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. Alternatively, if you are planning on taking multiple train trips in Belgium and the Netherlands you can choose to purchase a Eurail pass for train travel in BeNeLux.
Everything you need to know about rail providers in the Netherlands
Eight railway companies operate in the Netherlands. Specifically, Arriva Passenger Netherlands, Connexxion, Dutch Railways (NS), NS International, Veolia Transport Netherlands, Syntus, Thalys Netherlands and Euro Express Trencharter; however, Dutch Railways operates the vast majority of services around the country. Non-Dutch providers also operate some routes, such as Deutsche Bahn and SNCB.
There are a number of different train types in operation on the Dutch rail network. Intercity (IC) trains are high-speed trains with few stops between the major cities. These are often the best and quickest option when traveling straight from one city to another. Many feature free WiFi and live travel info screens. Express trains offer similar services, though only operate on decentralized lines. Sprinter services are slower trains which stop at most smaller stations along the way.
Many companies operate modern fleets with comfortable, reclining seats, wifi and air-conditioning. Compare the services available.
Further facilities and services may vary according to the transport company and country of operation. For more detailed information about providers, please refer to our comprehensive list of luggage restrictions.
The busiest train routes in the Netherlands run between Amsterdam Centraal station and Amsterdam Schiphol airport, or between Amsterdam and Utrecht. These stations are among the busiest in the country. Most large cities are linked by ICE service (Intercity Express), as well as other standard rail services. The dense coverage of the Netherlands' rail network allows you to reach most destinations by train.
The Netherlands' train network offers both domestic and international services, to destinations in Switzerland, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. From Amsterdam Centraal Station, international train routes include ICE trains to Berlin and Dusseldorf, Thalys trains to Paris and Lille, and the Eurostar to London.