi and food/drink can be purchased at the bar. Standard tickets can be changed for a €15 fee (plus price difference) and are 50% refundable. There are cheaper Standard Mini fares which are not changeable or refundable.
Comfort has 1st class seating, free WiFi (with more data) and food/drink can be purchased at the bar. Comfort tickets can be changed for a €15 fee (plus price difference) and are 50% refundable. Access is granted to the NS International lounges at Amsterdam, Schiphol airport or Rotterdam.
Premium is a proper 1st class ticket with 1st class seating, free WiFi (with more data), food/drink served at your seat and a selection of newspapers and magazines available. Premium ticket holders can access the Thalys lounges at Brussels and Paris as well as the NS International lounges. Tickets are freely changeable and 100% refundable.
The cheapest Standard Mini fares cost €35-€65 (Amsterdam-Paris) and €29-€49 (Amsterdam-Lille). These are bookable up to 4 months out.
Standard fares range as follows: €67-€135 (Amsterdam-Paris) and €50-€101 (Amsterdam-Lille). Comfort fares are €72-€155 (Amsterdam-Paris) and €59-€110 (Amsterdam-Lille).
The fully flex Premium fares are €135-€205 (Amsterdam-Paris) and €100-€146 (Amsterdam-Lille).
From Paris Nord you can connect onto the French TGV network to destinations throughout France – but you will have to transfer to one of the other Paris stations using the Metro/RER or taxi. You can buy Paris Metro tickets in the Thalys bar.
Book your Thalys trip at NS International
Amsterdam-Brussels, Amsterdam-Antwerp: Thalys / Intercity Brussels
Amsterdam passengers travelling to Antwerp and Brussels have a choice of services on the route.
The high speed Thalys train runs from Amsterdam/Schiphol/Rotterdam to Antwerp and Brussels Zuid/Midi (14x daily), as described above. As of April 2018 there is also a high speed Eurostar service running Amsterdam-Brussels up to 2x daily.
Thalys fares from Amsterdam to Brussels or Antwerp are the same and range as follows: €29-€35 (Standard Mini fares, book up to 4 months out), €44-€82 (Standard), €45-€95 (Comfort) and €97-€117 (fully-flex Premium).
There is also the slower Intercity Brussels train which operates up to 13x daily between Amsterdam and Brussels Zuid/Midi. Since April 2018 the Intercity Brussels service has been running on the high-speed track in the Netherlands.
The Intercity Brussels train makes stops at Schiphol, Rotterdam, Breda, Noorderkempen (Belgium), Antwerp Central, Antwerp Berchem, Mechelen, Brussels Airport, Brussels North and Brussels Central.
The Intercity Brussels journey time from Amsterdam to Brussels is just 2 hours 48 minutes, around 30 minutes quicker than the previous Intercity service which used standard tracks.
Intercity Brussels has 1st class (2-1 seating configuration) and 2nd class (2-2) tickets for sale. There is an onboard trolley service where you can buy drinks and snacks.
Standard fixed (distance based) prices are in effect with no reservation necessary for international intercity travel. The new service also offers cheaper “early bird” tickets for those booking online in advance.
Amsterdam-Brussels one-way costs €47.60 (2nd class) or €77.20 (1st class). Early bird one-way fares start at €25 (2nd class) and €35 (1st class) Mon-Thu and €33 (2nd class) and €47 (1st class) each way Fri-Sun. Early bird fares are valid on any service on the ticket day of travel.
Those holding NS discount cards can receive a slight fare reduction (off the standard fare) calculated on the Netherlands segment of travel.
Other services of possible interest to travellers: there is an hourly Belgian stopping train service between the border towns of Roosendaal (NL) and Essen (BE) – this connects to a stop train to Antwerp; those travelling Amsterdam-Bruges should change to a Belgian intercity at Antwerp.
Book your Thalys or Intercity Brussels trip at NS International
Amsterdam-London (via Brussels): Eurostar + Thalys / Intercity Brussels
As of April 2018 there is a direct London-Amsterdam Eurostar service which runs 2x daily on weekdays and 1x daily at the weekends. This departs from London St Pancras at 0831 and 1731 Monday to Friday, arriving in Amsterdam at 1312 and 2212, respectively.
The total journey time is 3 hours 41 minutes and the train stops only at Brussels Zuid/Midi and Rotterdam. On weekends the 0831 service runs Saturday, the 1731 service runs Sunday.
Note that the Amsterdam-London return journey cannot be made seamlessly. Amsterdam passengers on the London-bound Eurostar must still get out at Brussels for a passport and security check – and then wait to take a later Brussels-London Eurostar service.
It is hoped that by the end of 2019 a direct Amsterdam-London service will be running. This requires security screening facilities at Amsterdam and Rotterdam, new staff and an agreement between the Dutch and British authorities.
Train travel between Amsterdam and London therefore requires 2 components. The trip between Amsterdam and Brussels Zuid/Midi (as above) followed by a Eurostar train between Brussels and London St Pancras.
The Eurostar high speed train service runs via the channel tunnel and takes around 2 hours for London-Brussels. There are a minimum of 6x daily London-Brussels services with all trains stopping at Lille Europe and Ebbsfleet, some at Ashford. The train reaches speeds of up to 300km/h and the channel tunnel crossing takes 20 minutes.
There are 3 classes of travel on the Eurostar:
Standard – effectively 2nd class with 2-2 configuration seating, food and drink can be bought at the bar coach.
Standard Premier – a 1st class “lite” offering with 2-1 seating, a light meal and drinks served at your seat and magazines available.
Business Premier – a full fare business product with 2-1 seating, lounge access, meal and drinks served plus newspapers and magazines.
For more info see our detailed review of travel on the Eurostar between London and Amsterdam.
TThe total journey time between Amsterdam and London depends whether you take the Thalys or Intercity trains for the Amsterdam-Brussels segment. With the Thalys, the quickest trip time is around 4 h 40 minutes. Using the various Intercity trains the trip can take 6 to 7 hours depending on connections.
If travelling from the Netherlands to London by train, always allow plenty of connecting time in Brussels for transferring onto the Eurostar. We recommend arriving in Brussels at least 45-60 minutes before your scheduled Eurostar departure.
You will need to check-in through a gate barrier and then queue for a Belgium passport control, a security check and then a UK border control. Boarding starts around 20 minutes before departure.
Purchasing ex-UK from Eurostar you can buy London-Amsterdam tickets for £35 (Standard) and £79 (Standard Premier). The direct services have the greatest availability of cheap tickets; Eurostar+Thalys fares are more expensive.
From the Netherlands the cheapest Amsterdam-London one-way fares are priced from €40.
The popular through-fares from any Dutch station to London are offered by NS International. 2nd class fares for travel with Intercity Brussels+Eurostar can vary between €59 to €220 one-way.
1st class fares are priced between €99 and €360 each way. Try to book ahead to get the lowest fares. Note that tickets to any station in the Netherlands are not available for purchase from Eurostar’s UK site at the moment.
Amsterdam-London one-way tickets with Thalys+Eurostar are priced from €59 (Comfort 2+Standard) or €109 (Comfort 1+Standard Premier).
Book your Amsterdam-London Eurostar trip at NS International
Of interest to some could be the rail and ferry option which can offer reasonable prices between London and any station in the Netherlands and includes the Stena Line ferry between Harwich and Hoek van Holland.
Amsterdam-Marseille, Amsterdam-Bourg St Maurice: Thalys specials
ZonThalys is a special “Sun” Thalys service aimed at Dutch holidaymakers which runs weekly (on Saturdays) during July and August only. The train operates as a normal Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels – but then continues on to Valence, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille St Charles.
Total journey time between Amsterdam and Marseille is just over 7 hours and one-way tickets cost from €61 in Standard class. This is a very popular service and the cheapest tickets sell out fast – so book early. Tickets normally go on sale around the end of February.
Alternatively there are TGV services originating from Brussels running year round which bypass Paris and serve many major destinations in the south of France – including Lyon, Marseilles, Nice and the French Riviera, Montpelier and Perpignan.
The Ski-Thalys runs every Saturday between mid-December and the end of March. From Amsterdam it makes stops in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels before heading to Chambery, Albertville, Moutiers Salins, Aime La Plagne, Landry and finally Bourg St Maurice. Travel time between Amsterdam and Bourg St Maurice is 9 hours. Bus connections from these stations run to all the main French ski resorts. One-way prices start from €95 in Standard class.
Which station in Amsterdam? See our Amsterdam Rail Map which shows all Amsterdam train stations.
Amsterdam-Frankfurt via Düsseldorf, Cologne: ICE International
The modern ICE International trains run from Amsterdam Central to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf up to 7x daily.
Jointly operated by DB Bahn (German Railways) and NS (Dutch Railways) the ICE train makes stops at Utrecht, Arnhem, Oberhausen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt airport. One train a day also continues on to Basel in Switzerland.
Journey times from Amsterdam are 2h 11 to Düsseldorf, 2h 38 to Cologne (Keulen / Köln), 3h 42 to Frankfurt airport and 3h 55 to Frankfurt Hbf. There is a high speed track between Cologne and Frankfurt where speeds can approach 300 km/h.
ICE one-way ticket prices between Amsterdam and Düsseldorf or Cologne start from €20 (2nd class) and €40 (1st class). Amsterdam to Frankfurt costs from €40 (2nd class) and €60 (1st class). Book around 6 months in advance to secure the lowest fares.
The Basel bound ICE train departs Amsterdam Central at 0732 – from Frankfurt airport it heads to Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Offenberg and Freiberg before arriving at Basel SBB at 1447. For the return leg, it departs Basel at 1513 arriving back in Amsterdam at 2226. Journey time both ways is 7h 13.
Standard tickets are priced from around €40 (2nd class) and €80 (1st class) one-way – book 6 months ahead for the lowest fares.
A nice feature of the ICE train is if sitting at the front carriage you can see the driver’s window. The ICE train has a bistro bar carriage in the middle of the train.
Book your ICE International trip at NS International
DB Bahn (German railways) operates an IC (Intercity) train service 5x daily between Amsterdam Central and Berlin Ostbahnhof. The journey makes a good number of stops: in Netherlands at Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer, Almelo and Hengelo.
German stopping stations include Bad Bentheim, Rheine, Osnabrück, Hannover, Wolfsburg, Stendal, Berlin Spandau and Berlin Hauptbanhof, the main station of the city.
The journey takes around 6 hours 15 minutes with the lowest one-way prices (Europa Spezial) from €39 (2nd class) and €60 (1st class).
The IC train has an on board bistro bar carriage for drinks and snacks. 1st class passengers can order from their seat.
Book your IC trip at NS International
Amsterdam to other destinations in Germany
Passengers heading to other destinations can use the ICE or IC trains from the Netherlands and then connect onto other German rail services. Connections are normally made at Hannover, Düsseldorf or Frankfurt Main – from here you could travel to the likes of Hamburg, Stuttgart and Munich.
If travelling from the Netherlands to beyond Germany it’s sometimes best to buy 2 separate tickets – ie Netherlands-Germany and Germany-destination, as DB Bahn only offers special fares to/from Germany.
There are no direct services from Amsterdam to Luxembourg. You have the option of various routes via either Belgium or Germany.
The easiest way to travel (just one connection) is to take a train from Amsterdam to Brussels and then take an intercity service from Brussels to Luxembourg. This costs from €40 one-way if taking the Intercity Brussels or from €70 one-way if taking the faster Thalys. Journey times are from 5 hours 35 mins to 6 hours 25 mins.
Night Trains to/from Amsterdam
There are no night train services to/from Amsterdam. The City Night Line trains were discontinued from Amsterdam from December 2016.
There is an OBB Nightjet service running nightly from Düsseldorf to Munich and Vienna. Fares start from €59 (couchette) to €129 (single sleeper). You would need to take the ICE International between Amsterdam and Düsseldorf to connect onto the OBB Nightjet.
Buying International Train Tickets
International train tickets can be easily bought at NS International counters at main stations including Amsterdam Central. However, they will charge you a €7.50 per person service fee (max €22.50 per booking).
You can buy some limited tickets at the NS automatic ticket machines at stations – generally to Belgium, western Germany, Lille and Luxembourg.
To save the desk booking fee, it is best to book online in advance at the NS International site