You might expect the 6th largest city in The Netherlands to be accessed by direct trains from Centraal station in Amsterdam, but the Dutch capital has another major station, Amsterdam Zuid.
This station is located in the heart of the city's business district and it is also located on the rail route to Schiphol Airport.
Hence the trains from Amsterdam to Groningen take this route from Schiphol and call at Amsterdam Zuid instead of at Amsterdam Centraal.
So to travel from Amsterdam Central to Groningen by train, there is a choice between:
There are direct trains between Amsterdam and Groningen, but NOT from Amsterdam Centraal station, instead they depart from Amsterdam Zuid station - which lives up to its name by being located on the southern edge of the city.
You don't have to travel out to Amsterdam Zuid in order to take the train to Groningen, as the quickest and easiest option is to first take an IC train between Amsterdam and Almere, connecting at Almere Centrum station for the train on to Groningen.
This Intercity (IC) service between Amsterdam and Almere was specifically introduced in order to provide this connection.
(It isn't listed in the independently published European Rail Timetable).
The train to Almere which departs from Amsterdam Centraal hourly at 08 mins passed the hour, is the service that has the connection into the train on to Groningen.
The connecting time between trains at Almere Centrum station is only 5 mins, but this is a connection that is guaranteed.
At Almere the transfer is straightforward as the train on to Groningen will either leave from the same platform/track that the train from Amsterdam will have arrived at - or on the opposite side.
You shouldn't have to resort to using steps or lifts.
If departing Amsterdam at 08 mins passed the hour doesn't suit then you can reach Groningen in a journey time that's only 1 min longer, departing instead from Amsterdam at 38 mins passed the hour.
However, in addition to the connection at Almere, you will also have to make a similarly straightforward connection at Zwolle station - having initially taken a train heading to Leeuwarden on from Almere.
From Schiphol to Groningen:
There are direct trains from the station at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Groningen.
The Intercity trains depart daily at 05 mins passed the hour and the journey takes 2hr 9 min.
If this doesn't suit your flight arrival times, you can depart from Schiphol at 35 mins passed the hour, on trains heading to Leeuwarden, and leave these trains at Zwolle.
At Zwolle station there will be a guaranteed 5 mins, straightforward, same platform/track connection into a train on to Groningen.
1 x connection per hour
Book early and save: No
Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the same station immediately before departure.
Though if you book in advance 'mobile tickets' are available, so if you opt for that, you can use your phone to make the journey.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
The train which departs Amsterdam Centraal at 07 minutes passed each hour connects at Almere into a train on to Groningen and the train which departs at 37mins passed each our connects into a train on to Leeuwarden.
Final Destination: Almere Centrum
Step on board Europe's shortest InterCity (IC) train route.
As the journey only takes 21 mins, trains that are normally used for Regional 'Sprinter' services can be used on this route.
It is branded InterCity as this service is faster than the service of 'Sprinter' trains between Amsterdam and Almere.
Final Destination: Groningen
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