Country info: Netherlands (Nederland)
Rail companies: NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen)
Tickets for trains to/from France & Belgium can also be purchased via www.b-europe.com
Currency : Euro
Train travel in Netherlands: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other info
National Train Service:
Train types in Netherlands: Regional, Express, InterCity, InterCity Direct, international high-speed trains (Thalys, ICE) & CityNightLine trains
- Regional (marked as ‘Stoptrein’ & 'Sneltrein' on NS website): local & regional train service all around Netherlands, no seat reservation required
- Express (marked as 'Sprinter' on NS website): nationwide service connecting major & minor Dutch destinations, no seat reservation required
- InterCity (marked as IC on NS website): fast intercity service with stops at major stations only, no seat reservation required
- InterCity Direct (marked as ICD on NS website): high-speed domestic intercity trains (previously known as Fyra) on line Amsterdam - Schiphol - Rotterdam - Breda, special supplement applies when traveling on Schiphol-Rotterdam leg.
- Thalys / ICE : international high-speed trains connecting Netherlands with France, Germany and Belgium, seat reservation compulsory (except ICE on route Amsterdam - Utrecht - Arnhem, here 2 euro supplement required on domestic journeys)
- CityNightLine (marked as CNL on NS website): international overnight sleeper trains Netherlands with Germany & Switzerland, seat/bed reservation compulsory
Validity of Trains Tickets in Netherlands: Single & Return domestic tickets in Netherlands are valid for one day, thus from 00:00 on the date shown on the ticket till 04:00 am the following morning
Discounts, special offers & ways to save money for passengers traveling by train in Netherlands:
- Passengers planning to visit couple destinations in the Netherlands can save some money with purchase of one through ticket instead of two (or more) separate tickets for each leg of the itinerary. General idea here is very simple - since NS single and return tickets allow stopovers on route, instead of buying two or three separate tickets you can purchase only one ticket via all the destinations you plan to visit. Due to regressive nature of NS domestic tariff such through ticket will be much cheaper than any combination of two or three separate tickets.
- Passengers planning to travel extensively in the Netherlands might consider NS Day Travel Cards (Dagkaart) which allow unlimited journeys within Netherlands during one day. Day Travel Cards costs either 52,60 euro (2nd class) or 89,40 euro (1st class)
- Traveling with children? Take advantage of NS special child fare - Railrunner Offer - children (4 to 11 years old) can travel for just 2,50 euro (up to 3 children for one adult traveling on full fare ticket)
- Besides full fare Day Travel Cards offered at the train station, NS often has Day Travel Cards sales through various Dutch consumer chains (HEMA, Albert Heijn or JUMBO supermarket, Kruidvat farmacy, Blokker, Intertoys, etc.). As reported by fellow travelers from the Netherlands, sometimes such ticket can cost as low as 12,50-15 euro. So in case you or some friends of yours happen to go shopping, why not to shop for cheap rail tickets?
- Those who plan to travel a lot by train in the Netherlands (and perhaps also neighboring Belgium & Luxembourg) and most of those trips won't be short distance, then it might make sense to think about buying Eurail (non Europeans) or Interrail (Europeans) rail pass for Benelux countrie. Keeping in mind rather high Dutch domestic train ticket prices (stadard full fare) and not cheap Netherlands-Belgium & Netherlands-Luxembourg international tickets, pass can actually make sense with some travl itineraries.
- Passengers planning trips in Netherlands also can take advantage of SCIC-NRT international tickets for domestic journeys (for more info in Western Europe – how cheap it can be?). For example, SCIC-NRT ticket from the southwest part of the Netherlands (Vlissingen) to the farthest north-east region (Groningen) allowing you to see the entire country costs only 46,80 euro, and the best part is that it will be valid for 15 days & allow unlimited stopovers on the way. Basically in such cases SCIC-NRT international ticket can be a rail pass for the predefined route of your choice
International Train Service:
a) Regular discounts
b) Special offers (SpaSrchiene)
Ticket offers with limited number of tickets per each departure (purchase in advance required):
- Belgium: from Amsterdam to Brussels (one-way on Thalys from 29 euro), Super Day Return (InterCity trains - 56,80 euro) or Weekend Return (with InterCity - 53,40 euro), from Amsterdam to Antwerp (one-way on Thalys from 29 euro), Super Day Return (with InterCity - 42 euro) or Weekend Return (with InterCity - 40,80 euro), from Amsterdam to Ghent (one-way from 46,60 euro or 59,60 euro with Day Return), etc.
- Czech Republic: from Amsterdam to Prague (with change in Duisburg to CityNightLine train) from 68 euro
- Germany: from Amsterdam to Cologne, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Osnabruck, Dortmund, Essen, Oberhausen, Munster (one-way from 19 euro), from Amsterdam to Bonn, Koblenz, Hannover, Bremen, Braunschweig (one-way from 29 euro), from Amsterdam to Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Kufstein, Leipzig, etc. (one-way from 39 euro)
- Great Britain: from Amsterdam to London (Thalys + EuroStar, one-way from 79 euro) or from Amsterdam to London (InterCity + EuroStar, one-way from 59 euro)
- Denmark: from Amsterdam to Copenhagen with ICE trains via Germany from 97 euro
- France: from Amsterdam to Paris (one-way on Thalys from 35 euro), from Amsterdam to Lille (one-way from 29 euro), from Amsterdam to Avignon, Valence & Marseille (from 75 euro), from Amsterdam to Agde, Cannes, Antibes, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nice, Perpignan, Toulon (from 87 euro) etc.
- Poland: from Amstedam to Warsaw (with change to CityNightLine train in Germany): couchettes from 68 euro and sleepers from 88 euro
- Switzerland: from Amsterdam to Zurich & Basel (one-way from 49 euro), from Amsterdam to Bern (one-way from 85 euro), etc.
- Austria: from Amsterdam to Vienna (one-way from 58 euro), from Amsterdam to Innsbruck & Tyrol (one-way from 49 euro), from Amsterdam to Salzburg (one-way from 68 euro), etc.
- Luxembourg: from Amsterdam to Luxembourg Ville (one-way from 69 euro)
+ special offers to the neighboring biggest airports (like Cologne/Bonn; Düsseldorf; Paris etc.)
Passenger planning to travel extensively to/from the Netherlands (& between other European countries) also might consider purchasing Rail Plus Card which allows receive 25% discount on standard fare international tickets
In order to save on international journeys it is as well possible to use SCIC-NRT tickets (for more details see Western Europe – how cheap it can be? section). For example, Amsterdam to Rome SCIC-NRT ticket via entire Germany, Switzerland and half of Italy with unlimited stopovers on the way & 15 days validity period will costs 288 euro
How to Buy Train Tickets in Netherlands:
National (domestic) & many international tickets (including offers) can be bought online NS websites - www.ns.nl (domestic) and here - www.nshispeed.nl (international)
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