Trains to the Netherlands
National rail operator
Facts about Netherlands
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Timezone: 1+ UTC
- Language: Dutch, Frisian
The Netherlands are tailor-made for rail travel. The country benefits from a very efficient rail network with punctual trains running at regular intervals on all routes. All major Dutch cities can be reached in a train ride of three hours or less from either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. There is just one domestic high-speed service, namely the 117-km stretch from Amsterdam to Breda which makes just two stops along the way (at Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam). There also is a useful all-night train network linking principal cities in the Netherlands.
Eurostar launched a new direct service from London to the Netherlands in April 2018. The direct trains from London serve both Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The journey from London to Amsterdam takes under four hours.
Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht all pull the crowds. They are all worth a visit, but make time too for smaller communities. Gouda, Delft, ’s-Hertogenbosch and Haarlem are all great spots for day excursions or a weekend break. Visitors to the Netherlands discover much more than tulips and windmills. There's an edgy cultural scene, and a big helping of world-class museums, but for many visitors the enduring appeal of the Netherlands is in the country's laid-back ways and quiet commitment to the good life.
The Netherlands enjoy excellent rail links to other cities in western Europe. High-speed Thalys trains link Amsterdam and Rotterdam with Paris. Thalys also runs seasonal services to the French Alps. German ICE trains run regularly from Amsterdam and Utrecht to Cologne and beyond. There is a daily direct ICE train to Basel in Switzerland. And Intercity (IC) trains run every two hours from Amsterdam and Amersfoort to Hannover and Berlin. Apart from the fast Thalys trains crossing the Dutch-Belgian border there are also local and regional services, including an hourly IC train from Amsterdam and Rotterdam to Antwerp and Brussels.
For overnight journeys to cities such as Vienna, Linz, Munich or Innsbruck it is best to travel first to Düsseldorf in Germany, from where Austrian operator ÖBB provides a range of direct overnight services.