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Amsterdam to Ghent transportation

We are flying to Amsterdam in a couple of months to go on a Rick Steves tour that starts in Ghent. Is a train the best way to travel to Ghent from the Amsterdam airport? I noticed from online sites that there also are buses from Amsterdam, but I'm uncertain whether those originate at the airport. Advice appreciated.

Posted by
17248 posts

Rome2Rio shows buses take 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Take the Thalys to Antwerp, then IC train to Ghent in 2 hours. Using IC trains, it is 2 changes, at Rotterdam and Antwerp in a little over 3 hours for half the cost of the Thalys. Driving time would be 2 1/2 hours as a reference.

Posted by
16890 posts

Train will get you there with plenty of selection, but not direct. The faster, more expensive Thalys train requires one connection at Antwerp (2 hours total) or InterCity trains take 3 hours with an additional connection at Rotterdam. Rather than count on on-time flight arrival, I'd buy tickets at the airport train station, probably from a ticket window. The staffed ticket window may take your USA credit card (machines don't), but get cash first, anyway. How to Look Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the DB train schedule link and tips for using it. The two bus lines suggested by only run 1-2x/day and depart from other stations in Amsterdam, not the airport nor the Centraal station.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you both for the information. Looking forward to the tour!

Posted by
11476 posts

I will just add that the people I've dealt with at the ticket window at the AMS Schiphol train station have been very helpful. One time I had all the times printed out of the trains I thought I wanted to Brussels Centraal and when I walked up to the window the guy asked me to show him what I had. He looked at it, harummph'd and said *I can do better for you. This doesn't give you enough time to change so let's do this. * Yep it was better and then we had a nice chat about his recent vacation in Orlando/Disney, lol. He said sometimes he has a much better idea of what works than the official website routing. Bottom line, I suggest having your routing printed out but ask the person in the ticket window if that is the best way to go.