How To Get To Holland

By Air. Most travelers who go to Holland fly in and land in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS), the biggest international airport in the country and the fourth in Europe. Whilst this progressive country has six international airports to boast of (Rotterdam-The Hague Airport, Eindhoven Airport, Maastricht/ Aachen Airport, Ensched Airport Twente and Groningen Airport Eelde), the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the most convenient and easily accessible from any point in the world. Aside from being the hub of the country’s biggest airline, KLM, Schiphol Airport also services a large number of carriers. From here, a number of connections as well as other means of transportation can be taken to your next destination within Holland. 

If you’re flying in from within Europe, check out the low-cost or budget carriers that fly to Amsterdam from several countries in Europe. Take note, however, that some of these budget carriers fly in to other airports. RyanAir mostly uses Eindhoven Airport and Maastricht/Aachen Airport while Transavia used Rotterdam Airport. There are direct buses, the railway and taxis that can take you to Amsterdam or to any other city or town in Holland.

If you’re flying in from outside of Europe, just remember to check the visa requirements. EU and EFTA citizens only need to present an ID or passport for entry. If you are coming from a country that is not a member of the Schengen Agreement, you will need to secure a visa prior to your travel plans. Upon arrival, you will also need to present your passport and other travel documents. Also observe the import regulations for both EU and non-EU member countries. 

By land. Holland has the advantage of being accessible via high-speed passenger trains that connect most major European cities. Aside from it being comfortable and providing you the opportunity to enjoy the scenic route, you can get to your destination quickly. The main stops for the international railway routes are Amsterdam and Utrecht. Book your ticket in advance so that you can take advantage of good deals online. Bookings can be made on the website of NS Hispeed.

If you are coming from France, Belgium or Great Britain, you can take the Thalys which makes a stop at Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam. From London you can take the Eurostar high-speed train.  Meanwhile, there’s the ICE high-speed train if you’re coming in from Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy or Russia. The route runs from Basel, Switzerland via Frankfurt to Amsterdam and via Cologne, Dusseldorf, Arnhem to Utrecht. There is also the relatively new intercity service running between Maastricht and Brussels called the Maastricht Brussel Express.

There are a number of intercity trains as well from various points in Germany. 

Aside from trains, you can drive in to Holland via Germany, London or Belgium. The drive from Paris to Amsterdam will take about six to seven hours depending on traffic conditions. Ferry services can also take your car across the sea from the United Kingdom. Do take note however that since the UK is not part of the Schengen Agreement, full border checks will be enforced so you need to have your travel documents ready for random checks at all times.  

The cheapest way to get to Holland is by bus. There are limited services of Eurolines (the operator for international coaches to the Netherlands from Poland, London, Milan, Brussels, Vienna and Paris). Eurolines also run tour buses for first time travelers to Holland. There are also border-crossing buses from Belgium to Holland (Maastricht).

By sea. As Holland lies on the North Sea, traveling by sea is also fairly easy. There are international ferry services that dock at Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The three major ferry services from the United Kingdom are: P&O Ferries between Kingston Upon Hull and Rotterdam Europoort, DFDS Seaways between Newcastle upon Tyne and Ijmuiden and Stena Line between Harwich and Hook of Holland.  Stena Lines offers packages on their website such as the Dutchflyer which is a combination of “rail and sail” ride, and the Ferries to Amsterdam which provides an easy fare and schedule finder. 

Other ferry services include Seafrance, Transeuropa Ferries and Norfolkline.

You can also check out the option of Freighter Travel, which is a longer way to get to Holland (on Rotterdam). Of course, there is the more leisurely (and more expensive) cruise ship that counts Holland among its ports of call in Europe. From North America, the Cunard Cruise Lines offers a luxurious trip from New York to Southampton from which you can take the train, ferry or a plane ride to Holland.