Berlin (Berlijn in Dutch) is the capital of Germany and a principal political and tourist hub. It is located around 575km east of Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Berlin by train, air and bus.
As Germany and the Netherlands are members of the Schengen Zone agreement you do not normally need to go through a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Berlin.
Amsterdam-Berlin by Train (recommended)
A great way to travel between Amsterdam and Berlin is by the Intercity Berlin train service. This gives you centre-to-centre convenience, no check-in or security lines and a regular direct train service. It can be easily booked via the NS International site with prices starting at only €38 one-way.
Deutsche Bahn (DB German Railways) and NS International jointly run a 5x 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 about 6 hours 20 minutes.
The Intercity Berlin carriages are from DB and are normally pulled by a Dutch locomotive.
The Intercity Berlin train runs from Amsterdam Central to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf), terminating at Berlin Ostbahnhof. The first train leaves Amsterdam at 0700 (0500 during the summer months) with a service every 2 hours – the last train is at 1500 (1700 on Sundays).
From Berlin Hbf, the first train leaves at 0633 (Mon-Sat) with departures every 2 hours until 1633.
This service makes a number of stops – in the Netherlands at Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer, Almelo and Hengelo.
It crosses into Germany at Bad Bentheim then makes further stops at (among others) Rheine, Osnabrück, Bünde, Minden, Hannover, Wolfsburg, Stendal and Berlin Spandau.
An alternative Amsterdam-Berlin connection is also available by taking the above Intercity train to Hannover and then changing onto an ICE train to Berlin – this makes the trip faster by about 15 minutes.
Amsterdam-Berlin train ticket fares
The cheapest one-way ticket price for Amsterdam-Berlin in 2nd class for the trip is €38. 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 €45 one-way is changeable/refundable for a fee and includes a City ticket for Berlin public transport. The fully-flexible Flexpreis fare is priced €138-€157 one-way and also includes the City ticket component.
1st class Amsterdam-Berlin one-way fares start from €50 (the non-changeable Supersparpreis Europa 1st class), from €59 (Sparpreis Europa 1st class, changeable/refundable for a fee) and from €239 (Flexpreis full-flex fare).
Children 0-4 always travel free. In addition children ages 4-14 can travel free with any standard adult passenger – though you must include the child on your ticket when booking.
Seat reservations for 2nd class are an extra €4.90 per seat. Each seat has a small display above showing whether or not the seat is reserved. 1st class tickets include a seat reservation.
The 1st class seats (mainly 6 seat mini-compartments) are very comfortable and are worth booking for the long journey; the 2nd class seats (open 2-2 configuration) are a little firmer. There are a few 2nd class mini compartments reserved for families with children.
The windows on this train are large and offer good views.
Free WiFi is available to all passengers and there are some power outlets located under the seats.
The Intercity Berlin train has an on board bistro bar carriage for drinks and snacks. 1st class passengers can order from their seat.
All 1st class passengers get access to the NS International lounge at Amsterdam Centraal. Only those with a fully-flex 1st class ticket can access the DB Lounge at Berlin Hbf.
It is possible to bring a bike onboard the specially marked cycle carriage which has capacity for 16 bikes. You will require an international bike ticket (€12) plus mandatory cycle reservation fee (€4).
How to book online: Amsterdam-Berlin train tickets can easily be booked at the NS International site. By booking online you avoid any booking fees charged at the international service desks at stations.
Flying is the quickest way to travel between the 2 cities. Flights from Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) to Berlin Brandenburg (BER), the city’s new airport are scheduled to take around 1 hour 20 minutes.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam alliance) has up to 8x daily non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Berlin using Boeing 737 aircraft and KLM Cityhopper-branded Embraer 175/190saircraft. Return fares start from around the €130 mark not including checked luggage.
No frills airline Easyjet flies up to 2-4x daily from Amsterdam to Berlin Brandenburg airport using Airbus A320 aircraft. If booking well in advance, expect prices from around €100 return not including fees for checked luggage and other extras.
German airline Lufthansa (Star Alliance) does NOT operate a direct service between Amsterdam and Berlin. Flying Lufthansa requires that you make a connection in either Frankfurt or Munich and prices are more expensive than KLM and Easyjet.
Amsterdam-Berlin by Coach
German coach company Flixbus offers multiple daily services from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Berlin bus station (on Masurenallee). Journey times are roughly between 8 and 11 hours. Prices start at €25 one-way if booking well in advance. Book your Flixbus ticket here
Looking for a convenient hotel near Amsterdam Central station? Check out the stylish Kimpton-De Witt which is a short walk from the station. For those on a budget the Ibis Amsterdam Centre is literally on top of the western edge of the station platforms.
The I Amsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam museums and attractions. It also includes a free public transport pass, a canal cruise and bike rental as well. You can order your I Amsterdam City Card online here
The Berlin WelcomeCard (2-6 days) includes a free Berlin public transport pass and 50% discount at many tourist attractions. You can order your Berlin WelcomeCard here
This article was originally published in 2010 and has continuously been updated. Last update 5 July 2023.
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