Fastest journey3hr 32m
It is an easy journey by train from Paris to Utrecht. You’ll need to make just one change of train along the way. The journey starts with a high-speed run on a Thalys train from Paris to the Netherlands. You then change at Rotterdam Centraal, Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam Centraal onto a Dutch domestic Intercity service for the short onward hop to Utrecht.
In terms of fares and overall travel time, it makes little difference where you change. The journey we describe here is via Schiphol Airport. Whichever route you choose, bookings for this journey normally open three months prior to travel.
Paris to Amsterdam
The sleek red Thalys trains used on the Paris to Schiphol and Amsterdam route are very much like regular French TGVs, but with Thalys’ own distinctive corporate decor. The departure point in Paris is the Gare du Nord. These very comfortable trains take just three hours for the run to Schiphol Airport, making just three intermediate stops along the way at Brussels, Antwerp and Rotterdam. The route crosses Picardy and Flanders, so lots of pancake-flat terrain with glimpses of pretty towns and villages along the way.
Amsterdam Schiphol may be mainly associated with planes, but it’s an important hub on the Dutch domestic rail network, so upon arrival in Schiphol you’ll find a useful range of onward connections to cities across the Netherlands. Experienced travellers often favour it as an easier place to change trains than Amsterdam Centraal.
Amsterdam to Utrecht
From early morning until late evening, there are four Intercity trains each hour from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Utrecht. After midnight direct trains to Utrecht run hourly. The route cuts through the southern suburbs of Amsterdam, with trains making two intermediate stops on the 30-minute journey to Utrecht. You’ll arrive at the Centraal station in Utrecht, from where it is a short walk east to the heart of the Old Town.