Frankfurt in Germany is one of Europe’s major financial hubs and is located approximately 350km south-east from Amsterdam.
Are you looking to travel between Amsterdam and Frankfurt? Let’s consider the transport options between the 2 cities by train, air and bus.
As Germany 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 Frankfurt.
1. Amsterdam-Frankfurt by Train (recommended)
Without doubt, the best way to travel between Amsterdam and Frankfurt 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.
Modern ICE International trains (ICE3M BR 406 variants) run up to 6x daily from Amsterdam Central station to Frankfurt airport and Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof. The journey takes just 3 hours 55 minutes. The train is jointly operated by DB (German Railways) and NS (Dutch Railways).
The ICE train makes stops in Utrecht Central and Arnhem Central in the Netherlands then crosses the Dutch-German border at Emmerich. On the German side it stops at Oberhausen, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Cologne (Köln) before going on to Frankfurt.
The ICE can run at speeds of up to 300km/h on the Cologne-Frankfurt section.
Amsterdam-Frankfurt train ticket fares
The cheapest one-way ticket price for Amsterdam-Frankfurt in 2nd class is €38. This is the Supersparpreis Europa fare which is only valid on the particular departure time selected and is non-changeable/non-refundable. It can be easily found if booking 2-6 months in advance.
There are more flexible fares available. The Sparpreis Europa fare from €45 one-way is changeable/refundable for a fee and includes a City ticket for Frankfurt public transport. The fully-flexible Flexpreis fares start from €126 one-way and also includes the City ticket component.
You may also find some cheaper Amsterdam-Frankfurt fares (from €28) using regional trains but we would always recommend the direct ICE service.
1st class Amsterdam-Frankfurt one-way fares start from €50 (the non-changeable Supersparpreis Europa 1st class), from €59 (Sparpreis Europa 1st class, changeable/refundable for a fee) and from €222 (Flexpreis full-flex fare).
ICE International (Amsterdam-Frankfurt) train seats
2nd class on the ICE has a 2-2 seat configuration. There is a special 6 seat family compartment (2nd class) available in carriage 25/35 with adjacent baby changing facilities. A 2nd class seat reservation costs €4.90 extra and is highly recommended as the train can get busy.
Luggage racks on the ICE trains can accommodate small and medium size bags. In the middle of standard 2nd class carriages you can also find a larger luggage rack.
1st class fares include seat reservation as standard, with seating in a 1-2 configuration. 1st class carriages can also have a smaller ‘quiet zone’ compartments.
There are also the ‘Panorama lounge’ cabins (1st and 2nd class) at the front and rear of the trains which can have brilliant views of the driver’s seat through a glass screen – though the driver can elect to frost the glass.
In our opinion, both the 1st and 2nd class seats on the ICE International are extremely comfortable.
Free WiFi is available to all passengers and there are power outlets accessible from each seat.
The ICE trains have a Bordbistro restaurant-bar carriage (number 26/36) serving hot meals at extra charge. 1st class passengers can order and get served at their seats.
Those with a full-flex 1st class ticket can access the DB lounge at Frankfurt Main station; any international 1st class ticket holders can access the NS International lounge at Amsterdam Central.
With reasonable prices, a quick journey time, comfort and convenience we highly recommend the ICE train for travel between Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
How to book online: Amsterdam-Frankfurt 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. When booking choose the direct ICE services.
For more info see international trains from Amsterdam.
2. Amsterdam-Frankfurt by Air
The 2 respective national carriers operate services between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Frankfurt Main International airport (FRA). Although the flight time is scheduled for around 65 minutes, the train trip is a more comfortable, stress-free option.
KLM (Skyteam) flies up to 6x daily as a KLM Cityhopper-branded service between Amsterdam and Frankfurt using Embraer 175/190 jets. Prices start from around €200 return not including checked luggage.
Lufthansa (Star Alliance) also operates up to 6x daily on the Amsterdam-Frankfurt flight route using Airbus A320 series aircraft. Return fares are similar to those offered by KLM.
KLM and Lufthansa are the only viable options on this short flight route – you could also fly Air France (via Paris), British Airways (via London) or Czech Airlines (via Prague) – but these would be significantly more inconvenient as well as expensive.
3. Amsterdam-Frankfurt by Coach
German coach company Flixbus operates operates up to 5x direct coach services daily from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof (coach stop at Stuttgarter Strasse). This takes 6-10 hours depending on the service and singles start from around €20.
Czech bus operator RegioJet has a daily bus service between Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Prague which makes a stop at Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof. The journey time is around 8 1/2 hours and one-way fares start at €25.
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
This article was originally published in 2011 and has been continuously updated since then. Last update 31 August 2023.
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