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 competing coach services.
1. Amsterdam-Brussels by Train
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 either the NS International site or the Thalys site with prices starting at €25 one-way.
There are currently 2 options available:
(1) The high speed Thalys service which runs from Amsterdam Central station to Paris Gare du Nord via Brussels Zuid/Midi station. The Thalys also stops at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Rotterdam Central and Antwerp. Amsterdam-Brussels is served 14x daily and the journey takes just 1 hour 50 minutes. There is also a 2x daily London-Amsterdam Eurostar service which stops in Brussels.
(2) Taking the Intercity Brussels which runs hourly (13x daily) between Amsterdam Central and Brussels Zuid/Midi. The train makes stops at Schiphol, Rotterdam, Breda, Noorderkempen (Belgium), Antwerp Central, Antwerp Berchem, Mechelen, Brussels Airport, Brussels North and Brussels Central. The Amsterdam-Brussels journey takes around 2 hours 50 minutes.
Note: Some Intercity Brussels services (up to 4x daily) operate between Den Haag HS and Brussels. If travelling from Brussels to Amsterdam on a Den Haag bound train, then change at Rotterdam for Amsterdam.
Thalys: Classes of travel on Thalys are Standard, Comfort and Premium with all seats having 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 in Brussels as well as the NS International lounges. Tickets are freely changeable and 100% refundable.
Thalys tickets are bookable up to 4 months out. The cheapest Standard Mini fares for Amsterdam-Brussels will cost €29-€35, though you should book as early as possible. Standard fares cost €44-€82, Comfort fares cost €45-€95 and Premium fares range cost €97-€117.
Travel on the less frequent Eurostar starts from €27 each way.
Intercity Brussels: Standard prices (2020) are in effect for travel using intercity trains although cheaper “early bird” fares (book online in advance) are also available. Amsterdam-Brussels one-way costs €48.40 (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.
Holders of Dutch Railways NS discount cards receive a slight fare reduction off the standard fare for the Netherlands segment of travel.
As Belgium and the Netherlands are members of the Schengen Zone agreement you do not need to go through a passport control check when travelling between Amsterdam and Brussels.
How to book train tickets online: Amsterdam-Brussels rail tickets can be easily booked at the NS International site which covers Thalys and Intercity Brussels. Thalys tickets can also be booked directly at the Thalys site
For more info see our International trains to/from Amsterdam page.
2. Flights Amsterdam-Brussels
It is possible to fly between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Brussels Zaventem (BRU) airport. The scheduled flight time is around 45 minutes.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam) has 5 daily flights from Schiphol to Brussels – the “Cityhopper” service is mainly aimed at business travellers and uses small Embraer 175 jets. Return airfares start at around €110 – note KLM now charges for checked luggage but you do get a complimentary drink and snack onboard.
Indirect services with a connection are available with the likes of Swiss, Lufthansa, SAS and British Airways – these are generally more expensive than non-stop flights.
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.
3. Amsterdam-Brussels by Coach
The coach is the cheapest travel option between Amsterdam and Brussels with a journey time which varies between 3 and 5 hours, depending on the service and stops. We recommend trying to choose one of the faster services if possible.
Eurolines runs frequent coaches from its Amsterdam Duivendrecht terminal to Brussels Noord (Rue du Progrès 80) with departures throughout the day. Fares start from around €12 one-way.
Flixbus is a German coach company that offers services between Amsterdam (both Sloterdijk and Bijlmer stations) and Brussels Noord and Zuid. There are multiple departures throughout the day and fares start at €9 one-way. Book your Flixbus ticket here
OUIBUS is a French Railways subsidiary and provides a 3x daily Amsterdam-Brussels premium coach service. The lowest fares start at €9 one-way. Coach stops are at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station and Brussels Zuid/Midi station.