Rotterdam is a very exciting place with a personality totally different than the capital of the Netherlands that many people visit each year. Rotterdam is refreshing, filled with interesting architecture, and fabulous food. So, let’s get you there! It’s super easy to get from the Amsterdam Airport to Rotterdam. Like, ridiculously easy. So easy that you’ll be thinking, “why did I even look that up?” Well, because even though it’s super duper easy, you didn’t know that yet! Don’t beat yourself up about it.
Taking the train from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Rotterdam
Just so there is no confusion, the Amsterdam airport in its full glory is called “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol”. Locals tend to call it Schiphol…it’s fun to say. But visitors just call it Amsterdam airport and the call letters are a super-easy-to-remember “AMS”. Makes life so much easier, doesn’t it?
Now that that’s out of the way and you know all the names to call the airport, let’s get you to Rotterdam. The airport is just south of Amsterdam, so it’s even closer to Rotterdam than if you were in the capital.
Train routes to Rotterdam from the Amsterdam airport
There are two main routes: The Intercity takes about 50 minutes and the Intercity direct (which requires the supplement) is about 26 minutes. Be sure you get on the correct train! There are usually NS staff (that’s the national rail service) on the platform and are dressed so you can easily spot them. Always ask if you aren’t sure.
DO NOT get on the Thalys train. Just don’t. It’s big and loud and dark red. This is not the national train service and your NS ticket is no good on that train. People tend to take it to Brussels or Paris (which it’s perfect for!), but don’t take it to Rotterdam.
Buying a train ticket from Schiphol to Rotterdam
The easiest possible way to get to Rotterdam from Schiphol is the train. It’s right under the airport and it runs multiple times an hour and you can get there purchasing a ticket from the big yellow and blue machines or the large ticket booth manned by actual people.
If you want the regular (50-minute) route, you just put in the point A to point B information for your ticket at the ticket machine. But to get the supplement on the fast route (because faster = more expensive!), just tap “other products” when using the yellow and blue machine and you’ll find “IC direct”. That’ll allow you to take the fast train.
If you’re like me and you want to be UBER prepared, purchase your ticket on Omio. For this route, you can use a mobile ticket as long as you take the regular Intercity train and not the faster Intercity Direct train.
Validating your train ticket
Scan your ticket at the many yellow posts around the train station part of the airport. If you are already on the train platform and did not scan your ticket, just head back up. There’s usually a post you can use right at the top of the entrance of the platforms. Make sure it beeps once and the little light on top turns green.
If you decide to purchase your ticket via Omio, just keep the ticket handy so the ticket inspector on the train can scan it. You will not be able to scan it ahead of time at the airport.
Taking a bus from Amsterdam airport to Rotterdam
I’ve come to really appreciate Flixbus. We tend to have good and polite drivers, clean buses, and cheap prices. If you’re used to bus travel, just prefer it, or for whatever reason (it’s actually a bit cheaper on this route, too), take the Flixbus.
Buying your Flixbus ticket
Just click-through here and purchase your ticket if you’d like to support this website. It gives a very small commission, but every little bit helps! Then download the app, sign in, and voila! Your ticket is there. So friggin’ easy.
Be sure to choose the right stop under Amsterdam “Schiphol” and you’ll probably want to be sure the stop you get off the bus is “Rotterdam CS” which just means Central Station. I mention this because Rotterdam has another stop which may not be as easy to navigate from.
Finding your Flixbus
All buses are right in front of the exits at Schiphol airport. You’ll find the Flixbus at platform C. Just know there aren’t signs for the Flixbus specifically, but you won’t be able to miss the bus when it arrives. Again, you can also ask any staff exactly where it stops. But if you’re on platform C, you’ll be fine.
Boarding the bus
Wait for the driver to come off and open the luggage area. Put your bags in, then use the app (it’s really the easiest) to check-in at the front door and they will scan it. If you didn’t reserve a seat, head towards the back!
You are allowed to eat and drink on the bus, but obviously be careful. There’s also a toilet. It may be open, or you may have to ask for the key.
All in all, it should be a good and quick journey. The time will vary due to the time of day and stops but expect about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes for the journey. Best part? It’ll be around €7-10 for the trip. That’s so cheap!
If you are staying in Rotterdam and looking to take a day trip to Amsterdam, we have a whole post on that, including the best ways to get there!
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Wishing you joy and travels!