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Trains in the Netherlands

Travelling on trains in the Netherlands is ridiculously easy! You can use high-speed speed trains to get to all the major cities including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. To travel to even more of Holland's beaches, cheese towns and beautiful fishing villages, you can use the country's really comfortable regional trains.

Map with main train connections in the Netherlands
Map with main train connections in the Netherlands

Train types in Netherlands

You can travel throughout the Netherlands using trains run by the national operator NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). High-speed trains connect the Netherlands to cities in neigbouring countries and beyond. You can find times for trains in the Netherlands in the Interrail timetable.

Image of 3 yellow and blue stationary trains on the tracks of Groningen railway station

Regional and Intercity trains in the Netherlands

 

Intercity (IC)

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

  • No reservation required.

 

Sprinter (RE)

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

  • No reservation required.

Domestic high-speed trains in the Netherlands

 

Intercity direct (IC)

  • On this train, formerly known as Fyra, you can ride even faster between Amsterdam Central, Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam Central and Breda.

International high-speed trains in the Netherlands

 

ICE (ICE)

  • Connects Amsterdam with Frankfurt (Germany).

  • Reservations are optional. It's worth making one if you'll be travelling at a busy period.

 

Intercity Berlin (IC)

  • Reach Berlin from Amsterdam in 6 hours 20 minutes.

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

 

Intercity Brussels (IC)

  • Connects The Hague and Rotterdam with Brussels (Belgium).

  • Reservations are not required.

 

Thalys (THA)

  • For travel between Amsterdam, Brussels (Belgium) and Paris (France).

  • Reservations are compulsory for these trains, which can get fully booked. We recommend making your reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Reservations for trains in Netherlands

How can I make reservations for trains in the Netherlands?

  • Online: using our Reservation Service.

  • At local railways stations: at the ticket offices.

  • By phone. Contact the NS International call centre Monday to Friday at local times: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (8:00 to 21:00) or Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (10:00 to 18:00).

 

What can I expect when calling NS International?

  1. Call NS International on +31 030 2300023

  2. You'll hear a menu in Dutch. Choose extension ‘1’ to hear services in English.

  3. Next, choose extension ‘1’ to book the Thalys or ‘2’ for trains to various other European countries.

  4. Only 2 reservations per call are permitted.

  5. There is a €12.50 booking fee but no delivery costs.

  6. Payment over the phone can be made with a Visa or MasterCard credit card.

  7. Reservations made through the call center can only be delivered to addresses in the Netherlands. You can collect your reservations at a NS International ticket office or self-service machine in a main Dutch train station. To do so you'll need your booking code.

 

Get more info about reservations

Domestic connections in Netherlands

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

 

Route Duration

Amsterdam to Groningen

2 hours 10 mins

Amsterdam to Leeuwarden

2 hours 10 mins

Amsterdam to Maastricht

2 hours 30 mins

Amsterdam to Rotterdam

40 minutes

Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport

15 minutes

Amsterdam to The Hague

50 minutes

Amsterdam to Utrecht

27 minutes

popular-connections-the-netherlands

International train connections to and from Netherlands

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

RouteWhich train?DurationReservations
Amsterdam to Berlin (Germany)Intercity Berlin6 hours 20 minsOptional
Amsterdam to Düsseldorf (Germany)ICE2 hours 10 minsOptional
Amsterdam to Frankfurt (Germany)ICE4 hoursOptional
Amsterdam to Paris (France)Thalys3 hours 30 minsRequired
Rotterdam to Brussels (Belgium)Intercity Brussels2 hours 10 minsNot required
The Hague to Brussels (Belgium)Intercity Brussels2 hours 30 minsNot required

Netherlands rail passes

Image of a mother and father carrying their son along a Dutch railway plaform while pulling their cases beside a yellow train

With 1 rail pass you can conveniently explore the Netherlands without having to buy separate train tickets. All domestic trains in the Netherlands are covered, as well as more countries!

 

Interrail Pass options for the Netherlands

 

Interrail Benelux Pass

  • Offers you rail travel in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg

  • Discounts available for youth, senior and families

  • Additional benefits include a discounted ferry crossing from Hoek van Holland to Harwich (Great-Britain)

  • Prices from € 105

 

View Benelux Passes

 

Interrail Global Pass

  • Travel by train as much as you like in 33 European countries including the Netherlands

  • Discounts available for youth, senior and families

  • Additional benefits include a discounted ferry crossing from Hoek van Holland to Harwich (Great-Britain)

  • Prices from € 185

 

View Global Passes

Train stations in Netherlands

Image of 2 men with a case and backpack walking through a large train station hall

What are the main train stations in the Netherlands?

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

  • Amsterdam Central Station

  • Rotterdam Central Station

  • Utrecht Central Station

 

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

  • Lockers for storing your stuff

  • Cash machines and foreign exchange desks

  • Cafés, restaurants and shops

  • Tourist information offices

  • Elevators, escalators and access for disabled passengers

Netherlands train station entrance gate

Are there entry gates at Dutch train stations?

Yes. If you're travelling with an Interrail Pass, simply hold the square barcode on your pass cover against the scanner on the entry gate to open it.

 

Please make sure you're using the correct entry gate, as shown in the photo. It's recognizable by the arrow in the bottom right and the image showing a pink card (Dutch train chipcard) and a hand holding a ticket with a QR code.

 

If you attempt to go through gate that only shows the pink card, you won't be able to open it with your Interrail Pass.

 

Are there lounges at Dutch train stations?

Yes and best of all, holders of an Interrail Pass valid in the Netherlands can enter them for free! There are NS International lounges in the following Dutch railways stations:

  • Amsterdam Central Station

  • Breda Central Station

  • Rotterdam Central Station

  • Station Schiphol Airport

Spelling of cities in Netherlands

Image of a backpacker checking train times screens on a railway platform

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

 

Good to know:

  • Centraal Station = Central Station

  • Den Haag = The Hague

  • Hoek van Holland = Hook of Holland

Bicycles on trains in the Netherlands

Image of bikes parked by a wall beside a yellow Dutch train

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

 

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

 

Can I take my bike on Dutch trains?

Yes. There are even guidelines for this:

  • You can take your bike on Dutch trains:

    • At weekends, on public holidays and in July and August.

    • On workdays, outside rush hour.

  • You need to buy a Bicycle Day Ticket and place your bike in the train's bicycle area (look for the symbol on the door).

  • Folding bikes can be carried as regular luggage, for free.

Example train route in the Benelux

Map with example route in Luxembourg

An Interrail Benelux Pass covers train travel in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

 

Route

Amsterdam > Maastricht > Brussels > Luxembourg City

 

  1. Amsterdam: Wander through the historical city center and breathe in the vibrant atmosphere.

  2. Antwerp: Well known for its trendy fashion boutiques and beautiful architecture.

  3. Brussels: Bustling with culture – be sure to take a stroll at the Grand Place square.

  4. Luxembourg City: Soaked in luxury and history. Enjoy amazing scenery at Chemin de la Corniche – ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony'.

 

Pass suggestion

 

View Interrail Benelux Passes