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Amsterdam Layover

| January 3, 2016

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.
Amsterdam Layover

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 ATMsbusiness 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.

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Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On An Amsterdam Layover:

Amsterdam Tours

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!

Canal Tours

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.

Museums

The main museums in Amsterdam include the RijksmuseumVan 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.

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Category: Amsterdam, Europe, layover, Layover Guides

Comments (22)

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  1. Nice post!
    By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

  2. arie says:

    Check Stedelijk Museum, still (partly) closed and the Rijksmuseum … dito.
    New is a dependance of the Hermitage.

  3. arie says:

    Oooh and the train needs maximum 20 minutes to take you to Central Station and then ten minutes walking to the heart of Amsterdam: the Dam.

  4. john says:

    is there any coffee shops ner schipol airport if not were is the closest one if u have a 5 to 6 hr layover

  5. Susan says:

    If you are looking for a layover tour in Amsterdam you should try Holland Belgium Tours. Their guide are very efficent and give you all the information you need. They will even take you to the coffee shop and the red light district.

    I really enjoyed my tour which was very informative.

    • Syed says:

      very useful post!

      I’m an Indian, Going to travel back to India through Amsterdam from mexico and having a overlay of more than 20 hrs in amsterdam.. I love to visit some places in Amsterdam during my overlay, do i need visa to enter the city?? if so, how could i get it in advance?
      It will be great,if someone help me on this.

      • Iqbal says:

        Hey! Did you manage to get any information? I am in the same position now. I have a ley-over of ~24 Hrs in schipol airport. I hold an Indian Passport and travelling from Mexico City.

  6. irina says:

    somebody with an idea where i could find the number of budget hotels located around or near schiphol?

  7. marcus says:

    I’m a canadian and have a 17hr layover in Amsterdam can I leave and come back with just my canadian passport?

  8. Sara says:

    Do you have to bring your luggage with you during the layover or is there a place to store it? Or will it be put onto the next flight automatically?

    • Layover Guide Staff says:

      Hi Sara, it depends. When checking in you can always ask if your luggage can be checked through to your final destination. If you’re unable to do that, you can always book a hotel room (depending on the length of your layover, if that makes sense) and store them there, or there are luggage lockers at Amsterdam Central Station – http://bit.ly/1NTSrE5

  9. Haris says:

    I’m from Serbia and have a 5 hours layover, I’m interested is it possible or are they gonna make any problems about leaving airport for few hour? Thanks in advance

  10. Erohisms says:

    We just did a layover in Amsterdam on our way to Turkey from San Francisco. We were able to see so much and it was so easy to get into town. Just remember that Haag Centraal is The Hague–we just saw Centraal and went with it! Switched trains after we realized and got to Amsterdam Centraal without too much delay.

  11. Anna says:

    I’m confused as to whether layovers are permitted. I’m taking KLM from Toronto and stopping at Amsterdam for 8 hours. I booked through a third party site. Am I automatically allowed to leave the airport for that time or did I have to request for the option? I was always under the impression that unless the layover is less than 2hrs we are free to roam.

    Thank you!

  12. Sumeet Kaul says:

    I am an Indian national and will be travelling from Mexico to India via Amsterdam. Itinerary: Mexico –> Amsterdam –> India. There is 23 hrs layover at Amsterdam(Schiphol Airpoet)between KLM connecting flights.
    My query is: Can I leave airport premises and enter Amsterdam city without a valid schengen VISA?
    If not, do I have to stay within Airport premises for 23 hrs!!

    I would really appreciate a response.

  13. Dr Phanipriya says:

    I am an Indian travelling from Dubai to Detroit. I have a layover in Amsterdam. Can I go into the city with my Indian passport?

  14. Bolarinwa says:

    I am a Nigerian studying in the US,my Visa just expired and I am travelling back to Nigeria to renew my visa. I would have a layover in Amsterdam. I want to know if my expired visa will not affect my layover and connecting flight

  15. Melancia says:

    Hello
    Will I need a pet passport for my cat, flying from the UK with a layover in Amsterdam and final destination USA?
    Thank you

  16. Shailendra Rawat says:

    I am an Indian national and will be travelling from Mexico to India via Amsterdam. Itinerary: Mexico –> Amsterdam –> India. There is 21 hrs layover at Amsterdam(Schiphol Airpoet)between KLM connecting flights.
    My query is: Can I leave airport premises and enter Amsterdam city without a valid schengen VISA?
    If not, do I have to stay within Airport premises for 21 hrs!!

    I would really appreciate a response.

    • Naren says:

      Hi, Did you manage to get the information? I am in a same position now. .I am an Indian national and will be travelling from Mexico to India via Amsterdam. Itinerary: Mexico –> Amsterdam –> India. There is 23 hrs layover at Amsterdam(Schiphol Airpoet)between KLM connecting flights.
      My query is: Can I leave airport premises and enter Amsterdam city without a valid schengen VISA?
      If not, do I have to stay within Airport premises for 23 hrs!!