One of the busiest airports in Europe and a major worldwide hub, Amsterdan Airport Schiphol processes an astounding 45 million passengers per year. Located 5.6 miles (9km) southwest of Amsterdam, the huge facility offers flights to cities on every continent on most any major airline.
The airport is a favourite of travellers, offering numerous attractions to keep passengers busy on long layovers, including an art gallery, casino, library, and seemingly endless duty-free shopping and dining options. The airport's enormous terminal is easy to navigate, and passengers arriving for a holiday in Amsterdam will find simple transport connections into the city.
The airport is nine miles (15km) southwest of Amsterdam. It is 36 miles (57km) from The Hague and 46 miles (73km) from Rotterdam.
Getting to the city
Train: The simplest and cheapest way to travel from Schiphol to Amsterdam, and around the Netherlands generally, is by train. The airport railway station is located beneath Schiphol Plaza and trains depart for central Amsterdam and other destinations around the Netherlands. Trains leave the airport station every 15 minutes, except from 12:30am to 5am when the service only runs every hour. The short 15-20 minute journey between Schiphol and Amsterdam costs €3.80.
Taxis: Private and shared taxis can be booked via the Schiphol website. Taxi fare between Schiphol Airport and central Amsterdam generally costs €35-40 and the trip takes 15-30 minutes depending on time of day and traffic. Taxis are great for door-to-door service, particularly for passengers with lots of luggage.
Bus: Numerous buses depart from just outside Schiphol Plaza to various destinations around the Netherlands. Most buses into Amsterdam run every 15-30 minutes from 6am until midnight during the week and slightly less frequently on weekends. Bus fares start at €1.60 and the journey to central Amsterdam takes up to 30 minutes. Many hotels offer free shuttle services to guests.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).
Tel: +31 207 940 800, or from the Netherlands: 0900 0141.
Renting a car is a great way to see the Netherlands, but not the ideal way to see Amsterdam itself, particularly because of the lack of available parking spaces within the city. If you're brave enough to face the parking shortage, car rental agency desks can be found inside the arrivals hall at Schiphol Plaza. Companies operating from Schiphol include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Alamo, Sixt and National. Car rental operators are located inside the arrivals hall and in Schiphol Plaza.
A taxi to the city centre from Schiphol Airport will take around 20 minutes and cost around €35. Visitors can go to Schiphol Plaza where they will find the metered Schiphol taxis which will display their rates. Avoid touts and unlicensed taxis. National taxi service, Schiphol Travel Taxi, has fixed rates for everyone who travels to and from the airport.
Transfer between terminals
Although there is only one terminal at Schiphol, the sheer size of the airport can be daunting. Schiphol Airport is made up of a single terminal building with three concourse or departure halls connected to the central building. It is easy to walk from one concourse to another, with one exception: the low-cost carriers departures hall, which is known as Pier H. The low-cost carriers hall is easy to find, but once you've entered it you can't turn back and re-enter the rest of the airport.
Money and communications: ATMs and currency exchange facilities are available in both the arrivals and departures halls.
Luggage: Lost baggage must be reported to the airline in question. Baggage and items lost within Schiphol Airport can be located through the airport's lost and found centre, which also forwards lost items by post to passengers that have already departed from the airport. Luggage lockers are available for storing luggage for a maximum period of seven days. The lockers can be found in the lounges as well as in the basement and arrivals hall three. The left luggage service costs €5-10 per day, depending on bag size. Seal & Go offers a luggage wrapping facility, the service starts at €7.50 and the machines are located in departure halls two and three.
Conference and business: A fully-equipped conference facility is available at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The business service includes catering, a boardroom and reception halls that can accommodate up to 80 people. The conference facilities are located above the departures hall on the third floor. Reservation arrangements can be made through the Schiphol website. The airport also has internet facilities and plug-in points throughout the departures section and lounges.
Other facilities: A first-aid centre and medical clinic are available at Schiphol. However, the clinic is only open between 8:30am and 3:30pm from Monday to Saturday in departures hall two. There is also a pharmacy located in the same area, which stays open until 5pm. The airport also has a free library and art gallery. Disabled facilities and priority parking bays are available and there is a casino located onsite.
WiFi: Free wi-fi service is available throughout the airport. There is also a paid wi-fi option, which allows faster access. Once you've accessed the Schiphol website in your browser, simply click on whichever option you'd prefer.
Information: Information desks are located in the lounges as well as in the departures and arrivals halls. Staff members are multilingual and the helpdesks are open 24 hours a day.
Shopping: The main shopping area at Schiphol is the Schiphol Plaza, which is open daily from 7am to 10pm. These shops include newsagents, tobacconists, a hairdressing salon, florists, an electronics shop called 'Capi', America Today, Nike, a Crocs shop, an H&M, as well as shops selling perfumes, high fashion items, name branded clothing and jewellery. The duty-free shops can be found beyond passport control. They open an hour before the first flight of the day and close 30 minutes after the last flight. The 'See, Buy, Fly' duty-free shops encourage passengers to do just that: see it, buy it and then jet off to your next destination. If only all shopping experiences could be that simple.
Food and Drink: Schiphol Airport has a broad range of restaurants, snack bars and pubs available with cuisine options ranging from sushi to freshly made sandwiches. Most food and drink places at Schiphol are open between 7am and 8pm. Travellers needing a late night bite, midnight snack or pre-dawn caffeine fix should head to Bread! in lounge three or Cone Bar in lounge two as they are open 24 hours a day. There is a food court with fast food options including McDonald's and Sbarro's on the upper level of the terminal.
There is a drop-off zone in front of the terminal and a quick pick-up area outside the arrivals hall. Short-term parking facilities are located close to the terminal and cost €2 per half hour. Medium-term parking can be found at the Schiphol Smart Parking area. This parking should be booked in advance on the Schiphol website: it costs €5 per day and is connected to the terminal via a frequent shuttle bus service. Long-stay parking is available in P3 for €6.50 per day and is a short shuttle bus ride from the terminal. Valet parking is also available between departure halls two and three; this service will set you back €40 for the first three days and €30 per day thereafter.
Most major airlines offer flights to Amsterdan Airport Schiphol, including KLM, Delta, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, bmi, Qatar Airways, British Airways, easyJet, Air France, Aer Lingus, Emirates, Alitalia, Air Nippon, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, El Al, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Continental, Flybe, Jet2, IZair and CityJet.
There is free wifi throughout the terminal, although passengers have the option to pay for a faster connection.
Amsterdan Airport Schiphol has a fully-equipped conference centre that offers meeting rooms and reception halls for up to 80 people, however these must be reserved in advance through the airport's website. There are also plug points and internet terminals throughout the airport.
Amsterdam Schiphol Taxis: the taxi fares above are intended as a guideline only.