Image Source: GetByBus
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, informally known as Schiphol Airport, is the main international airport of the Netherlands. If you plan on visiting this small, quaint country, you will inevitably pass through this airport.
A trip to the Netherlands can be a magical experience if planned right. With the right insider tips, you will be able find your gate with ease, locate the best food spots, and get to your destination as fast as possible.
There are a number of things to keep in mind before getting to the airport, from how you will get to your hotel, to what restaurants you might want to hit on the way out. To learn more, keep reading below!
Get to Schiphol From Amsterdam
The fastest and most efficient way to get to Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport is by train. You can buy a train ticket each way for roughly five euros.
Just go to the machines in the main area of the Schiphol public terminal. It will be one additional euro for a single ride supplement.
You can get there in about fifteen minutes if you ride an intercity direct to Amsterdam Centraal, which will have no extra stops.
On average though, it takes around 20-30 minutes if you take a train that stops off at other stops like the Sprinter.
Here is one crucial tip: Amsterdam has several train stations, so do not get off at the first station you see that starts with “Amsterdam.”
Most trains will pass through Amsterdam Sloterdijk and Amsterdam Lelylaan, which is a considerable distance from Amsterdam Centraal, where most of the tourist attractions are.
If you are riding on a train to Amsterdam, stay on the train until the last stop.
The Amsterdam Card
If you plan on moving around a lot, you should get an Amsterdam card. This card gives you access to several public transit services, as well as a canal cruise.
With this card, you can maximize your miles. Though it does not give you access to the train from Schiphol airport, it does include the bus.
If you are at Schiphol Airport trying to reach the buses, follow the signs to Schiphol Plaza. Go outside. The buses will be directly in front of the building.
Stay Away From Taxis
Schiphol has a bit of an issue with sketchy taxi drivers, including ones without licenses. Before you get into a taxi or cab, always ask if the taxi meter is on and if they accept credit cards, before you get in the car.
Definitely do not follow anyone who approaches you in the terminal offering you a taxi. Many of these people do not have licenses and will essentially hold you, hostage, until you pay an exorbitant fee for your ride.
All real taxi drivers will be in the official taxi line, directly outside of the airport.
Even many legitimate taxi drivers will try to overprice you, so if you are dead set on taking a taxi, we recommend that you take a train to Amsterdam Centraal, then take a taxi to your hotel from there.
This will save you about half the amount of money you would have spent otherwise.
How Early to Arrive for Your Flight
If you are flying internationally, you should try to arrive three to four hours early for your flight. Immigration lines can be very long, especially during peak hours, like mornings on weekdays.
If you are flying within Europe, it will be a much quicker process to pass through security. You should be safe arriving two hours before your flight for domestic trips. If you need to check a bag, you may want to add an additional thirty minutes, just in case.
If you are early to your flight and want to explore, you should try to find luggage storage in Schiphol. This will allow you to secure your belongings and travel freely while you wait for your flight.
Getting to Your Flight
When you step off the train, go upstairs and locate the big board of departing flights. See what terminal your flight is at.
Once you find your terminal, take the escalator upstairs and head toward it. Once you reach it, your ticket will be scanned and you will pass through security.
If needed, you will also go through passport control. When you are done with that, you can simply follow the signs to your gate.
Often, the gate number is not announced until the last minute, so avoid waiting in line to ask the flight attendant for it. This will save you some unnecessary walking.
Currency Exchange and ATMs
In this scenario, you can use the ABN AMRO ATM in Schiphol Plaza, found before you get to security. It is near Albert Heijn. This ATM allows you to exchange your money for dollars or euros, as well as 58 other currencies.
For exchanges with a minimum value of 200 euros, it also offers free transactions at the rate posted.
If you have already passed through security, you see a few different ATMs near lounge 1, 2, and 3, as well as Terminal D.
Free Bathroom Access
Unlike a lot of places in the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport’s bathrooms are free to use. However, they are not so easy to find, especially if you have not gone through security yet.
To avoid getting lost and wasting time, download the Schiphol app on iPhone or Android to find toilets near you. If you are going to Terminal H or M, use the bathroom beforehand because there are fewer toilets in that area.
Places to Eat
There are a number of places to buy snacks and drinks from. However, if you are looking for some real food, you can head to Leon, a dainty eatery offering coffee, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and wraps. This restaurant also offers a number of vegetarian options.
Another popular option is Grand Café Het Paleis, which sells delicious coffee, as well as typical cafe items. They also have a ton of outlets available to charge your phone.
For breakfast, a solid option is Yoghurt Barn, which unsurprisingly, sells all kinds of yogurt. They have vegan-friendly options and sell coffee as well.