Frankfurt in Germany is one of Europe’s major financial hubs and is located approximately 350km south-east from Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Frankfurt by train, air or bus.
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 (ICE3 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 train makes stops in Utrecht, Arnhem, Düsseldorf and Köln (Cologne). The ICE runs at speeds of up to 300km/h on the Cologne-Frankfurt section.
The lowest one-way fare in 2nd class for the trip is €38 though availability is somewhat limited. Fares of €49 to €69 are more common, with the highest full-flex 2nd class fare being €147. You may also find some cheaper fares (from €28) using regional trains but we would always recommend the direct ICE service.
1st class fares are priced from €60 one-way.
2nd class fares do not include a reserved seat on the ICE. You can reserve a seat for €4 per person for each one-way trip. It is not obligatory to make a seat reservation, however it can be worthwhile if the train is busy. Seats are in a 2-2 configuration.
1st class fares include seat reservation as standard, with seating in a 1-2 configuration. Those with a full-flex 1st class ticket can access the DB lounge at Frankfurt Main station.
The ICE trains have a Bordbistro restaurant-bar carriage serving hot meals at extra charge. 1st class passengers can order and get served at their seats.
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 and ‘greener’ 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 €130 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 6-8 hours 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 €21.
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
This article was originally published in 2011 and has been continuously updated since then. Last update 2 June 2022.