Stuck on an Amsterdam layover at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) in the Netherlands? Amsterdam is a common layover point between the United States and many European cities, especially on Northwest and KLM. The airport is located roughly 5.6 miles from downtown Amsterdam which makes the city a very accessible destination to those stuck on long layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your Amsterdam Schiphol layover, click here for useful tips.
If you are stuck in Schiphol airport during your Amsterdam layover, you’ll find that the airport can be a vacation in itself. There is plenty to do while you wait for your connecting flight. The airport has dozens of regular and duty free shopping, a large selection of restaurants and bars, and even the Holland Casino which is located in Departure Hall 2 between Gates E and F. Additional services at the airport include a prayer and meditation room, the Riksmuseum which has a permanent exhibition of Dutch artwork is between E and F Pier on Holland Boulevard, banking and ATMs, business services, and facilities for kids and infants.
If you’re looking for some relaxation, the Amsterdam Schiphol airport is home to the Express Spa, which is a great way to unwind during a layover. Here you can get a number of services including massages, manicure and pedicures, facials and much more. In addition, there is the Back To Life chair massages where you can choose between a 10-minute (EUR 16,50) or a 20-minute (EUR 27,50) massage. The airport also has a huge list of airline passenger lounges.
If you arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest, the airport hosts the Hotel Mercure Schiphol hotel in the Terminal Building. The hotel has 33 rooms, and the hotel also offers shower rooms to passengers who would like to freshen up before their next flight. The airport also Yotels, small and affordable rooms with electric pull out beds where you can catch some shuteye. Yotels are located on the 2nd floor behind Passport Control at the beginning of Pier D. In addition, if you’re looking for hotels in Amsterdam, click here for a comprehensive list of hotels of varying price points, and for hotels specifically near the airport, click here.
If you plan on leaving the Schiphol Airport during your Amsterdam layover, there are a number of transportation options.Taxis and shared taxis are located in front of arrivals (click here to reserve a private taxi online). There is also a train, which is located beneath the airport. The Central Station stop places you in downtown Amsterdam. There are also buses and courtesy buses.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On An Amsterdam Layover:
There are lots of wonderful tours to choose from when on an Amsterdam Schiphol layover. There are many layover tours that will specifically pick you up and drop you off at the airport with private drivers and customized tours such as this and this. There are also tons of additional tours, including everything from day sightseeing flights, to walking and bike tours, coffee shop tours, nighttime and food tours, and much more!
This is a perfect city to be seen by water. Many canal cruise companies offer 60-minute basic canal tours of the city. Tours are usually less than $20 per person, and docks can be seen to the right as you exit the train station. You can find more information on canal cruises here. And for a full collection of all Amsterdam tours, click here.
Red Light District
Known for the prostitutes adorning red-lit windows, the Red Light District is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Just steps from the train station, the canals are beautiful, there are famous churches and frequent outdoor markets here.
The main museums in Amsterdam include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House, but are only recommended for more than 5 hours layovers. Also, until the end of 2009, the Stedelijk Museum of art is temporarily in a former postal building to the left of the train station. There’s a bar on the 11th floor of the building that has great views of the city.