When I traveled to Europe for the first time in 2013 for a month-long journey, the two brief times that I traveled by train was from Madrid to Pamplona, and then again from Pamplona to Barcelona.
I did not get to really experience European train travel during that first trip, so I decided that during my second Euro-trip in 2014, I would rely mostly on train travel as a way to travel from country to country as opposed to flying, which I did the year prior.
A month before arriving in Europe, I went online and booked an overnight train ticket between Amsterdam and Prague. When the day finally arrived for me to take the train, I headed to Amsterdam Centraal station, located my compartment (after a getting on the wrong car), and settled in with my five other ‘roommates’.
The Ride: Amsterdam to Prague
I would love to say that the journey was all butterflies and roses, but it wasn’t.
The beginning of the journey was quite hot and uncomfortable in second class and I had to keep my head out of a window for hours on end to get a little relief from the non-existent air conditioner and to avoid creating puddles of sweat all over the floor of my compartment.
Do you know the quote that says that you should appreciate the journey and not the destination? Well, I am pretty sure it was not referencing the 14.5-hour train ride from Amsterdam to Prague because I was REALLY looking forward to arriving at my destination. The train made a multitude of stops during the journey as we traveled from Amsterdam through Germany and down into the Czech Republic, so when we arrived in Prague, I was ecstatic to get off of the train.
Sleeping in the second class car was nearly impossible as I had to sit upright, so for the entirety of the journey, I remained awake. If you ever decide to make this journey, I recommend paying a little extra to get a bed in a sleeper car.
The trip was not all bad despite the heat and lack of comfort. The highlight of the journey was definitely meeting and interacting with the people that I met on the train: four Irish guys and girl from Hong Kong that I was rooming with and some young people from the Netherlands that I encouraged to chat with me on camera about life and culture in the Amsterdam.
Vlog: Amsterdam to Prague by Train
FAQ’s: Train Travel between Amsterdam and Prague
Where do I go to buy a train ticket to travel from Amsterdam to Prague?
I booked my ticket on www.bahn.com (Amsterdam Centraal -> Praha hl.n.). Tickets can be purchased up to 90 days in advance.
How much does the train ticket cost between Amsterdam to Prague?
I paid 49€ ($60 USD) for a ticket on the City Night Line (overnight train) in a second-class 6-seat compartment.
The price can vary depending on when they are booked and where you are seated with ticket prices starting at 29€.
*Please note: These prices are based off of my trip in 2014; check online for current prices.
How long is the journey between Amsterdam to Prague?
Depending on the stops, the journey can range from 13-15.5 hours; my train made several stops and lasted 14.5 hours.
The longest train ride I’ve taken in Europe was 3 hours (I think) from Paris to Avignon and that was kind of uncomfortable since there were four of us sharing a table and no room to stretch our legs. Plus, the bathroom was really dirty. Next time around, no matter the length of our trip, we’ll pay a bit more for some comfort and privacy. I hope you have a better experience the next time as well!
That sounds like it was very uncomfortable Dana! Sometimes comfort is worth the extra price 😀
Great post. I too always wanted to travel through Europe by train. I have a little – Over the summer, while backpacking through the South of Spain, trains were my main form of transportation. However, 3 hours was my max. I do dream of taking a train through the Swiss Alps in the near future. I’ll keep these tips in mind.
Taking a train through the Swiss Alps sounds like it would be a wonderful experience Nate! It will probably be really beautiful as well 😀
Great post – and thank you for not sugar coating things! I’m realizing that train travel is not quite so romantic as people like to think. I’m planning on doing this journey next year and your post has helped be with a couple of key things – bring some ice water and maybe some baby wipes to freshen up. And pay for a bunk for the night! I am a horrible sleeper on planes and I”m guessing the train would be no better.
I’m glad I could help Vanessa, and I wanted to share my real experience of riding in a second-class car 😀 I am sure those baby wipes will come in handy!
You are one brave girl..lol! I would be dead tired on such a long journey.. 🙂 . I’ve never gone on such a long journey on a train. It’s nice that you got to know your fellow “inmates” …. 🙂 . I can’t wait to visit Prague.
I was EXHAUSTED at the end of the journey KemKem. When I arrived to the apartment in Prague that I was staying in, I ended up staying in bed the majority of the day! 😀
Every time I take a train somewhere around Europe I take a night train! It’s miserable but I always feel like I get more out of the trip. Next time I’ll try going during the day so I can actually see the scenery!
That’s a great idea Alyssa! This trip started in the late afternoon, went overnight, and into the next morning, so I was able to see some of the German, Czech, and the Netherlands in the daytime, which was wonderful 😀
That is a looooong time to be on a train! I have done those hours before but in the US and at least my seat leaned back with a foot rest! I did take the train between Madrid and Barcelona and Paris and London but much shorter trips! It is great that you met new people and learned new things. I just found out about white chocolate too! Loved the video-the scenery and the music!
Thank you Nadeen, and yes, it was a very long time to be on a train!
I made the exact same trip in October, but in the other direction, and I went TO Prague from Paris on the City Night Line too.. It is a very looonnng trip. I was very glad I opted for the 4-bed sleeper instead of being in a seat all night. On the trip to Prague, my 3 room-mates all got off in Berlin… at 4 in the morning and, of course, had to turn the light on to retrieve their bags.. So now I had the compartment to myself but was wide awake. On the way from Prague to A’dam, I did get enough sleep, but it’s still a long trip in the dark. There is no wi-fi on the train and no outlets for charging in the car. I read until my iPad battery died. I think next time I will splurge on a plane ticket and then enjoy the train on much shorter trips.
Agreed, I will most likely be taking planes from now on for the longer trips 😀
Chanel thank you for introducing me to this culture. You look like you are having so much fun. I could never speak Dutch. That is awesome.
I wish I was as brave as you. I am 45 years old and I have never ridden a train. Your video makes me want to.
You should definitely go for it Michael 😀
Love love life this!
Thank you Tish 😀
Thank you for your post! I was considering doing the Amsterdam-Prague night train this summer with my family because I thought it would be a fun adventure for everyone. However, thanks to your blog and other commentators, I’ve decided it probably gets old quickly. Plus the night train with a sleeper car is pretty expensive or at least not the bargain I thought it would be. So we have decided to fly.
Have a safe trip J and I am glad that my post was able to give you some insight on my experience. I am sure it would have been better though if I had been in a sleeper car 😀
It might have been more comfortable, but it still would have been just as long!!!