Alternative routes by train

Compulsory seat reservation

In summer 2024 from 1 June to 1 September, seat reservation is compulsory on ICE, Intercity Berlin and the seats in Nightjet to Zürich. This reservation is free if you select it while booking your train ticket.

If you want to travel without ICE or trains with seat reservation, you can do so on the alternative train routes below.

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Buy train tickets

Want to travel without ICE or Eurostar to Paris? That is possible on alternative train routes from the Netherlands. If you want to buy tickets for these routes, you can do so online. Sometimes you can book the whole route online with one ticket, sometimes you have to cut the route into several parts.
Do you have an Interrail Pass and want to travel without a reservation? Then you can travel with the trains below:

Routes to Germany

Amsterdam - Venlo - Düsseldorf - Frankfurt

  • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Venlo; if you are departing from Utrecht, take a train earlier, otherwise the transfer is tight in Venlo.
  • Take a regional train from Venlo to Düsseldorf
  • Take the ICE from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt

    Travel time: 4.55 hours

    Amsterdam - Arnhem - Duisburg - Frankfurt

    • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Arnhem
    • Take a regional train from Arnhem to Duisburg
    • Take the ICE from Duisburg to Frankfurt

      Travel time: 5.25 hours

      Amsterdam - Heerlen - Aken - Frankfurt

      • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Heerlen
      • Take a regional train from Heerlen to Aachen
      • Take the ICE from Aachen (sometimes with a change in Cologne) to Frankfurt

        Travel time: 5.15 hours

        The direct connection to Intercity Berlin is also very popular. To avoid the peak traffic on both ICE International and Intercity Berlin, you can also opt for the following alternative:

        Amsterdam - Hengelo - Osnabrück - Berlin

        • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Hengelo
        • Take a regional train from Hengelo to Osnabrück
        • Take the ICE from Osnabrück to Berlin

          Travel time: 6.50 hours

          Amsterdam - Arnhem - Duisburg - Berlin

          • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Arnhem
          • Take a regional train from Arnhem to Duisburg
          • Take the ICE from Duisburg to Berlin

            Travel time: 7.46 hours

            Routes to Germany and Switzerland

            Amsterdam - Venlo - Düsseldorf - Basel

            • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Venlo; if you are departing from Utrecht, take a train earlier, otherwise the transfer is tight in Venlo.
            • Take a regional train from Venlo to Düsseldorf
            • Take the ICE from Düsseldorf to Basel

              Travel time: 7.55 hours

              Amsterdam - Arnhem - Düsseldorf - Basel

              • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central to Arnhem
              • Take a regional train from Arnhem to Düsseldorf
              • Take the ICE from Düsseldorf to Basel

                Travel time: 8.25 hours

                Amsterdam - Münster - Basel

                • Take the domestic Intercity from Amsterdam Central Station to Enschede
                • Take the Regionalbahn to Münster
                • Take the ICE from Münster to Basel

                  July only, travel time: 9.35 hours

                  Routes to Belgium - Antwerp

                  You do not need a seat reservation for the Intercity Brussel train to Belgium. If you want cheap last-minute travel, the alternative route via Roosendaal may be cheaper. Also, the trains are sometimes less crowded.

                  • Travel via Roosendaal to Antwerp and beyond

                    Route to France - Paris

                    Even to Paris, you can travel by Interrail without reserving a seat in Eurostar. The route is then:

                    • Amsterdam - Antwerp - Kortrijk - Lille Flandres - Amiens - Paris Gare du Nord

                    Travel time: 8.28 hours

                    Measures ICE International summer 2023

                    This year, in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, we are taking measures to improve the ICE schedule.

                    Measures crowded trains Intercity Brussels

                    We are taking measures this summer to distribute the available capacity as fairly as possible and manage the crowds on trains crossing the border.