Trains in the Netherlands - Book & Compare Train Tickets

Sat, 13 Jul
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Trains in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has one of the most efficient and well-connected train networks in Europe. travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers 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, travellers 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!

Popular destinations in the Netherlands

Popular train journeys in the Netherlands

Popular Train Routes to the Netherlands

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.

Popular International Routes by Train

Travellers 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).
  • Sleeper trains connect Amsterdam with Vienna and Innsbruck in Austria.

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).

Best journeys from the Netherlands by train

Popular train routes to the Netherlands

Train Companies and Train Types 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 travellers 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, travellers 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.

Information about rail providers in the Netherlands

Train 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.

Train types in the Netherlands

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.

International Train Routes

International train routes are usually operated by Thalys or Eurostar.

When arriving

If travellers 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 travelling 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 travellers 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. Travellers 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.

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