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.
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 to 3x daily using Boeing 737 aircraft. 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 1-3x 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.
The direct Amsterdam-London Eurostar service runs 4x daily with a journey time of just over 4 hours. The train makes stops only at Brussels Zuid/Midi and Rotterdam.
We highly recommend the direct Amsterdam-London service although it is also possible to take a Thalys train from Amsterdam to Brussels and then a Eurostar from Brussels to London.
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 (LNER) and Lumo operate regular direct rail services from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh and this journey takes around 4 hours 30 minutes, stopping in Newcastle and a few other towns.
There are a huge variety of rail fares in the UK so you could pay as little as £15 (Lumo) or £30 (LNER) one-way in advance right up to £197 for an anytime single.
First class singles on LNER start from £73 one way – a hot meal and drinks are served at your seat.
London-Edinburgh train tickets (with LNER or Lumo) are bookable at the Omio 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.
Flixbus and BlaBlaCar Bus normally operate a 1-2x daily coach service between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and London Victoria with fares from €30 one-way. The journey takes about 12 hours. Book at the Omio site
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.
London-Edinburgh bus tickets (with National Express or Megabus) are bookable at the Omio site
4. Amsterdam-Edinburgh by Ferry/Train
Every night DFDS Seaways runs ferries both ways between Amsterdam Ijmuiden and Newcastle North Shields. Book your DFDS Amsterdam-Newcastle ferry here
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.
For a standard ferry crossing, prices for a 2 bed inside cabin start from around €80/£68 each way. Add about €100/£85 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, Lumo or Crosscountry train up to Edinburgh – this takes about 90 minutes and singles start at £11. Newcastle-Edinburgh tickets can be booked at the Trainline site
The 200km drive between North Shields and Edinburgh takes about 2 hours 30 minutes up the A1 motorway.
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
Looking for a hotel close to London St Pancras/Kings Cross station? The well-rated Pullman London St Pancras is a few minutes walk down the Euston Road. Or consider the Great Northern Hotel between Kings Cross and St Pancras. For those on a budget there is the nearby YHA London St Pancras.
The Go City: London Explorer Pass offers the choice of visiting 2/3/4/5/6/7 attractions which can save money over buying entrance separately.
In Edinburgh you can book your hotel with Booking.com here. For a selection of tours and attractions in Edinburgh book with GetYourGuide here
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 15 March 2023.
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