Since The Netherlands are such a compact country, I always recommend people to travel by train to discover the best our little country has to offer. It’s fast and not that expensive. And coming from London, you can now take a direct train from London to Rotterdam or Amsterdam. Eurostar is running between London Pancras and Amsterdam, also calling at Rotterdam. It’s a quick and fun way to come to The Netherlands and explore.
I have travelled from Utrecht to London, catching the Eurostar in Brussels. And all I can say is: how relaxing. I simply hopped on a train in Utrecht and 5 hours later I was in the heart of London. Without having to worry about checking in luggage, taking too much carry-on or which airport transfer to take. The new connection between London and Amsterdam gets you from Pancras station to the heart of Amsterdam in 4 hours and 45 minutes. And you’ll reach hip and trendy Rotterdam within 4 hours. A great excuse to come to The Netherlands, right?
Ticket prices start at €59 and from my experience: if you book 3 months in advance, the cheapest fairs will be available to you.
Eurostar from London to Amsterdam
What to do on a weekend in Amsterdam?
So, you have hopped on the Eurostar on Friday night and have arrived in Amsterdam. There is lots of fun stuff to do on a weekend in Amsterdam. If you’d like to visit grand museums like Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum, I highly recommend booking your tickets online in advance as it can get quite busy on weekends. Also in the Museum Quarter is the Moco Museum, which is currently hosting an excellent exhibit on Banksy.
If you’ve never been to Amsterdam before, and you want to get a real feel for the city and get some excellent insider tips on where to go and eat, the Amsterdam Highlight Tour by bike is just for you. A fan of Dutch cheese? Go to one of the famous markets, like Albert Cuyp Markt, to taste the best The Netherlands have to offer. Or go on a proper Dutch cheese tasting tour!
On Sunday it’s time to see a lesser known part of Amsterdam. On the back of Amsterdam Central station, take the ferry to Buikersloot to discover a hidden side of Amsterdam full of beautiful traditional houses along the water. In the afternoon, take a bus to Café de Ceuvel or take a ferry to NDSM wharf for street art spotting and excellent dining experience at Pllek. Read more in my article Off the beaten track: Amsterdam Noord.
To plan your trip and see all fthe amous and not-so-famous sights of Amsterdam, read my Alternative guide to Amsterdam. I have also listed some fun and affordable hotels in Amsterdam.
Eurostar from London to Rotterdam
What to do on a weekend in Rotterdam, The Netherlands?
Rotterdam is becoming a more popular European weekend-break destination every year. And I can’t recommend Rotterdam enough for a weekend getaway. It’s one of Holland’s most exhilarating cities, with some amazing modern architecture, cutting-edge street art and excellent museums.
To start your weekend in Rotterdam, head to Rotterdam’s Museum Park where you will have a choice of no less than 5 excellent museums. I think Museum Boijmans van Beuningen is a top-choice, as a visit to this museum is a like time-travel through Dutch art history. With works by Rembrandt to Mondriaan. But check out my article Rotterdam for art lovers to see which museum you’d like best. Nearby, Witte de With straat is the place to head for coffee, lunch, design and some street art. If you’re into cocktails, Ballroom is where to drink the best G&T’s.
Later in the afternoon, take a tram or the metro to Blaak to see the iconic cubic houses and go for dinner in our near the brand new beautiful market hall. The ceiling alone will leave you lost for words.
On Sunday it’s a good idea to sleep in, before heading to Hotel New York by water taxi. Sit down for a wonderful brunch in this special historical setting. Just across the corner the famous Erasmus Bridge, nicknamed The Swan by locals, watches over the city and provides some excellent Rotterdam skyline views. In the afternoon, you don’t need to go far. Head over to the industrial, though refurbished, Fenix Food Factory to sample some excellent Dutch cheeses or go beer tasting at Rotterdam’s own craft brewery Kaapse Brouwers.
Looking for an excellent hotel in Rotterdam? I can highly recommend staying at CitizenM. Wonderful (Dutch) design at a location that can’t be beaten. Check out my entire city guide Rotterdam to plan your visit.
Plan your weekend break to The Netherlands
- If you’d like to travel on public transport in The Netherlands, it’s best to get yourself an OV Chip Card. This card is valid for all types of public transport in the country and can be charged as you go.
- Check out all my tips to plan your trip to The Netherlands.
LoloFebruary 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm
OOH this is awesome and will come in handy soon!! Would love to be able to just jut over there on a quick train ride!
AshleyFebruary 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm
I’m always so jealous of how easy it is to travel between countries in Europe! I would love to just hop on a train and be in another country for a weekend trip!
KatyMarch 1, 2018 at 11:26 am
Hooray! Eurostar to the Netherlands would be fantastic. We went to Amsterdam last year via Brussels and I do agree, train travel is the most civilised way to go.
EstherMarch 3, 2018 at 8:31 am
I would absolutely have to agree with you here! I take the train from The Netherlands to Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg all the time (yes, it’s lovely how close by it all is) and it’s a very stressfree way to travel.
AmandaMarch 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm
That doesn’t sound like a bad train journey at all, especially when you get dropped off in city centre!
EstherMarch 3, 2018 at 8:32 am
Exactly Amanda, in both the Dutch cities and in London. No hassle with airport transfers. Just hop on a metro or tram and you are were you ought to be.
Vanessa BruneMarch 1, 2018 at 10:08 pm
Ohh that’s so interesting – I didn’t know there was a train! I’ll have to check whether it’s cheaper for me to fly into London and take the train to Rotterdam for Traverse vs the pretty expensive KLM flight to Amsterdam…
EstherMarch 3, 2018 at 8:33 am
It’s only just started running Vanessa, I kinda knew in the back of my mind that it would sometime this year, but happy it’s there. I like train travel!
ClareMarch 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm
It’s so exciting that you can now get the Eurostar directly to the Netherlands. We much prefer travelling by train as there’s usually a lot less queuing to check in and it’s so much more comfortable. Really looking forward to exploring more of the Netherlands.
SharonMarch 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm
This is news to me — and good news! I’ve taken the Eurostar from London to Brussels, then trained to Brugges. I would love to return to Belgium and the Netherlands, and London is a great place for flights from the US. The wheels are turning — time to plan a new trip!
EstherMarch 3, 2018 at 8:34 am
Train travel around The Netherlands is so easy Sharon! Within an hour’s journey from Amsterdam, you can pretty much see 3/4 of the country!
LisaMarch 2, 2018 at 10:10 pm
Ihn the perks of living in Europe! ♡ I love how easy, cheap and fast it is here to get from one country to another!!!
Tracy CollinsMarch 3, 2018 at 12:29 am
We were so happy to hear about this – we have travelled on the Eurostar to Brussels then changed to get to Amsterdam but the new direct route is fantastic! Unfortunately it started after we moved to Australia but we are hoping to do it when we are back in Europe on holiday next year!
SarahMarch 3, 2018 at 1:46 am
Great to know that we could easily do a London and Amsterdam combo trip. Great information. Now I know that I have to do a cheese tour when I visit Amsterdam.
SandraMarch 3, 2018 at 9:07 am
I absolutely loved Rotterdam. It is a very chilled out city. I believe that Rotterdam deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting.
Cynthia MackintoshMarch 3, 2018 at 2:05 pm
Amsterdam looks amazing! We took the Eurostar from London to Paris and it was such a smooth & fast ride. Thank you for sharing!
JillMarch 3, 2018 at 3:11 pm
I’ve loved visiting both London and Amsterdam – and now you can do both much easier. Keeping this in mind for future trips. And I love your photos!
Angie VincentMarch 3, 2018 at 5:45 pm
I love travelling by trail so have been looking forward to the Eurostar to Amsterdam route to opening. Amsterdam is definitely on my weekend break destination wish list.
AnisaMarch 3, 2018 at 6:31 pm
It’s exciting news! I definitely prefer train travel to planes. Next we can hope for the bullet trains like they have in Japan to make the trip even faster.
TanjaMarch 3, 2018 at 10:11 pm
what a great idea
RuthMarch 3, 2018 at 10:23 pm
So cool! I love, love to travel by train. I am going to the Balkans this year and was a bit crushed to learn train networks are not that developed there. I haven’t been The Netherlands for a long time but when I go back I will take the train all around the country.
AndaMarch 4, 2018 at 1:25 am
Good to know about this easy way to get to Amsterdam from London.
SarahMarch 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm
I love the Eurostar so much!! I’ve taken it to Brussels, and to/from Calais a few times when I was working there. Would love to try out the Amsterdam route!
TrishMarch 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm
Ooh yes, I’ve read about this! Fantastic news!
I’ve had a couple of trips to Amsterdam lately but never been to Rotterdam – I’ve pinned your post as it sounds like a city that would appeal to me. Thanks!
StephanieMarch 5, 2018 at 9:49 pm
I just love train travel in Europe and a direct line from London to Amsterdam is wonderful. I have been to both places but must head back over there to visit the great activities you recommend. Pinned for later use.
Rob+AnnMarch 9, 2018 at 7:46 am
Good news! We love train travel, and being able to visit so easily from London sure adds to the options! Going to have to plan on taking more time, now. 🙂 Thanks for the heads up!