What’s faster? Watch us race from London to Amsterdam by plane and train

Jul 7, 2022

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In our latest YouTube video, we follow in the footsteps of our previous races to Paris, Leeds and Heathrow and race from London to Amsterdam.

Train travel is a hot topic right now due to both sustainability and recent airport disruptions and strike action in the U.K. So it was a timely test of whether (or not) a train service could beat a flight in a race to this popular European city.

Setting off from London Bridge in central London, Liam Spencer took the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to London City Airport (LCY) and flew with KLM to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) before taking a local train to central Amsterdam.

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I jumped on the tube to join the Eurostar service from St. Pancras International train station which took me directly to Amsterdam Centraal Station. It was then a sprint to the finish line at Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

You can watch the whole experience and find out who won right here on YouTube:

Nicky Kelvin — train

We paid:

  • Eurostar (Business Premier ticket): $358.70 (299 British pounds).
  • Tube: $2.08 (2.50 British pounds).
  • Total: $360.32 (301.50 British pounds).

While my premium ticket was expensive, the Business Premier experience was excellent. There were long queues at St. Pancras and I was able to avoid them because of the ticket I held which was a huge help, especially as I was in a rush.

The lounge in the Eurostar terminal was a pleasant way to spend the short amount of time I had before boarding, and the train itself was incredibly comfortable.

The food and beverage offering was also solid. Arriving smack bang in the middle of Amsterdam having already cleared customs and immigration in London was wonderfully efficient and convenient.

Related: London to Paris and beyond: Eurostar guide for families

The experience wasn’t perfect, though. The train to Amsterdam routes via Brussels and at three hours and 55 minutes it is rather long, especially in comparison to flight times that clock in at well under an hour.

There are also limited direct train options between London and Amsterdam.

Liam Spencer — plane

We paid:

  • KLM Flight: $323.91 (270 British pounds).
  • DLR: $4.32 (3.60 British pounds).
  • NS Schiphol train: $5.84 (4.87 British pounds).
  • Total:  $334.07 (278.47 British pounds).

I loved that London City Airport was super easy to get to using the DLR service from Bank. If you’re near the city center, it’s by far the most convenient airport to fly out of.

The flight itself was extremely quick and comfortable. We were only in the air for 45 minutes, but the cabin crew still had time to bring out a drink and a snack for every passenger.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport leads directly into Schiphol train station, meaning it was a breeze transferring from plane to train for the final part of my journey.

Related: Is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Europe’s best airport for a layover?

On the downside, London City Airport was absolutely packed and there were long lines at the bag-drop area. Luckily I was only traveling with carry-on luggage, but I could have faced lengthy lines had I needed to check a bag.

The flight took off a little late, at around 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time, and $323 was a fairly expensive fare for such a short, one-way flight.

Watch more:

Featured photo by The Points Guy.

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