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The Eurostar to Amsterdam: Why It's Not For Me

The Eurostar To Amsterdam; Why It's Not For MePublished: 01 February 2018

Author: Shilpa Ganatra

Like many other nervous fliers, I was delighted when Eurostar announced their Amsterdam route many moons ago. Finally: a cool city to city train that would take the hassle out of travelling.

After a number of delays from its original start date of December 2016, it now looks like it’s ready for an Easter 2018 launch, with two departures every day from each point. Still, as the date approaches and details emerge, I’m feeling less enthused about how much it will revolutionise my travel schedule. With the number of low-cost airlines, there won’t be too much difference in the price. Mostly, it’s a time thing: even though the Eurostar service stops only at Brussels and Rotterdam, trains from London to Amsterdam will take 3 hours 50 minutes, and the return journey will take 4 hours 20 minutes. That means I might get a larger chunk of book read or four episodes of The Crown binge watched, which is a much more pleasant use of time than watching the same purple suitcase spin round and round the luggage carousel after a train and plane, and before an automobile.

But I’ve done the maths. From my front door in the far suburbs of London to Amsterdam city centre, it will take me six hours by train, all going smoothly. By plane, including the check in times, hanging at the gate, hanging at passport control, train the other side, it will take just over four hours (the flight itself is 70 minutes). And really, there’s so much more to do in Amsterdam that every saved minute is vital.

It could be spent on exploring its many cavernous record shops, or battling with the resident cyclists to get around its many canals. Or in the obligatory queue for the Van Gogh Museum. Or my favourite thing to do in Amsterdam: just walking around its canal-side roads, taking in the beauty and atmosphere of the laidback city. I could do that all day, every day.

When it comes to holidays, I make no apologies for my impatience. I work hard to carve out the time for them, and savour every moment I’m out discovering new places and people. So the difference between arriving at 12pm or 2pm is vital to me even if I do forgo a few episodes of The Crown.

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