London is a major world city and capital of the United Kingdom. It is located about 360km west of Amsterdam over the North Sea. London-Amsterdam is a popular travel route normally attracting over 4 million passengers per year.
Let’s look at the options for travel between Amsterdam and London by train, air, bus and ferry.
1. Amsterdam-London by Train (recommended)
Travelling between Amsterdam and London by train is an excellent option and is highly recommended. Eurostar runs a direct high-speed train rail service between the two cities taking around 4 hours through the Channel tunnel with stops at Brussels Zuid/Midi and Rotterdam.
It’s easy to book your London-Amsterdam or Amsterdam-London Eurostar train ticket at the NS International site
You can’t really beat the convenience of departing/arriving in the city centre as well as a relaxed, comfortable journey. Eurostar allows 2 free pieces of luggage and offers complimentary WiFi to passengers.
Eurostar currently runs up to a 4x daily service each way between London and Amsterdam. Generally there are 3-4x daily services on weekdays with a slightly reduced and varied service at weekends.
This is the Eurostar timetable for direct trains between London and Amsterdam:
|London St Pancras – Amsterdam Centraal||Departs||Arrives||Journey time|
|0616||1114||3 hours 58 minutes|
|0816||1314||3 hours 58 minutes|
|1104||1612||4 hours 8 minutes|
|1804||2314||4 hours 10 minutes|
|Amsterdam Centraal – London St Pancras||Departs||Arrives||Journey time|
|0747||1100||4 hours 13 minutes|
|1347||1701||4 hours 14 minutes|
|1647||1957||4 hours 10 minutes|
|1847||2157||4 hours 10 minutes|
[Note: Amsterdam is 1 hour ahead of London time]
It is also possible to travel via a connection in Brussels. This uses either the Intercity Brussels or high-speed Thalys train for Amsterdam-Brussels and a Eurostar for Brussels-London.
However we would seriously recommend taking the direct Amsterdam-London train – this Holland-UK rail link has been running since 2020.
Eurostar passengers need to go through a security and immigration check before departure. The Eurostar facility is upstairs on platform 15b at Amsterdam Central station.
At London St Pancras there is a large departures waiting area past security and immigration.
Eurostar has 3 main classes of travel: Standard (2nd class), Standard Premier (1st class ‘lite’) and Business Premier (1st class).
Eurostar uses its newer E320 trains for the London-Amsterdam route which are made up of 16 coaches. Business Premier and Standard Premier are normally located in coaches 1-3 and 14-16. There is a Café Métropole bar facility in coaches 8 and 9.
Standard class comes in a 2-2 seating configuration with food/drinks available for purchase at the bar. Power outlets are available at each seat.
Standard Premier passengers get roomier seating in a 2-1 configuration, drinks and a light meal served at their seat plus a selection of magazines. This is our preferred way to travel on this route – check out our Standard Premier review of the London-Amsterdam Eurostar train
Business Premier passengers have the same 2-1 configuration seats but get a full 3 course meal and drinks (including champagne) plus a selection of newspapers and magazines. Ticket holders have dedicated check-in and get access the 2-level Business Premier lounge at London St Pancras.
London-Amsterdam each way fares cost from £39 (Standard), £89 (Standard Premier) and £260 (Business Premier). The cheapest fares tend to be the direct train service booked as a return trip; the Eurostar+Thalys through-fares are normally more expensive.
Booking from the Netherlands, the cheapest Amsterdam-London one-way Standard fares are available from €88 return (€44 each way) or from €55 as a one-way. Standard Premier starts at €191 return (€95.50 each way). Business Premier is priced from €299 each way.
How to book online: You can book your Eurostar ticket for London-Amsterdam or Amsterdam-London at the NS International site. It is also possible to book Eurostar tickets in multiple currencies at the Omio site
For more info see our international trains from Amsterdam article.
2. Flights Amsterdam-London
Amsterdam-London is a very popular air route with flights operating between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and 5 airports around London – Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), City (LCY), Luton (LTN), Southend (SEN) and Stansted (STN).
As of 2023 there are still some flight capacity restraints at Schiphol airport.
Flying time generally takes between 45 and 60 minutes although flights into London Heathrow can be delayed slightly by the management of air traffic into rotating stacks. As the UK is not part of the European Schengen border agreement you will need to go through passport control at both sides.
No frills heavyweight Easyjet connects Schiphol to London Luton (up to 7x daily), Gatwick (up to 8x daily), Southend (0-1x daily) and Stansted (2-3x daily) using Airbus A319/A320 aircraft. Return prices start at about £80/€95 when including checked luggage.
At Amsterdam Schiphol, Easyjet check-in desks are located at Departures Hall 3 – usually queues are not too bad except for peak times – and flights depart from budget pier H.
British Airways (Oneworld alliance) flies service from Amsterdam to London Heathrow (up to 7x daily), London Gatwick (up to 3x daily) and London City airport (up to 7x daily).
Aircraft used are mainly Airbus A319/320/321.
BA flight prices can be a little more expensive than Easyjet and the service is more geared to business passengers or those with onward connections.
Return economy prices are from approximately £85/€100 – the very cheapest fares being the hand-luggage-only fares to/from Gatwick. BA also sells more expensive Club Europe (business class) tickets on the London-Amsterdam route.
BA flights departing Amsterdam Schiphol leave from the D gates.
KLM (Skyteam alliance) is the national Dutch carrier although these days is integrated with Air France. It currently flies to London Heathrow up to 9x daily. Flights currently serve LHR Terminal 3 (from 26 March 2023 Air France-KLM will be back at LHR Terminal 4).
KLM Cityhopper flies from Amsterdam to London City airport up to 9x daily.
KLM uses Boeing 737s on the route and smaller Embraer planes for its Cityhopper branded service.
Prices can be a bit more expensive than Easyjet and BA – expect to pay from about £120/€140 return if checking in luggage. One-way flights with KLM can be very expensive.
KLM caters for its frequent flyers with its Crown lounges at Schiphol. KLM should be noted for having an excellent network from Amsterdam to all over the UK.
Note, Ryanair flies from London Stansted to Eindhoven airport, 90 minutes south of Amsterdam. It currently only serves Dublin and Malaga from Amsterdam Schiphol.
3. Amsterdam-London by Coach
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 – this is quite a long-haul and we would probably recommend the train.
4. Amsterdam-London by Ferry+Train combo
Stena Line operates a ferry service between Hoek van Holland (Hook of Holland, near Rotterdam) and Harwich. It uses the 240m long sister ships Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica and the sailing takes 6 1/2 to 7 hours.
The ferries run both ways 2x daily – 1 day sailing and 1 overnight sailing where cabin purchase is compulsory. For a detailed review of this ferry trip see Ferries UK to Holland
Hoek van Holland can be reached from Amsterdam by taking the train to Rotterdam or Schiedam and then taking RET metro line B to Hoek van Holland Haven. See our Rotterdam Metro map
From Harwich there is the Abellio-Greater Anglia (AGA) train service running to London Liverpool Street.
There is a Dutchflyer rail-ferry combined ticket option – although note that NS Dutch Railways has suspended its Rail&Sail tickets for rail travel in the Netherlands until further notice. However, you can always buy metro/train tickets from Amsterdam to Hoek yourself.
From the UK, tickets including [AGA rail+ferry] are priced from £57 each way. From the Netherlands you can book the [ferry+AGA rail] ticket from €68 single.
Although the journey between London and Amsterdam takes about 14 hours all-in, it is a lovely way to travel. You can book the Stena Line ferry here
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 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.
This article was originally published in 2010 and has continuously been updated. Last update 13 March 2023.
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