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.
1. Amsterdam-Berlin by Train (recommended)
A great way to travel between Amsterdam and Berlin is by rail. 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 (German Railways) runs a 5-6x 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 about 6 hours 20 minutes.
The Amsterdam-Berlin IC 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 0634 (Mon-Sat) with departures every 2 hours until 1634.
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.
Onboard the train at your seat you will find a useful leaflet Ihr Reiseplan (Your Itinerary) which gives detailed arrival times and timetables of connecting services at each station.
An alternative Amsterdam-Berlin connection is also available by taking the above IC train to Hannover and then changing onto an ICE train to Berlin – this makes the trip faster by about 15 minutes.
The cheapest one-way fares are from €38 (2nd class) and €57 (1st class) – but book in advance to secure such prices. The most expensive 2nd class fully-flex fare is €131 one way.
Children 0-4 always travel free. In addition children ages 4-14 can travel free with any standard adult passenger – though you must add the child to your ticket when booking.
Seat reservations for 2nd class are an extra €4 per seat. Each seat has a small display showing whether or not the seat is reserved. 1st class tickets include a seat reservation.
Most of the seating is in open carriage configuration although there are some closed 6 seat compartments on the train as well. Seats include a power socket; there is no WiFi on board.
The Intercity train has a bar bistro carriage selling drinks and snacks. 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.
2. Amsterdam-Berlin by Air
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 7x 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 €110 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 €60 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.
Germany and the Netherlands are both members of the Schengen Zone so it is (normally) not necessary to go through passport control when travelling between Amsterdam and Berlin.
3. Amsterdam-Berlin by Coach
German coach company Flixbus offers up to 5x daily services from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Berlin bus station (on Masurenallee). Journey times are roughly 10-11 hours. Prices start at €25 one-way.
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 Iamsterdam 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 Iamsterdam 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 7 June 2022.