best direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:15 mins read
  • Post last modified:November 5, 2023

Best Direct Trains From Amsterdam To European Cities

This article about direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

Are you in Amsterdam, looking to visit a new European destination? You may have the Interrail or Eurail Pass and want to use it. Or you love traveling by train. This article will introduce you to the best direct trains from Amsterdam to other European cities. Some of them can be a perfect day trip from Amsterdam for you. Others will take longer, but you can save time changing trains in the middle of your journey. All of these trains depart from Amsterdam-Centraal, the main station in Amsterdam. Since they’re direct, they’ll make your journey way more comfortable.

List Of Direct Trains From Amsterdam To European Cities

These are all direct trains from Amsterdam to other European cities. I’ve ranked them from the trains that have the shortest distance to those with the longest distance from Amsterdam:

  • Brussels
  • Cologne
  • Paris
  • London
  • Frankfurt
  • Berlin
  • Basel

Where To Book Train Tickets?

Generally, the best place to book train tickets for European destinations is online. Not only it’s more convenient and faster, but it’s also cheaper.

I book my train tickets always via the website called Trainline. They have the best fares with various connections. Just type in your destinations and departure time, and it’ll show you all available trains, including prices. Trainline has the most affordable train tickets.

Once you find your train connection, you can select it and book it online. The train ticket will be sent to your email, and you can save it to your phone. Keep it in your phone (it has a QR code), and show it to the train controller. Usually, he also asks you for your ID or passport. That’s it. It’s straightforward.

This way, you don’t have to stay long in line at any train station. Instead, just book your trains as you go and save time.

Another page where you can book train tickets is the official website called Rail Europe. It works the same way but has more expensive tickets.

EN - 300x250


Let’s have a look at each direct train from Amsterdam. Then, I’ll explain which train the route is operated by, how long each direct train takes, and its end station. I’ll also give you hints about what to do in each European city once you visit.

Brussels (Belgium)

The first and the shortest direct train you can take from Amsterdam to another European city is to Brussels. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and definitely has a lot to offer. From tasting samples of Belgium’s beer to seeing the famous Peeing Man on the street, eating delicious waffles loaded with sweets, tasting their chocolate, or seeing the famous Atomium and its Town Hall in the historical center… Brussels won’t let you be bored.

Traveling by direct train from Amsterdam to Brussels can be a perfect day trip for you.

This route is operated by two different trains, IC Brussels and Thalys. The former train takes about 2 hours & 50 minutes from Amsterdam to Brussels. It’s more affordable. The latter will take you from Amsterdam to Brussels within an hour, but it’s slightly more expensive.

With both trains, you’ll arrive at the Bruxelles-Midi station, the main train station in Brussels.

So here is the direct train from Amsterdam to Brussels (short information):

  • 1 hour with Thalys or 2hour & 50min by IC Brussels
  • operated by the IC Brussels train or by Thalys
  • End station is called: Bruxelles-Midi

Book A Train To Brussels

best direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities Brussels1
Best direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities: Brussels, Belgium

Cologne (Germany)

Cologne, located in Germany, is our next city on the list for direct trains from Amsterdam. Don’t get confused; you might also spot the name Köln. It’s the official German name for the city.

Cologne attracts visitors with the largest Gothic Church in Europe, the Cathedral of Cologne. Just come in and stand in front of it. It’s so huge that you might not even see the top. Walk up to the highest point and enjoy incredible views of the city. After, head downtown to taste some delicacies in one of the local German bakeries.

The route from Amsterdam to Cologne operates a German train company called DB (Deutsche Bahn). This direct train takes you to Cologne within 3 hours and 10 minutes. And again, don’t get confused. The final station is called (in the German language) Köln Hbf. HBf stands for Hauptbahnhof, a German word for the main train station.

Here is a quick summary of your trip to Cologne:

  • 3hours 10min
  • operated by DB (ICE train)
  • End station is called: Köln Hbf

Book A Train To Cologne

Paris (France)

Paris, Paris…. the city of lights and romance. Who wouldn’t want to come here? Now I have great news for you. You can visit this beautiful metropole on a day trip from Amsterdam by train. We know you can’t see everything in Paris within a day. But if you’re running out of time and have one more spare day in Europe, why not see Paris.

You can at least walk alongside the River Seine, have a crepe underneath the Eiffel Tower, walk up to the Tower for stunning views, and visit the Louvre Museum.

A direct train by the company Thalys takes you from Amsterdam to Paris within 3 hours and a half. The final station in Paris is called Gare-du-Nord, the northern train station. From there, you’ll easily catch a metro to any attraction you want to see.

So if you decide to take a direct train from Amsterdam to Paris, here is a quick summary:

  • 3h 30min
  • operated by Thalys
  • Final station is called: Paris Gare-du-Nord

Book A Train To Paris

best direct trains from Amsterdam to european cities Paris
Best direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities: Paris, France

London (England)

Another metropole you can actually see is by taking a direct train from Amsterdam to London. This might surprise you as London, the capital of England, is located on a big island outside of mainland Europe. Yes, that’s right. Let’s honor the Eurostar train that takes you directly from the Dutch capital to London within less than 4 hours.

Eurostar train runs through the big tunnel built underneath the English Channel. Yop, most of the journey is actually in the water. Even though you won’t see any fish (like some clients on my tours ask sometimes), it’s a pretty cool experience.

The Channel Tunnel, called Eurotunnel, is 31.3 miles (50.56 km) long. It takes 35 minutes to go through by train. This direct connection takes you to London St-Pancras station.

Again, once you arrive in London, you can easily get by tube (London’s metro) to any place you want to see. I recommend getting the Oyster Card. It’s a convenient way to use the tube in London and more economical.

Go on the London Eye, visit the Harry Potter museum, get up to the Sky Garden for amazing views (book in advance), or check out London Bridge. London has special vibes, so it’ll capture you even if you only have a little time.

Here are the main facts about a direct train from Amsterdam to London:

  • 3hours 56minutes
  • operated by Eurostar
  • End station is called: London St-Pancras

Book Eurostar Train To London

London, England

Frankfurt (Germany)

Another great city you can visit taking a direct train from Amsterdam is Frankfurt. One of the most important financial hubs in Europe, it offers everything. You’ll love this city, from huge buildings and modern skyscrapers to the historical center with cute colorful houses, beautiful parks, boat rides on the River Main, and walks. Remember to go up to the Main Tower with its observation deck on the 53rd floor.

Most of the time, when taking the train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, you have to change. However, one direct train connection leaves around midday from Amsterdam. In this case, you might have to overnight in the city, which is okay. Go up to the Main Tower at night. The views with all the lights will leave you speechless.

The direct train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt is operated by Deutsche Bahn, ICE train, and takes 4 hours and a half. The final station is the main station in Frankfurt (again, the German word HBf):

  • 4hours 23minutes
  • operated by DB (ICE train)
  • Final station is called: Frankfurt HBf

Book A Train To Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany

Berlin (Germany)

If you’ve been looking to visit the young vibe of Germany’s capital, here you have it. Berlin also has a direct train connection to Amsterdam (and vice-versa),

It might not be a day trip from the Dutch capital, but since it takes more than 6 hours, it’s a great way to see Berlin. From the Berlin Wall to the exciting streets full of young people and delicious German sausages to drinking beer and learning about the history of this place. Berlin is a special place full of interesting stories.

A direct IC train from Amsterdam takes you to the German capital within 6 hours and 30 minutes. However, there are only a few trains in a day, so plan ahead.

  • 6hours 25min
  • operated by DB (IC train)
  • Final station is called: Berlin HBf

Book A Train To Berlin

Basel (Switzerland)

Last but not least, Switzerland also makes it to our list, which is excellent news. Once you’re in Europe, this country can’t be missing in your travel diary. Basel is a Swiss city on the border with France and Germany. While it doesn’t have the most Swiss vibes, it’s definitely a unique city.

You need to see its red Town Hall, walk through its streets, and get great street food. Basel has amazing restaurants, beautiful architecture, and a young vibe. If you take a direct train from Amsterdam to this city, visit at least one more location in Switzerland. I recommend the Jungfrau region. Or start the perfect 8-day Switzerland itinerary in Basel.

Similarly to Frankfurt, there is only one direct train per day from Amsterdam to Basel. It’s also a long journey, so buy a snack and something to entertain yourself.

The journey operates Deutsche Bahn, ICE train, and the final station is Basel SBB. SBB stands for Schweizerische Bundesbahnen – the Swiss Federal Railways.

  • just 1 train per day
  • 6hours 40min
  • operated by DB (ICE train)
  • End station is called: Basel SBB

Book A Train To Basel

More Tips For Travelling In Europe

These are the top direct trains from Amsterdam to European cities. On a day trip from Amsterdam, you can see some of these European cities. These can definitely be Brussels and Cologne. Considering that you want to step foot into the cities, you can also see London and Paris as a train day trip from Amsterdam. But you won’t manage to see a lot from these big metropoles.

All in all, traveling by train in Europe is a lot of fun. The trains are great, very comfortable, and usually on time. This list includes some amazing countries you can visit by taking a direct train from Amsterdam. So take the chance. Germany, France, England, Belgium, and Switzerland await you.

If you love train travel, check out these trains from Paris to Switzerland.

If you want more inspiration for European travel, check out my destinations section. It’ll give you many ideas, tips, and tricks for what to visit in Europe and how to get there.

Happy travels!