Trains in the Netherlands

Image of a Dutch train passing tulip fields, trees and a river

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.

Train types in the Netherlands
Reservations for trains in the Netherlands
Domestic connections in the Netherlands
International connections to and from the Netherlands
The Netherlands rail passes
Train stations in the Netherlands
Spelling of cities in the Netherlands
Bicycles on trains in the Netherlands
Example train route from 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.

  • A small supplement is required to take this train.


International high-speed trains in the Netherlands



  • 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).

  • No reservation required, although we recommend making one during busy times such as weekends.


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 the Interrail 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

Map with popular connections in the 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.




Amsterdam to Rotterdam

40 minutes

Amsterdam to Schiphol Airport

15 minutes

Amsterdam to Utrecht

27 minutes

Amsterdam to Maastricht

2 hours 30 mins

Amsterdam to The Hague

50 minutes

Amsterdam to Groningen

2 hours 10 mins

Amsterdam to Leeuwarden

2 hours 10 mins

International train connections to and from Netherlands


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

Country Cities Which train? Duration Reservations
Belgium Brussels to The Hague Intercity Brussels 2 hours 30 mins Not required
Brussels to Rotterdam Intercity Brussels 2 hours 10 mins Not required
France Paris to Amsterdam Thalys 3 hours 30 mins Required
Germany Frankfurt to Amsterdam ICE 4 hours Optional
Düsseldorf to Amsterdam ICE 2 hours 10 mins Optional
Berlin to Amsterdam Intercity Berlin 6 hours 20 mins Optional

Netherlands rail passes


With 1 rail pass you can conveniently explore the Netherlands without having to buy separate train tickets. All domestic trains in Holland and 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 € 87


View Benelux Passes


Interrail Global Pass

  • Travel by train as much as you like in 30 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 € 200


View Global Passes

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

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


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.


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

Cycle from Dutch stations

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.



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

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