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How to get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam Airport

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Traveling to Rotterdam and landing at Amsterdam Airport?

Check out this painless and affordable guide to getting from Amsterdam Airport Schipol to Rotterdam.

Initial Checklist

First things first. As you already know, a little of cash is essential for this public transport venture. Chances are you already got a bit of Euro tucked away in your wallet. However, in the odd chance that the last minute rush to pack your bags prevented you from getting a bit of foreign currency (after all, you tell yourself, you could always hop over to the nearest exchange point once you are there), be sure to get some cash when you arrive in Schipol.

There are quite a few places where you can either exchange cash, traveler’s cheques or draw money from an ATM. ABN AMRO, one of the European banks, has several offices in the airport, all of which are conveniently located in the passenger area. Working hours seem to range from 8 am to 8 pm – please check the Schipol Airport website for exact locations and opening hours.

Catching the Train

Next bit involves catching the train from Schipol to Rotterdam. Grabbed all of your luggage? It’s time to catch the train. It’s pretty straightforward really. Follow signs from the arrival area to the Schipol Plaza.

First, you have to buy the tickets. Look for the quaint red-and-white checkered box that looks like the novel rocket-ship in Tintin comics packed itself up for the day. The ticket counters are located close to it. On your ticket, be sure to double-check your platform number (Spoor nummer).

If you look around whilst in the Plaza, you will see pairs of escalators leading down. Each of them will take you to a different platform so check for the escalator which has your number. Hop onto the right escalator, zoom down and voila, there is your train. That’s right, all the train lines are laid out in all its grandeur in the lower floor.

There you have it. Enjoy the breezy 45 minute train ride to Rotterdam Centraal.

From Centraal to Your Hotel

Now you’re at Centraal Station – what next? Your hotel of choice could be any number of hotels listed on So I’m not going to dwell on any particular hotel per say. Rather let me provide a bit of basic information about two of my preferred transport choices from Centraal Station.

The Rotterdam Metro

Quick and easy, the Rotterdam Metro system is an excellent choice for your transportation needs. There are two lines: Erasmuslijn (this is the North to South line) and Calandlijn (this is the East to West line). In Centraal Station, follow the signs to the Metro and buy a ticket for your specific area. Two ways to buy the ticket – ask the helpful man at the counter or use some coinage and purchase from the machines.

Hang on a second – how do we know what area to choose? Well, check out your hotel location on Google Maps and then, zoom in on the map to check out the name of the Metro closest to you. Note, the blue-white ‘M’ on Google Maps indicate Metro lines.

If you are like me and get hopelessly lost, here’s the ‘I know what I am doing’ trick. Check out the names of the stops before and after your stop. While on the Metro, keep an eye on the map (above every door). This way you know when you are close or gone too far. Check out this website for a helpful layout of the whole metro line.

Catching a Tram in Rotterdam

Your next option is checking out the tram line. Follow the signs in Centraal Station and head off towards the tram stops.

Which tram should you catch? RET website provides route planners but unfortunately is currently only available in Dutch. Google Maps can be a helpful indication of the tram routes. Zoom into Google; the icon for the tram is a side-way view of a vehicle with a blob on its roof. Clicking on the icon of the tram will bring up the tram number for that line. Now you can track down which tram(s) will take you to your hotel.

Whilst on the tram, you can purchase your ticket from the conductor at the front. As for the price itself, trams really don’t cost much. Rotterdam is divided into zones and your ticket should be a nifty little amount if you stay within zone 5300. On the other hand, if you hotel is outside zone 5300 (zone 5319 etc.), you will have to pay just a little bit more for the ticket. Check out this Rotterdam map to find out the zones; there’s no price given per say but at least you know to carry a bit of extra if your tram ride zooms through 2-3 zones.

And a side-note when keeping an eye out for your stop – almost all tram stops have a yellow schedule stand next to it, with the name of the stop right at the top. This way you know when it is time to hop off. Of course, you could always ask the conductor give a friendly wave when it’s your stop.

That’s about it – easy, affordable and relatively painless! And you get to admire the idyllic surrounds on your little journey!

Photo of Rotterdam Station at night originally posted by Photocapy


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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer ami k. goemans

Ami K. Goemans is a freelance writer and webdeveloper who is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She moved to Rotterdam from South Africa after living there for 5 years. In addition to visiting little eateries, she loves exploring book stores, museums and computer game stores.

16 responses to “How to get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam Airport”

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  1. Fountain says:
    November 4th, 2008 at 13:21

    Amsterdam city addicts. I liked it:)

  2. Anna Blair says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 13:47

    thanks a lot, travelling to Amsterdam aisrport to get to Rotterdam for Ahoy concert venue…will try this Hilton Rotterdam hotel is walking distance from station in Rotterdam and pre-paid was only 49€ a night for king size room…..not bad at all!

  3. Ami says:
    March 2nd, 2009 at 14:28

    Thanks. Enjoy the concert :) The transport network is awesome in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Traveling should be a breeze!

  4. Lavanya says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 09:07

    Thanks Ami!

    I’m coming to Rotterdam from Durban, SA next month.
    It’s my first international trip, so I am a bit nervous.
    Your helpful advice makes me feel a bit more at ease :)

  5. Ami says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:25

    @Lavanya Thanks, glad to be of help. Incidentally, I also lived in Durban for a few years. :) You’ll miss Durban’s sunny weather but I’m sure you’re going to have lots of fun here. People are friendly and with such a well-connnected public transport system, even if you got lost, you are back on track in just a few minutes. :)

  6. Fred says:
    July 28th, 2010 at 15:13

    We will have a lot of luggage with us. Where do you put it on the train between Scipol and Rotteredam?

  7. Karen Isdaryono says:
    August 6th, 2011 at 01:44

    Hi There ….
    Went to holland many many years ago when I was still in my 6th grade .. now I am going back to Holland – Rotterdam for a 10 days training and will stay in Hillton Rotterdam. I am glad you write something about TinTin shop …. I will surely go there before I fly back to my home country Indonesia. I am a TinTin collector. Is it far from the Hilton ?
    Thank you so much for the tips.

  8. Saddiq says:
    March 2nd, 2012 at 16:05

    Hi Ami, I enjoy your master piece on how toget to rotherdam from amsterdam infact its like am already there. i am planning to attend the programme at IHS in june and really your guide is highly intresting. Thanks alot.

  9. Grzegorz z Polski says:
    September 9th, 2012 at 15:24

    Hi Ami

    Mant thank for all informations. Serdeczne dzieki za informacje: How to get to Rotterdam from Amsterdam Airport, Jak dojechac z Roterdamu do lotniska Amsterdam.

  10. Bryan says:
    March 22nd, 2013 at 17:18

    LOLLL “Look for the quaint red-and-white checkered box that looks like the novel rocket-ship in Tintin comics packed itself up for the day.”.

    That was a very funny line..

  11. Starflip says:
    May 5th, 2013 at 06:21

    Helpful, cheerful and clear. Now I feel ready to hit the road … or, rather … the track.

  12. Ricki says:
    July 17th, 2013 at 22:33

    This all sounds great BUT we have large luggage for a cruise and will be difficult to transport on/off train etc Please help

  13. Ahmed says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 03:20

    Hey … i will not be able to take public transport to my hotel because of my luggage … so my question what are the cabs like , do they speak english , fares … etc. ?… I will be staying at the holiday inn express…thanks

  14. Paul says:
    June 28th, 2014 at 18:53

    We will be carrying a lot of luggage for a cruise. Is the train still viable. We are staying at the Hilton which appears to be close to train station

  15. oscarleonel says:
    August 20th, 2014 at 16:19

    Where could I find a good exchange money office to change dollars to euros, close to Erasmus Medical Center or Centraal train Station? Thanks a lot, Oscar Leonel

  16. george Mamo says:
    October 6th, 2014 at 15:34

    can I carry a big luggage on the train from Amsterdam airport station to Rotterdam central,where we want to stop to Hotel Rotterdam,Schiekate 658,Noord 3032 A K Rotterdam Thanks

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