2 of Europe’s most popular cities, there’s no question that if you haven’t visited either Amsterdam or Prague before, then you definitely should!
The sort of destinations you return to time and time again – or at least I find myself returning there again and again! – there’s always something new to discover in these classic, yet totally enchanting travel cities.
From the beautiful Medieval centre of Prague, with its famous bridge and astronomical clock, to the wild nightlife of Amsterdam, not to mention its cute canals and great museums, these 2 cities make for a great Europen itinerary pairing.
Sadly however, it is not as easy to travel between them as you might think.
Currently planning yet another flight-free journey through Europe myself, I was actually shocked to discover it generally takes around 10-11 hours to travel between these 2 cities by train but, if you’re still keen to do it, there’s here’s my full lowdown on the best way.
After all, if you take the wrong way this journey could set you back over 16 hours!
I’ve also included some info on catching the bus, driving or flying between these 2 destinations at the end of this article too – just in case these options might suit you better…
- Best 2 Day Itinerary for Prague
- Top 10 Free Things to Do in Amsterdam
- How to Travel from Frankfurt to Amsterdam
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Amsterdam to Prague: The Basics
- Largely speaking, it’s just under 900km between Amsterdam and Prague, and there are several different ways you can make this journey depending on your budget, timeframe and travel style, including train, bus, car and plane.
- For the purposes of this article, I’m going to discuss travelling from Amsterdam to Prague i.e. in the direction of west to east, but please do bear in mind, you can absolutely travel the other way too! All this information will still apply if you are travelling from Prague to Amsterdam, you’ll just have to follow it in reverse!
- I often get asked in which direction I recommend people travel in, but my answer is always the same, it honestly doesn’t matter. Pick the route that works best given your itinerary, your bucket list spots and the time of year you are travelling. If you’re flying in and out of Europe (or training elsewhere afterwards), then checking prices of onward journeys from each city may help sway your decision as to which city you finish in.
- Oh and a word of warning, Prague is spelt Praag in Dutch and Praha, in Czech, so don’t get confused if you see those names used in stations too!
- And finally, it pays to know that the details I give in this article are current at the time of publication, but timetable and schedules do change, so please check Trainline (where you can also book your tickets) for the latest train info.
#1 Fastest Option for Amsterdam to Prague By Train
So the first thing to know is that there is no direct service train service between Amsterdam and Prague.
Travelling between these 2 cities involves you using both the German and Czech railway networks and making at least one stop – but most likely 2.
The quickest train time between these 2 cities is around 10 and a half hours and includes 2 changes – one in Hannover Hbf and one in Berlin Hbf, before arriving in Praha hl.n.
Worth noting these are all the main stations in these cities – as indicated by either Hbf or hl.n.
To make this journey, you’ll need to board the 9:10 am Intercity 143 train leaving Amsterdam Centraal.
You’ll then arrive into Hannover Hbf at 1:18 pm and have 13 minutes to change platforms and board the InterCityExpress 547 to Berlin.
Arrival into Berlin Hbf will be at 3:06 pm, and you’ll then have 10 minutes to get onto the EuroCity 177 train that departs Berlin at 3:16 pm and will get you into Prague at 7:35 pm.
Yes this is the best train journey, so definitely jump on tickets for this one if you find a good price – around 70€ is good, some tickets can cost as much as 200€ – eek!
And the high price is mostly because the final leg of this journey is care of a EuroCity (EC) train, which are superior international services that tend to offer better comfort, speed, food, service and cleanliness than the regular IC trains.
#2 Cheaper Option for Amsterdam to Prague By Train
If price is a consideration for you (and why would it not be right?), then you may prefer to take a slightly longer train journey from Amsterdam to Prague – around 12 hours – that will definitely cost less.
But as always with these things, there is a drawback!
And yes, the killer drawback on this route is that you have to make 5 changes.
Yes, that’s right, 5 freaking changes!
I know, I know, I can’t believe it either, but I don’t make up the train rules here people, so don’t shoot the messenger!
The “best” option here (ha ha!) is to take the 7 am IC 141 departure from Amsterdam-Centraal to Hanover Hbf.
Change at Hanover and take the ICE 545 to Berlin Hbf at 11:31 am.
Then once in Berlin, you’ll need to change again onto the IC 1175 to Dresden Hbf, before hopping on the S1 train to Bad Schandau, which departs at 3:29 pm.
Disembark at Bad Schandau and enjoy a 27 minute wait, before catching the RB 28010 4:41 pm to Decin hl.n, where you’ll make your final change and board the R693 to Praha hl.n at 5:25 pm.
Arrive into Prague hl.n exhausted, but with a supreme sense of achievement, at 7:12 pm.
These tickets can be picked up for around €45 – which means they are a good saving on the first option and actually take only 1.5 to 2 hours longer – despite all the changes!
#3 Train & Bus Combo Option
And then there’s a third option for travelling between Amsterdam and Prague, which includes 2 trains and a bus!
The advantages of this route are that it’s comparable to the train journey durations (the fastest train / bus combo option is around 12 and a half hours) and that it can be much cheaper and there are definitely less than 5 changes involved!
The top option for the train and bus combination route between Amsterdam and Prague is to take the 9:10 am IC 143 from Amsterdam Centraal to Berlin Gesundbrunnen.
Here you’ll then need to change and grab a short journey on the RE 3311 across the city to Berlin Hbf.
From here you can walk to Berlin Sudkreuz bus station and catch a RegioJet coach to Prague Florenc Central Bus Station, arriving at about 9:30 pm.
This is the middle ground option when it comes to speed, price and lack of changes, as tickets can be picked up for around 65€.
#4 Future Sleeper Train Possibilities
There is talk of an amazing train line that will link the major cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hanover, Berlin, Dresden and Prague more directly.
This would be a European Sleeper train, so would also be a very comfortable journey.
Despite plans to launch in April 2022, nothing has so far materialised, but fingers crossed I’ll be able to update you on this exciting new service soon!
Amsterdam to Prague Train Tips
Buying Train Tickets
So now that we’ve covered the basics about travelling from Amsterdam to Prague by train, it’s time to cover how to buy tickets for this service.
As is commonly the case when booking trains that cross European borders, there’s essentially 2 options for this journey – booking through the national railway websites or booking through an international one.
Very often, I find the national sites of European train operators, clunky to use, hard to decipher and difficult to pay in foreign currencies or with international cards.
Which is why I always book my European trains using Trainline.
Comparing journeys and services is made super easy by Trainline, which handily has everything translated into English and includes bus and train travel (despite the confusing name!)
Often the prices here are just as cheap (with only a minimal booking fee) and their easy booking service allows you to pay using international cards and even change the currency to view converted prices.
They also have a great app, which allows you to not only book tickets on the move, but also store your e-tickets (doing away with the need to print anything out or waste time at the station) and their journey planner – essentially letting you know if the train is on time, late etc.
Basically, Trainline makes life so easy for international travellers that they are well worth the €1-2 booking fee in my opinion.
You can also book tickets 180 days ahead of your journey, which is the longest lead-up time of any train booking website I’ve found.
So why not save yourself some serious hassle and book your Amsterdam to Prague trains at Trainline here.
Seat & Refundable Reservations
As a budget traveller, I’d always opt for a standard ticket, as the trains in this part of Europe are more than comfortable enough.
When booking with Trainline, standard seats are the norm, but you can often specify if you’d like to be forward-facing, have a window seat or be near a table / power socket.
Because I often like to work on trains, I find this especially helpful!
Trainline also gives you control over whether you’d like some form of flexible or refundable fair.
For obvious reasons, flexible and refundable fares are more expensive, but do give you the option to change or cancel journeys if you’re travel plans are a bit flaky.
Otherwise, if you’re pretty sure your plans are going to go according to, well, plan (!), then I’d opt for the lowest price tickets.
These are generally non-refundable and non-exchangeable, but are often significantly cheaper making them worthwhile in my opinion!
Depending on the service, there are sometimes flexible, semi-flexible and non-flexible ticket options on offer too.
Luggage & Bikes
In terms of practical information for what to expect from the train journey between Amsterdam to Prague, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s no restrictions on luggage.
As long as you can carry your luggage onto the train, there’s usually ample rack space at either end of the carriages, as well as above the seats for smaller bags.
Trains do have room for bikes to be taken onboard too, but cycle spaces are limited and need to be booked in advance.
If you need to arrange luggage storage in either Amsterdam or Prague, then I highly recommend LuggageHero – a great left luggage app I’ve used across Europe myself.
Boarding the Train
As with the vast majority of trains in Europe, there’s no need to check in for your Amsterdam to Prague journey.
You simply enter the station and check the boards for the platform your departing train will leave from.
Then just find the platform, board the train and sit in your reserved seat, or in the correct carriage class if your ticket is unreserved.
Ensure you then have your tickets (or e-tickets) to hand for when a conductor or inspector passes by.
Use the Trainline app to track your journey and see when your correct departure station is coming up.
The great news is that the trains from Amsterdam to Prague are electric, which means they have a low carbon footprint.
If you are trying to travel in a more sustainable, the train is a great way to go.
Given the fact that it’s also fast, pleasant, stress-free and relatively good value means it’s a great all-round option for making this journey.
#5 Amsterdam to Prague by Bus
If you’re on a real budget however, then it also pays to know you can get a bus the whole way from Amsterdam to Prague.
With prices as low as 30€ when booked in advance, this is a great budget travel option!
Taking an overnight bus is probably the best way to get through the gruelling 15-17 hour journey and the 2 best options are either the 2pm RegioJet bus that leaves Amsterdam Sloterdijk and gets into Prague Florenc at 5am, or the 5:45 pm Flixbus departure from Amsterdam Sloterdijk that gets you into UAN Florenc at around 9 am the following day.
To review and book both these buses, you can again use Trainline who offer you the ability to compare both rail and coach journeys.
#6 Amsterdam to Prague by Plane
Much as I really hate flying short distances because of the needless carbon emissions it generates, if you are looking to get from Amsterdam to Prague in the quickest time, a flight might be a good option for you.
Taking around 1.5 hours, Dutch airline KLM offer this flight direct for around €90 one-way when booked in advance.
Personally, I’d still opt for the train – I think it’s a much nicer more relaxing and more environmentally-friendly way to travel – but if train prices are sky high (perhaps because you’re booking late) or you’re travelling with kids, it probably is worth checking out the cost of flights.
As always, I use Skyscanner to get the best deals on airline tickets.
They always include budget airlines in their searches and therefore offer some of the best deals around.
#7 Amsterdam to Prague by Car
And finally, the last way you may consider travelling from Amsterdam to Prague is via 4 wheels.
If you want to rent a vehicle then check out DiscoverCars for some of the best deals in Amsterdam.
The pros to renting a car to make this journey are the flexibility and the ability to make stops of your choice on the way.
The cons to renting a car however are expense, organisation and having to drive in a foreign country.
This can be a very stressful experience, at least it is for me!
You also have to factor in the time it will take you to drive between Amsterdam to Prague – around 9 hours – and the cost of tolls and fuel.
Renting a vehicle is really only better than a train if there’s a group of you to help cover the costs and help with the driving in my opinion.
Tips for Your Time in Amsterdam & Prague
If you want to learn more about Amsterdam, then check out these articles I wrote about the perfect 2 day itinerary for this fab city and spending time at the coast just outside Amsterdam – they give you the full travel lowdown including how long to spend there, where to stay, as well as the best places to hang, eat, sightsee and enjoy.
Alternatively, my list of the top 21 things to do in Prague will give you all the info you need to enjoy this bucket city.
My 1 week Czech itinerary is also the perfect accompaniment if you’re planning to spend longer in this country and sightsee beyond Prague – which I highly suggest you do.
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!
And there it is, my guide for everything you need to know about travelling from Amsterdam to Prague by train.
Have you made this journey?
Have any tips to share to help fellow travellers out?
Please leave any info about your journey in the comments box below…