How to travel by train or ferry from London to
Amsterdam & the Netherlands
Option 1: London-Amsterdam by train+ferry, overnight with cabin:
This is the most convenient & time-effective way to go, and
one ticket covers the whole journey: £55 one-way,
£110 return from central London to central Amsterdam or anywhere else
in the Netherlands. The fare includes the train to Harwich,
a private cabin on the ferry with en suite shower/toilet, and
onwards train travel in the Netherlands. Leave central London
in the evening, sleep on the ferry, and arrive in Rotterdam,
the Hague or Amsterdam next morning.
It runs daily, ideal for a weekend away or an eco-friendly business trip.
One ticket covers the whole journey, as Stena Line, National Express Trains
East Anglia & NS (Dutch railways) sell cheap combined train+ferry fares from
London or any National Express East Anglia railway station to Amsterdam or
any rail station in the Netherlands. Stena Line withdrew its fuel-thirsty HSS
fast ferry on this route in January 2007, and opened up its conventional
ferries to foot passengers. Both Stena Line ships, the Stena Hollandica
& Stena Britannica, have undergone a £75m rebuild with more cabins,
better passenger facilities, additional bars and restaurants.
To achieve this, they've each had a huge new centre section welded in,
making them the longest ships of their type in the world.
Option 2, London-Amsterdam by Eurostar, daytime:
This is the high-speed daytime option taking just 5 hours 36 minutes city centre
to city-centre (compare this with around 4½ hours by air in total),
with a wide choice of departures and no sea crossing involved.
You take Eurostar from London to Brussels via the Channel Tunnel,
then either the hourly InterCity train or a high-speed
Thalys train train from Brussels to Amsterdam.
It's a comfortable & relaxed way to travel, especially when
compared to flying. Fares from £69 to £149 return,
book early for the cheapest prices.
Taking Eurostar to Brussels and a connecting train to Amsterdam
is an excellent way to go, faster than the train+ferry, and there is
a wider choice of departures. It's a very comfortable way to travel,
and it avoids a sea crossing if that's important to you.
There are two options: You can combine Eurostar with the regular
hourly InterCity trains between Brussels & Amsterdam, or combine
Eurostar with slightly faster, more comfortable but less frequent and
much less flexible Thalys high-speed trains between Brussels and Amsterdam.
InterCity trains are more frequent and don't require seat reservations,
so can be more flexible if you want to stop off in Brussels.
But the Thalys trains are more comfortable and faster, though only
slightly faster, as there's as yet no separate high-speed line between Brussels
and Amsterdam so they use the same tracks as the InterCity trains.
You can buy through tickets between London and Amsterdam via both
of these options.
Top tip: For a plane-free weekend in Amsterdam, catch a Friday night
Eurostar to Brussels, spend the night there, and continue to Amsterdam
on Saturday by InterCity train. The London-Amsterdam Eurostar+InterCity
train fare allows you to stop off in Brussels for up to 24 hours if you want.
There are InterCity trains from Brussels to Amsterdam every hour all day,
no seat reservation necessary.
How much does it cost?
London to Amsterdam by Eurostar + InterCity train...
There are special combined fares from London to any Dutch station
by Eurostar & InterCity train, from £69 return 2nd class, £159 return 1st class,
Buy online at www.raileurope.co.uk or by phone 0844 848 5 848.
The adult one-way fare is more expensive than a cheap return,
so for a one-way trip ask for a return and throw away the return half after using the outward.
Children under 4 go free, children aged 4-11 £32 one-way, £64 return.
Youth fares (aged 12-25) from £45 one-way, from £59 return.
Senior fares (over 60) from £69 return.
Like air fares, the adult, youth & senior fares increase as the cheaper seats are sold,
so book early and shop around for the cheapest departure. Must be booked
at least 14 days in advance. Non-refundable, non-changeable.
The Brussels-Netherlands part of the ticket is valid on any regular
(non-Thalys) train that offers a reasonable connection to your destination
in the Netherlands, no seat reservations required, you just hop on.
You are allowed to stop off in Brussels for up to 24 hours if you like before travelling onwards.
Or buy separate Eurostar & InterCity train tickets, which is sometimes cheaper...
Alternatively, you can buy tickets separately. London to Brussels
(valid to any station in Belgium, remember!) costs from £59 return,
the price varies, so book early for cheapest fares. Antwerp
(which is the last stop in Belgium) to Amsterdam by InterCity trains
costs about 30 euros (£23) one-way, 60 euros (£46) return.
This price doesn't change, tickets can be bought at this
price in Brussels on the day of travel.
London to Amsterdam by Eurostar + Thalys train...
There are special combined fares from London to Amsterdam by Eurostar & Thalys train,
from £72 return at www.eurostar.com.
One-way fares are more expensive, so for a one way journey ask for a return
and throw away the return half.
Like air fares, the fare increases as the cheaper seats are sold, so book
early and search for the cheapest departure. Must be booked at least
14 days in advance, non-refundable, non-changeable, Saturday night away.
Both the Eurostar & Thalys parts of the ticket are only valid on the specific
train on which your seat is booked.
Buy tickets online at www.raileurope.co.uk...
You can book both Eurostar+Thalys and Eurostar+InterCity tickets from London
to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague online at www.raileurope.co.uk.
Tickets will be sent to any UK address, but cannot be picked up at the station
(to collect tickets at the station, use eurostar.com as explained below).
The Eurostar+Thalys tickets are only valid for the specific Thalys train you
have booked, but the Eurostar+InterCity tickets can in fact be used on any
InterCity train between Brussels and Amsterdam that day, which allows you
to stop off for a few hours in Brussels if you like. By the way, the Rail Europe
system refers to the InterCity trains as 'Corail' trains, a French Railways brand name!
If you're travelling on Eurostar+Thalys, it's worth checking fares at www.eurostar.com
as well, as for some reason eurostar.com can occasionally show slightly cheaper fares
than Rail Europe for the same trains.
Top tip: By all means ask this system for a London-Amsterdam ticket, but you can
often save a few pounds like this: Buy a ticket from London to Brussels and back.
This ticket is valid to any station in Belgium, for example, Antwerp.
Then click 'continue shopping' and add a separate ticket from Antwerp to
Amsterdam on a normal (non-Thalys) train. For example, on a given date
the fare was £59 return London-Brussels plus £46 return Antwerp-Amsterdam = £105 return,
but when you asked the system for London-Amsterdam all in one go the fare was £125 return.
Option 4, by direct overnight cruise ferry from the north of England:
ferry from Newcastle or Hull to Holland
North of England & Scotland to Holland
From Scotland or the North of England, you may prefer to use one of the direct ferry routes to Holland.
From Newcastle to Amsterdam: DFDS Seaways operate a superb overnight ferry from Newcastle to IJmuiden, the port nearest Amsterdam. For fares, sailing times & online booking see www.dfds.co.uk.
From Hull to Rotterdam: P&O operate direct ferries from Hull to Rotterdam. For fares and sailing times, see www.poferries.com.
From Scotland to Amsterdam: Hop on a train to Newcastle central station, transfer by bus or taxi from the station to Newcastle Ferry Terminal at North Shields and take the excellent DFDS overnight cruise ferry to Amsterdam. Book the ferry online at www.dfds.co.uk, then see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times & fares to Newcastle. Allow at least 2 hours in Newcastle for connections with the ferry.
For train times and fares from any UK railway station to Newcastle or Hull, use www.nationalrail.co.uk. In Newcastle, a DFDS Seaways bus links Newcastle Central station to the terminal at North Shields 1½ hours & 1 hour before departure
We took Eurail from Paris to Amsterdam. The trip was approximately 4 hours long. From what I understand, there are some alternative methods for getting there if you are coming from London. I believe you can take the Chunnel from London to Brussels, then get on Eurail.
While most people in Amsterdam travel by bike, my wife and I walked almost everywhere. The picture you see is just one of the dozens streets we saw during our travels. We did take a taxi at one point, and used the trolley when we first arrived. Otherwise, I recommend those good old fashioned feet. We wouldn't have seen all the narrow streets and alleys with shops if we were driving from place to place.
From London-the Eurostar.
From Harwich-English Channel Ferry.
The trams of different colors which are considered reliable and efficent. Bicycles are indeed very popular.