Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is the busiest airport in the Netherlands and the fifth-largest in Europe, making it one of the continent’s most important flight hubs. With its close proximity to Amsterdam and great rail and road connections to the rest of the country (and Europe), it’s easy to see why Schiphol has become so popular. The fantastic shopping opportunities, helpful staff and popular facilities at Schiphol will probably keep at the top of the list for many years to come.
Being a major air hub in Europe, there is never a shortage of activities and shopping opportunities for passengers traveling to and from Schiphol. Passengers need not be intimidated by the size of Schiphol because it operates out of one easy-to-navigate terminal centered on a shopping plaza stocked with loads of great buys and fun things to do.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a hub for KLM Airlines. It is also the European hub for Delta as well as Amsterdam Airlines, Arkefly, Vueling, Transavia and Martinair. With so many airlines focusing on Schiphol it’s easy to find flights to Amsterdam. Cheap flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can be booked on low-cost carriers such as easyJet and bmi, which usually make use of the low-cost wing of the airport, known as the H-pier.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a fantastic airport for travelers. While it has all of the amenities one would expect from a world-class airport and a number of unexpected facilities and entertainment options too, it still manages to have a personal touch and enough quiet spaces to make even the most highly strung air traveler feel relaxed.
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Although there is only one terminal at Schiphol, the 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 M. 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.
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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.
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.
Taxi: 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.
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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.
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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.
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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 center, 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 sizes. 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 center 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.
Wi-Fi: 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.
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 jewelry. 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. Travelers 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.
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