I travelled from Cologne to Amsterdam in August 2014 – its a fast and relaxing journey on a modern German InterCity Express (ICE) train. The cover photo is my train to Amsterdam arriving at Cologne main station.
Shortly after leaving Cologne the train also calls at Dusseldorf, then stopping at Duisburg and Oberhausen before crossing the border into the Netherlands south of Arnhem. A final call at Utrecht and the you’re in Amsterdam 2 hours and 40 minutes after leaving Cologne.
Once out of the industrial heart of the Rhineland the train passes through pleasant countryside in Northwest Geemany and the southern part of the Netherlands. After Utrecht the train runs alongside the Amsterdam-Rhine canal – a busy freight waterway – before passing through the southern suburbs of Amsterdam and past the Amsterdam Arena at Bijlmer station. Shortly after you arrive at Amsterdam Centraal, that imposing building just minutes from Dam Square.
ICE trains are among the most comfortable in Europe, and if booked in Advance can be very good value for money. In 2018 the price for single ticket booked a month ahead was €30 and €50 in first class. Most trains also start from Frankfurt as well, about an hour further on from Cologne.