Trains Netherlands, Tickets and Timetables

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Train System in the Netherlands
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Trains in the Netherlands - Book your cheap Netherlands train tickets with Omio

The Netherlands is a beautiful country, famed for its tulip fields, canals, and windmills. It has an extensive railway network, and you can reach just about any large city or small town by train. In fact, you can get to pretty much any town in the Netherlands within 3 hours from either Amsterdam or Rotterdam. NS International operates most domestic train services in the Netherlands and you can book a high-speed Netherlands train from NS International between the country’s major cities.

If your destination is not served by a high-speed train, you can pick up either an InterCity train, which stops at most cities, or a regional train, which stops at all cities and towns along the route.

Wherever you’re going, whether you’re taking a train to the Netherlands, leaving the country for one of its neighbors, or exploring the nation’s many great towns and cities, be sure to book your cheap train tickets using Omio.

Discover the Netherlands by Rail — Book Netherlands Trains with Omio

The journey planner app on Omio makes it easy to book your next Netherlands train trip. Start by selecting your departure and arrival train stations or cities as well as your travel date(s). Click “Search” to see current information about all available trains, including train types, trip durations, and prices.

Use the filter to refine your search via the number of stops, price, trip duration, train company, and/or train station. Once you’ve found the perfect train to fit your schedule, you can purchase your ticket. Simply select your travel class, pay for your ticket in your currency of choice, and add any applicable personal discount cards. Once your Netherlands train tickets are booked, they can be accessed using any mobile device.

the city of Amsterdam

Amsterdam. Source: Shutterstock

Booking Netherlands train tickets with Omio

Booking your place on a train to Holland or one of its beautiful cities couldn’t be easier thanks to Omio.

Get started at the top of this page. Just use our simple search feature to enter your preferred departure location/date, along with your arrival information. If you have any discounts, enter them; if not, just start your search and see what comes up.

You will see a list of all possible train tickets for your journey, including the times, ticket prices, and more. Select the train ticket you want, complete your purchase (we accept a variety of currencies), and get ready to travel! Your Netherlands train tickets will be stored in your Omio account. If you use the Omio mobile app, your train tickets will always be there when you need them.

Here’s why you should book with Omio:

  • Cheap train tickets every time
  • Info on train times and ticket types
  • Wide range of ticket options
  • All of the best train companies
  • Mobile-friendly platform
  • Easy train ticket storage

How does the train system work in the Netherlands?

Train travel is cheap and easy in the Netherlands, and with hundreds of train stations in the country, you can get just about anywhere using the railways. If you’ll be doing a lot of traveling by trains in the Netherlands, you’ll need to purchase an OV-Chip Card, which you can buy in train stations and tobacco shops.

The OV-Chip Card (or “OV-chipkaart” in Dutch) is a smart card for travelers using the country’s trains, buses, trams, and metro services.

The Netherlands is very friendly to bicyclists, and you can even take your bike on board NS International trains. You may need to book a spot for your bike in advance if you’re traveling in July, August, and September, and you should check availability in advance during peak times (such as morning and evening rush hours).

Good to know about trains in the Netherlands

Thinking about taking a train in the Netherlands? Here are some tips to help you get by:

  • Full-fare Holland train tickets are specific to the date and not the departure, so you can book any train on that day.
  • The cheapest train tickets are available during off-peak hours, which covers pre-9 am and post-6:30 pm during the week and all day during the weekend,
  • Most announcements are made in Dutch only, with the exception of airport connections.
  • Transfer times are usually just a few minutes.
  • Train tickets are often cheaper online, such as through apps/sites like Omio.
  • Wi-Fi is available on faster InterCity trains but you won’t always find connections on regional trains.

Before you hop on your Holland train, make sure you check with Omio. We can be your own personal Netherlands train app, helping you to find the fastest routes and book the cheapest train tickets.

Book your Netherlands train ticket now with Omio

Facts about Netherlands trains

  • Most trains and tracks are operated by the state.
  • There is around 2,300 km (1,988 mi) of track in the Netherlands.
  • There are over 400 train stations in the country.
  • The annual ridership on Netherlands trains is over 430 million.
  • The first Dutch railway was built in 1839.

When arriving by train

People in the Netherlands typically have a strong command of English, but you shouldn’t expect everyone to know your language. It’s always good to speak a little of the local tongue, even if it’s just to show that you made an effort. Here are some common Dutch words you may encounter when using trains in the Netherlands:

  • Eerste Klas = First Class
  • Tweede Klas = Second Class
  • Centraal Station = Central Station
  • Noorden = North
  • Zuiden = South
  • Oosten = East
  • Westen = West

When planning your itinerary, be sure to plan your shopping excursions for the earlier part of the day (most shops close by 6:00 pm), and keep in mind that museums and other attractions are often closed on Mondays.

Most important train companies in the Netherlands

Almost all train routes in the Netherlands are served by NS International, the national train company. NS International high-speed trains, known as InterCity Direct, operate on the HSL-Zuid railway line and make limited stops between Amsterdam in the north and Breda at the Belgian border, with some trains continuing on to Brussels. Stops along this route include Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam, and it takes about 32 minutes to travel between the endpoints of Amsterdam and Breda.

NS International InterCity trains travel at speeds up to about 86 mph (140 kph) and connect larger towns/cities. It takes about 24 minutes to travel between Rotterdam and The Hague and about 2 hours 24 minutes to travel between Amsterdam and Maastricht on an InterCity train. NS International’s regional service is called the Sprinter. It is slower than InterCity trains and stops at all stations on any given route. For this reason, Sprinter trains are usually used for short trips.

The Netherlands train map is dominated by NS International, but there are also international providers that operate trains in and out of the country. Whether you’re taking a London to Netherlands train, a Netherlands to Paris train, or riding one of the many other international routes, it could be with one of these providers.

For instance, InterCity Express (ICE) and InterCity trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) and connect major cities in the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden. Eurostar operates a line that travels between London and Amsterdam with stops in Rotterdam, Brussels, and Lille, as well as one between Amsterdam and Paris. Thalys operates daily services between Amsterdam and Brussels/Paris as well as between Amsterdam and Lille.

a view of the canal in Amsterdam

Canal in Amsterdam. Source: Shutterstock

Most important trains in the Netherlands

The trains that you take to traverse rural routes are usually older and slower than the ones that connect big cities. They also tend to be cheaper, but trains in the Netherlands are generally cheap across the board. In both cases, whether you’re traveling from a small town to a small town or heading to one of the big cities, you will be given two ticket options: first class and standard class. There are also night trains available for longer, international journeys:

First class

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like you get much for your money if you book first class on domestic trains. Many international providers will give you free meals, newspapers, and other complimentary items when you book on their trains, but that is rarely the case on NS trains. There’s more to first-class than a few freebies, though.

Arguably, the best thing about first-class train tickers in the Netherlands is that you get much more space. Not only are the seats a little bigger and the legroom greater, but the higher price point of these tickets means there are fewer passengers in the carriage. As a result, they are usually much less crowded, which is ideal if you’re traveling during peak times and/or you like your own space. There are also electrical sockets near the seats, so you can easily charge your devices while you travel

  • Large seats
  • More legroom
  • Power sockets for all passengers
  • Free Wi-Fi on InterCity trains
  • Much less crowded, especially during peak times

Standard Class

The basic option is still very comfortable and spacious. There are luggage storage spaces at the end of the carriage, and you can find electrical sockets on some—but not all—standard-class trains.

  • Comfortable seats
  • Electrical sockets on some seats
  • Free Wi-Fi on InterCity trains
  • Baggage storage at the end of the train
  • Usually more crowded

Night trains in the Netherlands

Night trains are sleeper trains that take you long distances and let you sleep most of the way. You can tuck yourself up in a bed or bunk, say goodnight as the train races along the track, and then awaken in a new city. It only takes a few hours to travel from one Dutch city to another, so needless to say, all night trains are international and cross at least one border.

The Nightjet service from NS International goes from Amsterdam to Vienna and makes multiple stops if you have a different destination in mind, including in Zurich and Munich. It offers a few different sleeping options, with varying prices, amenities, and comfort levels:

  • Seats: The cheapest option provides seats in compartments for 6 people. There is a toilet and wash basin in the carriage and drinks/snacks can be purchased from staff members in couchettes and sleeping cars. Private compartments are available for between 1 and 3 people,.
  • Couchettes: A couchette provides more comfort than the seats but costs less than the sleeping cars. There are bunk beds in each couchette, with space for either 4 or 6 people. A small breakfast is provided to all guests, along with a bottle of water, and there are separate compartments available for women travelers and disabled passengers.
  • Sleeping cars: The most expensive option comes with compartments that can sleep 1, 2, or 3 people. Beds are provided to each guest and there are also washing facilities, including a shower with complimentary toiletries. If you book a compartment for multiple people you will be sharing with someone else—men and women are separated. A welcome package is provided upon boarding, including a drink and snacks, and guests are also served breakfast in their compartment.

The train network in the Netherlands and major connections

You can travel between most train stations in the Netherlands in under 3 hours on an NS International train, making trains a convenient and affordable option for travel within the country. See below for some of the most popular Netherlands train routes:

Popular train journeys in the Netherlands

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Best cross-border trains from the Netherlands

Some of the most popular international routes carry passengers between the Netherlands and cities in France and Germany. For example, Deutsche Bahn (DB) operates an InterCity train route between Amsterdam and Berlin, completing the journey in about 6 hours and stopping at all major cities along the way. It takes about 4 hours to travel between Amsterdam and Frankfurt on one of DB’s InterCity Express high-speed trains, which stops at major cities such as Cologne and Dusseldorf.

Passengers traveling between Amsterdam and Paris can take a Thalyshigh-speed train; the total trip takes about 3.5 hours and stops at Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels. NS International operates its InterCity trains between Rotterdam and Brussels and between The Hague and Brussels.

Netherlands Tulips

Netherlands Tulips. Source: Shutterstock

Train travel tips for the Netherlands

Tulip fields. Wooden shoes. Windmills. Canals. These are just some of the things that come to mind when thinking about traveling in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a beautiful country filled with memory-making activities. For history and architecture buffs, there are palaces, cathedrals, and unique buildings in every city. You can admire the royal palace in Amsterdam, St. Martin's Cathedral in Utrecht, or the cube houses in Rotterdam (see our guide on the best things to do in Rotterdam for more tips).

The country has a number of national parks, where residents and tourists can enjoy the natural surroundings. In parks such as the Hoge Veluwe National Park, visitors can hike or bike through the park to see the sights. You can take a trip back through time to see what local life was like in the 17th and 18th centuries at Zaanse Schans, which includes five of the country’s iconic windmills. Here are some more travel trips to keep in might if you’re taking a train to the Netherlands:

  • Carry a few Euros in change for the toilets, as you will have to pay a small charge to use them.
  • There have been a few train strikes in the Netherlands in recent years, and these can really hamper your travel plans. Pay attention to regional and national strike action to avoid such issues.
  • Amsterdam is known for its extensive canal system, so if you find yourself in the city, consider taking a canal cruise.
  • Foodies should sample Dutch delights such as Dutch fries, Stroopwafels, Stamppot, and chocolate, as well as famous cheeses like Edam.
  • Keep Omio on hand at all times. You can use our app to buy cheap train tickets and we can also serve as your own handy Netherlands train map, with all the info you need for your travels.

FAQs

Do Dutch trains have free Wi-Fi?

Free Wi-Fi is available on InterCity trains and you will also find stable connections on international trains and night trains. It is not always available on smaller, older, regional trains though. Look out for the green Wi-Fi symbol on the train to see if there is a connection available.

Can I eat and drink on a Netherlands train?

Yes, you can eat and drink while on a train in Holland. Just make sure you consider other passengers, as well as the people who need to clean the train afterward. So, try to keep everything tidy and make sure your snacking does not disturb other guests—trains are not the best place to finally crack open that fermented fish you’ve been saving for a special occasion!

Are Dutch train tickets cheap?

Yes, train tickets in the Netherlands are very cheap. It is one of the cheapest ways to travel in this country, and that also applies if you’re hopping on an international train and visiting a neighboring city. For the cheapest Holland train tickets every time, download the Omio app.

Can I take a bicycle on a train in the Netherlands?

Yes, but only if it is outside of rush hour, so you’re good to go between the hours of 9 am and 4:30 am. These are the busiest times to travel in the Netherlands. Commuters usually fill the trains on their journeys to and from work, so space is at a premium.

What are the main benefits of first-class train tickets in the Netherlands?

As noted previously, first-class tickets in Holland don’t come with lots of amenities. You won’t be given a free meal (unless you’re booking a night train or a journey with an international provider) or drinks. There are still several benefits, though, and for many travelers, the most notable of these is the peace and quiet. It’s a great way to escape the noise and chaos of busy trains, which is ideal if you want some private time.

Are Netherlands trains reliable?

Yes. Many of the country’s trains have been modernized and the rail network on the whole is very efficient. As a result, you should experience very few delays and when there are delays, they shouldn’t be longer than a few minutes. Netherlands train strikes can occur, as is the case across Europe, but they are rare and usually announced in advance.

Can I vape on trains in the Netherlands?

Unsurprisingly, as is the case with most European countries, you cannot smoke or vape on Dutch trains and the ban also extends to train stations and most public places. If you are caught breaking these rules, you could face a sizable fine, so put those cigarettes and vape pens away!
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Main train stations in the Netherlands

Utrecht Centraal railway station is one of the largest and busiest train stations in the Netherlands. Located at Stationshal 305, 3511 CE Utrecht, it is conveniently situated in the city center, less than 750 m (0.5 mi) west of the Dom tower. If you don’t want to walk or bike to the Dom tower from the station, you can take an 11-minute ride on the #73 U-Link bus. Other U-Link buses to the city center include the #77, #50, and #28 lines. Amenities at the station include train luggage lockers, elevators, travel assistance, waiting rooms, currency exchange, restrooms, shops, and restaurants.

Amsterdam Centraal (Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam) is easily accessible and offers various routes ( #2, #12, #13, or #17 tram lines and the metro’s Blue line) to the city center. The station features luggage lockers, elevators, travel assistance counters, waiting rooms, a passenger lounge, car rental counters, restrooms, and many shops and restaurants.

Rotterdam Centraal (Stationsplein 2, 3013 AJ Rotterdam) is a modern station that offers luggage storage, elevators, assistance for travelers, waiting rooms, currency exchange, NS International lounges, restrooms, shops, and restaurants. The city center station is about 1.1 km (0.7 mi) northwest of the Stadhuis (Town Hall) and public transportation options from the station to the city center include the D and E metro lines and the RET tram lines 7, 8, 12, 21, 23, 24, and 25.

Den Haag Centraal (10 Koningin Julianaplein 1st floor, 2595 AA Den Haag) is The Hague’s largest station and offers amenities such as luggage storage, elevators, travel information/assistance, a waiting room, currency exchange, restrooms, a hair salon, and shopping/dining options. From the station, it takes less than 10 minutes to reach the Binnenhof government offices in the city center using the #3A, #15, or #16 trams.

The Schiphol Airport Railway Station (arrival passage 1, 1118 AX Schiphol) is about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Amsterdam’s city center. Passengers can take a Thalys or InterCity Direct train into Amsterdam. GVB’s 69, 245, 246, 247, and 369 bus lines, as well as Connexxion’s 397 airport express bus are also good options.

More information about trains in Europe

Europe is home to some of the fastest trains and most modern infrastructure, allowing hundreds of millions of locals and tourists to stay connected. Holland train providers like NS International are just one piece of the puzzle, you also have train companies like SNCF, Renfe, ÖBB, and Flixtrain, to name just a few.

If you reside in the EU, you should be able to travel freely and without issue. If not, it’s still a relatively pain-free process. Travelers from the United Kingdom can take the London to Netherlands train with little more than a passport, and the hardest part of visiting from the United States and Canadais enduring a long flight. From mid-2025, many travelers outside the EU will need to apply for an ETIAS before visiting the region, but the application is quick, cheap, and can be completed online.

Popular journeys

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague—the Netherlands is a small country with some big cities, including some of the most popular destinations in Europe. It’s also well-connected, and you can travel from Amsterdam to another major capital city in just a few hours. There’s no end to what you can see and do here, and Netherlands train network can help you to see and do all of it.

Whether you’re taking a train to Holland and using it as a springboard for your European adventure, or you’re sticking with the lowlands and sampling all they can offer, make sure you book your cheap train tickets with Omio.

Most popular train connections

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