Trains in the Netherlands

Dutch train crossing bridge

Explore the Netherlands by train with a InterRail pass and travel from easy-going capital Amsterdam to cities covered with history like Utrecht and Maastricht. Spend a few days at one of Holland's beaches and visit the mills of Kinderdijk for a peak into Dutch history.

Visit Holland's most popular cities Amsterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, Rotterdam and The Hague by regional, high-speed or night train to discover Dutch culture and traditions and maybe spot a tulip field along the way.

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
Pass benefits in the Netherlands
Spelling of cities in the Netherlands

Map with main train connections in the Netherlands

Train types in Netherlands

 

There are a number of train types in the Netherlands ready to transport you both day and night. Most of the Dutch network is operated by NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen). Use the InterRail train timetable to check times for trains in the Netherlands.

 

Regional and Intercity trains in the Netherlands Dutch train running through tulip fields, the Netherlands

The main rail network in the Netherlands is made up of the following regional and Intercity trains:

  • Intercity trains link larger cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht.

  • Sprinter trains connect regional destinations with larger Dutch cities. These trains are slower than Intercity trains.

 

On the InterRail timetable Intercity trains appear as "IC". Sprinter trains appear in the timetable as well, but not with an abbreviation. Reservations are not required for Intercity and Sprinter trains.

High-speed trains in the Netherlands

International high-speed trains in the Netherlands

These high-speed trains operate to and from the Netherlands:

  • ICE trains operate between Amsterdam and Frankfurt (Germany).

  • IC trains connect Amsterdam with Berlin (Germany).

  • InterCity trains link The Hague and Rotterdam with Brussels (Belgium).

  • Thalys trains connect Amsterdam with Brussels (Belgium) and Paris (France).

 

Domestic high-speed trains in the Netherlands

The InterCity Direct high-speed train (formerly known as Fyra) operates on the route Amsterdam – Schiphol – Rotterdam – Breda.

 

On the InterRail timetable ICE trains are shown as "ICE", IC and InterCity trains appears as "IC", and Thalys as "THA".  Reservations for Thalys trains are compulsory and we recommend you make them as soon as possible. A reservation is not required for ICE and IC trains, but we recommend you make them during busy times.

Night trains in the Netherlands Map with night train routes in the Netherlands

International night trains in the Netherlands

The following night trains connect the Netherlands with Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Switzerland.

  • City Night Line (CNL):
    Connects the Netherlands to key cities in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

  • Euronight (EN):
    Links Amsterdam with Berlin (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland).

 

City Night Line trains appear on the InterRail timetable as "CNL", EuroNight trains are listed as "EN". You're required to book sleeping accommodation in advance.

Reservations for trains in Netherlands

 

Domestic trains in the Netherlands do not require a reservation. You can just hop on and off. A supplement is required for the InterCity Direct (formerly known as Fyra) high-speed train between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Reservations are compulsory for night trains and international high-speed trains. Prices for night trains depend on the type of sleeping accommodation you choose.

 

How to make reservations for trains in the Netherlands

You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:

  • At a ticket desk at local train stations.

  • By phone through the NS high-speed call centre.
    Phone number: +31 302 331 676
    Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. (8:00-21:00) and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (10:00-18:00) (local times).

  • When calling, you’ll hear a menu in Dutch. Select extension ‘1’ for services in English and then ‘1’ to book the Thalys or ‘2’ to book other trains. NS HiSpeed can book trains in various European countries (€12.50 booking fee; 2 reservations per call allowed). You have to pay for reservations made over the phone with a Visa or MasterCard credit card.
    Through the call centre reservations can only be delivered to addresses in the Netherlands. There are no delivery costs. You can also pick up your reservations at a NS HiSpeed ticket desk or at a self-service machine. Just go to a Dutch train station with a NS HiSpeed desk with your booking code.

 

Read more about reservations

Domestic connections in Netherlands

 
Map with popular connections in the Netherlands

View approximate train travel times between Holland's most popular cities using Intercity trains:

From 

To

Intercity train

Amsterdam

Rotterdam

40min

Amsterdam

Schiphol

15min

Amsterdam

Utrecht

27min

Amsterdam

Maastricht

2hr 30min

Amsterdam

The Hague

50min

Amsterdam

Groningen

2hr 10min

Amsterdam

Leeuwarden

2hr 10min

International train connections to and from Netherlands

 

We suggest the following routes to travel between the Netherlands and other European countries:

  • Belgium – the Netherlands
    Take an InterCity train from The Hague or Rotterdam to Brussels (1hr 45min)

  • France – the Netherlands
    Arrive in Amsterdam on the high-speed Thalys train from Paris (3hr 30min).

  • Germany – the Netherlands
    Go by day from  from  Amsterdam to Frankfurt (4hr) or Düsseldorf (2hr 10min) by ICE train or travel by night between Amsterdam and Berlin (9hr 30min) with the City Night Line. 

Netherlands rail passes

 

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) are considered as one country within the InterRail passes. InterRail Benelux passes let you see all of Benelux's top cities like Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Luxembourg city. We offer the Benelux rail pass and passes that combine Benelux with other European countries.

 

Rail pass options for the Netherlands

  • InterRail Global Pass starting from € 184 –  have the freedom to visit the Netherlands and up to 29 other InterRail countries.

  • InterRail Benelux Pass starting from € 83  spend your whole vacation to discover Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg by rail.

 

Example train route in the Benelux

Experience the best of the Benelux on a single trip with a InterRail pass. You can follow the suggested route below using a InterRail Benelux Pass3 days within 1 month, starting from€ 83.

 

1. Amsterdam

Wander through Amsterdam’s beautiful historical city centre and breathe in the vibrant atmosphere.

 

2. Maastricht

Maastricht is an international city with a long history. Enjoy Roman and Spanish ruins, great cuisine and cosy cobbled streets.

 

3. Brussels

Brussels is bustling with culture – make sure you take a stroll around the Grand Place square.

 

4. Luxembourg

Luxembourg city is soaked in luxury and history. Wander around the old town or enjoy amazing scenery at Chemin de la Corniche – ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony’.

 

Map with example route in Benelux

Train stations in Netherlands

 
Amsterdam Central station

Dutch hub stations

The main hub stations in the Netherlands are Amsterdam Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal. At these train stations, it's possible to connect to trains to Holland’s main cities and many international destinations.

 

Station facilities

Stations in the Netherlands usually have excellent facilities, often including:

  • Luggage lockers

  • Foreign exchange desks

  • Restaurants and cafés

  • Tourist information offices

  • ATM cash machines

  • Elevators and escalators

  • Access for disabled passengers

 

Pass benefits for Netherlands

 
Lounge Amsterdam Centraal

Discounted ferry crossings to Great Britain

Discounted ferry travel is an extra benefit of a InterRail pass valid in the Netherlands on the route:

  • Hoek van Holland – Harwich (Great-Britain)

 

Access to NS Hispeed lounges

InterRail pass holders can also access the NS HiSpeed lounges on the following train stations for free:

  • Amsterdam Centraal

  • Breda

  • Rotterdam Centraal

  • Schiphol

Spelling of cities in Netherlands

 

On Dutch train timetables and at train stations in the Netherlands, you'll usually find the local spelling of Dutch cities and stations.

 
Here is the local spelling of some popular Dutch cities:

  • Den Haag = The Hague

  • Hoek van Holland = Hook of Holland

Related pages

 
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