Train Travel in the Netherlands

Train Travel in the Netherlands is something, which is quite handy if you want to experience the country. But especially as a foreign you might ask yourself, how things are working in the Netherlands. With this guide, I want to explain some of the most important things about train travel in the Netherlands!

As a frequent traveller, I heavily rely on planes and trains. While also having a rental car from time to time, the flexibility of trains is hard to beat. That said, I’ve already written posts on Train Travel in India and Train Travel in Belgium. Plus, I’ve already published tons of train reviews. But let’s get back to the topic. What’s there to know about train travel in the Netherlands?

High-speed trains in the Netherlands

Interestingly, there are no high-speed trains as such operated by Durch Railways. What you can find in the Netherlands are trains operated by German (ICE) and Belgian (Thalys) companies. These trains mainly connect Amsterdam and other large cities in the country with cities in Germany, Belgium and France.

Train Travel in the Netherlands

The “IC Direct” is the fastest train operated by Dutch Railways

The only “special” train is the so-called IC Direct, which isn’t especially fast, but can’t be used without an upcharge (please be aware of this BEFORE boarding the train).

Frequency of trains in the Netherlands

As it’s the norm for countries in Central Europe, train travel in the Netherlands is quite enjoyable for passengers as the trains run rather frequent. On weekdays, there are usually tons of different trains running between the major cities in the country. You can usually take two or three trains an hour to get from cities like Amsterdam to other major cities like Rotterdam.

Train Travel in the Netherlands

There are several different kinds of trains in the Netherlands

If you are trying to get to smaller cities, the frequency might be a little lower. You should also be aware that the frequency is a littler lower on weekends. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t have any problems with the freuqency of trains in the Netherlands, even if you do want to safe money and avoid the fastest (and most expensive) trains.

Quality of trains in the Netherlands

It’s a little challenging to describe the quality of trains in the Netherlands. I’ve taken several different trains while travelling through the country and must say that I was rather disappointed. The trains are not really in a bad shape or dirty, but they are just totally passed their prime. Some of the trains didn’t have air-conditioning, others had old and worn out seats.

This is not limited to local trains, but also long distances trains seem to be rather old. Especially the train I took from Brussels to Rotterdam, while looking quite nice from the outside, was definitely “born” a few dozen years ago. Suprisingly, many of the trains offer free Wi-Fi to all passengers besides being rather old! It’s also worth noting that all trains in the Netherlands come with two classes of travel.

Prices of train travel in the Netherlands

Trian travel in the Netherlands comes with quite flexible prices. The Netherlands got a system, which is comparable to the German one. This means that you can buy tickets in advance with huge dicounts. However, tickets paid at the day of travel can be quite expensive, especially in First Class.

Train Travel in the Netherlands

You can get decent deals, even for international travel, when booking early

Nevertheless, train travel in the Netherlands is rather cheap compared to train travel in other countries in the region (e.g. Germany). As the Netherlands as such are not that big, you can easily reach all parts of the country for cheap. To search for prices and book in advance, you may use the website of the railway company. Overall, you can’t go wrong with taking a train in the Netherlands if you want to travel relatively quick and cost-efficient from one city to another!


You can find more posts about train travel and reviews of trains in our “Specials” section!


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