How to Get From Amsterdam To Berlin

Last Updated: August 26, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

How should you get from Amsterdam To Berlin?

In this article, I will answer that question. My advice might surprise you. Because I will not immediately say go by train like many other blogs do. 

I have taken this journey myself by train, plane, and car.

There are four main ways to get from Amsterdam to Berlin, which are:

  1. Train (often recommended, but I would make the case to think twice about it)
  2. Plane (my preferred method of travel)
  3. Coach (the cheapest way to get there)
  4. Car (convenient if you need to be in the Berlin area)

Of course, my preferred way to travel might not be yours, so I go over each of the four options in detail so you can make the right choice for you.

No matter how you travel, Berlin is just fun to go to! It’s so different from Amsterdam or other European cities. It’s playful, modern, and a little raw, but Berlin has a unique history at the same time, too. 

I took a Bike Tour in Berlin and loved exploring the different parts of the city that were just too far to walk. I had expectations of the tour before I left (seeing East and West and classics like the Reichstag.)

But I remember most the little surprises along the way, like giant murals and inner courtyards. It also made an impression that going from West to East and back was now so easy while people were killed attempting to do the same at some point in history.

The DDR Museum (East Germany Museum) was another museum I found more interesting than I expected. I had to change my perspective a little after visiting.

Old Trabant car at the DDR museum.
Old Trabant car at the DDR museum – Photo © Hidden Holland

PS: If you’re looking for more things to do in Berlin, I can recommend two companies I enjoy using “Get Your Guide” for attractions and activities and EatWith, where you can reserve food experiences with locals, often in their homes. It’s such a unique way to enjoy a city. 

Anyway, who am I trying to convince to go to Berlin? If you’re here, you’ve already made that choice.

So let’s get back to telling you how you can get there and what the differences are between the different modes of transportation

PS: Here are a few more international day trip ideas, just in case:

Or if you have the time, it is also great to explore the rest of Germany, for example, its beautiful castles that are spread out across the country. Here are some of the best German castles. And you might find this article interesting if you’re wondering what is Germany famous for.

Here I was on my bike tour in Berlin! I loved it.
Here I was on my bike tour in Berlin! I loved it – Photo © Hidden Holland

Amsterdam to Berlin by Train

I transferred trains in Hannover on the ICE, going fast to Berlin – © Hidden Holland

The most recommended mode of transportation is to travel from Amsterdam to Berlin by train. But I can’t entirely agree.

It’s the recommended way to travel by many others because of a few things:

1. Train travel is environmentally friendly.
2. The argument is that it’s not much slower than flying when you consider airport transfers, security, and waiting times.
3. Bloggers earn more commission on a train ticket than a flight.

What I will say next is not something everybody will like: I prefer to fly.

This is why:

1. I think the argument about travel time holds for train services from Amsterdam to Paris and from Amsterdam to London, which takes 3-4 hours by train vs. 1 hour by plane. For these destinations, the train is quicker when you consider transfers. Plus, high-speed trains are more comfortable, especially in first class. With Berlin, this is slightly different. 6 hours feels quite long. It’s longer than a flight from NY to LA.

2. I’m not the biggest fan of the Intercity Berlin Express trains because the train is always packed to the brim, even in first class. Some people always have their sound too loud or think it’s OK to call on speaker mode or watch a video without even considering headphones are an option. When the train is full, you have nowhere to go, and you have to deal with it, then 6 hours is a long time.

3. The trains between Amsterdam and Berlin are old. Why? I don’t know, I don’t. We’ve had these fancy high-speed trains across Europe for quite a while: Thalys to Paris, Eurostar to London, and the German ICE to Frankfurt. But then, somehow, the trains connecting two capitals (Amsterdam and Berlin) are old and, quite frankly, from another era.

If they would upgrade to Deutsche Bahn’s ICE trains, I would recommend this mode of transport too, because for nothing else that would be faster! But that is not the case right now.

4. These trains are slow. A direct intercity train leaves Amsterdam every other hour, and the journey takes 6 hours and 20 minutes. On one side, they don’t travel faster than 125 mph. In comparison, modern high-speed trains travel at double that speed.

And they make quite a few stops along the way, especially in the Netherlands. This is unnecessary since a regular domestic intercity runs ahead of the international Berlin train service.

Why Would You Take The Train From Amsterdam to Berlin And Not An Airplane?

I’m not exactly selling the train so far, but there are reasons why you would travel by train over an airplane:

  1. If you hate flying or airports or both. There are no security checks when you travel by train or from city center to city center.
  2. It can be cheaper than flights, but for the lowest prices, you usually need to make reservations months in advance; you can get lucky later. 
  3. You have time to enjoy the view along the way. It’s not the most breathtaking view, but you drive through the countryside, and something is soothing.
  4. You can take your luggage with you on the train without paying extra.
  5. If you travel first class, you can access the NS lounge at Amsterdam Central Station and the DB lounge at Berlin on your way back.

The first train departing from Amsterdam leaves at 7 a.m., and the last leaves at 3 p.m. If it’s OK for you to transfer once, you can also leave Amsterdam at 5 p.m. In total, there are five trains per day. More if you include options with a transfer. There are no overnight sleeper nights trains on this route.

PS: The information above was correct on the last update date at the top of this article, but timetables can change, so check the official railways website. Enter your travel dates to see up-to-date departure and arrival times and current pricing.

Amenities on the train are:

  • An onboard food and drink cafe (Bistro) is available (be aware that in first class, attendants come to your seat to offer a drink, but they are not free).
  • Wi-Fi is available on all Intercity Berlin trains.
  • Multiple toilets are available on the train.
  • Power outlets are available, but limited in 2nd class.
  • Taking pets on the train is allowed, but they can’t enter the Bistro carriage.
  • There are multi-lingual train stewards on every train that can answer any question in Dutch, English, and German.
  • Bicycles can be taken with you, but you must buy a separate ticket. There is a unique bike carriage on the train. You can only park your bikes here.

TIP: It’s good to know these trains are super long. And I mean long. If you’re not standing in the right spot on the platform, it will be a frantic run or an uncomfortable drag through small corridors to get to the right compartment. I see it whenever I’m on that train, and these people don’t look comfortable. It’s easy to avoid: be at the platform on time and look at the information panels. Your carriage number is on your seat reservation.  

TIP: Another tip is connecting trains. Sometimes, you see options to connect trains along the way. It sounds nicer to stay on the same train, but if you transfer trains in Germany, most likely the 2nd part of the trip is with a faster ICE high-speed train from Deutsche Bahn, making the journey more comfortable. 

TIP: My final tip is to make seat reservations. Traveling from Amsterdam to Berlin without a seat reservation is possible, but trains can be full, then you must stand. There is a charge of a few euros when you travel with a second-class ticket. It’s free of charge for 1st class travelers.

Which Train Stations To Use?

IC Trains to Berlin leave from Amsterdam Central Station (Amsterdam Centraal Station in Dutch). The trains stop at Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) and Berlin Ostbahnhof.

It depends on where you need to be in Berlin which one is more convenient for you. For most people, Berlin Hbf (Hauptbahnhof) is the best stop. This is the main station of the city and the most central. 

What does the train from Amsterdam Central to Berlin Central cost in 2024?

Different ticket fares are available, with the cheapest one-way ticket prices starting at €38 for 2nd class and €50 for first class. But prices go up pretty fast the closer you get to your departure date or the more popular a train departure is. Prices are based, just like flight tickets, on demand.

Kids 4-11 pay a lower kids price, and kids under four can travel free of charge.

The earlier you buy a ticket in advance, the lower your price. Tickets are released usually 6 months in advance.  I recommend getting international train tickets from the official national Dutch train operator, NS International. Here is a link to their website to book your Berlin train tickets online and check schedules.

PS: Trains are a joint venture between the Dutch and German railway companies NS and DB. Flixtrain is trying to get a license, but they don’t have one yet.

Find Train Tickets from Amsterdam to European Destinations

Amsterdam-Berlin by Air

I am boarding an EasyJet flight from Berlin to Amsterdam
I am boarding an EasyJet flight from Berlin to Amsterdam – © Hidden Holland

I prefer to travel to Berlin by plane. The flight time is short, with a journey time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Of which you’re about 45-50 in the air. 

The route is well-served by two airlines:

  • KLM
  • EasyJet

Weirdly enough, Lufthansa does not service this route as the main national carrier of Germany. They only fly to Frankfurt and Munich from Amsterdam. But that’s OK. I’m not a big fan of Lufthansa anyway. You’ll get better service with KLM. If you need to fly Lufthansa, you’d have to transfer.

I prefer to travel with KLM or EasyJet. My preference is KLM if prices are reasonable. They have the best overall service, including a free drink and a snack. But sometimes they’re just too expensive.

EasyJet is a great alternative. They’re considered a low-budget airline but one of the nicer ones. There are no complimentary drinks, but they fly between the same (main) airports, and the service is professional.

Flights leave Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA code AMS) and arrive at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (IATA code BER).

PS: Did you know Brandenburg is a very new airport? It just opened in 2020 after many delays.

Since Germany is part of the Schengen area, just like the Netherlands, there is no official passport control, but you still need a valid passport or European ID to travel. A copy of it or a driving license will not suffice. 

KLM offers up to 8 daily non-stop flights from Amsterdam Schiphol. Roundtrip prices start at €130-€140 but can increase considerably.

EasyJet operates flights once or twice daily. As a low-cost airline, they sell ticket prices as one-way tickets. Prices with EasyJet start at €80-€100 roundtrip. You find that prices are relatively the same as with KLM at the base price level, but KLM prices often increase more than those from EasyJet.

If you don’t mind traveling for a bit longer, you have plenty more options when you transfer to any other European city. 

As with any airline, KLM and EasyJet charge extra for luggage and seats. Advertised prices are always for hand baggage only. This is the main difference with the train, where you don’t pay extra for that. 

Both airports are busy, so be there on time, especially if you need to check luggage. From my own experience, I suggest being at the airport 3 hours in advance when checking suitcases and 2 hours if you’re traveling with hand baggage only. If you’re flying Business Class and can use premium security fast track, you can shorten that to 90 minutes.

Both airports are also well-served by train. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is only 20 minutes away by train, and Berlin Brandenburg is 35 minutes from the city center.

To find the lowest airfare, I love to use WayAway—they search for all mainline and low-budget airlines.

You can take a (paid) yearly subscription that gives you cashback for most flights, it’s quite interesting if you’re a frequent flyer.

But even with this subscription you can save money on flights!

Amsterdam to Berlin by Coach

Flixbus was born in Germany. Unsurprisingly, they operate many services to and from this country (and within). They now also operate Flixtrains in Germany with the same pricing structure as their coach business.

Long-distance coaches are cheap. Tickets can be found from €25 well ahead of time.

Buses leave from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Berlin. Sloterdijk bus station is under the train station in Amsterdam West.

Only one daily departure travels direct, and it leaves in the morning. The trip to Berlin then takes “only” just under 8 hours. It leaves around 8 a.m., but check current schedules when you’re ready to get your tickets. You can take other departures throughout the day, but that requires a transfer and can lengthen your travel time up to 12 hours. 

Coach/train combinations are also available if you’re a railway enthusiast. This can be a fun option to travel. Since Flixtrain is relatively new, you most likely haven’t traveled on them yet.

It’s good to know that baggage is included with Flixbus, but limits are very similar to airlines in terms of weight and quantity. This is an easy-to-make mistake since international trains don’t have limitations.

Buses have comfortable seats and are equipped with amenities like free WIFI, power outlets, and toilets, but I would find the travel time too long. However, if you’re trying to keep travel costs to a minimum, long-distance buses are your friend since it’s the lowest-cost mode of transportation.

Here, you can find bus prices and tickets from Amsterdam to Berlin. Like train and plane tickets, the earlier you book, the cheaper the price will be.

Driving from Amsterdam to Berlin

Of course, driving is an option if you like road trips. I would not recommend it if you’re going just for a city trip. It’s not a memorable drive, and you must deal with parking. When I drove to Berlin, I still had to pass through Bad Oeynhausen, which was a time-consuming and not very pleasant experience. That is better today with a circular road, but still, it’s not an exciting drive.

However, a car gives flexibility, especially if you need to be outside of Berlin or when you need to stop at different places.

There are a few things that are important to know before you choose to travel by car:

  • First, a mandatory vignette (Umwelt Plakette called in German) is mandatory. It’s to show your car is environmentally friendly. To enter Berlin, you need the green sticker. Those are connected to a car (license plate). You must ensure the rental company has those on their cars if you’re renting. In Germany, this will always be the case. But if you rent in The Netherlands, it can vary. Call the company you want to rent with to verify.
  • The speed limit in The Netherlands is slow at 100km/h or 65mi/h. In Germany, there is no speed limit on the Autobahn (motorway), but large stretches are capped, and speed limits are signposted. Germany is also (in)famous for their Baustellen (roadworks). It feels like they constantly pop up and can really slow you down.
  • Driving in Berlin is straightforward. Often, roads are wide, three lanes, especially in West Berlin. Parking is, as in any city, expensive. 
  • The driving distance between Amsterdam and Berlin is 411 miles or around 660 kilometers. It takes about 6 1/2 hours. Just as long as the train does.

Rentalcars.com is my favorite platform. I find they most often have the best rates. Discover cars is an alternative. Check them both for the best comparison.

Local Transportation in Berlin

Amazing mural in Berlin that I found on my bike tour.
Amazing mural in Berlin that I found on my bike tour – © Hidden Holland

As soon as you get to Berlin, you have all the usual big city transit options: taxis, trams, buses, ride-sharing, and, typical for Germany, the S and the U Bahn. The U bahn is the metro network. These are separate trains running under and above ground. In Berlin, this mode of public transport is iconic. The S bahn can be seen as the local rail network. These are regular trains serving the Berlin area.

I recommend you to get a Berlin Welcome Card, which includes many discounts and free public transportation in zones ABC – that includes the city, but also the airport.

Frequently Asked Questions Amsterdam to Berlin

How do I travel from Amsterdam to Berlin without a car?

You can also travel between Berlin and Amsterdam by train, coach and airplane. My preferred method is to travel by plane. But many people also choose to travel by train. The journey time between Amsterdam and Berlin is 1h20m by airplane, 6 1/2 hours by train, and about 8 hours by coach.

When is the first train from Amsterdam to Berlin?

The first direct train leaves Amsterdam for Berlin at 7 a.m., which will get you to Berlin around 1:30 p.m. 

When does the last train depart to Berlin from Amsterdam?

The last direct train leaves at 3 p.m. from Amsterdam. This train arrives at 9:30 p.m. in Berlin. With one transfer in Germany, you can also leave at 5 p.m. from Amsterdam, getting you in Berlin around 11:30 p.m.

How many direct trains are there from Amsterdam to Berlin?

The Amsterdam to Berlin train has five direct daily trains between Amsterdam and Berlin. And about the same amount of departures with a transfer in Germany. That gives you a total of 10 different daily departures.

How fast does the Intercity Berlin travel?

Intercity trains travel with a speed of up to 125 mph (160km/h), and that is why even though they make stops, they still cover the distance at the same time as a car does because they have to travel slower. If you travel on an ICE train within Germany, speeds up to 200 miles can be reached.

How many direct flights are there between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Berlin? 

On average, there are 8-10 daily flights between the Netherlands and Germany’s capital. Flight frequency does change from season to season and day of the week. Check your flight in an All-inclusive Flight Search Engine like WayAway to see if it departs when you want to travel.

Where can I buy train tickets from Amsterdam to Berlin?

I recommend booking your tickets with the Dutch Railways on their website. The earlier you book, the cheaper tickets will be. I recommend booking first-class tickets for this journey. It will be relatively quieter, and you have a more comfortable seat.

Can I do a day trip from Amsterdam to Berlin?

Yes, but only if you fly. All other modes of transportation take too much time. Since there are up to 10 flights a day, and the flight time is only 1 hour and 20 minutes, it’s easy to make a day trip from Amsterdam to Berlin.

Conclusion

I hope this guide was helpful to you and that you’ll have a wonderful time visiting Berlin, no matter which mode of transportation you choose. As I said in the article, my preference for this journey is to travel by plane. But the train is a good alternative.

Tip: You can have to choose either. You can easily book a one-way ticket on the train and a one-way airplane ticket for the return journey. This is precisely what I did the last time I traveled this route.

On the outbound journey, I needed to stop in Hannover. It’s a stop on the train line, so I chose to travel by train. I could find the perfect departure time with easyJet, so that’s exactly what I did to get back to Amsterdam.

You can choose whatever is best for you. And if you want to travel the cheapest way possible to Berlin, and time is no problem, Flixbus is your best bet.

I wish you safe travels

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30 minutes is a good amount of time for short trips up to 3 days, 60 minutes is usually needed for longer trips.

Are you traveling to Berlin from Amsterdam?

I’d love your thoughts: If so, how will you travel there?

Let's start a conversation 💬.

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

7 thoughts on “How to Get From Amsterdam To Berlin”

  1. I appreciate short plane rides, so I think I’d agree with you that getting to Berlin by plane is preferable. But good to know all the options!

    Reply
    • I know me too, sitting 6 and 1/2 hours is just a bit too long for me if I don’t have to. But you’re right it’s great to know about all the options, it will be different for everybody.

      Reply
    • The idea sounds lovely, but some things that make a difference in how you experience your trip are usually not mentioned. I try to be honest and authentic, even if that means not romanticizing things. I would go to Paris or London by train, and Berlin is just a quick flight away 🙂

      Reply
  2. You always have very informative posts and I learn a lot from reading them. Thanks for talking about the 4 ways to travel from Amsterdam to Berlin: Planes, trains, bus, and automobiles.

    Reply
  3. I found your site when looking about bikes in Amsterdam (don’t worry I now know that is a BAD idea 😉) and I have been finding so many interesting articles to read.
    I have been down a bit of a rabbit warren reading all about Amsterdam and things to do etc.
    Coming from Australia where everything is so spaced out, I find it crazy that I can get on a train and go to another country!!!
    We are coming to europe later this year so I am loving that I found your blog!

    Reply
    • I’m sorry being that direct, but if it saves a trip to the ER I’m all happy. It’s definitely some of the benefits in Europe that everything is so close. You can do a lot in a relatively short time. For me that space in Australia sounds amazing (the grass is always greener on the other side 🤣), but from a guides perspective Europe is fantastic, it also makes going beyond Amsterdam so easy. Have an amazing European trip and make lots of memories!

      Reply

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