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Netherlands By Train

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. While in the Netherlands, consider a visit to the Keukenhof flower gardens and the traditional houses of the Zaanse Schans. Spot tulip fields along the way, as the train takes you to every corner of this small, but fascinating country.


Train types in the Netherlands

Netherlands map major rail connections

Regional and Intercity trains in the Netherlands

Intercity (IC)

  • Connects major cities such as Amsterdam, Maastricht and Utrecht.

  • No reservation required.


Sprinter (RE)

  • Slower than Intercity trains, these trains link regional destinations to larger Dutch cities.

  • No reservation required.

Domestic high-speed trains in the Netherlands

Intercity Direct (ICD)

  • On this train you can ride even faster between Amsterdam Centraal, Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam Centraal and Breda.
  • A supplement of € 2,90 is required between Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam Centraal.
  • An Intercity Direct (ICD) supplement is only required if this train is used for domestic journeys.


International high-speed trains in the Netherlands


  • Connects Amsterdam with Frankfurt (Germany) and Basel (Switzerland).
  • Reservations are compulsory during summer season (June 1st until September 1st)
  • During the rest of the year, reservations are highly recommended.

Intercity Berlin (IC)

  • Reach Berlin from Amsterdam in 6 hours 20 minutes.

  • Reservations are highly recommended and are compulsory from June 1st until September 1st.

Intercity Brussels (IC)

  • Connects Amsterdam and Rotterdam with Brussels (Belgium).
  • Reservations are not required.
  • An Intercity Direct (ICD) supplement is only required if this train is used for domestic journeys.

Eurostar (EST)

  • High speed trains to Belgium, France, and Great Britain on the routes:
    • Amsterdam – Schiphol – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Brussels – Paris 
    • Amsterdam – Schiphol – Rotterdam – Antwerp – Brussels – Disneyland Paris 
    • Amsterdam – Rotterdam – London
  • Reservations are compulsory for these trains, which can get fully booked. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
  • Read more about special booking conditions on our dedicated Eurostar page.
  • Services to Brussels and (Disneyland) Paris are operated by red-coloured former Thalys trains.

International Night trains in the Netherlands

ÖBB Nightjet (NJ)

  • Amsterdam – Utrecht – Arnhem – Munich – Innsbruck
  • Amsterdam – Utrecht – Arnhem – Linz – Vienna
  • Amsterdam – Utrecht – Arnhem – Basel – Zürich


European Sleeper

  • Brussels – Antwerp – Rotterdam – Amsterdam – Berlin – Dresden – Prague 
  • To Dresden and Prague from March 25th   
  • Runs three times a week 
  • Reservations are compulsory


Popular connections

Here are approximate train times between Holland's most popular cities. These routes can all be taken with Intercity trains and are free for holders of an Eurail Pass valid in the Netherlands.


Route Duration

Amsterdam to Groningen

2h 10m

Amsterdam to Leeuwarden

2h 10m

Amsterdam to Maastricht

2h 30m

Amsterdam to Rotterdam


Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport


Amsterdam to The Hague


Amsterdam to Utrecht


You can travel to and from the Netherlands from popular cities in the following European countries:

Route Which train? Duration Reservations
Amsterdam to Berlin (Germany) Intercity Berlin 6h 20m Optional
Amsterdam to Düsseldorf / Cologne (Germany) ICE 2h 30m / 3h Optional (Required June 1st until September 1st)
Amsterdam to Frankfurt (Germany) ICE 4h Optional (Required June 1st until September 1st)
Amsterdam to Basel (Switzerland) ICE 6h 40m Optional (Required June 1st until September 1st)
Amsterdam to Paris (France) Eurostar 3h 20m Required
Amsterdam to Brussels (Belgium) Intercity Brussels 2h 50m Not required
Amsterdam to London (Great Britain) Eurostar 4h 50m
Required (Transfer in Brussels from June 15th till December 31st 2024)
Amsterdam to Vienna / Innsbruck (Austria) ÖBB Nightjet 13h 45m (overnight) Required
Amsterdam to Zürich (Switzerland) ÖBB Nightjet 11h 35m (overnight) Required
Rotterdam - Amsterdam to Berlin (Dresden and Prague from 25th March) European Sleeper 9h 30m (overnight)  Required



Eurail reservation self-service system

  • Eurail 
  • Eurostar, TGV, IC Berlin, ICE, Nightjet

Administration costs when booking through Eurail self-service

  • € 2,- p.p.per train
  • Additional € 9,- per order (for paper tickets)

With railway carriers

Other platforms

  • Rail Europe: International trains 
    • Eurostar and connecting TGV trains from Paris and Brussels

By calling the NS International Customer Service

  • +31 030 2300023 (open 24/7). From 11 PM – 7 AM the call center is only available for questions 
  • When calling, you’ll hear a menu in Dutch. Select extension ‘5’ for services in English. NS International can book trains in various European countries (€7.50 booking fee per person, with a maximum of €22.50 per order; 2 reservations per call allowed or 1 consecutive journey). Reservations made over the phone can be paid with iDEAL, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Bancontact, or SOFORT. The reservations ticket will be sent to you by email. Via a link in the email you can load it into the NS International app or print it.

Locally at one of the 5 stations in the Netherlands with an NS International ticket desk

  • NS International tickets desks are available at Amsterdam Central station, Arnhem Central station, Rotterdam Central station, Schiphol Airport, and Utrecht Central station.


Note: Eurostar trains are popular and therefore, usually sell out quickly. Make sure to get your seat reservation in time. Alternatively, find trains without seat reservations in our timetable by toggling on the ‘no reservation needed’ button.


An explanation of how each booking platform works can be found here: How do I book my reservations


Get your Pass for the Netherlands

Benelux Pass


Discover Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg by rail.


Standard prices from $ 131

Global Pass


Be free to visit the Netherlands and up to 32 other Eurail countries.

Standard prices from $ 233


Pass benefits

    Lounge Amsterdam Centraal
Lounge Amsterdam Centraal

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 International lounges

Eurail first-class pass holders can also access the NS International lounges on the following train stations for free:

  • Amsterdam Centraal

  • Rotterdam Centraal

  • Schiphol

See all Pass benefits in the Netherlands


Tips and tricks for the Netherlands

What are the main train stations in the Netherlands?

The Netherland's 3 main hubs have connections to many domestic and international destinations. They are:

  • Amsterdam Central Station

  • Rotterdam Central Station

  • Utrecht Central Station


The Netherlands' railway stations are extemely well developed with excellent facilities:

  • Lockers for storing your stuff

  • Cash machines and foreign exchange desks

  • Cafés, restaurants and shops

  • Tourist information offices

  • Elevators, escalators and access for disabled passengers

Dutch Hub stations

The main hub stations in the Netherlands are Amsterdam CentraalRotterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to the Netherlands’ main cities and many international destinations.


Please note that the Dutch Railways have closed the entry gates to many Dutch stations. To get into the station, look up the square barcode on your Eurail pass cover. Hold the barcode against the scanner next to an entry gate, and the gate will open for you.


Bicycles on trains in the Netherlands

One of the best ways to explore the country is by cycling shorter distances while riding the country's efficient trains between towns and cities.


Cycling is extemely common in the Netherlands. You can rent bikes from most large train stations.


Spelling of names in the Netherlands

You'll usually find the local spelling of Dutch cities on train timetables and at train stations in the Netherlands.


Good to know:

  • Centraal Station = Central Station

  • Den Haag = The Hague

  • Hoek van Holland = Hook of Holland

Quick facts

  • Capital: Amsterdam

  • Population: 16.8 million

  • Language: Dutch

  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

  • Dialing code: +31


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