Amsterdam Centraal station
 

Amsterdam Centraal Station, opened in 1889.

 small bullet point  Amsterdam Centraal station guide

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      Amsterdam Centraal station guide

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This page explains how to travel by train from Amsterdam & the Netherlands to other European cities and how to buy tickets.  Information current for 2024.

Where to wait for your train at Amsterdam Centraal:  With a 1st class international ticket including an Interrail or Eurail pass, you can use the NS Lounge at Amsterdam Centraal.  With any class of ticket, I recommend the beautifully retro Grand Cafe 1e Klas on platform 2B for a beer, coffee or meal before your train.  Give my regards to the cockatoo on the bar!

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €39 point-to-point ticket online?".   How far ahead can you buy train tickets?

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...

bullet pointStarting from other Dutch cities

On this page I explain journeys assuming you are starting from Amsterdam, but you can start from anywhere in the Netherlands.

 

Map of international train routes leaving the Netherlands

Click for larger map

Reproduced with the kind permission of the European Rail Map people.  Buy the map at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu

You can join the train at other stations

(1)  Eurostar (formerly Thalys) trains from Amsterdam to Brussels & Paris also pick up at Rotterdam Centraal.

(2)  Intercity trains from Amsterdam to Osnabrück & Berlin also pick up at Hilversum, Amersfoort, Apeldoorn, Deventer, Almelo, Hengelo.

(3)  ICE trains from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf, Cologne & Frankfurt also pick up at Utrecht & Arnhem.

(4)  Nightjet sleepers from Amsterdam to Zurich, Munich, Innsbruck & Vienna also pick up at Utrecht & Arnhem.

(5)  The European Sleeper to Berlin & Prague also picks up at Roosendaal, Rotterdam Centraal, Den Haag HS, Schiphol, Amersfoort, Deventer.

You can book from almost any station in the Netherlands

On this page I explain how to book from Amsterdam.  Here's how to book if you are starting at another Dutch city:

(1)  Journeys heading to or through Germany, where I say book at int.bahn.de:

The German Railways website int.bahn.de can book from almost any Dutch station at an inclusive price.  So if I say 'Book from Amsterdam to Munich' and you were travelling from Groningen, book from Groningen to Munich and it'll work out connecting trains & issue a Groningen to Munich through ticket for one inclusive price.

Tickets are normally good for any train on the Dutch domestic section, I'd take an earlier train than the one the system suggests in case of delay.  Better a 35-minute connection & a coffee than a missed 5-minute connection.

(2)  Journeys to or via Brussels or Paris:

www.raileurope.com, www.thetrainline.com, www.nsinternational.nl can book you from anywhere in the Netherlands just as easily as Amsterdam.  In this case they add a separate ticket for the Dutch domestic train.

www.sncf-connect.com can book the Eurostar trains from Amsterdam & Rotterdam to Brussels, Paris & beyond, but can't book from other Dutch stations.

(3)  Journeys using Nightjet sleeper trains:

www.thetrainline.com, www.raileurope.com & www.oebb.at at can book Nightjet sleeper journeys to Switzerland, Munich & Austria from any Dutch station, not just from Amsterdam.  They add a separate ticket for the Dutch domestic connection.

However, when catching a sleeper I'd want at least 45 minutes between trains rather than the bare minimum the system allows, so take an earlier connecting train than the one the system shows.  The Dutch ticket will be good for any train that day.



Amsterdam to anywhere in the Netherlands
Seats on Dutch double-deck train   Dutch double-deck train

Upper deck seats on a double-deck intercity train.

 

Dutch double-deck intercity train.

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Amsterdam to London & UK

Option 1, Amsterdam to London by Eurostar from £40 - just 4 hours centre to centre at up to 300 km/h

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Amsterdam to London & Cambridge by train+ferry - the ferry alternative, with overnight 'sleeper' option

Stena Line ferry at Hoek van Holland

The ferry is a floating hotel with private cabins, restaurant, bar, lounges, shop & kennels.

Standard outside cabin on Stena Line ferry   Stena Plus lounge on the ferry to Hoek van Holland

Above left, a standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360º photoAbove right, the Stena Plus lounge with complimentary red & white wine, tea, coffee & snacks.

Bar on the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland   London to Amsterdam via the Stena Line ferry

Above left, the bar on 9 deck. Above right, a Captain's Class cabin with complimentary minibar, toilet & shower.

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Amsterdam to Hull or Newcastle

Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) at Newcastle   A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

DFDS Seaways sails overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam.  The ferries also have deluxe Commodore class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video.

 

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

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam   Cabin on P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam at Rotterdam Europoort.  The ferry also has deluxe class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.

 

A standard outside cabin with shower & toilet on P&O's Pride of Rotterdam from Hull to Rotterdam.

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Amsterdam to Dublin & Ireland

Option 1, Amsterdam to Dublin via London & Holyhead - daily departures

Option 2, Amsterdam to Dublin via Paris & Cherbourg - several departures a week

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats

Sail from Cherbourg to Dublin aboard Irish Ferries' WB YeatsWB Yeats photos courtesy of Irish Ferries.

Irish Ferries' WB Yeats club cabin   Irish Ferries' WB Yeats deluxe cabin

Club cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe cabin on the WB Yeats with shower & toilet.

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Amsterdam to Paris in 3h20 from €35, www.eurostar.com
A Thalys train from Brussels at Paris

A Eurostar at Paris Nord.  360º photos inside the train More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Crossing the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep

The train sweeps across the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep one lazy evening, between Rotterdam & Antwerp.

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Amsterdam to Strasbourg

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Amsterdam to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz, Lourdes, Nantes, Brittany

Option 1, via Paris - involves changing trains & stations in Paris, but the fastest, most frequent & usually cheapest option

Option 2, avoiding Paris - less frequent, takes longer, usually costs more, but avoids crossing Paris if that's important to you

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Amsterdam to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice & other French cities

Option 1, via Paris - involves changing trains & stations in Paris, but fastest, most frequent & usually cheapest

A Thalys train from Brussels at Paris

Step 1, Amsterdam to Paris Nord by Eurostar, seen here at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

TGV Duplex train from Paris to Nice

Step 2, Paris to Cannes, Antibes or Nice by double-deck TGV Duplex, seen here at Paris Gare de Lyon.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating. 360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, club duo on the left, club quatre on the right. 360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 2, avoiding Paris - avoids crossing Paris, but less frequent and usually costs more

Option 3, Amsterdam to Toulon, Cannes, Antibes, Nice using the Paris-Nice overnight train

A Thalys train from Brussels at Paris

Step 1, Amsterdam to Paris by Eurostar, seen here at Paris Nord.  360º photos inside the trainsMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Step 2, Paris to the South of France by Intercité de nuit seen here at Paris Austerlitz More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

The Paris to Nice sleeper running along theMediterranean coast

The Paris to Nice Intercité de Nuit running along the Côte d'Azur in the morning sun.  Photo courtesy of Noam auf Gleis 13.

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Amsterdam to Brussels from €25, see the Amsterdam to Brussels page
A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A train to Brussels at Amsterdam Centraal.  See panorama photos inside the train.

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Amsterdam to Bruges from €29, see the Amsterdam to Bruges page

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Amsterdam to Antwerp

Option 1, Amsterdam to Antwerp by Eurostar (formerly Thalys) high-speed train - fastest, but less flexible

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

A Eurostar to Brussels at Amsterdam Centraal.  See panorama photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Crossing the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep

The train sweeps across the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep one lazy evening, between Rotterdam & Antwerp.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Antwerp by Intercity train - a bit slower, more flexible

InterCity train at Brussels

An InterCity train at Brussels Midi, jointly run by NS & SNCB (Dutch & Belgian railways).

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

InterCity train 2nd class seats.  See larger photo.

 

InterCity train 1st class seats.  See larger photo.

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Amsterdam to Luxembourg from €35.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Luxembourg by Eurostar (formerly Thalys) to Brussels & InterCity to Luxembourg - fastest, most comfortable, expensive at short notice.

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

Step 1, take a high-speed Eurostar from Amsterdam to Brussels.  This is a Eurostar at Amsterdam Centraal.  See panorama photos inside the train More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across car width.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Luxembourg

Step 2, take a Belgian intercity (IC) train from Brussels to Luxembourg.  This is an IC at Luxembourg station.  There's no catering, so bring your own food & drink.  There are just two power sockets per coach, one at each end of the car above head height.

2nd class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train 1st class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Luxembourg by Intercity (IC) trains - cheaper, more flexible

InterCity train at Brussels

Step 1, take the hourly InterCity train from Amsterdam Centraal to Brussels Midi.  This is jointly run by NS & SNCB (Dutch & Belgian railways).  There's no catering, so bring your own food & drink.

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

InterCity train 2nd class seats.  See larger photo.

 

InterCity train 1st class seats.  See larger photo.

Belgian intercity train from Brussels to Luxembourg

Step 2, take a Belgian intercity (IC) train from Brussels to Luxembourg.

2nd class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train 1st class on a Brussels-Luxembourg train

2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

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Amsterdam to Basel, Zurich, Geneva & Switzerland from €37.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Switzerland by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option

AB33 sleeping-car on the Amsterdam-Zurich Nightjet train

The sleeping-car on the Amsterdam-Zurich sleeper train.  More about NightjetsWatch the video.

Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train   Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train

Single sleeper, washbasin behind door on right. Larger photo.

 

Breakfast next morning.  Larger photo.

Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train   Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train

4 or 6 berth couchettes, bedding supplied.  Larger photo.

 

Couchette car from Amsterdam arrived at Basel.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Switzerland by high-speed train from €37.90 upwards - the fast daytime option

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M to Frankfurt at Amsterdam.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Switzerland by classic train via the scenic Rhine Valley - the slower, scenic daytime option

EuroCity train from Zurich

EuroCity train at Zurich HB.

2nd class seats on Munich-Zurich EuroCity train   Restaurant car on EC9 Hamburg-Cologne-Zurich train

2nd class seating.  Larger photo.

 

The Swiss restaurant car:  Treat yourself!  Larger photo.

Swiss panorama car, Munich to Zurich train   1st class seats in panorama car, Munich to Zurich train

Panorama car with 1st class seats, only on train EC9.  Make sure you reserve a seat in car 263 as there is just one 1st class panorama car and two other regular 1st class cars.  See advice on booking it Larger photo.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle seen from the train

Pfalzgrafenstein castle on the Rhine.  See the Rails Down the Rhine page.

Option 4, Amsterdam to Switzerland with overnight stop in Cologne - comfortable & time-effective

Option 5, Amsterdam to Switzerland by high-speed trains via Paris - a useful option, especially to Geneva or Lausanne, involves crossing Paris.

Option 6, Amsterdam to Switzerland by Eurostar to Brussels, direct TGV to Lyon, and local train to Geneva.  Saves crossing Paris, good for Geneva.

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Amsterdam to Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan & Italy from €69

Option 1, Amsterdam to Italy using the daily Amsterdam-Zurich sleeper train - a time-effective sleeper then a scenic daytime ride

AB33 sleeping-car on the Amsterdam-Zurich Nightjet train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Zurich by Nightjet sleeper train.  This is the sleeping-car boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about NightjetsWatch the video.

Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train   Single-bed sleeper on Amsterdam-Zurich train

Single sleeper, washbasin behind door on right. Larger photo.

 

Breakfast next morning.  Larger photo.

Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train   Couchette compartment on Amsterdam to Switzerland Nightjet train

4 or 6 berth couchettes, bedding supplied.  Larger photo.

 

Couchette car from Amsterdam arrived at Basel.

EuroCity train from Zurich to Milan at Zurich HB

Step 2, Zurich to Milan by EuroCity train, through the Alps.  Operated by a modern Giruno train, seen here boarding at Zurich HB.  The train passes through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest rail tunnel, the transit takes just 20 minutes.

1st class on Giruno   Restaurant car on Giruno

Giruno, 1st class.  Larger photo.

 

Restaurant car with bar counter. Larger photo.

2nd class on Giruna   Bar counter in the restaurant car

Giruno 2nd class.  Larger photo

 

Level boarding. Note the destination screen in the door. 

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

The Zurich to Milan trains take the Gotthard main line through the Swiss Alps, past Lake Lugano.

Frecciarossa 1000 at Roma Termini

Step 3, Milan to Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples by high-speed Frecciarossa.  This is a Frecciarossa 1000 at Rome TerminiMore about Frecciarossas & explanation of the 4 classes.

Frecciarossa 1000 standard class   Frecciarossa 1000 premium class

Standard class, 2+2 across width.

 

Premium class, 2+2 across width.

Frecciarossa 1000 Business class   Frecciarossa 1000 executive class

Business class, 1+2 across car width.

 

Executive class, with food & drink included.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Milan in a single day.  Overnight stop, then Milan to Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome or Naples next morning

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, by ICE3 from Amsterdam to Basel.  This is an ICE3M at Amsterdam.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Astoro EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

Step 2, by EuroCity train from Basel to Milan through the Alps.  This is a Milan-Basel EuroCity train at Milan Centrale.  More about Switzerland-Milan EuroCity trains.

1st class on a Switzerland to Milan Astoro train   ETR610 restaurant car

1st class seats.  Larger photo.

 

Restaurant car.  Larger photo.

Lunch on an ETR610 train   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Lunch in the restaurant car.

 

2nd class.  Larger photo 360 degree photo.

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

You'll pass a lake or two.  This is Lake Maggiore, seen from the dining-car of a northbound Milan to Basel train over an excellent lunch of salmon tagliatelle & excellent (but expensive!) Swiss red wine.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Italy using the Stuttgart-Venice sleeper train - Time-effective, with dinner in Stuttgart

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Stuttgart with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

The Nightjet sleeper train from Munich to Venice at Munich Hbf

Step 2, Stuttgart to Venice by Nightjet sleeper trainMore about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

The same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Sunrise as the sleeper train crosses the causeway into Venice

Sunrise as the Munich-Venice Nightjet crosses the causeway over the lagoon into Venice.  Courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhoff.

Option 4, Amsterdam to Italy using the sleeper train from Munich to Milan, Verona, Bologna, Florence, Rome - time-effective, with dinner in Munich

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Munich by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Rome

Step 2, Munich to Florence & Rome by Nightjet sleeper train, seen here boarding on platform 11 at Munich Hbf.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

The same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

  6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Nightjet couchette car.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 5, Amsterdam to Italy using the Amsterdam-Innsbruck sleeper train and the scenic Brenner route - scenic & time-effective

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Innsbruck by Nightjet sleeper train.  Above, the Nightjet boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

The same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

EuroCity train to Verona about to leave Innsbruck

Step 2, Innsbruck to Verona, Bologna or Venice by Austrian EuroCity train.

2nd class seats in an open-plan car   Austrian first class seats

2nd class seats, some in open-plan saloons like this, some in 6-seat compartments.

 

1st class leather seats.  You'll also find seats in classic 6-seat compartments.

Mountains on the Brenner route.

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona.

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses.  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

Option 6, Amsterdam to Italy via the Gotthard route - with overnight stop in Heidelberg.

Option 7, Amsterdam to Italy via Munich & the scenic Brenner route - with overnight stop in Munich.

Option 8, Amsterdam to Italy via Paris from €64.  Fast & comfortable, but involves crossing Paris by metro or taxi

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Amsterdam to Barcelona, Madrid & Spain from €74

Option 1, Amsterdam to Barcelona in a single day.  Onwards to Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Granada or Seville next day

A Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris

Step 1, Amsterdam to Paris by Eurostar seen above at Paris Nord.  360º photos inside the trainMore about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

1st class (Comfort & Premium) seating on Thalys   2nd class seats on a Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam

Comfort & Premium seats, 2+1 across the car.  Larger photo.

 

Standard seats, 2+2 across.  Larger photo.

Crossing the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep

The train sweeps across the Moerdijk Bridge over the Hollands Diep one lazy evening, between Rotterdam & Antwerp.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de Lyon

Step 2, Paris to Barcelona by TGV Duplex.  Here, a TGV Duplex is boarding at Paris Gare de LyonMore about the Paris-Barcelona journey.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class a TGV Duplex upper deck   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class upper deck seats, club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

Lunch from the cafe-bar on the train to Barcelona   The hilltop cathedral at Beziers

Dinner from the cafe-bar.

 

View from the train, passing Béziers.

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees.  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canigou.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Paris, stay overnight in Paris, Paris to Barcelona & Spain next day

Option 3, Amsterdam to Paris by Eurostar, a French sleeper train to the Spanish border, then onward Spanish trains

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Amsterdam to San Sebastian from €63

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Amsterdam to Ibiza & Mallorca

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Amsterdam to Algeciras & Gibraltar
Madrid-Algeciras train at Madrid Atocha

An Intercity train (formerly branded Altaria), at Madrid Atocha.

Cafe-bar on Madrid-Algeciras train   Turista Plus seats on Madrid-Algeciras train

Cafe-bar, with bar stools.

 

Comfort class seats.

Turista seats on Madrid-Algeciras train   Algeciras station

Standard class seats.

 

Algeciras station, across the road from the bus station.

Bus M-120 for La Linea (Gibraltar's frontier) boarding at Algeciras bus station.   The Rock of Gribraltar, viewed from a taxi approaching La Linea

Bus M-120 boarding at Algeciras bus station

 

Rock of Gibraltar, seen from a taxi near La Linea.

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Amsterdam to Lisbon, Porto & Portugal from €122

Option 1, Amsterdam to Lisbon via Barcelona & Madrid.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Porto & Lisbon via San Sebastian & Vigo - slightly slower, can be cheaper

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Amsterdam to Andorra

Option 1, Amsterdam to Andorra in a day

TGV from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, for the train to San Sebastian

Paris to Toulouse by TGV Duplex.  This is a TGV Duplex at Paris Montparnasse. Click the images below for larger photos.

TGV Océane cafe-bar   TGV Océane 2nd class seats

TGV Océane cafe-bar, upper deck car 4 (or 14)

 

TGV Océane 2nd class.

TGV Océane 1st class seats   TGV Océane 1st class seat   TGV Océane 1st class drop-down table

TGV Océane 1st class.  An innovation on TGV Océane, all 1st class seats (except the end ones) rotate to face direction of travel, or can be rotated to make a face-to-face group of 2 or 4 seats.  The drop-down tables open to reveal USB & 2-pin power sockets.

Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station   Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station

Travel from Toulouse to Andorra by bus, seen at bus stand 15.  The bus station is right next to the rail station.

 

Bus station in Toulouse Matabiau forecourt.  Photos courtesy of Andrew McIntyre.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Andorra using the Paris-Toulouse-l'Hospitalet overnight train

Intercite de nuit overnight train at Paris Austerlitz

Paris to Toulouse or l'Hospitalet by Intercité de Nuit More about Intercités de Nuit.

Intercite de Nuit 2nd class 6-berth couchette   Intercite de Nuit 2nd class couchette

2nd class 6-berth couchettes.

 

A cosy 2nd class couchette.

Intercite de Nuit 1st class couchette   Intercite de Nuit 1st class 4-berth couchette

1st class couchette, made up for the night.

 

1st class 4-berth couchettes.

The castle at Foix

If you choose to go via l'Hospitalet, you stay on the sleeper train as it climbs into the Pyrenees south of Toulouse.  This is Foix, between Toulouse & l'Hospitalet.  The castle is on the right just south of the station.

Mountains in the Pyrenees

Beyond Foix, the sleeper train climbs higher into the mountains.

Mountain   l'Hospitalet station

...and arrives at Andorre-l'Hospitalet station, pictured above right.

Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station   Bus station next to Toulouse Matabiau station

Road transport to Andorra.  This is a Toulouse to Andorra bus at Toulouse bus stand 15.

 

The bus station in Toulouse Matabiau forecourt.  Photo courtesy of Andrew McIntyre.

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Amsterdam to Cologne, Frankfurt or anywhere in Germany from €18.90
ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M to Dusseldorf, Cologne & Frankfurt at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

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Amsterdam to Berlin from €37.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train - the daytime option

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train.  More about these Intercity trains.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Berlin by European Sleeper - the overnight option, 3 times a week

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

The European Sleeper.  This is a 5-berth couchette car, beyond is a stainless-steel sleeping-car. Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

Private sleeper, can be set up as 1, 2 or 3 bed.

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

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Amsterdam to Hamburg from €32.90
Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Osnabruck by Intercity train, seen here at Amsterdam Centraal.  Power sockets at all seats and a refreshment trolley.  More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

ICE4 at Hamburg Hbf

Step 2, Osnabruck to Hamburg by ICE4.  These come with a waiter-service restaurant car, cafe counter, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICEs.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4.

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4.  Sample menu.

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

Bar counter at the other end of the kitchen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4.

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Amsterdam to Munich from €37.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Munich by sleeper train - the most time-effective option:..

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

The Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Munich by daytime trains

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M to Frankfurt at Amsterdam.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Munich with overnight stop in Cologne

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Amsterdam to Vienna from €49.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Linz & Vienna by sleeper train - the most time-effective option

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

The Nightjet sleeper train boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Vienna in a single day

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

An ICE-T from Frankfurt to Vienna, at Frankfurt (Main) HbfMore about ICE-T trains.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant.  In 1st class you can choose to be served at your seat.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna.

Scenery from the train

You'll glimpse the Inn and Danube rivers from the Frankfurt-Vienna ICE.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Vienna with overnight stop in Cologne or Nuremberg

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Amsterdam to Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €37.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Austria by Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option

The Nightjet sleeper at Innsbruck

Above, a Comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet train at Innsbruck.  More about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Salzburg or Innsbruck by daytime trains

Option 3, Amsterdam to Salzburg with overnight stop in Cologne.  Comfortable & time-effective

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Amsterdam to Legoland, Odense & Copenhagen from €49.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Copenhagen in a single day

Option 2, Amsterdam to Copenhagen with an overnight stop in Hamburg

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Osnabruck by Intercity train, seen here at Amsterdam Centraal.  Power sockets at all seats and a refreshment trolley.  More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

ICE4 at Hamburg Hbf

Step 2, Osnabruck to Hamburg by ICE4.  These come with a waiter-service restaurant car, cafe counter, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICEs.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4.

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4.  Sample menu.

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

Bar counter at the other end of the kitchen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

Step 3, Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train.  From June 2023, these trains are temporarily being operated by former German Railways intercity cars and a Danish electric locomotive, until new trains being built by Talgo arrive in 2024.  The current trains have 1st & 2nd class, power sockets at seats, but no catering so bring your own food & drink.  More about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seats are almost all open-plan like this.  There are a handful of 6-seat 2nd class compartments in one of the coaches, but only a few.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   1st class 6-seat compartment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

The 1st class car has 6-seater compartments like this. Larger photo Larger photo.

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Amsterdam to Stockholm & Gothenburg from €56.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Stockholm using the new Hamburg-Stockholm sleeper train - the time-effective option

Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Hamburg Altona   6-berth couchette on the Hamburg-Stockholm SJ night train

The inaugural Hamburg to Stockholm SJ EuroNight train in Hamburg on 1 September 2022. The author rode this first departure.  More about this train.

6-berth couchettes.

Larger photo.

Standard sleeper, set up as a double   Hamburg-StockholmSJ EuroNight at Padborg

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo.

The inaugural train from Hamburg to Stockholm calls at Padborg, just after entering Denmark.

Scenery from the Hamburg to Stockholm train

Typical Swedish scenery on the morning run into Stockholm.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Stockholm with an overnight stop in Hamburg, from €56.90

Option 3, Amsterdam to Stockholm with an overnight stop in Copenhagen, from €56.90

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Osnabruck by Intercity train, seen here at Amsterdam Centraal.  Power sockets at all seats and a refreshment trolley.  More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

ICE4 at Hamburg Hbf

Step 2, Osnabruck to Hamburg by ICE4, with restaurant car, cafe counter, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICEs.

1st class on an ICE4 train   Restaurant car on an ICE4 train

1st class on an ICE4.

 

Restaurant car on an ICE4.  Sample menu.

Bar counter car on an ICE4 train   2nd class on an ICE4 train

Bar counter at the other end of the kitchen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE4.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

Step 3, Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train.  From June 2023, these trains are temporarily being operated by former German Railways intercity cars and a Danish electric locomotive, until new trains being built by Talgo arrive in 2024.  The current trains have 1st & 2nd class, power sockets at seats, but no catering so bring your own food & drink.  More about the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seats are almost all open-plan like this.  There are a handful of 6-seat 2nd class compartments in one of the coaches, but only a few.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   1st class 6-seat compartment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

The 1st class car has 6-seater compartments like this. Larger photo Larger photo.

An X2000 train at Stockholm Central

Step 4, Copenhagen to Stockholm by tilting 200km/h X2000, seen at Stockholm CentralMore about X2000 trains.

1st class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train 2nd class seats on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

1st class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class on an X2000.  Larger photo.

Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train   Bistro seating area on a Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train

Bistro seating on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

 

Bistro on an X2000 train. Larger photo.

On the Oresund link!

Crossing the impressive Öresund bridge from Denmark to Sweden.

Option 4, Amsterdam to Gothenburg using Stena Line's Kiel-Gothenburg overnight ferry

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Amsterdam to Oslo & Norway

Option 1, Amsterdam to Oslo with overnight stop in Hamburg - by train all the way

Option 2, Amsterdam to Oslo via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way

Option 3, Amsterdam to Oslo using the DFDS Copenhagen-Oslo ferry

Option 4, Amsterdam to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo cruise ferry - the most luxurious way to Oslo

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel.

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry.

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this.

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Amsterdam to Helsinki & Finland

Option 1, Amsterdam to Helsinki using the Finnlines ferry from Germany to Helsinki - the easiest option

Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki

Finnlines operate the Finnstar, Finnmaid & Finnlady on the Travemünde-Helsinki route.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Bartkowiak.  Photos below courtesy of Chris Russell.

Cabin on Finnlines ferry Travemunde-Helsinki   Gym on Finnlines ferry   Sauna on Finnlines ferry

Standard cabin.  Larger photo.

 

Gym with a view.

 

Sauna.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Helsinki by train to Stockholm & ferry to Helsinki

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Amsterdam to Prague from €46.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Prague by European Sleeper - the most direct & time-effective option, 3 times a week

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

The European Sleeper.  This is a 5-berth couchette car, beyond is a stainless-steel sleeping-car. Click the interior photos for larger images.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

5-berth couchette compartment, day mode.

European Sleeper 5 berth couchette   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

5-berth couchettes, night mode.

 

Breakfast can be added when you book.

European Sleeper runs along the Elbe river valley

On the glorious morning of 26 March 2024, the very first European Sleeper to Prague runs along the Elbe river valley between Dresden & Prague.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Prague by train in a single day - why not spend a few hours in Berlin?

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity trainMore about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

EuroCity train to Prague about to leave Berlin

Step 2, Berlin to Prague by EuroCity train, seen here boarding in Berlin.

First class on Prague to Budapest traiin   2nd class compartment on Prague to Budapest traiin

1st class seats.

 

2nd class seats in a compartment car.

Czech restaurant car on a Berlin to Prague train   Lunch in the restaurant car between Berlin & Prague

So civilised!  A meal in the Czech restaurant car as the Berlin-Prague express snakes along the beautiful Elbe river south of Dresden.  Most Berlin-Prague trains use Czech carriages like this, a few use Hungarian air-conditioned carriages.  See more photos, tips & info for the Berlin to Prague train ridePhoto courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Scenery along the river Elbe

Option 3, Amsterdam to Prague with an overnight stop in Berlin - breaks up the journey nicely, with a chance to see Berlin.

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Amsterdam to Cesky Krumlov & other Czech destinations

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Amsterdam to Bratislava & Slovakia from €46.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Bratislava using the Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option, recommended

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train, seen here at Amsterdam CentraalMore about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Nightjet couchette car.

The train from Vienna to Bratislava, at Vienna Huaptbahnhof...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

Step 2, Vienna to Bratislava by hourly Regional Express train, seen at Vienna Hbf.  Behind the locomotive is a smart Slovakian air-conditioned intercity coach, the rest of the train consists of more basic non-air-con Austrian City Shuttle carriages, with interiors as shown in the photo above right.  Find a seat in the more Slovakian car if you can!  More about these trains.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Bratislava in a single day from €46.90

Option 3, Amsterdam to Bratislava using the Berlin-Bratislava sleeper - A comfy & time-effective option

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity trainMore about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

Step 2, Berlin to Budapest by sleeper train Metropol, seen here boarding at Berlin Hbf.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a 2 bed.  Larger photo.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

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Amsterdam to Budapest from €56.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Budapest using the Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet sleeper train - the time-effective option, recommended

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train.  More about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

EuroCity train from Vienna to Budapest, at Budapest Keleti

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by EuroCity train.

1st class seats on a Hungarian EuroCity train   2nd class seats on a Hungarian EuroCity train

1st class is usually in 6-seat compartments.  Larger photo.

 

2nd class, open-plan saloon type, modernised.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Budapest in a single day from €56.90

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

An ICE3M to Germany at Amsterdam.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Budapest using the Berlin-Budapest sleeper - Another comfy & time-effective option

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.

EuroNight sleeper train from Berlin to Budapest

The Berlin to Budapest sleeper train Metropol, boarding at Berlin Hbf.

Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Budapest to Berlin   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a 2 bed.  Larger photo.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 4, Amsterdam to Budapest using the Stuttgart-Budapest sleeper - Another time-effective option with dinner in Stuttgart

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

The sleeper train Kalman Imre from Munich to  Budapest

Step 2, Stuttgart to Budapest by sleeper train.  More about this sleeper train.

The sleeper train from Zurich to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

2 bed sleeper, can also be set up as 1 or 3 bed.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes.

Option 5, Amsterdam to Budapest with overnight stop in Munich - if you prefer daytime trains & hotel to sleepers

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Amsterdam to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest from €109

Option 1, Amsterdam to Romania using a sleeper from Budapest

2-berth sleeper on the Ister   The Ister at Bucharest Nord

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) on the westbound Ister at Bucharest.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  Courtesy of DiscoverByRail.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the westbound Ister, boarding at Bucharest.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats by day.  Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Romania using a sleeper from Vienna

Dacia Express sleeper at Vienna   Dacia Express 2-bed sleeper

The Dacia Express sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  The Dacia has an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car of their most modern type.  Each compartment can be sold as a single, double or triple.  Most have a washbasin, two compartments have a shower & toilet.  Beds fold away to form a private sitting room for day use.  Sleeper interior courtesy of Jose Carlos Barbosa.  Larger photo.

Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest   Dacia Express couchette car

The Dacia Express couchette car, boarding at Vienna Hbf.  There is one Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6-berth compartments, bedding provided.  Larger photo.

Scenery in Transylvania

Transylvania:  The Dacia Express crosses rural Transylvania.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom.

Dacia Express Carpathian mountains

The Carpathian mountains:  Almost Alpine scenery between Brasov & Bucharest.  Courtesy of @PaliparanDotCom

Option 3, Amsterdam to Romania with overnight stop in Budapest - if you prefer day trains & a hotel to sleepers

The daytime train from Budapest to Bucharest

The daytime train from Budapest to Bucharest has modern air-conditioned Romanian carriages.  Three cars travel all the way, additional cars are attached whilst in Hungary, and additional cars and a bar car are attached between Drobeta Turnu Severin & Bucharest.

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   2nd class on the Budapest to Bucharest train

On the left, the daytime train to Bucharest is about to leave Budapest Keleti.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the Budapest to Bucharest train.  There are power outlets under the tables.  Larger photo.

Bar stools on the Budapest to Bucharest train   Bar car on the Budapest to Bucharest train

A bar car is attached between Drobeta Turnu Severin & Bucharest.  Photos courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com.

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Amsterdam to Ljubljana & Slovenia or Zagreb & Croatia from €72

Option 1, using the Amsterdam-Munich Nightjet sleeper train then scenic EuroCity train to Ljubljana & Zagreb

Option 2, by daytime trains to Stuttgart and Croatian sleeper train to Ljubljana & Zagreb - time-effective with dinner in Stuttgart

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Step 2, Stuttgart to Ljubljana & Zagreb by sleeper train.  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Stuttgart to Zagreb.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava.

Option 3, by daytime ICE train to Munich, overnight stop, then scenic EuroCity train to Ljubljana & Zagreb

A railjet train about to leave Munich Hbf

The 08:16 departure from Munich is a smart Austrian railjet across Austria to Villach on the Austrian-Slovenian border.  This is a railjet about to leave Munich Hbf.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps.  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the railjet snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful.,,

If you use the morning train from Munich, there's a quick & simple cross-platform change of train at Villach onto a Slovenian & Croatian train called the Sava.

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana & Zagreb.

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

More lovely scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 4, using the Amsterdam-Vienna nightjet sleeper train, morning in Vienna, EuroCity train to Zagreb. 

This is a slower option, if only because of the morning at leisure in Vienna, but it's straightforward & comfortable.

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train, seen here at Amsterdam CentraalMore about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

EuroCity train Croatia from Vienna to Zagreb

Step 2, Vienna to Zagreb on the EuroCity train Croatia.  This is the Croatia about to leave Vienna Hbf.

 

1st class open-plan seating as used on the Croatia.  1st class seats in 6-seat compartments are also available.

 

2nd class compartment as used on the Croatia.  Seats in open plan cars are also available.

Austrian restaurant car   Meal in an Austrian restaurant car on a Munich-Verona train

The elegant restaurant car.  See larger photo.

Dinner with wine on board.

Scenery from the train on the Semmering Railway

The Semmering Railway.  Shortly after calling at Vienna Neustadt, the Vienna-Zagreb train travels over the 41km (25 mile) Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You'll get these great views southbound in summer when it's light in the evening, and all year round from the northbound train.  Read more about the famous Semmering Railway at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semmering_railway.  Sadly, this slow, curvaceous and steep section of line will be by-passed in the mid-2020s when the new Semmering Base Tunnel opens, though this could save up to 90 minutes.

More scenery on the Semmering Railway   More scenery on the Semmering Railway

The train snakes its way over the Semmering Railway, summiting near Semmering itself at 898m (2,946 feet) above sea level.

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Amsterdam to Belgrade & Montenegro

Option 1, Amsterdam to Belgrade & beyond using the Stuttgart-Zagreb sleeper. 

The line between Budapest and Belgrade is currently blocked by long-term track upgrading work, so the way to go is via Zagreb.  The most direct and fastest way is usually to take the Munich-Zagreb sleeper as shown below.

ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Stuttgart by ICE with one easy change in Frankfurt. ICEs have a restaurant, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  Above, an ICE3M at Amsterdam Centraal.  More about ICE trains.

2nd class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train   1st class on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

2nd class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

 

1st class seats on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

Erdinger Weissbier on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE train   Restaurant car on the Frankfurt-Brussels ICE3M train

Proper china, metal cutlery.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See current month's menu.

 

Restaurant car:  This is the small 12-seat restaurant area on an ICE3M.  Larger photo.

The 'Lisinski' sleeper train from Munic to Zagreb, boarding in Munich

Step 2, Stuttgart to Zagreb by sleeper:  Above, the air-conditioned Croatian sleeping-car from Stuttgart to Zagreb.  It has 10 compartments with washbasin, each of which can be used as 1, 2 or 3 berth, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  Compartments convert to a private sitting room for evening or morning use.  A light breakfast is included in the sleeper fare.  The Croatian couchette car is the next vehicle to the right, also modern & air-conditioned with 4 & 6 bunk compartments, ideal for families.  Couchettes convert from bunks to seats for evening or morning use.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana, Zagreb & Belgrade

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava.

2nd class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train   The train from Belgrade to Zagreb & Zurich, about to leave Belgrade

Step 3, Zagreb to Belgrade by Serbian train.  There's no catering so bring your own food & drink.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Belgrade & beyond using the Zurich-Zagreb sleeper

The Zurich to Zagreb sleeper train boarding at Zurich HB

The Zurich-Zagreb sleeper train boarding at Zurich HB as the sun sets on a summer day.  That's the Croatian couchette car on the right, the Croatian sleeping-car on the left.  See the Croatian sleeper video.

Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   Sleeper compartment in the Croatian sleeping-car from Munich to Zagreb   4 or 6-berth couchettes on train from Munich to Zagreb

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper.

 

Set up as a single-berth.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes. 360º photo.

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

Wake up to scenery like this between Ljubljana & Zagreb, along the river Sava.

2nd class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train   The train from Belgrade to Zagreb & Zurich, about to leave Belgrade

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Amsterdam to Sofia

Option 1, Amsterdam to Sofia via Bucharest

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

Step 1, Amsterdam to Vienna by Nightjet sleeper train.  More about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photo Video of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet train.

A Railjet train at Budapest

Step 2, Vienna to Budapest by railjet, seen here arrived at Budapest Keleti.  More about railjet trains.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant car.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

Step 3, Budapest to Bucharest on the sleeper train MunteniaPhoto courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.com .

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

2-berth sleeper on the Ister   The Ister at Bucharest Nord

A Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 or 3-bed compartments is attached between Timisoara & Bucharest. Courtesy of @AndyBTravels, DiscoverByRail.comLarger photo.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Sofia via Belgrade

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Amsterdam to Warsaw & Poland from €49.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Warsaw in a single day - why not spend a few hours in Berlin on the way?

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train.  More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Lunch in the bistro car.

 

2nd class seats.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Step 2, Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train, seen here boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.  Some seats are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup, a tasty starter.

 

Kotlet Schabowy, served on proper china.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Warsaw using the Amsterdam-Berlin European Sleeper - the most time-effective way, runs 3 times a week

 

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by European Sleeper.  This is a 5-berth couchette car at Amsterdam Centraal, beyond is a stainless-steel sleeping-car.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin

Step 2, Berlin to Warsaw by EuroCity train, seen here boarding on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.   2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

1st class compartment.

 

2nd class.  Some seats are in compartments.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.

 

The bar counter.

 

Decent food, served on proper china.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Warsaw with overnight stop in Berlin - breaks up the trip nicely, with a chance to see Berlin.

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Amsterdam to Krakow from €49.90

Option 1, Amsterdam to Krakow in a day - possible from 10 December 2023

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by Intercity train.  More about these Intercity trains.

1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train   1st class compartment on the Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Lunch in the bistro car.

 

2nd class seats.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

Step 2, Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel.  This is the Wawel on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.

2nd class.  Some seats are in compartments.

 

1st class seats on the Wawel.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Krakow using the Amsterdam-Berlin European Sleeper - runs 3 times a week

The European Sleeper train at Amsterdam

Step 1, Amsterdam to Berlin by European Sleeper.  This is a 5-berth couchette car at Amsterdam Centraal, beyond is a stainless-steel sleeping-car.

Sleeping-car set up as a single   European Sleeper 5 berth couchette

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, set up as a single.

 

5-berth couchette compartment.

Berlin to Warsaw train at Berlin Hbf

Step 2, Berlin to Krakow by EuroCity train Wawel.  This is the Wawel on platform 11 at Berlin Hbf.

2nd class car on the Berlin to Warsaw train   1st class compartment on a Berlin to Warsaw train.

2nd class.  Some seats are in compartments.

 

1st class seats on the Wawel.

Restaurant car on the Berlin to Warsaw train

Restaurant car.  You don't need to reserve a table, just go along and sit down.  Larger photo.

Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train   Food in therestaurant car on the Berlin-Krakow train

Zurek soup - an excellent tasty starter.

 

Kotlet schabowy, served on proper china.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Krakow with overnight stop in Berlin - if you prefer day trains & hotel to sleepers, departures every day

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Amsterdam to Vilnius. Riga, Tallinn

Amsterdam to Lithuania with overnight stop in Warsaw

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Amsterdam to Kyiv & Ukraine

Option 1, Amsterdam to Kyiv via the Warsaw-Kyiv sleeper

The Kyiv Express has modernised Ukrainian sleeping-cars with 2-berth & 3-berth compartments.  All bedding is supplied, and washrooms and toilets are at the end of the corridor.  Berths convert to seats for daytime use.  A smartly-uniformed Ukrainian railways sleeper attendant travels with each car.

The Warsaw to Kiev train at Warsaw Centralna

A Ukrainian sleeping-car on the Kyiv ExpressCourtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin   The Kiev Express

1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper.

 

Washbasin.

 

Kyiv Express.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Lviv & Kyiv via Vienna - can be  more time-effective, with free time in Vienna

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeping-car boarding at Vienna Hbf.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kyiv sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf. Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

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Amsterdam to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia

Option 1, Amsterdam to Moscow using the daily Warsaw-Moscow sleeper train - suspended due to sanctions

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

Option 2, Amsterdam to Moscow using the Berlin-Moscow Strizh (Swift) sleeper train, twice a week - suspended due to sanctions

The Strizh sleeper train from Berlin to Moscow

The Strizh sleeper train from Berlin to Moscow, seen here boarding in Berlin.  It's a Spanish-built articulated Talgo train - note the relatively small size of each car, just one axle between each car.  Courtesy of Stuart Wilks & Jaap van Ginkel.

2-bed sleeper with washbasin, night   2-bed sleeper with washbasin, day mode   Complimentary toiletry pack in a Strizh sleeper

2-berth sleeper with washbasin, in night & daytime modes.

 

Complimentary toiletry pack.

Option 3, Amsterdam to Moscow via Kyiv - avoiding the need for Belarus visa

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Amsterdam to Athens, Corfu & Greece

Option 1, Amsterdam to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely option with an Adriatic cruise thrown in

Superfast ferry from Bari to Patras in Greece

The ferry Superfast II from Bari to Patras, boarding at Bari.  Photos courtesy of DiscoverByRail.com.

Boarding the ferry from Italy to Greece   Lounge and reception desk on the ferry to Greece

The passenger gangway, onto the ferry.

 

Reception desk & lounge on the ferry.

Lounge & bar on the ferry from Italy to Greece   Self-service restaurant on the ferry from Italy to Greece

Lounge and bar on the Superfast II.

 

Self-service restaurant.

En suite toilet & shower on ferry to Greece   Cabin on ferry from Italy to Greece

Private cabin with en suite toilet & shower.

Scenic views from the ferry from Italy to Greece

The ferry passes Cephalonia & Ithaca then approaches mainland Greece.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

The ferry from Bari arrives at Patras

The ferry approaches the new port of Patras.

Option 2, Amsterdam to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans, currently suspended

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Amsterdam to Istanbul & Turkey

This is an overland adventure, taking 3 nights

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Railbookers custom-made tours

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you as a package, arranging trains, hotels & transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

Canadian flag  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

Australian flag  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.


Hotels in Amsterdam

Book your accommodation in Amsterdam early, it can be difficult to find rooms at peak periods at short notice, the better & cheaper rooms quickly sell out.  You'll also find prices vary significantly even at the same hotel, depending on the season and what's going on in the city.

The ultimate Amsterdam hotel:  The Grand

The ultimate place to stay is The Grand, now the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam.  From around €300 per night upwards for a double room, this is one of the most famous hotel in Amsterdam, 5 minutes walk from Dam Square and 10 minutes walk from Centraal Station.  For something smaller, slightly cheaper but equally special, try the Canal House boutique hotel, 15 minutes walk from the station, €205 upwards.

Mid-range to top end

The Park Plaza Victoria Hotel gets great reviews and is very convenient as it's on the corner just across the road from Amsterdam Centraal station, doubles from around €135 upwards per night.  In a similar price bracket, try the Kimpton de Witt Amsterdam Centre, 6 minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal and also with excellent reviews. 

Mid-range

The Hotel Luxer is cheaper, from around €109 upwards per night, and also just 7 minutes walk from Centraal station with great reviews.  Also try The Times Hotel, Hotel Tourist Inn or Daily Rooms Hotel.  Or the Hotel Sebastians, around €115 per night, equally well located 10 minutes walk from Centraal station, another hotel which gets great reviews.

Cheap but good

There are many cheap hotels, including many near the station, but very few get outstanding reviews.  For ones that do, try the floating boat hotel AmiciA (formerly Friesland), around €45 per night 15 minutes walk from the station or the Rembrandt Hotel from €80, 10 min walk from Dam Square though 20 minutes walk from the station.

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.


Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection & gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility listMaya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than digging a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from Buy from Amazon.com.

 


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