International Travel

How To Travel Amsterdam to Brussels (2024)

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and a principal European political centre – located around 200km from Amsterdam.

Travel between Amsterdam and Brussels is possible by high speed and standard rail, airline flights and coaches.

As Belgium 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 Brussels.

Amsterdam-Brussels by Train (recommended)

Travelling by train between Amsterdam and Brussels is certainly the best option in terms of time and convenience and gets you into the heart of both city centres. It can be easily booked using via the NS International site (euros) or the Trainline site here (multi-currencies) with prices starting at €25 one-way.

brussel zuid - bruxelles midi station
Brussel Zuid / Bruxelles Midi station

There are currently 3 choices of trains available:

  1. Eurostar (formerly Thalys), the high-speed train service between Amsterdam and Paris (from €29)
  2. Intercity Brussels, the Intercity service between Amsterdam and Brussels (from €25)

amsterdam-antwerp-brussels rail map

1. Amsterdam-Brussels by Eurostar (formerly Thalys)

The high speed Eurostar service runs from Amsterdam Central station to Paris Gare du Nord via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam Central, Antwerp Central and Brussels Zuid/Midi.

Eurostar normally runs up to 15x daily and the Amsterdam-Brussels journey takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

eurostar formerly thalys train at rotterdam central
Eurostar (former Thalys) train at Rotterdam Central

There are 3 classes of travel on Eurostar: Standard, Comfort and Premium.

Standard has 2nd class seating (2-2 configuration) with free WiFi. Food/drink can be purchased at the bar carriage. Standard tickets are refundable and exchangeable up to 7 days before travel; thereafter there are no refunds, but changes are possible for a €15 fee plus the price difference.

Comfort has 1st class seating (2-1 configuration), free WiFi and food/drink can be purchased at the bar. Comfort tickets are also refundable and exchangeable up to 7 days before travel; thereafter there are no refunds, but changes are possible for a €15 fee plus the price difference.

eurostar (formerly thalys) - new comfort seats
Eurostar trains – new Comfort seats (image:

Premium is a proper first class product with 1st class seating (2-1 configuration), free WiFi (with more data), complimentary food/drink served at your seat and and free access to an international press app. Premium tickets are fully refundable up to 1 hour before travel; changes are possible right up to departure time with any price difference applying.

Premium ticket holders can access the Eurostar lounges in Brussels as well as the NS International lounges at Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam..

eurostar lounge (with former thalys branding) at brussels zuid
The Eurostar Lounge (with former Thalys branding) at Brussel Zuid is across the road from the station

All Eurostar seats have individual electric power outlets.

Eurostar permits 2 pieces of luggage (max 75 x 53 x 30cm, no weight limit) plus 1 item of hand luggage. There are overhead luggage racks and special racks at each end of the carriage for larger items.

brussel zuid station hall
Brussel Zuid station hall

Eurostar tickets are on sale up to 4 months out and are booked like an airline seat – with a specific seat reservation. Your ticket will have a carriage and seat number.

To secure the cheapest fares you should book as early as possible. Standard fares cost €29-€89, Comfort fares cost €52-€103 and Premium fares range from €106-€129.

TIP: The last Eurostar of the day out of Amsterdam (departing around 2015 or 2115) can often have cheaper availability even at the last minute. Conversely, the first Eurostar out of Brussels towards Amsterdam (departing around 0650 on weekdays) tends to still have the cheaper tariffs.

  • Fastest journey time
  • Includes seat reservation
  • Lowest Standard fares are good value
  • Catering available
  • More expensive than Intercity
  • Popular – so tickets can sell out

Book your Eurostar ticket with NS International here
Book your Eurostar ticket with Trainline here

2. Amsterdam-Brussels by Intercity Brussels

The Intercity Brussels is an Intercity train service which normally runs up to 16x daily between Amsterdam and Brussels Zuid/Midi. It is jointly operated by NS Dutch Railways and Belgian Rail.

intercity brussels train
Intercity Brussels train at Amsterdam Central

Although this train does run along the high speed track, it is not a high speed train service and makes more stops than the Eurostar.

The stops are at Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Breda, Noorderkempen (Belgium), Antwerp Central, Antwerp Berchem, Mechelen, Brussels Airport, Brussels North and Brussels Central.

intercity brussels train at brussels zuid midi station
Intercity Brussels at Brussels Zuid/Midi

Allow about 2 hour 50 minutes to make the Amsterdam-Brussels journey on the Intercity Brussels.

There are no seat reservations so passengers can simply board and sit in any free seat in their class. Seating is 2nd class (2-2 configuration) and 1st class (2-1 configuration). Some 1st class carriages can also have a couple of small 6 person (3-3) compartments.

intercity brussels 2nd class seats
Intercity Brussels – 2nd class seats
intercity brussels 1st class seats
Intercity Brussels – 1st class seats
intercity brussels 1st class compartment
Intercity Brussels – 1st class compartment

Luggage racks can accommodate small and medium size bags. In 1st class there are larger luggage racks at the end of the carriage.

intercity brussels luggage rack
Intercity Brussels – special luggage rack (in 1st class)

Standard distance-based prices are in effect for travel using intercity trains although cheaper online “early bird” fares are also available if booking at least 3 days in advance.

The standard full-flex (2024) fare for Amsterdam-Brussels one-way costs €56.50 (2nd class) or €91.50 (1st class). These are valid on any Intercity Brussels service on-the-day and are freely changeable up to the departure day.

Early bird one-way fares start at €25 (2nd class) and €41 (1st class) and are valid for a specific train only. Tickets can be changed for a €5 fee.

Holders of Dutch Railways NS discount cards and free NS travel cards receive a fare reduction off the full-flex fare for the Netherlands segment of travel.

Intercity Brussels tickets are on sale from 180 days out.

TIP: The Intercity Brussels is a popular service and gets very busy at peak times. Boarding and finding a seat can sometimes be a bit of a scrum. Consider buying a 1st class ticket for a smoother boarding experience; or take the train at an earlier or later time in the day.

  • Cheaper than Eurostar
  • ‘Walk-up’ full-flex fare always available
  • No guaranteed seat reservation – can get busy
  • No catering on board

Book Intercity Brussels tickets with NS International here
Book Intercity Brussels tickets with Trainline here

Amsterdam-Brussels Flights

It is possible to fly between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Brussels Zaventem (BRU) airport. The scheduled flight time is around 45 minutes – although by the time you take into account travel to/from the airport and waiting for your flight – you are much better off taking the train.

Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam) currently has up to 4x daily flights from Schiphol to Brussels – using either Boeing 737s or “Cityhopper” branded Embraer 175/190 jets. Return airfares start at around €200 – note KLM charges for checked luggage but you do get a complimentary drink and snack onboard.

The reality is this flight route is mainly aimed at transfer passengers on longer-haul routes.

There are train stations at Schiphol and Brussels airports which can get you to the centre of town in 15-20 minutes. The Brussels airport train to central Brussels runs up to 4x hourly. Buy Brussels airport train return tickets in advance here

Amsterdam-Brussels by Coach

The coach is the cheapest travel option between Amsterdam and Brussels with a journey time of around 3 hours

Flixbus is a German coach company that offers services between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Brussels Noord. It currently operates a multiple daily service with fares starting at around €9 one-way. Book your Flixbus ticket here

flixbus at amsterdam sloterdijk
Flixbus stop at Amsterdam Sloterdijk

BlaBlaCar bus normally operates a 3-8x daily Amsterdam-Brussels coach service. Fares start at €9 one-way. Coach stops are at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station and Brussels Zuid/Midi station. Book your BlaBlaCar bus tickets via Omio here

blablacar bus at brussels zuid
BlaBlaCar bus at Brussels Zuid coach stop

For more on travel to Belgium see Amsterdam-Antwerp travel options and Amsterdam to Bruges or Ghent

Amsterdam Resources

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

Brussels Resources

Are you looking for a hotel in Brussels? Book here with

The Brussels Pass includes access to the Atomium, the hop-on/off Tootbus Brussels and a city guide app.

This article was originally published in 2010 and has continuously been updated. Last update 30 January 2024.

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