Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
I could have put this under 'Schiphol', because it is a settlement in its own right, but as I've only ever set foot outside the airport terminal it didn't seem fair to say I'd visited Schiphol!
I must admit that Schiphol is one of the nicest airports I've ever used. It's clean, it's bright, the staff are cheery and pleasant with (of course) excellent English. It's the only airport I've come across which has a little museum airside (a tiny branch of the Rijksmuseum, with an exhibition of around 20 paintings) ...and a small library (English language books as well as Dutch books, comfortable seating).
It also has umpteen places to eat and shop. I particularly recommend the Dutch Pantry, near the Rijksmuseum. It serves fresh, and freshly-cooked, Dutch standards such as uitsmijter and has excellent fruit smoothies...and, for an airport, its prices are very reasonable.
There's a rather good children's play area which, when I passed by, seemed to have many children enthusiastically playing whilst their supervising parents were passed out from exhaustion on the comfortable seating just outside.
There are smoking areas (enclosed cubicles) available airside, although several are inside bars. Whether you must buy a drink before using those I do not know, but I suspect no-one would notice or care.
And there are interesting bits of artwork dotted around.
Schiphol airside is enormous so, if you wished, you could spend your layover time getting lots of exercise simply walking around it.
But there is one thing of which you should be aware: security does not happen immediately before or after passport control. It happens at the entrances to the various piers (e.g. B and H gates) and, in some cases, at the gates themselves. Whilst security screening at the gates themselves shouldn't cause much of a problem, other than having to queue up, security at the entrance to a whole series of gates can potentially cause you big problems.
In my case, I almost missed a flight because the security queue at H gates became very long indeed when several flights for those gates showed up on the departure lounge boards at the same time.
And, when changing planes recently, it took me 15 minutes just to get through border control and security at the entrance to B gates. Some gates are a pretty long walk from the start of their pier (up to 10 minutes) although there are travelators to help.
So be aware of that. Don't leave it too late to get to your gates or you may well miss your flight entirely. Judging by the number of announcements for missing passengers I heard during my layovers of several hours each way, this is a very common problem.
Apart from that issue, Schiphol airport is really very pleasant place to spend a layover of a few hours, although if you have 4 or more it might be worth whizzing into Amsterdam on the train (the journey takes less than 20 minutes) for a quick look round.
When we got to the airport, we found the SAS desk and checked our bags, and walked to the Assistance desk and got a wheelchair for my granddaughter to push. Then we shopped (my granddaughter bought herself some perfume) and we went to Burger King for lunch.
At the gate, another lady was there on a cart (the ones that they zip around the airport in, and they took our wheelchairs down to the door of the plane (on a VERY long ramp) so we could get on first. My granddaughter said she wanted to sit by the window. We had been given 25 A and C and there was no B so we were together. They sold snacks and drinks, but she just drank the coke she had bought in the airport.
Apparently, Schipol Amsterdam was rated the best airport in Europe. I must say I quite agree with that so far. The airport offers good shopping and eateries for transiting passengers like me.
However, if you have to go through immigration (entering Europe), expect long queues!
Airports, usually just places to pass through, but here at Schiphol, they have created a pleasant atmosphere where you come to shop at one of several shopping areas that are included within the airport. The main bus station and train stations are attached also so getting there is usually not a problem.
One point about Schiphol as an airport, take a look at the maps, the airport is built in a huge crescent shape, the departures on the inside and the arrivals on the outside, with the shopping and lounge areas connecting it all.
There is also a function that shows the walking time between points, this is IMPORTANT because of the size, it can take 20 minutes to walk from side to side, or even more if you walk slowly. Take this into account if you arrive on one side of the airport and have a flight leaving from the other side in 30 minutes....
During your layover at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport you can easily visit Amsterdam. I booked a tour at Great Amsterdam Excursions. It was pefectly organized: they picked me at the gate and brought me back to the airport before my next flight. Instead of hanging around the airport I visited Amsterdam and had a great time.
We flew out of Toronto's Pearson International Airport. We booked a flight on Air Transat which we have used many times over the years. For the two of us we paid $1470.52 CDN which is a very good price. We departed on a Wednesday evening and arrived at SCHIPHOL AIRPORT the following Thursday morning. As our flight to Ohrid Macedonia was not until early Friday morning, we stayed overnight at the IBIS Amsterdam Airport.
Our flight was very good - very little turbulence and even the food was pretty good - so kudos to Air Transat.
Gotta love Schiphol - it's like a small city with so much to offer - even a museum and a casino.
Sorry, I can't altogether agree with the gentleman who stated that "I think if you were going from the furthest arrival to the furthest departure you could do it in about 30 minutes". If all you had to do was cover the ground, I'm sure that would be right. However, we found that, contrary to his experience, we had to go through passport control despite the fact that we were travelling between EU countries and weren't setting foot outside the terminal building. Why? On the outward leg, there was a long queue. On the return journey, there wasn't - luckily, as we only had about 35 minutes. However, we then had to queue for check-in, at which there 3 members of staff. One clearly didn't have a clue what she was doing and was having to be assisted by the second. Between them, they managed to process passengers at a rate of about one every 5 minutes, leaving the third woman to do all the work. The queue moved at a snail's pace and people were getting more and more frazzled. We then had to go through security, again, having already been cleared in Berlin. Again, why? We'd never been out of the terminal and our luggage was being transferred direct to our connecting flight. Surely you can't get airside in Schipol without first passing through a security check, or do they just let anyone wander in off the street? I'm sure they don't, so this, frankly, is pointless hassle when people have never left a controlled environment. We made it to the plane with about 5 minutes to spare, and this was all within the same terminal. In my view, the application of some common sense would make the transfer process considerably easier without creating any additional risk.
Schiphol Airport is very big airport , they have a nice dutyfree that you can buy when going out from the airport also.
The airport is very big but still very organized.
Outside the airport you will find buses , trains , taxis.
I took a bus to the hotel - it was the fast and cheap.
Transavia have daily flights from Málaga to Ámsterdam Schiphol, the flight takes 2 hours and 45 minutes. They offers sándwiches, drinks, chocolates after pay an amount. As entertaiment they showed two chapters of the tv serie Friends and 2 man and a half. The staff is friendly all time.
Transavia tiene vuelos diarios desde Málaga al aeropuerto de Amsterdam Schiphol, el vuelo tarda 2 horas y 45 minutos. Durante el vuelo te ponen un capitulo de la serie Friends y otro de la serie 2 hombres y medio. Tienen un pequeño catalogo para comprar bocadillos, bebidas, chocolatinas, etc.
I did not have the right card (no european chip in my debit or credit cards) so had to go to the far left of the station when you come up from the baggage claim---there is a person at a counter which will take our credit cards and give you tickets to get to Central Station in Amsterdam. It is 4.20 each way with a return ticket for when you need to come back to the airport. (2nd class---I guess 1st class has a little more leg room or something). They will tell you which platform to go to, and when you get on the train, you can stow your bag nearby between seats, or in the area before you get to the seats...just keep an eye on them...you can go up or down to the seats----when you get to Central Station (sometimes after a few stops in between) just follow the crowds until you get out in the air and then on to your destination via tram, bus, or your feet (my usual way of getting around!)
Departing from Schiphol a few days ago we had a 2 hour delay and went up to the viewing area. It was great, able to see take offs and landings as well as visit the reasonably priced (for Amsterdam) Aviator restaurant.
Good place to visit if you have a wait.
The airport for Amsterdam and the whole of the Netherlands - surprisingly very provincial by English standards. Dutch TV shows an advertisement with three women going shopping in the Schipol shopping centre - it must have taken them all of 40 minutes and they have clearly never been to Bluewater or Meadowhall or similar shopping centres in England. The shopping really is a disappointment - there are not many shops and for English people very expensive. The best way to kill time waiting for a flight is to watch planes depart and arrive from the viewing area or go for a meal - there is a good choice of places to eat.
VT member pieter_jan_v has a very good Schipol section on his Amsterdam pages and perhaps I missed something but writing honestly I do not think this large airport has shopping that matches the hype that surrounds it and it is also quite basic in design. However the staff are helpful and friendly and it is easy to find your way around. Trains stops underneath the airport and there seems to be adequate parking.
I was impressed with Schipol Airport. It is one of the busiest in the world, but doesn't seem crazy and overcrowded. They seem well organized and orderly. I had a couple hours between flights both times I've stopped over and found plenty to keep me occupied during my layovers. I sat in one of the bars and had a real Heinneken draught for once! There are also plenty of food kiosks and stores of all types in the concourses.
If I can avoid flying on my travels I'll do so but when I do fly I appreciate a good airport. They don't come much better than Schiphol!
Schiphol is the Netherlands main airport, about a 20 minute train journey from Amsterdam, and is also a main rail nexus from which the rest of the country is easily accessible. However, apart from being a major travel intersection the airport also manages to be a destination in its own right with its shopping mall, bars and restaurants and even the buzzy outside concourse.
As a functional airport Schiphol excels in its efficiency, speed of transfer, relative lack of queues and general ease of use. As a social airport it also excels and quite often I make a point of arriving for my departing flights that bit earlier purely to enjoy a few beers and a bite to eat on the landside before going through to airside.
When the weather is good the outside terraces of the cafes are a pleasure (and especially to watch the arriving flight attendants in their uniforms - does it for me all the time ;)). On colder days I enjoy the Dakota Bar on the top floor of Terminal 1 (and the staff there wear uniforms too ;)). But dirty old man stuff aside, Schiphol, like Amsterdam itself, has something for everyone - culture, shopping, eating and drinking and everything else you could require from a world class airport.
AND it even has its own VT page! First link is PJ's excellent, informative and amusing page. Second is the official link.
By plane, Amsterdam is a comfortable 45 minutes away from Paris. if you are a member of the AF Club, you can relax at their lounge in CDG and the process is less taxing. I was surprised that even on that short route AF served Champagne. Viola!