Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland (UK) and a major financial and tourist hub. From Amsterdam it is some 660km away over the North Sea.
Let’s look at the options for travel between these 2 cities by air, train, bus and ferry. Note that there have been some significant changes to service frequencies due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
1. Amsterdam-Edinburgh by Air
Flying is the easiest and most convenient travel option between the 2 cities. Scheduled flight time between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is around 1 hour 30 minutes.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam) flies up 2-3x daily using a mix of Boeing 737s (KLM) and Embraer 190s (KLM Cityhopper). The cheapest return flights start at around €110 from Amsterdam or £80 from Edinburgh – these are base fares and do not include optional extras such as checked luggage.
No frills airline Easyjet flies up to 1x daily between Amsterdam and Edinburgh using Airbus A319/320 aircraft. Prices can be a little bit cheaper than KLM if booking in advance.
2. Amsterdam-Edinburgh by Train
It is possible to travel from Amsterdam to Edinburgh by train in about 10 hours.
From Amsterdam the journey has 2 components – travelling Amsterdam to London St Pancras by direct Eurostar and then taking a UK domestic train from nearby London Kings Cross to Edinburgh.
See here for more detailed info about travel from Amsterdam to London.
Note, the direct Amsterdam-London Eurostar service will start 2x daily from 26 October 2020 – prior to this the journey requires a stop in Brussels. The London-Amsterdam journey can be made directly.
Amsterdam-London Eurostar tickets are available from €40 (Standard) or €99.50 (Standard Premier) and can be booked at the NS International site.
London North East Railway operates regular direct rail services from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh and this journey takes around 4 hours 20 minutes, stopping in Newcastle, York and a few other towns. There are a huge variety of rail fares in the UK so you could pay as little as £27 for a standard class single (if booking well in advance) right up to £166.
First class singles start from £67 one way – a hot meal and drinks are served at your seat.
London-Edinburgh tickets are bookable at TheTrainline site
Now whether you would do the entire Amsterdam-Edinburgh rail journey in one go is up to you – it would probably be prudent to add a stopover in London to minimise the risk of missing a connection.
3. Amsterdam-Edinburgh by Coach
It is also possible to do the journey by coach via London although it will be a very long-haul. Note also that coach services between Amsterdam and London have been reduced considerably in 2020.
Flixbus currently operates a 1-2x daily coach service from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to London Victoria with fares from €25 one-way. Flixbus has recently absorbed Eurolines.
BlaBlaBus is a premium coach service which operates a 1-3x daily service between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and London Victoria – prices start at £22/€25 one-way.
The Amsterdam-London coach trip takes 11-14 hours.
National Express and Megabus both operate regular coach services between London Victoria and Edinburgh with a journey time of 9-11 hours for direct services.
Obviously you could also consider a rail-coach combination – such as coach from Amsterdam to London then a train up to Edinburgh.
4. Amsterdam-Edinburgh by Ferry/Train
Every night DFDS Seaways runs ferries both ways between Amsterdam Ijmuiden and Newcastle North Shields.
From Amsterdam the ferry departs at 1730, arriving in Newcastle the next day at 0915. From Newcastle, the ferry departs at 1700 before arriving at 0945 in Amsterdam the following morning.
The ferry trip takes about 16-17 hours and is made by the 163m long ships King Seaways or Princess Seaways. Fares which include a 2 bed cabin start at around €118/£104 each way. Add about €98/£76 for a car each way.
The ferry terminals are accessible by special transfer buses which go to Amsterdam Central and Newcastle station respectively.
From Newcastle station you can travel on a London North East Railway or Crosscountry train up to Edinburgh – this takes about 90 minutes and singles start at £11. Newcastle-Edinburgh tickets can be booked at TheTrainline site
The 200km drive between North Shields and Edinburgh takes about 2 hours 30 minutes up the A1 motorway.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 12 October 2020.