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General Information about Train Travel in the Netherlands

Train travel is a popular method of transport in the Netherlands for both travelers and locals. The Dutch railway network, operated by NS, is one of the busiest in the European Union, serving numerous train routes in Benelux. From popular destinations and train routes to information about train companies and how to buy cheap train tickets, this page provides an overview of everything you need to know about train travel in the Netherlands.

Most Popular Trains to Amsterdam
Most Popular Trains to Rotterdam
Most Popular Trains to The Hague

Train Companies and Train Types in the Netherlands

Everything you need to know about Dutch train companies

Trains in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has one of the most efficient and well-connected train networks in Europe. Travelers are encouraged to use trains in the Netherlands, as they are one of the fastest and most convenient ways to travel around the country. Locals and travelers enjoy using the Dutch train network so much, that it is known to be the third busiest in the world, right after Japan and Switzerland. Most major cities can be reached directly with the trains, as well as cities in neighboring countries (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and even France). The Netherlands has various types of trains and a few train companies that visitors may choose from while planning their trip. The main train company of the Netherlands is called the NS, which is short for "Nederlandse Spoorwegen." The NS offers various types of train services such as the NS International, the NS Intercity, and the NS Sprinter. If travelers decide to take a regional train, they are advised to check the schedule for "rush hours" and "normal hours," as ticket prices change depending on the time of departure. Additionally, there are several international train companies which have routes operating in the country, such as Thalys, SNCB, and Eurostar.

Booking with Omio

When booking train tickets to the Netherlands with Omio, you will be able to plan your trips efficiently and smoothly thanks to its journey app planner. To book a trip, first select where you want to travel to (in Europe, the U.S. or Canada) as well as the dates for your trip. Once you have decided on these details, you'll see clear and up-to-date information on which options are available to you including train types. At this point, you will have the choice to pay in different currencies, add on any personal discount cards, as well as having the chance to decide how to travel (i.e. slower for lower price or by picking the fastest travel time). Once booked, you will have access to all the tickets needed for your journey directly on a mobile device—no printer needed!

International train routes are usually operated by Thalys or Eurostar.

Popular destinations in the Netherlands

Train companies in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands there is one national train company that runs the majority of the routes nationally and internationally. Nonetheless, there are also a few international companies which offer routes coming in and out of the country. NS International is a high-speed international train company in the Netherlands, which also provides routes to Germany, Belgium, France, and Switzerland. The NS Intercity focuses on medium and long-distance routes mostly concentrated within the Netherlands. Similarly, the NS Sprinter is a commuter service providing short routes at high-speeds, perfect also for travelers that want to visit other cities with trains in the Netherlands. This service is used to connect the two biggest cities of the Netherlands, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. NS trains also provide routes that go directly from Amsterdam Schipol Airport, the biggest airport in the country, to a few of the major cities of the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam, The Hague, Amsterdam, Leiden, and Groningen. Moreover, travelers may also find other international train companies such as SNCB which provides a route from Belgium, Thalys which provides a route from Paris, and Eurostar which provides a route from London.

Popular Train Routes in the Netherlands

Popular International Routes by Train

Travelers that plan to visit the Netherlands using the train as their preferred method of transportation will find that Omio is a convenient tool to streamline their bookings. Here are two of the main cities in the Netherlands and the most popular routes that reach them:

  • Rotterdam: The most popular international direct routes go from Rotterdam to Paris (Thalys), and Brussels (Eurostar, NS, Thalys).
  • Amsterdam: The most popular international direct routes go from Amsterdam to Antwerpen (NS, Thalys), to Berlin (Deutsche Bahn), and Paris (Thalys).

Other international routes can be taken to reach the Netherlands by train which involve only one connection, for example from Rotterdam/Amsterdam to London (with a connection in Brussels).

When arriving

If travelers decide to visit the Netherlands they should be aware of the following information to ensure a smoother journey. If visitors decide to take trains while traveling around the Netherlands, they are encouraged to purchase an OV-Chip Card. The OV-Chip Card is the transportation ticket system of the Netherlands. Disposable tickets are also available, but if travelers wish to stay in the Netherlands longer and travel by train, bus, tram, subway, or even bike, they will find that the OV-Chip Card is extremely convenient and efficient. Moreover, it is important to note that the Netherlands is known as a biking country. Every city and town in the Netherlands is fully equipped with bike paths. Travelers are advised to watch where they are walking so they do not get in the way of one, which could lead to angry locals. Although Dutch is the main language of the Netherlands, English is widely spoken.


Most Popular Trains to Amsterdam



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Most Popular Trains to Rotterdam



Most Popular Trains to The Hague



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