Travel along the Hanseatic cities by train

In Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands

Discover the charm and history of Hanseatic cities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on an adventurous train journey. Wander the old streets of Deventer, admire the stunning architecture of Ghent and shop in the trendy districts of Cologne. Enjoy the cultural hotspots of Hamburg, discover the historic charm of Lübeck and stroll through the medieval streets of Bremen. Plan your train holiday from the Netherlands and discover what these wonderful cities have to offer.
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Historic Hanseatic cities: discover Europe's medieval trading centres

The Hanseatic cities were once major trading centres that worked together in the Hanseatic League, an economic and defensive alliance formed more than 800 years ago. The area stretched from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea and included cities in what is now Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland and even parts of Scandinavia and the Baltic States. These cities are renowned for their rich history, beautiful architecture and cultural heritage. Discover the historic charm and uniqueness of each Hanseatic city as you travel.

Plan your train vacation from the Netherlands

Route Travel time Change trains Header Header
Deventer - Ghent 4h18m 2 Content Content
Ghent - Cologne 2h28m 1 Content Content
Cologne - Hamburg 3h58m 0 Content Content
Hamburg - Lübeck 0h46m 0 Content Content
Lübeck - Bremen 2h04m 1 Content Content
Bremen - Zwolle 3h20m 2 Content Content
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Deventer

Travel by train to historic and charming Deventer. Wander the old streets, visit the Lebuinus Church and enjoy trendy cafes and local boutiques. Relax at Museum de Waag and discover the Toy Museum. For vintage clothes, visit Finders Keepers Vintage & Retro. Try the famous Deventer cake and enjoy regional specialities at De Brink. End the day with a glass of wine in St Max. All within walking distance from Deventer station.

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Ghent

This city is an open air museum. The city is rich in historic sights, from St Bavo's Cathedral and Gravensteen Castle to the centuries-old Belfry, the figurehead of the city: Ghent is a city full of treasures! At the same time, it is full of shops, museums and, of course, restaurants and cafes. Lovers of shopping, culture and good food will find plenty to do.
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Cologne

When you think of Cologne, do the imposing cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge come to mind? You would be missing out on a modern metropolis with a rich history. In this German city, you can also spend days shopping, enjoying cultural activities and beautiful architecture. Must-See: Visit the hip Belgian Quarter with its unique boutiques, trendy restaurants and beautiful galleries. Beer and bratwurst is a must in Cologne!

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Hamburg

Hamburg is sometimes called 'little Berlin' because of its hip and vibrant character. Much like the German capital, Hamburg has an industrial past, but is also full of hip hotspots, museums and beautiful sights. Cycle along the banks of the River Elbe, see huge warehouses and visit hip cafes in the revitalised old harbour district, Hafencity. Or discover colourful street art, hip concept stores and unique cafés in the artsy St. Pauli district. By night, you can find lively bars and nightclubs. Explore the trendy and relaxed Schanzenviertel. Both day and night, this area is bustling with inviting terraces, good food and drink. Take the train to Hamburg for a quick and comfortable journey.

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Lübeck

Lübeck, Queen of the Hanseatic Cities, is a delightful city full of history and special sights. Once one of the largest and most powerful cities in Germany, its medieval centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its streets feature more than 50 'Gänge', a maze of courtyards that are part of the public street. In the Netherlands you are not allowed to enter a courtyard, but in Lübeck the courtyards are part of the public arena. Explore this welcoming Hanseatic city and enjoy its historic charm.

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Bremen

The German city of Bremen has a rich history dating back 1,200 years. Stroll through the historic city centre and admire iconic buildings such as the Cathedral and Town Hall. Wander the medieval streets of the Schnoor quarter and discover quaint antique shops, galleries, craftsmen, cafes and restaurants in the quaint old buildings. Just a five-minute walk from the Old Town is the artsy quarter of The Quarter, where colourful graffiti and street art adorn the streets. By day, you can browse unique vintage shops, and in the evenings it transforms into a vibrant nightlife district. Take the train to Bremen for stunning views.

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Zwolle

Take the train to historic and trendy Zwolle. Wander the old streets, visit the Sassenpoort and enjoy trendy cafes and local boutiques. Relax at the Museum de Fundatie and explore the Herman Brood Museum. For alternative clothing styles, visit Finders Keepers Vintage & Retro. Try the famous Zwolse Balletjes and enjoy regional specialities at Van der Velde in de Broeren. At the end of the day, enjoy a wine and drink platter at OAK. Everything is within walking distance from Zwolle train station.
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Tips for cheaper international train tickets

Want to discover Central Europe's vibrant and historic cities on an adventurous train journey? Book your tickets quickly and easily with NS International. All train tickets can be booked separately, making it easy to create your own itinerary.

  • Book as early as possible, you will then have the best chance of getting the cheap tickets.
  • Travelling in the evening is often cheaper.
  • Book from your local train station.

    Learn more about cheap train tickets

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    Discover our other great train journeys around Europe

    Looking for an unforgettable trip to other historic cities? Then check out our best of Central Europe, Southern Europe or Northern Europe.