Amsterdam is the perfect base for exploring the Netherlands by train. Its key position on the European rail network also makes it a popular first stop for travellers from Britain setting off to explore the continent by train.

The city’s celebrated canals and traditional housing give the centre of Amsterdam a remarkable small town feel. Its compact size makes the city ideal for exploring on foot or by bike. The city is notably gay-friendly and laid back. Whether you just want to take the pulse of local life in backstreet cafés or sample Amsterdam’s world-class art galleries, the city is first and foremost a place to chill.

The main rail hub is Centraal Station (often just called CS). It is at the northern edge of the city centre. Amsterdam is a key hub in the Dutch national rail network with departures at least hourly to most major cities across the Netherlands. From London, the usual route is with Eurostar to Brussels, connecting there onto either a Thalys or IC train for the onward journey to Amsterdam. In late 2017, Eurostar will launch a direct London to Amsterdam service.

Amsterdam already has an excellent range of direct international connections. These include regular Thalys services to Brussels and Paris. A hourly InterCity (IC) service leaves Amsterdam for Antwerp and Brussels, serving principal cities along the way. There are seven daily ICE departures to Cologne and Frankfurt. IC trains leave every two hours for Hannover and Berlin. There is a useful direct daytime train to Basel in Switzerland. Although there are no direct international night trains from Amsterdam (from mid-December 2016), there is an evening train from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf which connects conveniently into direct overnight services to Munich, Innsbruck, Linz and Vienna.

Popular train journeys to Amsterdam

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