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Train or Bus to Leeuwarden?

Our family of five (ages 65, 40x2, 11, and 9), will be going to Leeuwarden for two nights, to explore a little nearby town where my grandmother grew up. We’ll be traveling there from Ilpendam, our base for Amsterdam, then returning to an airport (Schiphol) hotel. I get a bit confused with the various regional trains and buses, going from North Holland to Friesland. I’d be grateful for anyone willing to offer opinions or suggestions.

Posted by
15640 posts

This website is the universal Dutch travel planner.

When you put in Ilpendam to Leeuwarden for 8:34 am departure, it says take a bus to Amsterdam Centraal then a train to Almere Centrum, then connect to a train to Leeuwarden. Several itineraries every hour with connections at various cities, some with 3 buses and no trains. It takes anywhere from 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours.

Posted by
142 posts

Ilpendam - Leeuwarden:
take bus 304, 306 or 308 from Ilpendam to Amsterdam Centraal station. From there you can take a train to Leeuwarden. Either with a change at Utrecht Centraal, a change at Almere Centrum, or two changes at Almere Centrum and Zwolle (depending on the time)

Leeuwarden - Schiphol
There are direct intercity trains from Leeuwarden to Schiphol.

However in the coming weeks there are quite a lot of engineering works, which will result in rail replacement buses. And next week there are possibly bus strikes. Plan all public transport (door to door) via or use (trains only).

The 11 and 9 yo travel quite cheap: a ticket for the trains only costs 2.50 euros (Railrunner). A childs ticket on EBS buses costs 3 euros

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks so much. What I forgot to ask was whether any of the multiday train passes for Amsterdam will help for the train to Leeuwarden. That’s when it matters which company is running the regional train I’m on, correct?

Posted by
15640 posts

All the trains are Nederlandse Spoorwegen. You don't say what type of multi-day pass you have. There are several, some covering just Amsterdam, some Amsterdam and suburbs, and some much of Noord Holland.

Posted by
142 posts

For this journey all trains are indeed operated by NS, but there are other railway operators in The Netherlands. If instead of Leeuwarden your destination would be Leeuwarden Camminghaburen, the last part of that journey would not be an NS train, but an Arriva train.

There are no multiday passes valid for these trips. A single Amsterdam C - Leeuwarden costs 25.30 euros per person. The return to Schiphol costs the same.

A much cheaper option is the NS group ticket. This costs 30 euro for 4 persons for a single trip, so that would be 7.50 euros per person. As you need a minimum of 4 persons I would suggest that the 11 yo is the 4th person. The group ticket does not have age restrictions. It does however have a time restriction. It is on Mo - Fr not valid between 0630 and 0900 and not between 1600 and 1830. You can buy this ticket only online via

edit: and as the 9yo would be person number 5, the total cost of the group ticket for 5 persons is 31.50 euros (Cheaper than a 2.50 euro Railrunner ticket)

Posted by
2487 posts

Have a working debit or credit card ready for the bus from Ilpendam to Amsterdam Centraal. Chances are that the bus doesn't take cash.

Posted by
11 posts

Thank you again for the info and tips. We don’t have a multi-day pass yet. For the 4 days in/around Amsterdam, two will be spent exploring the city, two will be day trips. One day trip will be to Enkhuizen, perhaps doing the historic triangle described by RS; the other will be Delft and/or Kinderdijk. Can those two be seen in one day? Better to get multiday passes for those 4 days or single tickets?
I’m appreciative of the thought and time all you folks share with us rookies.

Posted by
142 posts

Ilpendam - Amsterdam
route: bus from Ilpendam to Amsterdam

children: day pass on the EBS bus: 3 euros
adults: As a single ticket (A BusTramMetro/BTM ticket) costs 6 euros,a day pass on EBS buses is a better option as this costs 10 euros.

Unless you plan to use public transport within Amsterdam, no other ticket needed,

Ilpendam - Enkhuizen (triangle)
route: bus from Ilpendam to Amsterdam, train from there to Enkhuizen

cost of bus: see above
train: adult: return ticket train, 23.40 euros
train: child: day pass (Railrunner), 2.50 euros

For this train journey you could also use the NS group ticket (see previous post)

For the fares on the boat and steam tram; see and

If you want to do the triangle remember that one train ticket should be (from Amsterdam C) to Enkhuizen and the other one from Hoorn (to Amsterdam C)

Ilpendam - Delft - Kinderdijk
route: bus from Ilpendam to Amsterdam, train to Dordrecht, bus or Waterbus to Kinderdijk
cost of EBS bus: see above
for the train/(water)bus you can use for the adults, buy separate tickets for the children

On your way to Kinderdijk you are allowed to make a stop over at Delft.

There is a regional pass valid for the Ilpendam and Amsterdam (and the region around it), the Amsterdam and Region Travel Ticket. This ticket cost 18.50 euros for 1 day, 26 euros for 2 days and 33.50 euros for 3 days. There are no discounted fares for children (so just buy day passes on EBS bus and NS train for them) This ticket is not valid to Delft, Kinderdijk and Enkhuizen