Travelling from Amsterdam to London is easy. These two capitals are not only close, but are serviced by stacks of transport options. Would you prefer to travel from Amsterdam to London quickly? Cheaply? In comfort? All three?
Perhaps you would rather zoom across by plane – but brave the lines and waiting periods along the way. How about a gentle, rolling train ride through the fields of the Netherlands and the cities of London? But, can you make that trip direct? (The answer is complicated). Perhaps you’re a student travelling on the cheap with luggage and the bus is more your style? Or are you a family with some time to spare, ready to travel by ferry or car?
We’ve hunted, gathered, and left no stone unturned in our quest to bring you the ultimate transport guide from Amsterdam to London. It’s time to switch toking on Amsterdam’s canals for tea and scones with Queen. Ready to jump onboard?
|But first, a reminder: Brexit has the potential to change everything. A country leaving the E.U. is unprecedented, and it’s still unknown how inter-country relations will change. This includes transport companies and immigration requirements. If you’re planning travel after January 29, 2020, make sure you check with your travel provider if you are affected.|
Amsterdam to London – by train
Hop off a platform onto a train, sit back in a comfy seat, and arrive in London at rail speed. Sounds great! However, there is a catch.
Is there a direct train from Amsterdam to London?
The answer is: almost, but not yet. Eurostar originally aimed to start operating the first direct train from Amsterdam to London in December 2019. While a service from London to Amsterdam has been operating since April 2018, a direct trip in the opposite direction is still impossible.
The latest reports say that Eurostar is now planning to launch the service in March 2020. However, the start of the service is heavily dependent on the Brexit outcome. Netherlands, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom all need to sign a treaty to make it possible, and recruit the appropriate staff for cross-border travel.
Regardless, if all the nations can play nice, the direct train would be a real gamechanger for the Dutch, English, and tourists. Imagine hopping on in Amsterdam, closing your eyes for four hours to catch up on some z’s (we know you need it!), and opening them to the double-deckers of London.
So can you take a train from Amsterdam to London?
Yes, you can still take a train from Amsterdam to London, but you need to make a stop. If you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person this could be a deal-breaker. But, if you’re a glass-half-full person you’ll be saying: hell yeah. Why? Because the stop is in majestic Brussels, Belgium.
As we said, the direct train is in the works – and you could be hopping on board from March 2020. In the meantime, to get from Amsterdam to London by train you need to go via Brussels. Here’s how it works:
- You’ll make one booking, from Amsterdam to London via Brussels with Eurostar.
- In Amsterdam, you’ll board a Thalys train to Brussels Midi/Zuid.
- In Brussels, you’ll switch platforms to Eurostar:
- cross the main corridor on the ground floor of the station,
- the departure hall for Eurostar is located on platforms one and two.
- you’ll scan your ticket barcode, then undergo a security and identity check
- In London you’ll arrive at St. Pancras, right near Kings Cross.
- Then you’ll go eat some tea and scones with the Queen.
You’ll have two suitcases and one piece of hand luggage included in both tickets so you can stuff your suitcases with weed t-shirts or tiny red phone booths to your heart’s content.
How much does the direct train from Amsterdam to London cost?
Prices start from around 40 euros, but mid-winter pricing saw those prices jump to up to 235 euros – ouch! Book ahead to try to save money to spend at your destination instead.
Can I stopover in Brussels when going from Amsterdam to London by train?
If you would like to make a stopover in Brussels for a few hours or days, just book your ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels, and Brussels to London separately.
Make sure to take the Thalys train from Amsterdam though – this is the high-speed option and will get you there in just under two hours, about one hour quicker than the Intercity trains. If you’re arriving at Schiphol or closer to Rotterdam, you can also take the Thalys directly from either of those locations.
Tell me more about the direct train from London to Amsterdam
We repeat: this is only available from London, but we’re going to pause here because if you’re looking to the other way round, you may also want to come back. If your in London and you want to get to Amsterdam, here’s what you need to know.
The service is operated by Eurostar and only takes 3 hours and 52 minutes. When you compare this to flying, factor in getting to the airport, arriving early enough to check-in to your flight, check baggage, clear security, board, fly, clear immigration and customs, and get from the airport into the city, (whew!) it actually is pretty time economical to take the train – and it offers a lot less waiting in lines.
Where does the direct train from London to Amsterdam leave from?
You’ll leave from St. Pancras in London, a huge station in the city centre right near Kings Cross which is handy if you’re also heading to Hogwarts. St. Pancras is well-served by the extensive London Underground, so it’s easy and quick to get to if you’re okay with ultra-noisy subways. You’ll arrive in Amsterdam Central, which is walking distance to most tourist attractions and hotels in Amsterdam.
When does the direct train from London to Amsterdam run?
The direct train from London to Amsterdam runs three times a day during the week and a slightly reduced timetable on weekends. That gives you a good variety of choice! Here’s the timetable as of January 2020:
|London to Amsterdam|
|London St Pancras International||Departure||7:16 *||11:04||17: 16 **|
* Does not run on Sundays
** Does not run on Saturdays; departs on Sunday at 17:19
How much does the direct train from London to Amsterdam cost?
Eurostar advertises that you can get tickets from just 40 euros. A quick scan of winter pricing showed that you can actually get a ticket for that price – amazing! Obviously, in the summer you can expect that price to jump up and tickets to sell out, so try to book early.
We know it’s not a seven euro RyanAir flight, but it’s also a lot more comfortable and you won’t be treated like cattle.
Even better, every ticket includes two suitcases, and one piece of hand luggage, so you won’t get stung on those airline luggage fees or try and cram your bag into an oddly-shaped container.
Amsterdam to London – by air
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to travel in the clouds (because let’s face it, it’s pretty damn cool that we CAN travel in the clouds) you’re in luck: it’s very easy to get from Amsterdam to London by air.
Which airlines fly between Amsterdam and London?
While Amsterdam has just one major airport, Schiphol, London has six: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and London Southend. Keep in mind that some of these airports are up to an hour away from the city centre by car, and longer by public transport.
London City, Gatwick and Heathrow are all closest to the city centre, but also typically service higher-cost airlines. Luton, Stansted, and Southend are further away, and most budget airlines fly through these.
Airlines with non-stop flights from Amsterdam to London by airport:
Amsterdam to London City: Flybe, KLM, British Airways
Amsterdam to Gatwick: easyJet, British Airways
Amsterdam to Heathrow: British Airways, KLM
Amsterdam to Luton: easyJet, Luton
Amsterdam to Stansted: easyJet
Amsterdam to Southend: easyJet
If you’re looking to save some euros, look at other Dutch airports like Eindhoven or Rotterdam. Most budget airlines fly between smaller airports. For example, RyanAir flies exclusively from Eindhoven to London Stansted.
How much is a plane ticket from Amsterdam to London?
You can occassionally snatch up a ticket from Amsterdam to one of London’s outer airports for less than 40 euros. Average price is somewhere between 60 and 90 euros during average periods, but tickets can shoot up into the few hundred euros mark during peak times.
How long is the flight between Amsterdam and London?
A flight from Amsterdam to London can take anywhere from one to one-and-a-half hours, depending on which airport you’re flying into.
Remember to take into account the time spent checking in, getting through security and border control (the United Kingdom was never Schengen, even before Brexit!), and then clearing customs and immigration in London.
Amsterdam to London – by bus
If you’re not fond of flying and trains, or maybe you just really like seeing the inside of a bus for up to nineteen hours, then the bus from Amsterdam to London is for you!
Seriously, there are some benefits to taking the bus. It can be cheaper if you have some heavy luggage to bring, you have the option of bringing a bike, and you can catch up on all those podcasts you swore you would listen to. And, some of the buses do make it in just ten-and-a-half hours.
What bus companies go from Amsterdam to London?
If you’re really keen to do this by road, the most well-known company is Flixbus. This German company has routes all over Europe, pretty comfortable, new buses, and sometimes the wifi even works. Flixbus have four different departure points in Amsterdam so check yours carefully, and arrive at Victoria Coach Station. They advertise tickets from 23 euros, but this can shoot up anywhere from 50-100 euros.
Newcomer BlaBlaBus, an offshoot of ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar and formerly called OuiBus, also makes the arduous journey across the Channel. They advertise tickets from 23 euros, all leave from Amsterdam Sloterdijk, and arrive relatively centrally at Victoria Coach Station.
You’ll have a few opportunities throughout the bus journey to hop off, use the bathroom, and grab some food. Regardless, ten hours minimum on a bus is a long time, so this journey is only for the brave-hearted.
Amsterdam to London – by ferry & train
Keen to hit the high seas – or in this case, the English Channel? It is possible to buy a combined ticket to get your from Amsterdam to London by train and ferry. Stena Line, a UK Company, teamed up with the UK’s Greater Anglia Rail, NS and RET (Rotterdam Public Transport) to create a special combined ticket.
To get from Amsterdam to London by train and ferry, you would leave any Amsterdam train station (or from any other train station in the Netherlands) and make your way to Rotterdam, hop on the metro line to Schiedam Centrum, and then onto the ferry at Hook of Holland. Once you arrive in the United Kingdom in Harwich, you’ll then take the train up to London.
How long does the ferry and rail journey from the Netherlands to London take?
Let’s break this down into the various legs of the journey:
- Amsterdam to Rotterdam Centraal by train takes around 45 minutes
- Rotterdam Centraal to Hook of Holland by subway takes around 50 minutes.
- Hook of Holland to Harwich by ferry takes 6.5 hours
- Harwich to London by train takes around 1 hour, 40 minutes.
In total, expect the journey to take a minimum of twelve hours, when taking into account waiting times.
Can I take luggage, a bike, or pets?
You can take up to two suitcases on the ferry, a bike during certain times, and pets. You’ll need to check on individual rail services if you can take bikes and furry friends.
How much does the ferry and train between Amsterdam and London cost?
StenaLine offers the combined rail and ferry ticket from just 49 euros per person. This includes rail travel from any city in the Netherlands to the port, the ferry, and then rail service to any Greater Anglia Rail station in England.
How can I book a ticket for the rail and ferry from Amsterdam to London?
Ready to hop on board me hearty? Head on over to StenaLine’s Dutch website to book your combined ticket. Keep the language in Dutch and just use Google Translate or you won’t be able to include your rail ticket inside the Netherlands.
Amsterdam to London – by car
None of the options above take your fancy? It is possible to drive from Amsterdam to London if you’re more of a rev-head or transporting a bunch of stuff. The route takes you down through Belgium and into France. There, you’ll find the Channel Tunnel – the tunnel with the longest underwater section in the world. It also has an adorable nickname: The Chunnel.
You don’t actually drive through the Channel Tunnel. Instead, you load your car onto a specially designed train called the Eurotunnel Shuttle, and sit in your car while the train shuttles you underwater to the UK. This part of the trip is only 35 minutes. You can take pets on the shuttle, or, if you’re cycling around you can put your bike on and travel in a special minibus.
How much does the Eurotunnel Shuttle cost?
This is a pretty cost-effective option: the shuttle charges by car, not by passenger and prices start from just 49 euros. If you’re travelling with a big family or a group of friends, this can be cost-effective. Remember to factor in gas, and tolls for your journey too!
How long does it take to travel from Amsterdam to London by car?
The trip from Amsterdam to London by car will take you around six-and-a-half hours, depending on traffic and waiting for the ferry.
|This part is important: Brexit has the potential to change everything. A country leaving the E.U. is unprecedented, and it’s still unknown how inter-country relations will be affected. This includes transport companies and immigration requirements. If you’re planning travel after January 29, 2020, make sure you check with your travel provider if you are affected.|
Have you travelled from Amsterdam to London? What route did you take? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: Canva