Schiphol Amsterdam Airport serves as the Netherland’s primary aviation hub for international air travel. Located just 9.1 km south-west of Amsterdam, it is not just a destination for worldwide travelers wishing to visit this marvelous city, Schiphol is also an important airport for European and intercontinental flight connections.
Its official name is actually Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which is in recognition of the original Dutch word order of Luchthaven Schiphol, similar to the German Flughafen Schiphol name.
The recognized IATA code is AMS to match this.
Some of the world’s most prominent airlines are using the airport as their home, among them KLM, Delta Air Lines, and Transavia. The airport is Europe’s 4th busiest and in terms of passenger traffic, it rates as the world’s 12th busiest airport. In 2017 some 68.5 million travelers were managed and this number has been increasing steadily ever since.
Schiphol has at least six runways. The actual construction is really one enormous terminal with three huge departure lounges. There are plans forthcoming, which would expand the terminal further, even the development of an added terminal is under consultation.
The airport imposes high landing prices and views such intense air traffic that many budget airlines have had to relocate to smaller, less busy locations in the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and The Hague for example. There are, however, still lots of budget airlines offering flights to and from Schiphol, such as EasyJet and Vueling for example, who use the inexpensive H-pier to keep expenses down for their operations.
Travelers using the airport will notice it very busy, but stylish and well equipped with great shopping areas such as Schiphol Plaza, a shopping center inside the terminal, and many car rental providers have departments within Schiphol Airport. Certainly, there are other attractions too, such as the world’s first airport library, which started in 2010, no doubt to the delight of many bookworm-travelers, who were looking forward to using the 1,200 books in 29 different languages on offer besides music that can be downloaded for free. There’s also a museum to while away the time prior to boarding.
A large viewing area on a rooftop provides aviation fans and guests with excellent views over the whole complex. It is not available to connecting passengers, but visitors have unrestricted access to appreciate a day out and see the diverse aviation displays along the way.
Public Transport to and from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Getting to Amsterdam airport and leaving it is easy with the main railway station being positioned underneath the travelers terminal complex. From here trains connect to other cities in the Netherlands, such as Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, and The Hague for example.
Via the international high-speed train connection called Thalys passengers can travel to international destinations such as Brussels or Antwerp in Belgium and Paris in France. An intercity train connects Amsterdam also with Berlin in Germany, with services running every 2 hours.
The fastest and best way to get from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam is by BSome travelers prefer to bypass all public transport hassles by pre-booking a private transfer. The driver will pick you up at a pre-arranged spot inside the airport. You can meet either at the Meeting Point in the main hall (near the Burger King), or where you exit the baggage claim area.
Make sure the driver knows your flight number so that he or she can take delays or terminal changes into account.
You’ll find plenty of private taxis for hire in the taxi line just outside the main entrance to the arrivals and train station level at Schiphol Airport. Be sure to choose a taxi from this line and not from individuals walking around soliciting their services. Note that taxis run on a strict meter basis and there is no set flat airport rate.
TRAIN FROM SCHIPHOL AIRPORT TO AMSTERDAM CENTRAL STATION
Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport, is located 12 kilometers (7,5 miles) as the crow flies southwest of the city. The airport includes a train station – right underneath the main hall.
Note: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is not serviced by a tram- or metro line.
AMSTERDAM TRAIN STOPS ALONG THIS ROUTE
- Station Lelylaan (about 7 minutes). The vast majority of tourists do not disembark here.
- Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station (about 11 minutes from Schiphol). Located in the Amsterdam-West Borough, home to many hotels.
- Amsterdam Central Station (about 15-20 minutes from the airport)
At Amsterdam Centraal Station, you’ll have many options to travel further into the city and beyond: by local or regional bus, metro, tram, or taxi.
WHERE TO BOARD THE TRAIN TO CENTRAL STATION
At Schiphol airport, the train station is located underground. You reach the platforms via escalators or elevators in the main hall.
Trains to Amsterdam Centraal Station usually leave from tracks 1, 2, or 3. Check the signs above each escalator to make sure.
TRAIN + METRO LINE 52
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is not yet serviced by a metro line. A subway service is being discussed, but there are no concrete plans yet.
The Noord/Zuid lijn (North-South line), Metro 52 runs between Station Noord (North) and Station Zuid (South). Its stops include Amsterdam Central Station.
A direct train ride between Schiphol and Central Station takes about 13 minutes. A train ride to Station Zuid, and on the Central Station by Metro 52 takes about 25 minutes.
TIMETABLE TRAINS BETWEEN SCHIPHOL AIRPORT AND AMSTERDAM
Trains to and from Amsterdam Central Station run 8 times an hour — so once every 7.5 minutes. Signs above the escalators will show you when the next few trains depart, and where they are headed.
Screens near the yellow ticket machines list trains that will depart within the next half hour or so.
You can also check the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen = Dutch Railways) website.
Note the type of trains indicated in the timetables:
- Sprinter stops at Lelylaan, Sloterdijk, and Central Station.
- Intercity or Intercity Direct only stops at Central Station
The difference in travel time is 3 minutes.
WHERE AND HOW TO BUY TRAIN TICKETS
BUY TRAIN TICKETS AT SCHIPHOL AIRPORT
You can buy train tickets in the main hall — either from the yellow machines marked ‘Train Tickets,’ or from the service counter.
Tickets prices: €4.60 (2nd class) or €7,59 (1st class). Unless you have an OV chipkaart (as a tourist you won’t have one) there is a surcharge of €1 per ticket.
In other words, you’ll pay €5.60 (2nd class) or €8,59 (1st class) respectively.
TIP: Avoid the €1 surcharge by buying your train tickets with the NS app, or via the NS online trip planner.
SHOULD I GET FIRST CLASS OR SECOND CLASS TRAIN TICKETS?
Dutch trains have First Class and Second Class cars marked simply as  or .
Most Dutch people travel second class, which usually is good enough.
First Class (referred to as ‘Comfort Class’ in the ticket machines) offers a bit more space and a bit more comfort, especially in newer trains. But the extra expense (€8,59 instead of €5,50) is not worth it, especially on such a short trip.
Mind you, if you use a First Class carriage while you only carry a Second Class ticket, you risk a fine. (The difference in ticket price, plus €50 fine, plus €15 administration fee).