Busy Amsterdam Canal with Tourist Boats Sailing Through

How to Get from Rotterdam to Amsterdam: Your Cruise Port to Canal Guide

With Amsterdam’s introduction of a โ‚ฌ14 tourist tax per cruise passenger, Rotterdam’s star is rising as the go-to cruise hub in the Netherlands! More and more ships are choosing Rotterdam as their embarkation port or a captivating port of call on their itineraries. 

But that doesn’t mean cruisers have lost their love for Amsterdam! The good news is that even if your ship docks in Rotterdam, a day trip to Amsterdam’s iconic canals, world-class museums, and charming streets is surprisingly simple. So, if you’re wondering how easy it is to swap Rotterdam’s port for Amsterdam’s allure, read on โ€“ I’ve got you covered.

Want to Stay in Rotterdam? Then read my Rotterdam DIY cruise port guide and my day trip guide to Kindedijk Windmills.

This blog post may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission for purchases made at no cost to you.

On This Page

Rotterdam Cruise Port to Amsterdam: Is a DIY Excursion Easy? ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž (Smooth Sailing)

Provided your ship is docked at Rotterdam for a full day, doing a DIY day trip from Rotterdam Cruise Port to Amsterdam is ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž straightforward! Here’s why:

  • Short Walk to Metro Station from Rotterdam Cruise Terminal: It’s a 3-minute walk away, making the journey to Rotterdam Centraal Station very simple and straightforward
  • Frequent Train Services from Rotterdam to Amsterdam: With trains running usually every 15 minutes, there’s no stress if you miss your train. Plus you can just tap your contactless card to pay for your ticket. Simple!
  • Excellent Tram Network in Amsterdam: Trams stop right outside Amsterdam Station and will take you to most attractions in the city centre. Or you can walk to Dam Square in under 15 minutes. Plus you can pay your fare with a contactless card.

Rotterdam Cruise Port Essentials: All You Need To Know

Rotterdam Cruise Terminal with cruise port docked
Photo by Adriaan Ploegh
  • Rotterdam Cruise Port Address: Wilhelminakade 699, 3072 AP Rotterdam, Netherlands – I’ve marked this on my Rotterdam cruise port map below ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Currency: Euros
  • Language: Dutch
  • Official Websites: Rotterdam.info is the official tourism website, official Rotterdam cruise port schedule on Cruise Port Rotterdam, NS.nl for official train timetables
  • Recommended Transport App: I prefer Citymapper to navigate public transit in Rotterdam but Google Maps will work too!
  • eSim for roaming in Netherlands: For a great data connection without the huge roaming fees, use an eSim data pack from Airalo. I always recommend having a smartphone with a valid plan when youโ€™re at port touring independently. Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo when you use ROXANN1666 when you sign up or apply it at checkout

Rotterdam Cruise Port Map

  • On Desktop | Laptop? Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version.
  • On Tablet | Mobile? Pinch your screen to zoom in/out and use two fingers to move map around. If you have Google Maps installed on your tablet/mobile, my map will open in your Google Maps app if you click on the upper right hand corner.
  • If map is not loading correctly, click here to see it directly on Google Maps

Rotterdam to Amsterdam by Train: All You Need to Know (Schedule, Tickets, Tips)

Distance from Rotterdam and Amsterdam: It’s roughly 50 miles (80 km) between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The fastest non-stop train will get you from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in under 45 minutes and the slower stopping train in about 75 minutes.

The train is the fastest and easiest option to get from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. The Dutch railway network is highly efficient and every train I’ve been on has been clean and well maintained. On intercity services, there will be toilets onboard as well. Almost all trains have free WiFi onboard.

1. How to Get from Rotterdam Cruise Port to Rotterdam Centraal Station

Exterior of Rotterdam Centraal Station, Rotterdam Netherlands
Image by Emilie Collard from Pixabay
  • 3-Minute Walk to Metro: The Rotterdam Cruise Terminal is a 3-minute walk to the closest metro station. Just turn left on exiting the cruise terminal building and walk along Wilhelminakade street. You’ll see Wilhelminplein metro station on your right, with escalators leading underground.
  • Direct Metro to Rotterdam Centraal Station: From Wilhelminplein station, take Lines D/E to Rotterdam Centraal. It’s a direct train and it’s 4 stops. Lines D/E is the only line running through Wilhelminplein but you need to be on the platform heading towards Rotterdam Centraal.
  • Tickets: Pay via contactless card (easiest – new since June 2023) – Make sure you tap in and tap out, at your destination’s ticket gates to be charged the correct fare.
    • Any Mastercard or Visa (including foreign credit & debit cards) with a contactless chip will work, as well as Apple/Google Pay on your phones or smartwatches. Note Amex cards don’t work.
    • One-way fare is โ‚ฌ1.54.
  • Frequency: Train leaves every few minutes. Journey time is about 10 minutes.

Why are fares such an odd amount? Public transit fares (metro, trams, trains) in the Netherlands charge fares based on a set “basic fare” plus a fare based on distance. In Rotterdam, the base fare is โ‚ฌ1.08 and the per km fare is โ‚ฌ0.166. That’s why the fares are such odd amounts.

Traveling with kids? I’m afraid that the discount for kids (at least for metro & tram fares) are hard to get as a tourist visiting the Netherlands. If you plan to travel a lot in Rotterdam, you can purchase an unlimited day ticket for Rotterdam only for โ‚ฌ5 for kids. With just 2 trips to/fro Rotterdam cruise port, it’s cheaper (and less hassle) just to give the kids their own card to tap in and tap out. (They can use a spare card, or they can use the physical card and you use the same card on your phone/smartwatch). You can get a substantial discount for the fare for kids between Rotterdam and Amsterdam which I’ll share below.

2. Rotterdam Centraal Station to Amsterdam Centraal Station

Amsterdam Centraal Station with tram running past the exterior, Amsterdam Netherlands
Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay

There’s over 100 trains running from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, so if you miss one, just catch the next one:

  • Timetables: Use NS.nl’s English website
    • Journey Time: Most services are direct and non-stop. Sprinter services take about 75 minutes. Intercity non-stop services (supplement) takes as little as 43 minutes, though not all intercity services run that fast!
  • Tickets: Pay via contactless card (easiest – new since June 2023). Make sure you tap in and tap out, at your destination’s ticket gates to be charged the correct fare. Again, Amex doesn’t work.
    • Adults: One way fares are โ‚ฌ17.90 plus a โ‚ฌ2.90 supplement if you’ve picked an intercity service – the supplement is well worth paying for if you’ve selected a non-stop service, as it cuts travel time by half. Services requiring the supplement will be marked on the timetables when you search.
    • Kids: For kids aged 4-11, get them a Railrunner ticket for โ‚ฌ2.50 – valid for the entire day! (This is valid on the train network only, not on local buses, metro and trams in either Rotterdam or Amsterdam). You can buy online on NS.nl or download the NS app and purchase on your phone on the day.
  • Intercity Trains vs Regional Sprinter: Regional sprinter services stop along the way, hence it’s slower. The intercity non-stop services are faster because it’s a point-to-point service. Not all intercity services are non-stop, so check on timetables. Nearly all trains have free WiFi onboard but only intercity trains have toilets. Regional Sprinters don’t have onboard toilets.

Top Tip: See Live Departures Boards at Rotterdam Centraal Station here – you’ll see all the trains leaving Rotterdam Centraal Station as if you’re looking at a departure board at the station! This is really helpful when you’re in transit and want to know whether your train is running on time!

What about services running to Amsterdam Zuid? If your first stop in Amsterdam is the Rijksmuseum, or somewhere in Museumplein (eg. Van Gogh Museum or Stedelijk Museum), then you have an even greater choice of train times, as you’ll find many trains running from Rotterdam Centraal to Amsterdam Zuid, without going through Amsterdam Centraal. Trams can take you from Amsterdam Zuid station to the Rijksmuseum or Museumplein in about 15 minutes and then you can walk for 5-10 minutes to get to your destination.

3. Best Way To Get Around Amsterdam On A Day Trip – Tram Network

Amsterdam Tram Turning A Corner
Image by Marius Steinke from Pixabay

Navigating Amsterdam using the tram network is incredibly easy, now that contactless cards are accepted onboard trams to pay for your fare – it works exactly like Rotterdam:

  • Tickets: Pay via contactless card (easiest – new since June 2023). Make sure you tap in and tap out, onboard the tram’s card readers to be charged the correct fare. Mastercard and Visa cards only, Amex cards don’t work.
  • Tram Stop: You’ll find the tram stop right outside Amsterdam Centraal Station. With your back facing the station, the tram stop is on your left. See it marked on my Amsterdam DIY Excursion Map below ๐Ÿ“Œ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‡
  • Best Transport App for Navigation: Both Citymapper and Google Maps work well in Amsterdam. Aside from giving you the best point-to-point directions, including transit and walking directions. If you prefer an old-fashioned map on your phone, then use this official tourism map.

Amsterdam DIY Shore Excursion Map

Here’s my DIY Shore Excursion Map for Amsterdam, with key attractions and transport stops highlighted:

  • On Desktop | Laptop? Use buttons on bottom left to zoom in/out. Click on the upper right hand corner to see a bigger version.
  • On Tablet | Mobile? Pinch your screen to zoom in/out and use two fingers to move map around. If you have Google Maps installed on your tablet/mobile, my map will open in your Google Maps app if you click on the upper right hand corner.
  • If map is not loading correctly, click here to see it directly on Google Maps

Things to Do in Amsterdam on a Day Trip from Rotterdam

First timer to Amsterdam? Below is a short preview – see my 3 itineraries in my Amsterdam In A Day for Cruisers:

  • Canal Cruise or Walk: Start with a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the picturesque canals, admiring the beautiful architecture and charming bridges.
  • Museums: Art enthusiasts will love the Van Gogh Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings. History buffs should visit the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II. For a taste of Dutch art and history, head to the Rijksmuseum.
  • Jordaan District: Explore this trendy neighborhood known for its art galleries, boutiques, and cozy cafes.
  • Bloemenmarkt: Don’t miss the floating flower market, a vibrant display of colorful tulips and other blooms.
  • Dam Square: Visit the heart of Amsterdam, where you’ll find the Royal Palace, National Monument, and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church).

Featured Image by Laura Montagnani from Pixabay

I hope this guide makes planning your Amsterdam adventure from Rotterdam a breeze! Wishing you a fantastic port day filled with canals, clogs, and unforgettable memories. If you found this information helpful, please share it with fellow cruisers who might be looking to embark on their own Dutch day trip. Bon voyage! And please drop me a line below in the comments section if you have questions!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error:
Scroll to Top