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How to travel from Amsterdam to Frankfurt without the ICE

Alternative scenic routes to explore Europe by train

 

 

Want to know how to travel from Amsterdam to Frankfurt or vice versa with Interrail or Eurail? European train travel is more popular than ever. And seat reservations for the ICE route from Amsterdam to Frankfurt will sell like hotcakes this summer. 

 

In anticipation of a busy summer on the European rails, our partner railways, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and Deutsche Bahn (DB), have taken steps to safeguard the safety of travellers on the popular route between the Netherlands and Germany.

 

What does this mean? 

Seat reservations will be mandatory from 17 June until 18 August for all travellers (including Pass holders) aboard the following ICE trains on the Amsterdam to Frankfurt route: 

ICE 121 - 06:38 

ICE 225 - 08:08 / ICE 255 - 07:38 

ICE 123 - 10:38 / ICE 153 - 09:08 

ICE 125 - 12:38 / ICE 155 - 12:08 

ICE 127 - 14:38 / ICE 157 - 14:08 

ICE 129 - 16:38 / ICE 159 - 17:08 

ICE 221 - 18:38 / ICE 251 - 18:38

(ICE train number + departure time from Amsterdam Centraal)

 

Book your seats now or consider our alternative reservation-free scenic routes later for a hassle-free train trip with stunning views. 

 

Do you have a Eurail Pass? 

If you still need to book your flights to Europe and don't want to take the slow train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, why not fly into Frankfurt, Berlin or Basel to save precious travel time?

Ellie Kingswell

Writer @Interrail

Book your seats for the high-speed route now. Go to our reservations service or Deutsche Bahn's website if you want to whoosh from Amsterdam to Frankfurt at 300 km/h. 

 

Scenic routes are the best way to see Europe

Europe has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, so it's worth slowing down on some of these scenic routes to fully appreciate its sprawling beauty from the comfort of the train (especially if you have time to make an overnight stop at some lesser-known destinations). 

 

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See more for less 

On a budget? Most scenic trains will save you money with Interrail as they don't often require additional seat reservations. Travel long distances on reservation-free routes & enjoy life in the slow lane. 

 

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Feel connected

Scenic trains allow you to travel in the slow lane and fully immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll catch a glimpse of how the locals live, and you'll feel more connected with humankind. 

 

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Have a positive impact 

Bored of overcrowded cities? Hop on scenic trains and help us transform rail travel into an even more sustainable option to empower and protect wildlife, smaller towns and communities. 

 

Alternative scenic routes in Europe

 

Frankfurt's a medieval city with a modern twist

Want to use Frankfurt Main HBH as a transport hub only? Think again! We can't deny that Frankfurt or ‘Mainhatten’ is known as Germany’s financial and business capital; however, this overlooked megalopolis is a medieval city of contrasts with a modern twist. 

 

Discover the city’s smallest but most Instagrammable district on a walk through the narrow cobblestone streets of Aldstadt. Embrace the fairytale as you step back in time and take snaps of St Nicolas Church and the gingerbread house buildings like Römer (City Hall).  

 

Visit the distinctive glass fortress known as MAIN TOWER and ascend to the observation deck on the 55th floor (‘Frankfurt's highest vantage point’). Steady your nerves as you edge towards the transparent glass railings to enjoy the best birds-eye view of the Old City and River Main.

 

Fun fact: Frankfurt is home to 14 of Germany’s 15 tallest skyscrapers & the Frankfurter (Hot Dog). 

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How to get from Amsterdam to Frankfurt by train

Here are our Top 3 alternative routes to travel from Amsterdam to Frankfurt without the ICE.

 

1.  Amsterdam - Venlo - Düsseldorf - Frankfurt

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Venlo
  • Take a regional train from Venlo to Düsseldorf
  • Catch the ICE from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt

Travel time: 4h55m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

2. Amsterdam - Heerlen - Aachen - Frankfurt

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Heerleen 
  • Take a regional train from Heerleen to Aachen
  • Catch the ICE from Aachen to Frankfurt

Travel time: 5h15m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

3. Amsterdam - Arnhem - Duisburg - Frankfurt

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Arnhem
  • Take a regional train from Arnhem to Duisburg
  • Catch the ICE from Duisburg to Frankfurt

Travel time: 5h25m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

Explore Europe’s most underground city

Berlin holds a lot of secrets. It's one of Germany’s über coolest places to visit and is open-minded, eclectic and downright individual. Mix your trip with a peek into old and recent history, along with an exploration of some of Berlin’s great artistic expression. 

 

Find the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall for a stark reminder of the hostility that once divided Europe. Stop at the Reichstag, Berliner Dom, Checkpoint Charlie, and Memorial to the Murdered Jews before walking under the Brandenburg Gate (a symbol of unity and peace). 

 

By night, get lost in Berlin’s hidden underground scene and see why it has become the city of choice for the young and young at heart. The Hauptbahnhof is Berlin’s main train station and is worth checking out for the impressive architecture of the building.

 

Fun fact: Despite the Hoff-Mania craze, David Hasselhoff hates that he was given credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. 

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How to get from Amsterdam to Berlin by train

Here are our Top 3 alternative routes to travel from Amsterdam to Berlin without the ICE. 

 

1. Amsterdam - Hannover - Berlin

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Hannover

  • Catch the ICE from Hannover to Berlin

Travel time: 6h5m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

2. Amsterdam to Berlin 

  • Ride the direct IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin (via Münster in summer). 

Travel time: 6h15m

Travel time in summer: 7hr15m (via Münster)

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

3. Amsterdam - Hengelo - Osnabrück - Berlin

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Hengelo

  • Take a regional train from Hengelo to Osnabrück

  • Catch the ICE from Osnabrück to Berlin

Travel time: 6h50m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

Face a delightful trilemma in Basel!

Switzerland serves up some of the most dramatic rail routes and delicious food in Europe. Stay in beautiful Basel to be a stone’s throw away from France and Germany. Use your Global Pass to travel seamlessly over the border to cross these countries off your bucket list.

 

Explore the town’s colourful array of red sandstone buildings and national heritage sites. Head to the Aldstadt and look for Holbein Fountain on Spalenvorstadt, the patchwork townhouses on Petersgasse or the Monkey Fountain on Andreasplat (and yes, he's a cheeky monkey!). 

 

Good to know:

  • BLT runs a few regional trains in and around Basel (your Global Pass is valid).
  • BVB (not BLT) operate the city trams in Basel; however, your Global Pass is NOT valid on the tram network. 

 

Fun fact: Erasmus, the 16th-century theologian and humanist, once walked the streets of Basel.

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How to get from Amsterdam to Basel by train

Here are our Top 3 alternative routes to travel from Amsterdam to Basel without the ICE. 

 

1. Amsterdam - Venlo - Düsseldorf - Basel

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Venlo

  • Take a regional train from Venlo to Düsseldorf

  • Catch the ICE from Düsseldorf to Basel

Travel time: 7h55m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

2. Amsterdam - Arnhem - Düsseldorf - Basel

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Arnhem

  • Take a regional train from Arnhem to Düsseldorf

  • Catch the ICE from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt

Travel time: 8h25m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

3. Amsterdam - Münster - Basel (July only)

  • Ride the IC from Amsterdam Centraal to Münster

  • Catch the ICE from Münster to Basel

Travel time: 9h35m

Covered by the Global Pass: Yes ― no reservation necessary.

 

Ready to board the scenic trains? 

Experience the slow train now you know how to get from Amsterdam to Frankfurt without the ICE. This summer, make the most of these reservation-free scenic routes with your Global Pass and enjoy the freedom and flexibility to linger for longer in Europe. 

 

 

 

 

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