The Netherlands (Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, Utrecht, Arnhem), London & Edinburgh. What should I buy?

Over 3-weeks, I'll travel all over the Netherlands--especially Amsterdam, using intra- and inter-city trains, London and Edinburgh. What should I buy?Would like to be able to travel within Amsterdam and London, but I plan on making these specific trips:Amsterdam to Haarlem to The Hague back to Amsterdam;Amsterdam to Utrech to Arnhem and back to Amsterdam;Amsterdam to London;London to Edinburgh;Edinburgh to London;Your help is much appreciated.
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  • Hi Jodi,

    I would recommend purchasing a Eurail Benelux Pass for your travels in the Netherlands and Belgium (a trip from Amsterdam to London connects through Belgium), and then regular tickets for your round-trip between London and Edinburgh. With the Eurail Benelux Pass, you would also be covered on the Eurostar train from Brussels to London. The Eurostar would just require reservations as a supplement to the pass.

    For the Eurail Benelux Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-benelux-pass/index.html.

    The Eurail Benelux Pass will cover the ticket costs for each of your requested trains in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam to Haarlem, Haarlem to The Hague, The Hague to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Utrecht, Utrecht to Arnhem, and Arnhem to Amsterdam. These trains do not accept reservations, so the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    A connection from Amsterdam to London takes at least about 5-5.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains once in Brussels along the way.

    From Amsterdam to Brussels, there are Thalys high-speed trains and regular IC (InterCity) trains. On the Thalys trains from Amsterdam to Brussels, reservations are required as a supplement to the rail pass. On the IC trains from Amsterdam to Brussels, reservations are not accepted, so the rail pass is all you would need to board. The ride on a Thalys only takes about 1.5 hours, while the ride on an IC train takes just over 3 hours.

    As I mentioned above, the Eurostar from Brussels to London also will require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a Thalys from Amsterdam to Brussels and a Eurostar from Brussels to London by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Benelux Pass'). To do so, you would just do one search for trains from Amsterdam to Brussels and then another search for trains from Brussels to London.

    I would recommend allowing yourself at least about 1 hour at the station in Brussels (Brussels Midi). The Eurostar (Brussels-London) is different from other trains in that it requires passengers 'check-in' prior to departure. In the case, of 'passholder' fares, Eurostar would require you to check-in 45 minutes in advance of your departure. It also may take about 15-20 minutes to get to the Eurostar check-in area after you disembark your train from Amsterdam.

    Thalys trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date, while Eurostar trains can generally be reserved up to 6-9 months in advance of a departure.

    For planning purposes, you can view schedules on our site for the non-reservable trains from Amsterdam to Haarlem, The Hague to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Utrecht, and Arnhem to Amsterdam. Once again, the Eurail Benelux Pass is all you would need to board these trains.

    Schedules from Haarlem to The Hague and Utrecht to Arnhem are not able to be viewed on our site. For your reference, trains from Haarlem to The Hague depart about 4 times every hour throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 40 minutes. Trains from Utrecht to Arnhem depart about 5 times every hour throughout the day, and the ride only takes about 35 minutes.

    With regard to your trains from London to Edinburgh and Edinburgh back to London, you would just purchase regular tickets. To purchase regular tickets, you would just enter the route under 'Find Train Tickets' right on our homepage. The trains connecting London and Edinburgh are 'Virgin Trains East Coast'. Generally, trains in the UK can only be booked once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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