The port city of Hamburg is an important economic hub in northern in Germany – it lies some 380km north-east from Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and Hamburg by train, air or bus. Note that there have been some significant changes to service frequencies due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
1. Amsterdam-Hamburg by Train
Travel by rail can be done comfortably between Amsterdam and Hamburg in just over 5 hours, though it will require a change of train.
The Amsterdam-Hamburg trip is done by taking the Amsterdam-Berlin Intercity (IC) service (runs 5-6x daily) to Osnabrück and connecting to the hourly IC or ICE train to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.
For example, take the 0900 IC Berlin-bound train from Amsterdam Central which will arrive at Osnabrück at 1206. From there take the 1225 ICE service (direction: Hamburg Altona) which arrives at Hamburg Hbf at 1414.
An example of the return trip is taking the 0946 ICE train (direction: Frankfurt) from Hamburg which arrives in Osnabrück at 1135; then take the 1153 Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity which arrives at Amsterdam Central at 1500.
Ticket prices are from €33 (2nd class) or €59 (1st class) each-way if booking ahead.
Seat reservations are an extra €4 per seat in 2nd class but included for 1st class fares. Each seat has a small display showing whether or not the seat is reserved.
The Intercity Berlin train has a bar bistro carriage selling drinks and snacks. 1st class passengers get access to the NS International lounge in Amsterdam and (possibly – depends on the fare) the DB Lounge in Hamburg.
How to book online: Amsterdam-Hamburg 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.
For further info see Amsterdam to Berlin travel.
2. Amsterdam-Hamburg by Air
Air travel is the quickest point-to-point option with flights between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Hamburg Airport (HAM) taking around 1 hour. However, if you factor in travel to/from either airport and check-in/security controls the total time taken is probably similar to the train trip.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam) has up to 4 daily non-stop flights from Amsterdam to Hamburg using Boeing 737 aircraft or smaller Embraer 190 Cityhopper services. Prices start from around €110 return not including checked luggage.
3. Amsterdam-Hamburg by Coach
German coach company Flixbus operates a direct coach service 3-6x daily from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Hamburg (central bus station). The coaches take about 7 hours and singles start from around €22.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 25 September 2020.