Train travel in the Netherlands is easy, convenient and efficient. In fact, most locals prefer to ride the rails rather than have a car of their own. While in the Netherlands, consider a visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and the traditional houses of the Zaanse Schans. Amsterdam is a tourist heaven, with major art museums and nightlife attractions and plenty to see and do with your Eurail Pass.
Traveling by train in the Netherlands
the Netherlands quick facts
Population: 16.8 million
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Dialing code: +31
Trains in the Netherlands
All major tourist destinations in the Netherlands are within 2½ hours of Amsterdam. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) operates this efficient railway network.
Places to visit
A new and modern port city
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any buildings built before 1945, since most of Rotterdam (Europe’s largest port) was bombed flat during WWII. This gives the city a modern feel, unlike any other Dutch city. Don’t miss the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, with one of Europe’s finest art collections. With bustling nightlife, a very modern skyline, and plenty of museums, Rotterdam is a completely different Holland altogether.
From train station Rotterdam Centraal, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is a 15-minute walk or a short tram ride.
Your Eurail Benelux Pass is valid in the ‘Benelux’ (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), so be sure to visit the charming city of Maastricht when you travel between Belgium and the Netherlands. Maastricht is an enigmatic and international city that comes complete with Spanish and Roman ruins, international cuisine, and a real feeling of German, French and Belgian influences.
Maastricht city center is less than a 15-minute walk from Maastricht Centraal Station.
Since the 17th century, Amsterdam has been renowned for liberal and creative thinking. Today, along with more ‘liberal’ pastimes (like cannabis coffeeshops and the Red Light District), you can also find some of Europe’s finest art and architecture, dating back to the 15th century. Amsterdam’s residents cruise the narrow streets on bicycles. But for sightseeing, a canal boat tour is your best option.
From Amsterdam Centraal Station, the Dam Square is about a 10-minute walk. You’ll find the palace offices of the royal family, Madame Tussauds, and plenty of restaurants and shops there.
The Hague and the beaches of Scheveningen
The Hague (Den Haag) is the seat of government and the residence of the royal family. Filled with elaborate architecture and unmatched culinary masterpieces, The Hague is rich with personality. Don’t miss the Escher in Het Paleis museum with works of the famous Dutch artist M.C. Escher. A short tram ride from The Hague will bring you to the beaches at Scheveningen – a resort-like area filled with bars and the best seafood available.
From Den Haag Centraal, Escher in Het Paleis is about a 10-minute walk.
Tiny city in a small country
Between The Hague and the seaside resort of Scheveningen lies the Netherlands’ ‘smallest’ city. Madurodam is a miniature city depicting famous buildings and scenes from Dutch history, replicated on a 1:25 scale. From the canal houses of Amsterdam to the Alkmaar cheese market, Madurodam offers visitors a chance to walk through a miniaturized depiction of Holland through the ages.
Madurodam is easiest to reach by tram. Take tram 9 from Den Haag Centraal, and the Madurodam stop is 7 minutes away.
The world’s largest flower garden is open for 2 months every year, and has attracted more than 51 million visitors since it began. More than 80 acres (32 hectares) of carefully tended gardens, hundreds of thousands of colorful blooms, and ornate displays of horticulturalists’ best works. In all, more than 7 million flowers in 1800 varieties are on display, in attractive designs and beautiful themed arrangements.
The Keukenhof can be reached by bus from Leiden Central station, Schiphol, Hague Central station and Haarlem.
King’s Day (Koningsdag)
Arguably the biggest national party of the year, Koningsdag is celebrated in every city in the Netherlands, but nowhere so boisterously as in Amsterdam. Hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the city dressed in orange (in honor of the royal family’s lineage from the House of Orange-Nassau). The beer flows, the orange glows, and the residents take advantage of the 1-day ‘free market’ – a sort of city-wide flea market. Festivities begin the night before, on ‘King’s Night’ (Koningsnacht).
Festivities take place all over the city. The best way to experience King's Day is by walking through the city.
North Sea Jazz Festival
The world’s largest jazz festival also includes world music, blues, funk, rock, R&B and more. For 3 days, the very best local, national and international acts perform on 12 indoor and outdoor stages in an enormous concert venue in Rotterdam.
The North Sea Jazz Festival takes place at Ahoy which can be reached by tram and metro from Rotterdam central station.
Eurail passes for the Netherlands
Most popular passes with the Netherlands
Eurail Global Pass from USD$348
The Eurail Global Pass is the flexible and value-for-money train pass that lets you explore up to 27 countries by rail. Hop on board comfortable trains that take you right to the center of Europe's cities. One day you're relaxing on a gondola ride in Venice and the next you're discovering Prague's fairy-tale castle.View Eurail Global Pass
Eurail Benelux Pass from USD$172
The Eurail Benelux Pass is your key to exploring Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail. Visit the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, sample some of Belgium's best beer in Brussels and do a spot of shopping in Luxembourg City.View Eurail Benelux Pass
Eurail Select Pass 4 countries from USD$269
Discover 4 bordering countries with the Eurail Select Pass – 4 countries. Plan the route of your choice between and within each country, and spend as much time as you like at each stop.View Eurail Select Pass 4 countries
All Eurail passes with the Netherlands
Here's a list of all Eurail passes for your travels through this country:
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Pass benefits in the Netherlands
Check out the extra discounts and offers for Eurail pass holders in the Netherlands, including reductions on certain ferry crossings.
View the pass benefits in the Netherlands