London to Amsterdam

by Dutch Flyer train & ferry,

from £55 + £34 cabin

      BOOK ONLINE

Travel by Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland for Amsterdam

Low-cost but high-comfort overnight service from London to Amsterdam with private cabin with shower, toilet & satellite TV - saves a hotel bill too!

        Click here for timetable & fares

        What's it like? Watch the video!

        Buy tickets starting in Amsterdam


London to Amsterdam by Eurostar from £99 return...

BOOK ONLINE

A Eurostar at St Pancras International...

London to Amsterdam in 4½-5 hours by Eurostar with an easy change in Brussels...

      Click here for timetable & fares

      What's it like? See the photos

   

London to Amsterdam in comfort...

Fed up with flying?  This page explains how to travel from London or anywhere in the UK to Amsterdam & other destinations in the Netherlands by train or ferry, avoiding airport hassle and reducing your impact on the environment.  Upgrade from a stressful flight to the civilised Dutch Flyer or Eurostar!

Times, fares & tickets...

  Which option to choose?

  London to Amsterdam by Dutch Flyer train & ferry

  London to Amsterdam by Eurostar & onwards train

  London to Rotterdam, Utrecht & other destinations

  North of England to Amsterdam by ferry from Hull

  Scotland & North to Amsterdam by ferry from Newcastle

International trains to & from Amsterdam

  Trains from other European cities to Amsterdam

  Trains from Amsterdam to other European cities

  Amsterdam to Berlin by InterCity train

  Amsterdam to Brussels & Paris by Thalys train

Other useful information...

  Amsterdam Centraal station information

  Suggested hotels in Amsterdam

  Map of Amsterdam

  Useful country information - currency, dial code, etc

  Short breaks in Amsterdam by Eurostar

  City tour by hop-on hop-off open top bus

  General information for train travel in Europe

  Luggage arrangements  - 

  Left luggage lockers in Brussels & Amsterdam 

  Taking a bike    Taking a dog

Interactive map... 

Click a route for times, fares & tickets.

Holland or the Netherlands?

What's the difference?

Holland is a region made up of 2 of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands, Noord Holland & Zuid Holland.  The other 10 provinces are not Holland.  Telling someone from Utrecht, Arnhem, Eindhoven, Groningen or Maastricht that they come from Holland is like telling a Glaswegian that he comes from England...  Check out this nifty video explanation!


Useful country information

Train operator:

NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen), www.ns.nl for train times & fares in the Netherlands.  Eurostar times & fares.  All-Europe online train times.  Amsterdam bus & tram info: www.gvb.nl.

Ferry operators:

Harwich-Hoek van Holland:  www.stenaline.co.uk.

Train+ferry London-Amsterdam:  www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland/rail-and-sail.

Newcastle-Amsterdam: www.dfds.co.uk.  Hull-Rotterdam: www.poferries.com

Railpasses:

 

Beginner's guide to European railpasses    Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

 

+31

Currency:

£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.visitholland.com  Amsterdam map  Recommended guidebooks

Hotels, hostels & tours:

Find accommodation in Amsterdam

Page last updated:

10 November 2017.  Train times valid 11 June to 9 December 2017.


What are the options?

Back to top


London to Amsterdam via ferry

 

BOOK ONLINE

Buy tickets starting in the Netherlands

Dutch Flyer in pictures...

London Liverpool Street

London Liverpool Street station...

Take a train from London Liverpool Street to Harwich...

Take the train from London to Harwich...  The City of London skyline disappears behind you as the train heads through the suburbs.  Enjoy the scenery through rural Essex and along the pretty Stour Estuary to arrive right alongside the brightly-lit ferry at Harwich International...

Boarding the Stena Line ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland for Amsterdam

...and board the world's largest superferry.  At Harwich, simply walk off the train, up the steps or use the lift onto the footbridge and into the ferry terminal.  Walk through the departures door, through a quick & easy security check & passport control to the check-in desk.  Show your passport & e-ticket and get your cabin key, then walk up the gangway onto the ferry to Holland.  It's unbelievably quick & painless compared to airports, train to ferry in 10 minutes.  The Stena Hollandica is the largest RoPax ferry in the world, a 63,000 ton floating hotel with over 1,400 beds in 538 cabins. Steady as a rock...

Standard 1 or 2-berth inside cabin on the Stena Line ferry to Holland

Snuggle down in a private cabin with shower, toilet & satellite TV.

All passengers on the night crossing get a private cabin, even the cheapest cabins have an en suite shower & toilet, satellite TV, top quality Swedish Dux mattresses, fresh towels, soap & shampoo.  There's a desk with power sockets for laptops & mobiles.  Cabins optional but half price on the day crossing.  See the full range of cabins.

Ala carte restaurant on board the Stena Line ferry to Holland

Dinner in the ΰ la carte restaurant?   Add a 3-course dinner to your booking for £22 and you'll find a table reserved for you in the Metropolitan ΰ la carte restaurant...

Free WiFi and internet PCs on the Dutch Flyer to Amsterdam

Free WiFi & internet access.  Forgot your laptop?  You can use these PCs on the Stena Line ferry free of charge.  If you've a laptop or smartphone there's free WiFi in the public areas on 9 Deck...

The Bar on baord the ferry Stena Hollandica

...There are bars, lounges, a cinema & shop.  This is one of the bar areas on the Stena Hollandica...

Next morning, egg & bacon from the breakfast buffet in the Taste restaurant - or there are lighter options if you prefer.  Add an unlimited buffet breakfast to your booking for £10...

The Stena Hollandica arrived at Hook of Holland

...then step ashore in Holland.  Simply walk down the gangway into the terminal, through Dutch passport control & onto the platform for the train to Rotterdam.  It takes just minutes, totally painless.  Above, the giant ferry Stena Hollandica has arrived at Hoek van Holland on a bright & sunny morning, spot on time...

Sprinter train from Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam, change there for Amsterdam

...and take a comfortable Dutch train to anywhere in the Netherlands.  See the update above about the bus or metro transfer from Hoek to Schiedam, change at Schiedam for InterCity trains to Rotterdam, Amsterdam Centraal & anywhere in the Netherlands.  Many InterCity trains are double-deck, choose a top deck seat for the best views!

You arrive at Amsterdam Centraal, a stroll from most hotels and walking distance from all the sights...

One ticket covers the whole journey from London to Amsterdam or anywhere in the Netherlands, from £55 each way! 

Buy a ticket online...   See the video...

Which cabin to choose?

Standard cabins (1, 2 or 5-berth) have comfy beds with top-quality Swedish Dux mattresses, en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV, European-style power sockets for laptops & mobiles & a small dressing table.  Towels, shower gel/shampoo & bedding are provided.

4-berth standard outside cabin on the Stena Hollandica...

Above, here's a Standard 1 or 2-berth outside cabin.  Sold as a single, you pay just £45 for the room plus a travel ticket from £55. As a double, it's £54 for the room plus a travel ticket for each passenger.

Outside means with window, much nicer than an inside cabin & worth the extra few pounds.  The new Stena Hollandica has extra-large cabin windows for great sea views...

4-berth standard outside cabin on the Stena Hollandica...

This is a Standard 5-berth outside cabin.

Comfort Class 2 or 3-berth:  All the features of a standard cabin plus a bit more room, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, complimentary fruit bowl & complimentary minibar with red & white wine, beer, fruit juice & soft drinks.  Ideal for an eco-friendly business trip or special weekend away to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Den Haag...  One berth is extra-wide, effectively a double bed.

Comfort Class 2-berth cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

This is a Comfort Class cabin. £77 for the room, plus a travel ticket (from £55) for each passenger.

Captain's Class 2-berth:  All the facilities of a Comfort class cabin, but with a double bed and sparkling wine.

Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

This is a Captain's Class cabin with double bed.  You pay £103 for the room (£51.50 on the day crossing) plus a travel ticket (from £55) for each passenger.

Captain's Suite 2-berth:  The ultimate choice, with double bed, separate sitting room with satellite TV, Nespresso coffee maker, fruit bowl & complimentary minibar.

Captain's suite deluxe cabin on the Stena Line ferry 'Stena Hollandica'

This is a Captain's Suite sitting room, a bedroom with double bed is next door.  It's £130 for the suite (£65 on the day crossing), plus a travel ticket (from (£55) for each passenger...

Still unsure which cabin?  See cabin video...

   
 

BUY TICKETS ONLINE

Booking tips...

- This system can book one-way or return tickets starting in the UK.  Booking opens up to 12 months ahead.

- For one-way or return tickets starting in the Netherlands, see the advice here.

- The booking process makes sense if you realise that you're first telling it you want a rail & sail ticket from London to Amsterdam, then booking the ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland, as the train connections don't need reservations.

- At the end of the booking you are emailed an e-ticket in .pdf format. 

- Overseas credit cards accepted, but if you're from the USA and have any problems paying, call Stena Line's USA toll-free number 1-866-261-0359 (08:00-22:00 CET).

- If your travel date is less than 24 hours away, you'll need to book by phone, 08445 762 762 (UK callers only).

A glass of fizzy in a Captain's Class cabin on the ferry to Holland

Put the romance back...  Flying has lost its glamour.  It's time to put the romance back. Upgrade from a cheap flight to the Dutch Flyer.  This is a glass of complimentary cava in a Captain's Class cabin...

Stena Plus Lounge. On the day crossing, you can pay a small supplement to access to the quiet Stena Plus Lounge with complimentary tea, coffee, red & white wine and newspapers.  Although a half-price private cabin with TV may be a better buy!

Fresh air. If you're an airline passenger, you may have forgotten what this is...

An increasingly popular way to reach Amsterdam...

A Dutch Flyer ticket covers the train from London Liverpool Street station or any station on the Great Anglia network to Harwich, a comfortable crossing from Harwich to Hoek van Holland on the luxurious Stena Line superferry and an onward train from Hoek van Holland to Amsterdam Centraal or any rail station in the Netherlands.  It's the traditional way to reach Amsterdam!

There are two services a day, one using the Harwich-Hoek overnight ferry and the other the daytime ferry.  Stena Line brought two new 63,000 ton superferries into service in 2010, the largest of their kind in the world, with classy private cabins with toilet, shower & satellite TV.  There's free WiFi in the ship's public areas on 9 deck.

Stena report that passenger numbers have been growing fast, and it's being used by an increasing number of young professionals keen to avoid airport stress, cut their environmental impact, and save on expensive hotels in Amsterdam or London.  The Dutch Flyer service is run by Stena Line, Abellio Greater Anglia Trains & Dutch railways (NS) working together.  See the Dutch Flyer video...

CO2 savings:  Flight = 68 Kg CO2 per passenger, Dutch Flyer = 13.6 Kg, an 80% saving (Source).

IMPORTANT:  Bus replacement Hoek-Rotterdam until early 2018...

From 1 April 2017, the Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam railway will be closed for rebuilding as a metro line.  Buses are replacing trains between Hoek van Holland and Schiedam Centrum, but Dutch Flyer rail tickets (& InterRail passes) are valid on the buses.  Bus line 713 calls at all stations, but bus line 711 is non-stop from Hoek to Schiedam Centrum.  Trains then run from Schiedam Centrum to Rotterdam Centraal, Den Haag & Amsterdam Centraal.

New frequent metro trains were due to start running from 1 September 2017, initially between Hoek van Holland and Schiedam Centrum, change there for Rotterdam Centraal, Den Haag & Amsterdam Centraal. 

However, work on converting the Hoek-Rotterdam railway into a metro line has hit snags and the start of metro service is delayed until at least February 2018.  Bustitution will continue until then.

Later in 2018 the metro is due to be extended beyond Schiedam through Rotterdam city centre calling at Rotterdam Alexander station - change at Schiedam Centrum for Den Haag & Amsterdam, change at Rotterdam Alexander for Utrecht & beyond.

In this section...

London to Amsterdam overnight

 

Amsterdam to London overnight

London to Amsterdam by day

 

Amsterdam to London by day

How much does it cost?

 

Watch the video

Buy tickets online

 

Map of Amsterdam  &  Amsterdam hotels

Travel to other Dutch destinations

   

Travel from Cambridge, Norwich etc.

London ► Amsterdam overnight...

London 19:32, sleep on ferry, Amsterdam 10:55

London ► Amsterdam by day...

London depart 06:38 Mon-Sat, Amsterdam 19:55

London depart 07:55 Sundays, Amsterdam 20:55

Amsterdam ► London overnight...

Amsterdam 18:34, sleep on ferry, London 08:54

Amsterdam ► London by day...

Amsterdam depart 11:04 Mon-Fri, London arrive 22:14

Amsterdam depart 10:34 Sat, Sun, London arrive 22:14

 How much does it cost?

London to Amsterdam £55 one-way, £110 return

Children (aged 4-14 inclusive) £27.50 one way, £55 return

Children aged 0-3 inclusive travel for free.

Slightly higher fares may apply on peak dates or if travelling at short notice.

The fare covers train+ferry+train travel from London or any Greater Anglia station including Cambridge, Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Romford to Amsterdam or any Dutch station including Rotterdam, Den Haag, Leiden, Arnhem, Utrecht, Groningen, Maastricht.  How to buy tickets

 

 Cabins     You must pay for a cabin on the overnight ferry...

 Supplement per cabin (not per person!)

Overnight ferry...

(essential)

Daytime ferry...

(optional)

 Single berth cabin, inside

£34

£17

 Single berth cabin, with window

£45

£22.50

 2-berth cabin, inside

£45

£22.50

 2-berth cabin, with window

£54

£27

 3 or 4 berth cabin, with window

£78

£39

 5-berth family cabin, with window

£85

£42.50

 Comfort Class 2-berth cabin, window

£77

£38.50

 Captain's Class deluxe 2-berth, window

£103

£51.50

 Captain's Suite deluxe 2-berth, window

£130

£65

Cabin costs can be a few pounds higher on busy days.

Adding a cot for a child aged 0-3 costs £4, you can add when booking.

About these fares...

Useful links...

Travel to any station in the Netherlands... 

Travel from any Greater Anglia station... 

Luggage, dogs & bikes...

How to buy tickets...

If your journey starts in the UK:  www.stenaline.co.uk...

If your journey starts in the Netherlands www.stenaline.nl...

Video guide:  London to Amsterdam by Dutch Flyer...

Want to see more?  See the Green Traveller Dutch Flyer video...

Back to top


London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

  Take Eurostar & connecting trains from London to Amsterdam

London to Amsterdam by high-speed train...

Take Eurostar to Brussels and a connecting high-speed Thalys train to Amsterdam in as little as 4h38.  This high-speed rail option is faster than train+ferry, in fact it's not much slower than a flight, and there's a choice of departures.  It's a fast, comfortable and stress-free way to reach Amsterdam that beats flying, any day...  How much does it cost?   How to buy tickets.

Eurostar plan two daily direct Eurostars from London to Amsterdam, likely to start in Spring 2018.

You have a choice:  Eurostar+Thalys or Eurostar+InterCity?

The fastest and most comfortable option is to take Eurostar to Brussels in just 2 hours, then a Thalys high-speed train to Amsterdam in 1h49, total journey time as little as 4h38.  Fares for both Eurostar & Thalys work like air fares, with tickets only valid on the specific train you book.  However, it's often cheaper to buy a Eurostar+InterCity ticket, where your London-Brussels ticket is valid on the specific Eurostar you book, but the Brussels-Amsterdam journey can be made on any hourly InterCity (IC) train linking Brussels with Amsterdam over the classic non-high-speed route in 3h19, total journey time around 6h06.  No prior reservation is necessary on the IC trains, you are free to hop on any departure you like that day.  So the choice is yours:  Comfortable high-speed trains all the way in 4h38 or a cheaper ticket with some flexibility using a more basic IC train between Brussels & Amsterdam taking 6h06.  Train times for both options are shown below.

 London ► Amsterdam, by Eurostar + high-speed Thalys

Eurostar 30 min check-in 

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras dep.

08:04

08:55

10:58

12:58

15:04

17:04

18:04**

06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

16:04

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

17:04

18:04

 Ebbsfleet (M25) depart

|

09:15

11:15

13:15

|

|

|

|

09:15

11:15

13:15

|

09:15

|

13:15

|

|

|

|

 Brussels Midi arrive

11:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

20:05

21:05**

10:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

19:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:05

20:05

21:05

 Change trains in Brussels onto a high-speed Thalys train, seat reservation required.  See tip about short cut between platforms.

 Brussels Midi depart

11:52

12:52

 14:52*

16:52

18:52

20:52

21:52**

11:52

12:52

15:52

18:52

20:52

12:52

15:52

16:52

17:52

18:52

20:52

21:52

 Rotterdam Centraal arr.

13:02

14:01

 16:02*

18:02

20:02

22:02

23:02**

13:02

14:02

17:02

20:02

22:02

14:02

17:02

18:02

19:02

20:02

22:02

23:02

 Amsterdam Centraal arr.

13:42

14:42

 16:42*

18:42

20:42

22:42

23:42**

13:42

14:42

17:42

20:42

22:42

14:42

17:42

18:42

19:42

20:42

22:42

23:42

* On Fridays the Thalys connection runs an hour later:  Brussels depart 15:52, Amsterdam arrive 17:42.

** Runs on Fridays only.

Eurostar's timetable is getting more complicated, random trains not running on random days of the week for random periods.  So always check times for your date online!

Brussels Midi station information & advice on changing trains there

 London ► Amsterdam, by Eurostar & classic InterCity train

Eurostar 30 min check-in  

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 London St Pancras

 06:47*

08:04

08:54

10:58

12:58

15:04

17:04

06:57

08:58

10:58

12:58

16:04

08:58

11:04

12:58

14:04

15:04

17:04

 Ebbsfleet (M25) 

 07:04*

|

09:15

11:15

13:15

|

|

|

09:15

11:15

13:15

|

09:15

|

13:15

|

|

|

 Brussels Midi arrive

 10:07*

11:05

12:05

14:05

16:08

18:05

20:05

10:11

12:08

14:05

16:08

19:05

12:08

14:05

16:08

17:05

18:05

20:05

 Change in Brussels onto the hourly InterCity train to Amsterdam, no reservation needed.  Stop off if you like.  See tip about short cut between platforms.

 Brussels Midi depart

10:45

11:45

12:45

14:45

16:45

18:45

20:45

10:45

12:45

14:45

16:45

19:45

12:45

14:45

16:45

17:45

18:45

20:45

 Rotterdam Centraal

12:50

13:50

14:50

16:50

18:50

20:50

22:50

12:50

14:50

16:50

18:50

21:50

14:50

16:50

18:50

19:50

20:50

22:50

 Den Haag HS

13:22

14:22

15:22

17:22

19:22

21:22

23:22

13:22

15:22

17:22

19:22

22:22

15:22

17:22

19:22

20:22

21:22

23:22

 Amsterdam Centraal

14:06

15:06

16:06

18:06

20:06

22:06

00:06

14:06

16:06

18:06

20:06

23:06

16:06

18:06

20:06

21:06

22:06

00:06

* On Mondays & Fridays the 06:47 Eurostar runs EARLIER, leaving London 06:13, Ebbsfleet 06:30, Brussels 09:22.

No service on 25 December.  How much does it cost?    How to buy tickets    Suggested hotels in Amsterdam.

Brussels Midi station info & advice on changing trains there    Buy connecting tickets from other UK towns & cities

Map of Amsterdam    Left luggage in London, Brussels & Amsterdam    Amsterdam Centraal station information

Ashford (Kent): One or two London-Brussels trains call here - check online for details.

 Amsterdam ► London, by Eurostar + high-speed Thalys

 By Thalys

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Amsterdam Centraal

06:17

08:17

09:17

11:17

14:17

15:17

17:17

10:17

11:17

13:17

16:17

08:17

11:17

13:17

14:17

15:17

16:17

17:17

 Rotterdam Centraal

06:58

08:58

09:58

11:58

14:58

15:58

17:58

10:58

11:58

13:58

16:58

08:58

11:58

13:58

14:58

15:58

16:58

17:58

 Brussels Midi arrive

08:08

10:08

11:08

13:08

16:08

17:08

19:08

12:08

13:08

15:08

18:08

10:08

13:08

15:08

16:08

17:08

18:08

19:08

Change trains in Brussels.  Remember the 30 minute Eurostar check-in.

 Brussels Midi depart

08:52

10:56

12:52

14:56

16:56

17:56

19:52

12:52

14:56

16:56

19:52

11:56

14:52

15:56

16:56

17:56

18:56

19:52

 Ebbsfleet (M25)

|

|

13:45

 |

17:45

18:45

20:45

|

15:45

|

|

|

15:45

|

|

|

|

20:45

 London St Pancras

09:57

11:57

14:05

16:05

18:06

19:03

21:03

14:05

16:05

18:06

21:03

12:57

16:05

16:57

18:06

19:10

19:57

21:03

 Amsterdam ► London, by Eurostar & classic InterCity train

Mondays-Fridays

Saturdays

Sundays

 Amsterdam Centraal

05:52

07:54

09:52

11:52

12:52

13:52

14:52

05:52

09:52

11:52

14:52

06:52

09:52

10:52

11:52

12:52

13:52

14:52

 Den Haag HS

06:40

08:40

10:40

12:40

13:40

14:40

15:40

06:40

10:40

12:40

15:40

07:40

10:40

11:40

12:40

13:40

14:40

15:40

 Rotterdam Centraal

07:09

09:09

11:09

13:09

14:09

15:09

16:09

07:09

11:09

13:09

16:09

08:09

11:09

12:09

13:09

14:09

15:09

16:09

 Brussels Midi arrive

09:15

11:15

13:15

15:15

16:15

17:15

18:15

09:15

13:15

15:15

18:15

10:15

13:15

14:15

15:15

16:15

17:15

18:15

 Change trains in Brussels.  Remember the 30 minute Eurostar check-in!  Stop off in Brussels if you like.

 Brussels Midi depart

10:56

12:52

14:56

16:56

17:56

18:56

19:52

10:56

14:52

16:56

19:52

11:56

14:52

15:56

16:56

17:56

18:56

19:52

 Ebbsfleet (M25)

 |

13:45

|

  |

18:45

 |

20:45

  |

15:45

  |

20:45

|

15:45

  |

|

|

  |

20:45

 London St Pancras

11:57

14:05

16:05

18:11

19:03

19:57

21:03

11:57

16:05

18:06

21:03

12:57

16:05

16:57

18:06

19:10

19:57

21:03

 

Book online here

Anyone from any country can book London to Amsterdam or Amsterdam to London by Eurostar+Thalys at www.b-europe.com, with print-at-home tickets.

SNCB B-Europe.co.uk - London To Europe By Train

   
  Thalys train at Amsterdam Centraal

A Thalys at Amsterdam Centraal...

See Thalys information page

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Top tip for a plane-free weekend in Amsterdam...

Short breaks:  Custom-made travel & hotel arrangements...

What's the journey like?

London to Brussels by Eurostar...

First class fares include an airline-style meal & complimentary drinks.  All passengers can use two buffet-bar cars serving drinks & snacks.  For more information about travel by Eurostar including check-in procedures & video guide, see the Eurostar page.  Eurostar always uses platforms 1 or 2 at Brussels Midi (Brussel Zuid in Flemish, Brussels South in English).

A Eurostar at St Pancras International...

 

Eurostar first class

 

Eurostar second class

A Eurostar at St Pancras...

 

Eurostar 1st class...

 

Eurostar 2nd class...

Brussels to Amsterdam by Thalys high-speed train...

Thalys is a joint venture of the French, Belgian & Dutch railways formed to run the high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Cologne.  Thalys trains have 1st & 2nd class seats, marketed as Comfort 1 & Comfort 2 and there's a cafe-bar.  Between Brussels & Amsterdam, the Thalys trains are more comfortable, but less frequent and less flexible than the regular hourly InterCity trains.  1st class fares include complimentary refreshments served at your seat and 1st class passengers may use the first class lounges at Amsterdam Centraal or Schiphol stations with complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks and beer - look for signs to the NS International Lounge.  However, the first class lounge at Brussels is only for special frequent traveller cardholders.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles, and all Thalys trains have WiFi on board, free in 1st class, paid for in 2nd class.  Like Eurostar, advance reservation is obligatory, and special fares apply.  Thalys tickets can only be used on the specific Thalys train on which your seats have been booked.  In Brussels, Thalys trains to Amsterdam normally leave from platforms 5 or 6, Eurostar always uses platforms 1 & 2, but always check the indicator boards.  Advice on changing trains at Brussels MidiMore information about ThalysSeating plan for Thalys.

Second class seats on board a 'Thalys' high-speed train to Cologne 1st class seats on Thalys A Thalys for Amsterdam about to leave Brussels Midi...

2nd class (Comfort 2) seats on Thalys...

1st class (Comfort 1) seats...

A Thalys about to leave Brussels...

See full-screen panorama photos inside a Thalys train

Brussels to Amsterdam by InterCity train...

As well as the Thalys trains on the new high-speed line, there are hourly InterCity trains which use the classic non-high-speed  route between Brussels, Rotterdam, Den Haag & Amsterdam, taking 3h21 rather than 1h49.  These trains are traditional 'turn up and go' trains which don't have reservations and can never sell out, they have one affordable fixed price (Brussels-Amsterdam for around €45 each way, any date, any train) and tickets are valid for any train that day.  So you can easily buy a ticket at the station and hop on the next train.  In other words, although slower and less comfortable than Thalys, these InterCity trains are more flexible to use, and significantly cheaper if you need to travel at short notice.

Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train   2nd class seats on an Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train   1st class seats on an Amsterdam to Brussels InterCity train

Brussels-Amsterdam InterCity train...

 

InterCity 2nd class seats...

 

InterCity 1st class seats...

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London to other destinations...

  Dutch double decker InterCity train

Above:  A Dutch double-deck InterCity train.

  Seats on top deck of double decker Dutch train

Above:  These are top deck seats on a Dutch double-deck InterCity train from Rotterdam to Amsterdam...

London to Rotterdam, Den Haag (The Hague)...

The London-Netherlands by train & ferry section & the London-Netherlands by Eurostar section cover Rotterdam & Den Haag as well as Amsterdam.

London to Maastricht...

Maastricht, right down in the southern tip of the Netherlands, is most easy reached by Eurostar changing in Brussels.  There are hourly Belgian InterCity trains from Brussels to Maastricht with one easy and quick change in Liθge, journey time 1 hour 46 minutes.

You can buy a through ticket from London to Liθge, simply go to www.eurostar.com and buy a ticket from London to a destination listed as Any Belgian Station from £51 one-way or £69 return.  This is valid on a specific Eurostar to Brussels, then onwards to any station in Belgium using any suitable connecting train (including Belgian InterCity trains but not international Thalys or ICE trains) within 24 hours of arrival in Brussels, and (on your return) within 24 hours of your Eurostar departure from Brussels.  This will take you all the way to Liege, you can easily buy an onward ticket from Liege to Maastricht online at www.b-europe.com.  Note that at www.eurostar.com all you are reserving is your Eurostar seat, from Brussels to Liθge a seat reservation is unnecessary you can just hop on any train you like. The Eurostar website won't give schedules for the onward trains, but you can use the online journey planner at www.b-europe.com to find train times between Brussels and Maastricht.

Alternatively, you can travel from London to Maastricht by overnight train+ferry if you like using the special London to any Dutch station train+ferry ticket, see the section above.

London to anywhere else in the Netherlands:  Utrecht, Apeldoorn, Groningen, Arnhem, Eindhoven, etc...

Other destinations in the Netherlands can also be reached just as easily as Amsterdam, using either train+ferry or Eurostar.  Decide which you want to use by reading the London-Amsterdam train & ferry and Eurostar information above, then check connections to your chosen destination as follows:

By train+ferry to any Dutch station:  Dutch Flyer train+ferry tickets from London to Amsterdam are valid to any Dutch station, not just Amsterdam.  Buy online at www.stenaline.co.uk/ferry-to-holland/rail-and-sail as explained above.  So you can travel from London to anywhere in the Netherlands for the same price as Amsterdam.  Simply take the sprinter train from Hoek van Holland to Rotterdam, where you'll find frequent direct trains to Utrecht, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Groningen and so on, usually every hour or better, with no need to go via Amsterdam.  To check train times to other Dutch destinations, first check what time your chosen train+ferry service reaches Hoek van Holland using the London to Amsterdam train+ferry timetable above.  Then go to www.ns.nl, enter 'Hoek van Holland Haven' as origin and your Dutch destination as 'destination', enter your travel dates and time of departure from Hoek (allowing at least 20 minutes from the arrival of the ferry) and hit 'search'.

By Eurostar to any Dutch station from €60! It's back!!  The popular ticket from London to Any Dutch Station by Eurostar and connecting InterCity train (not valid on high-speed Thalys), one-way from €60, return from €119.  But it's best booked at the Dutch railways website www.nsinternational.nl, which can book these as a one-way or a round trip in either direction.  You print your own tickets.  In the search results you can compare prices with faster options via Thalys high-speed trains, and make a choice on speed versus price.

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North of England to Amsterdam

  P&O Ferries 'Pride of Rotterdam' has just arrived from Hull

P&O Ferries superb ship Pride of Rotterdam at Rotterdam Europoort, just arrived from Hull...

  A steak dinner in the a la carte restaurant on board P&O Ferries Hull-Rotterdam ferry

Dinner in the ΰ la carte restaurant on board the Pride of Rotterdam...

  A standard en suite cabin on P&O Ferries' Hull-Rotterdam ferry

A standard outside cabin on P&O's Pride of Rotterdam...

We don't all live in London and the South!  From the North of England to Amsterdam, you have four options, including a luxurious direct cruise ferry from Hull or Newcastle to Holland that by-passes London:

Hull to Rotterdam by P&O cruise ferry...

P&O's superb overnight cruise ferry from Hull to Rotterdam is more than just a means of transport, it's a floating hotel that makes the journey as much fun as the destination.  The ferry sails overnight, so it's a time-effective alternative to flying for a weekend away or a short break in Holland.  You sleep in a comfortable private cabin with shower & toilet after dinner in one of the restaurants on board or even a night dancing in the nightclub.

North of England ► Rotterdam, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Rotterdam ► North of England

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

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Scotland & Newcastle to Amsterdam

  DFDS Seaways ferry 'Princess of Norway' about to sail from Newcastle.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam...

  A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS Seaways

A Commodore Deluxe cabin on DFDS ferry King of Scandinavia from Newcastle to Amsterdam.  Commodore Deluxe offers genuine cruise ship standards with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  Highly recommended!  See the video...

  The Commodore Deluxe lounge on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

About as far away from Ryanair as you can get...  The exclusive Commodore Deluxe lounge aboard the King of Scandinavia...

From Scotland, Carlisle, Cumbria, Tyne & Wear to Amsterdam, you have three options:

Newcastle to Amsterdam by DFDS cruise ferry...

Scotland & Newcastle ► Amsterdam

Amsterdam ► Newcastle & Scotland

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

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Sponsored links...

 


Send your luggage in advance

Ride the trains without heavy luggage... 

Send your suitcase ahead by Luggage Mule from around £30 each way.

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Recommended guidebooks

Highly recommended:  The Lonely Planets & Rough Guides...

Paying for a guidebook may seem an unnecessary expense, but it's a small part of what you pay for your whole trip.  You will see a lot more, and know much more about what you're looking at, if you have a decent guidebook.  I think the Lonely Planets & Rough Guides are the best ones out there for the independent traveller.  You won't regret buying one!  My own book, an essential handbook for train or ferry travel to Europe based on this website called The Man in Seat 61, was published in 2010 so is a little long in the tooth now, but it's available from Amazon.co.uk with shipping worldwide.

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

     

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team have set up a private venture and published the first edition of a reborn European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.

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Find hotels in Amsterdam

    

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Suggested hotels in Amsterdam...

Suggested hotels in Rotterdam...

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

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City breaks in Amsterdam

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City Tours by Open Top Bus

City Sightseeing Open Top Bus TourBuy a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off Open Top Bus...

City Sightseeing's red-and-yellow open top tour buses are now a familiar site in 100 major cities on 6 continents, and they do a hop-on, hop-off tour bus ticket for Amsterdam, with frequent departures every day from outside Amsterdam Centraal station.  I find a bus tour a good way to orientate yourself in a city, returning to explore in more depth later.  It's also less wearing on the feet, especially if you have kids!

Buy your tour tickets online before you go, redeemable on any day you like within 3 months of buying it, see www.city-sightseeing.com.

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Travel insurance & health card

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from ww.nhs.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

 


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