Both Amsterdam and London are two significant destinations in Europe. And very close to each other.
How far is London from Amsterdam?
Did you know London is only about 200 miles west of Amsterdam? The only problem is there a sea between the two capitals.
London-Amsterdam is a popular travel route with over 4 million passengers every year. Because of the geographical challenges, the primary mode of transport so far has been the airplane. But that's about to change.
In no time from Amsterdam to the center of London by train
With the new high-speed Eurostar from Amsterdam to London starting from April 2020, you can travel to the capital of England in just over 4 hours without a transfer. Allowing you to arrive relaxed and stress-free in the British capital. Trains pass through the Channel Tunnel between France and England.
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Of course, it was already possible to travel on the Eurostar high-speed train to Amsterdam before. But you needed to change in Brussels to clear security, customs, and passport control. Adding quite some extra time to your journey. The train was competing on price with the airplane but when you looked at travel time, the plane still clearly won. With the new direct services, that is not the case anymore.
Is there a direct train from Amsterdam to London?
It has been possible since 2016 to travel on a direct Eurostar to Amsterdam from London. However, in the reverse direction, this wasn't possible yet, because the security building was not yet finished. That is now going to change.
Now the new security terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam are finished; you can travel directly between the two capitals in both directions without a transfer. Direct trains from Amsterdam commence in April 2020 and from Rotterdam in May 2020. Speeding up travel times by over an hour.
London to Amsterdam train travel time
When you board the direct Eurostar train to or from Amsterdam, travel time is only 4 hours and 10 minutes. From Rotterdam, your journey time to London St. Pancras International is just 3 hours and 29 minutes!
That is city center to city center. Making the train a real competitor to flying, both on price and travel time. The Amsterdam to London flight time might be just 1 hour, but with taxiing, wait times, walking times to the gate, and airport to city transfers, you're looking at very similar travel times.
We personally now think the best way to travel from London to Amsterdam and visa versa for many people is by train.
Direct Trains from Amsterdam to London schedule
4 hours 10 minutes
6:47 p.m. (18:47)
7:28 p.m. (19:28)
9:57 p.m. (21:57)
4 hours 10 minutes
Direct Trains from London to Amsterdam schedule
3 hours 55 minutes
3:32 p.m. (15:32)
4:11 p.m. (16:11)
4 hours 7 minutes
5:16 p.m. (17:16)
9:32 p.m. (21:32)
10:14 p.m. (22:14)
3 hours 58 minutes
There are two daily departures from Amsterdam and Rotterdam. A morning and an evening departure. Perfect for maximizing your day. On the return journey from London to Rotterdam/Amsterdam, there are three daily direct options. It's scheduled that later in 2020, more direct trains will be added to the timetable.
Non-Direct Trains from Amsterdam to London (with a transfer)
When you don't mind transferring in Brussels, you have many more additional departure options available every day. You can then either travel from Holland to Brussels by Thalys high-speed train (the train from Amsterdam to Paris). Or by intercity Brussels, this is a slower regular train service between Amsterdam and Brussels. With both trains, you will change at the Brussels South station. Here you'll clear immigration and customs (both for the EU and UK). Allow enough transfer time to do so (1 hour is recommended).
Before the direct Eurostar connection, only the airplane was a viable way to travel to the British capital. Sure, you can travel by bus too, but expect a travel time of 12 hours. Or the romantic option of going by Ferry. But that made your travel time even longer (and more expensive than a plane ticket).
Airlines and the Eurostar high-speed trains are now direct competitors. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options. We've listed them below to make more sense of both options:
Eurostar Train Pros
Eurostar Train Cons
Different levels of comfort (classes) on Eurostar High-Speed trains:
Eurostar trains have three booking classes: Standard, Standard Premier, and Business Premier.
Standard - 2nd class
Standard Class is comparable to 2nd class. Most seats on the trains will be in this class and offered at the lowest price. Power outlets are available under your seat. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the "Cafe Metropole" dining car.
Standard Premier - 1st class
You can compare Standard Premier with first-class on regular trains. You have more space when you travel in this class. You'll enjoy more legroom, seats are wider, and your seat can recline.
You'll be served a free light meal and complimentary drinks at your seat. Plus, you have a choice of free magazines. Premier coaches have dedicated staff available. Of course, every seat has a power outlet as well. In Amsterdam, you'll have free access to the NS International lounge before your departure.
Business Premier - 1st class plus
In Premier Business, you'll enjoy the same type of seat than in Standard Premier (1st class seat), but you're traveling in a separate carriage. The main difference between Standard Premier and Business Premier is the flexibility of your ticket. You can change it at any time.
Premier Business also allows you access to the Eurostar lounges, for example, in London. These lounges are just as luxurious as airline lounges. They serve food and even have their own cocktail bar. And when you travel Premier Business, you'll be served a full 3-course meal designed by Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc at your seat during the train journey. Before the end of your trip, a snack and a drink will be served.
The final benefit of this travel class is that you can arrive at the security terminal at the last minute. You're able to arrive up to 10 minutes before departure, instead of the usual 40 minutes.
How much is the train from Amsterdam to London?
Tickets start at €40 one-way when you leave from Amsterdam or Rotterdam Central Station or €49 from any Dutch station in the Netherlands. Premier class tickets start from €100 one-way. Business premier tickets start from €275 one-way.
How to travel on the Eurostar train between Amsterdam and London:
Book Your Ticket
You can book your ticket here. The 2nd class option is the Standard cabin. If you choose first-class, you see two prices. The lower price is the Standard Premier class, the higher price on the right is the Business Premier fare.
Check-in for Your Train at Amsterdam or Rotterdam
When you arrive at Amsterdam (or Rotterdam), you'll see signs for London and Passport control. Traveling on Eurostar is very similar to traveling by plane. Unlike with regular trains, there is a security check, passport control, and you have to check your luggage.
The main difference is that you can take more luggage, and there are no liquid restrictions. A significant benefit is also that you'll pass Dutch passport control and British passport control (and customs) here in Holland, saving you time in London. When you fly, you have to deal with all the formalities after arrival.
Check-in opens 90 minutes before departure and closes 30 minutes before departure (except for Premier Business, then check-in remains opens up to 10 minutes before departure).
It's Time to Board Your Train
Once you get out on the platform, take a look at your ticket for your coach and seat number. Coach numbers will be shown on digital panels on the train (next to the doors). Staff will be available at the platform to guide you to the right carriage if needed. Once on board, there is plenty of space to store your luggage.
Then it's time to sit back and relax, or start to work. Before you know it, you've already passed Holland and Belgium. Once in France, you very quickly enter the channel tunnel. In just 30 minutes, you're whisked under the sea to the UK. Then it's only a short hour through the lovely English countryside (Kent is known as the garden of England) before the train pulls into London St. Pancras station!
For us, one of the most fun things about riding the high-speed train are those parts of the journey when you drive parallel to motorways. Cars suddenly seem to travel at slow motion speeds while, in reality, they drive 90 miles per hour.
Did this post about the Eurostar high-speed train help you?
We hope this post helped you to learn more about the Eurostar trains. And with deciding if it's the right mode of transport for you. Join the conversation in the comments below and let us know if you're going to travel by train or not. We would love to hear what you chose and why.
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