The Netherlands allows you to travel easily around Europe due to its perfect location. If you are in the Netherlands or Amsterdam and want to utilize your time here to travel around, it is your best chance! This post shares my best tips for booking cross-border trains from the Netherlands and Amsterdam.
Where to book international trains from Amsterdam?
NS International is my go-to website for booking cross-border public transportation tickets. I’ve used it since my first year in the Netherlands and have no complaints.
Here are the reasons why I recommend booking international tickets from the Netherlands from the NS International website:
Reliable since it’s part of NS (Dutch railway company)
NS International is part of NS (Dutch railway company). It’s reliable—no need to worry that they will go bankrupt one day.
Excellent Customer Service (English is welcome here!)
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, but English for Dutch people and the customer service team are not a problem.
The best part is that they have websites in English and the customer support team welcomes English-speaking tourists, and language is never an issue here.
Furthermore, You can access the customer service team via phone, social media, and online chat.
Avoid third-party hustle
Avoiding third-party hustle is one of the main reasons why I book via the NS International website, not via Omio or other websites.
NS International is the direct service point of all these international trains. Therefore, if anything happens, like maintenance or a schedule change, they announce it to their customers immediately by email or on their official website.
In addition, it’s easier to process a refund if you have the right to do so.
Good User Interface (UI) – clear and straightforward
NS international not only offers an English website but is also very straightforward. The messages are clear and easy to navigate, even if you are new to the website.
I remember I visited the German and Italian railway websites, and their interface was not user-friendly. NS International and the NS website are doing a good job.
Departs from multiple train stations
If you travel from the Netherlands to some destinations, like Belgium and UK, you can get on or off the train from multiple train stations, which is very convenient for travelers.
No transaction fee
Some third-party companies include transaction fees, and some even ask for service charges if you pay with a credit card. For NS International, there’s no need for additional costs.
Popular cross-border destinations from the Netherlands by train
As mentioned earlier, due to the geography advance, you can easily travel to other European cities from the Netherlands. Here is the list of countries you can access easily by train:
- UK (Eurostar)
- France (Disneyland Paris, Paris)
- Germany (West part of Germany)
Things to note before booking cheap tickets to Brussels and Paris
As a frequent cross-border traveler in the Netherlands, here are some essential things to know:
- Have correct personal information, which should be the same as your passport data. The railway company can give you a fine if anything is wrong or not aligned. Be sure to correct it before departure.
- Make sure your tickets are flexible or not. Some tickets allow you to take other trains, but some are not. Be sure to think twice before booking the ticket.
- The date and time should be correct since it costs extra if you change the date and time, and some tickets do not allow you to make changes.
- Traveling to Belgium, you can get on or off the train at multiple train stations, like Amsterdam Central Station, Schiphol Airport, and Rotterdam Central. In addition, the destination should be Brussel South-Midi station, then take the domestic train in Brussel to Brussel Central Station.
- Our exclusive tips to save money
- The earlier you are, the cheaper you get. You can book tickets four months in advance.
- 2nd class is always more affordable.
- Tickets without flexibility (like no free cancellation, change of trains, etc.) are usually cheaper.
[Related-Post] Amsterdam Local Travel Discount (Only local people know!)
Important things in mind before taking the train from the Netherlands
- Make sure to bring food when you aren’t hungry on the train. Food from train companies is much more expensive.
- Trains always leave on time. Make sure you arrive 15 minutes before the departure time.
How to book international tickets from Amsterdam
Example: from Amsterdam to Brussels
Brussels is one of the most popular destinations for international travelers. Therefore, I would like to showcase how to book tickets to Brussels on the NS International website.
As mentioned earlier, if you are going to Brussels by train from Amsterdam, you must first get off at Brussel South-Midi Station and take the domestic train to Brussel Central Station.
Step #1: Fill in all the required information
Fill in the information, such as the place of departure and destination and the number of kids and adults.
If you have a yearly subscription with NS, you should mention it here, so you will get a discount if you take NS domestic trains on your journey.
Step #2: Choose your departure date
The system lists down the price range for your tickets in the coming months.
You see three different colors (green, yellow, and red). These are the price indication. The earlier you book, the cheaper you get. You can spot the price at a glance (green is the most affordable, red is the most expensive).
Step #3: Choose your time for your train journey
Once you choose the date, the website lists down all the train journeys you can choose.
There are three things you need to pay extra attention to:
- Total transport time
- How many times do you need to transfer the trains? How long is the transfer time?
- Ticket price
- Flexibility level, meaning that any limitation on cancellation/refund?
- Do you have a preference for window or aisle seat?
Once you confirm all this information, you can press “next step” for your return trip.
Step #4: Choose your train journey for your return trip
It’s the same as the previous step. Once you finish this step, you can proceed to the confirmation before the payment page.
Step #5: Confirmation before payment
On this page, the system shows your selected train journey. Please make sure they are correct.
Step #6: Payment
Once you confirm the train journey, it’s time to fill out passenger detail. After that, you can make the payment.
It’s effortless to book cross-border tickets on NS International; I believe you feel the same way after reading this post. If you have questions about international trains from the Netherlands, comment on this post, and I will reply! Thanks for letting me know, and I’m sorry to hear about that. You can book the call whenever you are ready.