Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
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!
I had a 6 hour layover at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. This was February 08. Schiphol had changed a lot, it's an enormous gigantic place now with loads of things to do. So many shops, lounges with all sorts of technological facilities, food courts etc. Even a new compact hotel called YOTEL opened where the bookings start at 4 hours minimum giving you a small room with more than only the main necessities. Wi-fi connection, flat screen tv, complete en-suite bathrooms and very comfy beds. etc. It's meant to be located in the transit area. I myself took the train to Amsterdam instead, was very easy, they will probably advise you otherwise at the information desk but if you've been to Amsterdam before it's totally doable. Buy your ticket return at the airport and allow at least half an hour for travel. The trains are every half hour too so it's easy.
Getting to Schiphol is a relatively easy experience, particularly if you are coming from a place that doesn't have any train/airport connections whatsoever. The airport here has been rightfully commended for making it possible to take a direct train from the center city which arrives quite close to the check-in counters. That said, a person flying out of Schiphol will still want to leave plenty of time to navigate through the station concourse - it can be a little difficult to figure out exactly which escalator to use, and your check-in desk might be at the opposite end of the terminal - as mine was.
I was booked for the first KLM/Northwest flight to Detroit - leaving at 8.00. Unfortunately, due to difficulties with transportation in the city - and a delayed train - I wasn't able to get to Schiphol until a little before 6.00. I really felt rushed and uncomfortable. My advice would be to try to get a later flight if at all possible!
I was flying from Khartoum to London by KLM with transit in Schiphol. To my dismay, when the plane left Khartoum , I discovered we would be going to Addis Ababa, only 1 hour 10 minutes flight, but over an hour stopover. Then we flew back up the Nile, across Greece and up the Adriatic, to arrive in Amsterdam after 10 hours ... fortunately I was in Business Class , but my seat would not recline completely.
I must admit it was the smoothest flight I ever had, and the cabin crew were most attentive and very friendly.
We arrived at 4am and were catching a flight to London at 8.25. There were some shops open, but none of the cafes opened until 7am, so it was rather a long, boring wait.
When arriving at Schipol Airport, you might find yourself surprised at how incredibly easy and almost pleasant (in comparison to other airports such as Paris' CDG) it is to navigate around. This is true especially if you understand English fluently, as the language is broadcast openly alongside Dutch.
As someone who isn't terribly fond of airports, I must say that Schipol was undoubtedly the best airport arrival experience I had.
Schiphol..Ships hole since it was built on reclaimed land as of much of the Netherlands is but they have also found pieces of old ships over the years that they have improved the airport.
I worked here for 3 months in 01 due to KLM staffing shortages and the fact that Northwest really does not want your bags lostif you can believe it. Others may argue otherwise but this is one of the best airports in Europe. It has a casino in the departures area as well as a mall and Alberthein (Dutch Albertsons supermarket) outside of the arrivals area. If you are a "Spotter" there is a great upper deck viewing area and cafe to take some great pictures or keep the kids busy with if you have a log layover and don't want to go into town. There are trains to Central Station, Germany, France and Belguim that stop here and tickets can be bought next to Checkpoint Charlie (The meeting point) at the arrivals level if memory serves me. The airport is fairly large. All NW flights leave out of Terminal E along with some KLM flights and of course Terminal F. Most of the domestic flights leave out of Terminal D with the commuters at Terminal A. CO, DL, UA, US leave out of Terminal G? There are moving sidewalks to speed you communte so no worries.
Schiphol Airport is a wonderful and convenient airport that was recently built with all of the modern necessities. It is located just 9 miles south of Amsterdam and has easy highway or rail access to the the city.
We had a layover in Amsterdam while flying to Copenhagen.
Schiphol is the world's 9th busiest airport, moving 44 million people in 2005.
Schiphol is my favourite airport. It's got wonderful facilities and if you have a lot of time to wait for your flight, you'll find plenty to do. There are loads of shops and places to eat and drink, excellent business services and even a quiet area of chair/beds where you can have a snooze. The entire airport has been well thought out and there are lots of features to make travelling more pleasant. There are even small luggage trolleys airside so you don't have to carry your hand baggage around.
I got stuck there for 2 days and a night, due to bad weather, and the airport was absolutely heaving with thousands of delayed passengers. The airport staff did everything possible to make everyone comfortable (the man in the Nokia shop even charged my mobile for me) and I can't think of a better place to be marooned.
Jet2.com is a no frills budget airline.
We flew from Blackpool airport the flight was punctual and the price was very good. The service on this short flight was also good we would rate this airline as 3 star.
There was one thing that put me of a bit was the Jet2.com stickers placed inside the aeroplane but I would use this airline again easy to book online, one day I hope the budget airlines fly to the Greek islands to compete against the charter flight monopoly.
Schiphol Airport is easy to get around in. I was concerned about having only 65 minutes to change flights from Lisbon to Cincinnati but found it a breeze. One thing that helped was that our arriving flight was on time but getting from one side of the airport to the other was only about a 20 minute walk. I think if you were going from the furthest arrival to the furthest departure you could do it in about 30 minutes. We even had time for a restroom stop and then picked up a “to go” cup of coffee. For a really good look at the layout visit their excellent website. Also, the airport is well signed so that it is easy to find whatever you are looking for.
As our flights were both outside the Netherlands we did not have to go through passport control, but I think even if you do, it is not a long process. Also I do not really know about Shengen regulations for people traveling between these countries but they seem to have everything very well and efficiently organized.
I scanned the airport map in the photo from their Airport Guide, but the same charts (easier to read) are on their website.
By Air: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 25 kms (15 miles) southeast of the city and directly linked to it by rail.
KLM Road Transport run a shuttle bus service between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and the major city hotels. The trip takes about half an hour.
The Schiphol Rail Line runs a 24 hr service between the airport and the city with a stop at the central railway station and stations in the southrn part of the city. The trip takes about 15 minutes.
Taxis are available in front of the arrival hall at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. All taxis are metered. Service is included, but small additional tips are not refused.
By Car: European highways lead to and from the borders. E19 from western Belgium; E25 from eastern Belgium; and E22, E30, and E35 from Germany. You can follow the signs for Centrum to get into the centre city. While the traffic is usually heavy, it is not usually at a standstill at peak times.
British Rail International runs 3 trains per day from London to Amsterdam. Trains arrive at and depart from Centraal Station (Photo: Central Railway Station.)
Flew with Aer Lingus from Dublin to Schipol.
Regular train connections to Amsterdam and other Dutch cities.
However, don't bother with the Duty Free in Schiphol, it is actually not good value at all. I distinctly remember seeing products being sold for less in Amsterdam city centre and in Dublin.
Schiphol is quite simply one of the best airports in the world to travel to. It is the home base of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), Martinair and Transavia and is serviced by major and budget airlines from all over Europe. Customs are quick and relatively painless. There is a huge shopping complex there to keep you entertained while you wait for flights.
Even getting into town is easy. The quickest and easiest way to travel to Amsterdam from Schiphol is by train. Trains depart from the central hall, which is close to the departure and arrival halls. They arrive at the central train station in 15 minutes and it costs around 4 Euro.
Schiphol Airport (AMS) is located about 14km, or 9 miles from the center of Amsterdam. It is one of the busiest airports in Europe, as it is a hub for many major airlines. There are a few options in regards to getting to and from the airport to the city center. Some hotels in and around Amsterdam offer free or cheap buses to and from the airport. Check with your particular hotel to see if they offer this service. Cabs between the two take about 20-25 minutes, but can be a little pricey, around 30-35 Euros. The train, which is the cheapest and in my opinion the best option, runs to and from Centraal Station every 10-25 minutes, and will cost anywhere from 3-6 Euros each way depending on the class. Welcome to Amsterdam! :)