Travel by train in the Netherlands
Explore the Netherlands by train with a Eurail pass and travel from easy-going capital Amsterdam to cities covered with history like Utrecht and Maastricht. Spend a few days at one of Holland's beaches and visit the mills of Kinderdijk for a peak into Dutch history.
Visit Holland's most popular cities Amsterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Rotterdam and The Hague by regional, high-speed or night train to discover Dutch culture and traditions and maybe spot a tulip field along the way.
Find out more: What is Eurail?
Train types in the Netherlands
There are a number of train types in the Netherlands ready to transport you both day and night. Most of the Dutch network is operated by NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). Use the Eurail train timetable to check times for trains in the Netherlands.
Regional and Intercity trains in the Netherlands
The main rail network in the Netherlands is made up of the following regional and Intercity trains:
- Intercity trains link larger cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht.
- Sprinter trains connect regional destinations with larger Dutch cities. These trains are slower than Intercity trains.
On the Eurail timetable Intercity trains appear as "IC". Sprinter trains appear in the timetable as well, but not with an abbreviation. Reservations are not required for Intercity and Sprinter trains.
High-speed trains in the Netherlands
International high-speed trains in the Netherlands
These high-speed trains operate to and from the Netherlands:
- ICE trains operate between Amsterdam and Frankfurt (Germany).
- IC trains connect Amsterdam with Berlin (Germany).
- InterCity trains link The Hague and Rotterdam with Brussels (Belgium).
- Thalys trains connect Amsterdam with Brussels (Belgium) and Paris (France).
Domestic high-speed trains in the Netherlands
The Fyra high-speed train operates on the route Amsterdam – Schiphol – Rotterdam – Breda.
On the Eurail timetable ICE trains are shown as "ICE", IC and InterCity trains appears as "IC", and Thalys as "THA". Reservations for Thalys trains are compulsory and we recommend you make them as soon as possible. A reservation is not required for ICE and IC trains, but we recommend you make them during busy times.
Night trains in the Netherlands
International night trains in the Netherlands
The following night trains connect the Netherlands with Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Switzerland.
- City Night Line (CNL):
Connects the Netherlands to key cities in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
- Euronight (EN):
Links Amsterdam with Berlin (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland)
City Night Line trains appear on the Eurail timetable as "CNL" , EuroNight trains are listed as "EN". You're required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.
Reservations for trains in the Netherlands
Domestic trains in the Netherlands do not require a reservation. You can just hop on and off. A supplement is required for the Fyra high-speed train between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Reservations are compulsory for night trains and international high-speed trains. Prices for night trains depend on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose.
How to make reservations for trains in the Netherlands
You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:
- At a ticket desk at local train stations.
- By phone through the NS high-speed call center.
Phone number: +31 302 331 676
Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. (8:00-21:00) and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (10:00-18:00) (local times)
When calling, you’ll hear a menu in Dutch. Select extension ‘1’ for services in English and then ‘1’ to book the Thalys or ‘2’ to book other trains. NS HiSpeed can book trains in various European countries (€12.50 booking fee; 2 reservations per call allowed). You have to pay for reservations made over the phone with a Visa or MasterCard credit card.
Through the call center reservations can only be delivered to addresses in the Netherlands. There are no delivery costs. You can also pick up your reservations at a NS HiSpeed ticket desk or at a self-service machine. Just go to a Dutch train station with a NS HiSpeed desk with your booking code.
Rail connections in the Netherlands
Popular domestic connections in the Netherlands
View approximate train travel times between Holland's most popular cities using Intercity trains:
International train connections to and from the Netherlands
We suggest the following routes to travel between the Netherlands and other European countries:
- Belgium – the Netherlands
Take an InterCity train from The Hague or Rotterdam to Brussels (1hr 45min)
- France – the Netherlands
Arrive in Amsterdam on the high-speed Thalys train from Paris (3hr 30min).
- Germany – the Netherlands
Go by day from from Amsterdam to Frankfurt (4hr) or Düsseldorf (2hr 10min) by ICE train or travel by night between Amsterdam and Berlin (9hr 30min) with the City Night Line.
Netherlands rail passes
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) are considered as one country within the Eurail passes. Eurail Benelux passes let you see all of Benelux's top cities like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Luxembourg city. We offer the Benelux rail pass and passes that combine Benelux with other European countries.
Rail pass options for the Netherlands
- Eurail Global Pass starting from US$523 – have the freedom to visit the Netherlands and up to 23 other Eurail countries.
- Eurail Select Pass starting from US$332 – choose from a 3, 4 or 5 country pass that combines Benelux with bordering countries.
- Regional Pass – focus on visiting Benelux plus 1 other country. Here are your options:
Eurail Benelux – France Pass starting from US$271 – Travel around famed French cities like Paris and Nice.
Eurail Benelux – Germany Pass starting from US$291 – explore popular German cities like Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt
- Eurail Benelux Pass starting from US$137 – spend your whole vacation to discover Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail.
Example train route in the Benelux
Experience the best of the Benelux on a single trip with a Eurail pass. You can follow the suggested route below using a Eurail Benelux Pass – 3 days within 1 month, starting from US$137.
Wander through Amsterdam’s beautiful historical city center and breathe in the vibrant atmosphere.
Maastricht is an international city with a long history. Enjoy Roman and Spanish ruins, great cuisine and cozy cobbled streets.
Brussels is bustling with culture – make sure you take a stroll around the Grand Place square.
Luxembourg city is soaked in luxury and history. Wander around the old town or enjoy amazing scenery at Chemin de la Corniche – ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony’.
For more route ideas for your Eurail trip, check out our European highlights itinerary.
Train stations in the Netherlands
Dutch Hub stations
The main hub stations in the Netherlands are Amsterdam Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to Holland’s main cities and many international destinations.
Stations in the Netherlands usually have excellent facilities, often including:
- Luggage lockers
- Foreign exchange desks
- Restaurants and cafés
- Tourist information offices
- ATM cash machines
- Elevators and escalators
- Access for disabled passengers
Extra benefits in the Netherlands
Discounted ferry crossings to Great Britain
Discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of a Eurail pass valid in the Netherlands on the route:
- Hoek van Holland – Harwich (Great-Britain)
Access to NS Hispeed lounges
Eurail pass holders can also access the NS HiSpeed lounges on the following train stations for free:
- Amsterdam Centraal
- Rotterdam Centraal