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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 17th till August 18th)
  • During the rest of the year, reservations are optional but highly recommended.
  • Amsterdam - Basel will only run till Frankfurt between May 27th and September 12th.


Intercity Berlin (IC)

  • Reach Berlin from Amsterdam in 6 hours 20 minutes.

  • Reservations are optional only. We recommend reserving when travelling during a busy period.

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.

Thalys (THA)

  • For travel between Amsterdam, Brussels (Belgium) and Paris (France).
  • Reservations are compulsory for these trains, which can get fully booked. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Eurostar (EST)

  • For travel between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London (Great Britain).
  • Reservations are compulsory for these trains, which can get fully booked. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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 –  Den Haag – Amsterdam – Berlin
  • Runs three times a week


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 (Germany) ICE 2h 10m Optional (Required June 17th till August 18th)
Amsterdam to Frankfurt (Germany) ICE 4h Optional (Required June 17th till August 18th)

Amsterdam to Basel (Switzerland)

Only till Düsseldorf between May 27th and September 12th

ICE 6h 40m Optional (Required June 17th till August 18th)
Amsterdam to Paris (France) Thalys 3h 20m Required
Amsterdam to Brussels (Belgium) Intercity Brussels 2h 50m Not required
Amsterdam to London (Great Britain) Eurostar 4h 50m
Amsterdam to Vienna / Innsbruck (Austria) ÖBB Nightjet 13h 45m (overnight) Required
Amsterdam to Zürich (Switzerland) ÖBB Nightjet 11h 35m (overnight) Required
Rotterdam (via Amsterdam) to Berlin (Germany) European Sleeper 9h 30m (overnight)  Required



Eurail reservation self-service system

  • Eurail 
  • Thalys, 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

By calling the NS call center

  • +31 030 2300023 (open 24/7)
  • When calling, you’ll hear a menu in Dutch. Select extension ‘5’ for services in English and then ‘1’ to book the Thalys or ‘2’ to book other trains. NS International can book trains in various European countries (€7.50 booking fee, with a maximum of €22.50 per order; 2 reservations per call allowed). You have to pay for reservations made over the phone with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. The reservations ticket will be sent to you by email. You can also pick up your reservations at an NS International ticket desk or at a self-service machine. Just go to a Dutch train station with an NS International desk with your booking code.


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


Locally at the train station in the Netherlands


Get your Pass for the Netherlands

Benelux Pass


Discover Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg by rail.


Standard prices from $ 120

Global Pass


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

Standard prices from $ 211


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

  • Breda

  • 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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    1 week in the Netherlands 1 week in the Netherlands is the perfect time frame for you to cover the highlights of this little country by train! Come and see what makes the Netherlands special in all seasons.