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.
1. Amsterdam-Hamburg by Train (recommended)
Travel by rail can be done comfortably between Amsterdam and Hamburg in just over 5 hours with a change of train at Osnabrück. It can be easily booked via the NS International site with prices starting at €33 one-way.
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 0910 IC Berlin-bound train from Amsterdam Central which will arrive at Osnabrück at 1206. From there take the 1223 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 Airport) from Hamburg which arrives in Osnabrück at 1135; then take the 1153 Berlin-Amsterdam Intercity which arrives at Amsterdam Central at 1450.
The Amsterdam-Berlin IC service makes a number of stops in the Netherlands – at Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer, Almelo and Hengelo. It crosses into Germany at Bad Bentheim, continues to Rheine and then to Osnabrück. The train service between Osnabrück and Hamburg runs via Bremen.
Ticket prices are from €33 (2nd class) or €59 (1st class) each-way if booking ahead.
Children 0-4 always travel free. In addition children ages 4-14 can travel free with any standard adult passenger – though you must add the child to your ticket when booking.
Seat reservations are an extra €4 per seat in 2nd class but are 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. All 1st class passengers get access to the NS International lounge at Amsterdam Centraal. Only those with a fully-flex 1st class ticket can access the DB Lounge at Hamburg Hbf.
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 related 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. It uses Embraer 175/190 KLM Cityhopper-branded aircraft and the occasional Boeing737. Prices start from around €110 return not including checked luggage.
3. Amsterdam-Hamburg by Coach
German coach company Flixbus operates multiple daily direct coach services between Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Hamburg Central bus station (on Adenauerallee near Hamburg Hbf). The coach trip takes about 7 hours and singles start from around €23.
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
In Hamburg you can book your hotel with Booking.com here. For a selection of tours and attractions in Hamburg book with GetYourGuide here
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 9 June 2022.