If you are a skint backpacker or just a cheapskate in general and you want to get to or from Amsterdam in the absolute cheapest possible way that doesn’t involve car-jacking or hitchhiking, then the good news is that there is an excellent network of long distance buses ready for you. The company is actually a collection of smaller bus lines that all go under the name Eurolines, and they have an office very near the train station.
These buses are similar to Greyhound in North America, except your fellow passengers are less likely to be people on the edges of society. In other words, the buses are big and modern, and the other people on board usually aren’t all that bad.
You can go to almost every major city in Europe on the Eurolines buses, including London. They work in the same way that airlines do in that if you are going somewhere a few countries away you might have to change buses once or even twice, but they’ll get you there at a price that is often so low you won’t believe it.
Promotional fares to or from Amsterdam
Eurolines works like a discount airline in that they sell the first 10 or so seats on every bus at the lowest price, and as more tickets are sold the price for the remaining seats goes up. During peak summer months this can often mean that people just walking up on the day will pay the maximum price, which is still usually quite cheap, but other times of the year you can sometimes still get these crazy promotional prices just before the bus leaves.
Sample low-season promotional one-way fares to/from Amsterdam
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- Barcelona €42
- Berlin €32
- Brussels €9
- Budapest €31
- Copenhagen €27
- London €15 (the whole bus goes on a train through the Channel Tunnel)
- Milan €22
- Paris €15
- Prague €15
- Vienna €24
- Warsaw €36
There are also student and senior fares and such, but these promotional fares are even lower so these prices apply to everyone who reserves early enough.
The Eurolines website
You can buy tickets online from the Eurolines website, but I’ll warn you in advance that it’s kind of hard to use. The link just above is for the English-language version of the Netherlands site, and once you are there it’s not too bad, but if you start at Eurolines.com you might never find this page on your own.
The Eurolines office in Amsterdam
There are actually two Eurolines ticket offices in Amsterdam. The one that is easiest to reach for most people is at Rokin 10, and that’s just down Damrak street from the train station so it’s very easy to find. The other office is at Julianaplein 5, and that is just next to where the buses actually leave, just outside of the Amstel train station – about 2 kms south of the main (Centraal) train station.
The office in the city center closes in the late afternoon and is closed Sundays, but the one near the bus terminal itself is open from 7am to 11pm daily.
The bus departure point
The buses all leave just outside of Amstel Train Station, which is about a 30 to 40-minute walk from most hotels and hostels in the city center, but you can also reach it on many different trams and even on the metro/underground. Just ask someone how to get to Amstel Station and you’ll be there before you know it.
Want to compare typical prices of buses with trains and flights?
In almost every case the bus will be the cheapest method for getting around, but it’s usually also the slowest and least comfortable option, considering how much shorter the flights always will be. So to help you decide I’ve put together special pages that lay out all your options in one place.