Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the primary airport in the Netherlands and plays a significant role in European air travel. Make use of our guide, so you know everything you need to before you get to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol!
The airport is just 10km from Amsterdam itself and is home to six runways helping it to manage a lot of aircraft. In 2020, SKYTRAX awarded the title of “Best Airport in Western Europe” to Schiphol, and it’s not difficult to see why. The airport building itself is a single terminal with easy access between gates when airside. There is a large shopping centre in the building, which also attracts non-travelling customers with easy connections by road and rail.
Schiphol acts as a hub airport for SkyTeam member, and Dutch flag carrier, KLM. Other Dutch airlines such as Transavia and TUI fly Netherlands also use Schiphol as their hub, and it is also a base for low-cost airlines, Easyjet and LEVEL. Most flights are out across Europe with 182 destinations in the continent possible, plus long-haul flights to the Americas, Africa and Asia making up a third of passenger numbers.
Schiphol Airport At-a-glance
Official Website: www.schiphol.nl
Airport Code: AMS
Terminals: 1 (with 3 departure halls)
Address: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
Evert van de Beekstraat 202,
1118 CP Schiphol,
Postal Address: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,
PO Box 7501,
1118 ZG Schiphol
Postal codes for GPS: Ceintuurbaan Zuid, 1118 CX Schiphol
Gate Checker: www.schiphol.nl/en/departures/
Contact Number: 0900 0141 (local), +31 20 7940800 (international)
Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October
Lost Property Contact:
Phone number: +31 20 333 0333
Map: www.schiphol.nl/en/airport-maps – An 3D map useful for both transport connections, and inside terminal services. The bottom right allows you to select a different floor/level to view the whole airport.
WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. The network name is Airport_Free_Wifi.
As Amsterdam Schiphol acts as more than just an airport, there are many facilities, shopping in particular, that travellers will find. On the airside part of the airport (i.e. after security), you will find bars, restaurants, gift shops, newsagents, and duty-free. There even used to be a casino before it closed in 2017. All departure lounges have work areas with power outlets for your electronic devices. For something a little different, you can also charge your device by bicycle in the ‘Airport Park’ in Lounge 1, which has exercise bikes that power phones, as well as loungers or beanbags.
There are also ATM’s, currency conversion (do this before you fly for best rates!), massage chairs, a children’s play area with an interactive museum, prayer rooms, and smoking areas. Both landside (i.e. before security) and airside (i.e. after security) have plentiful offerings.
Landside (i.e. before security) is also home to Schiphol railway station and Schiphol plaza. As such, facilities for non-flying visitors are present. These include a hairdresser, several pharmacies & travel clinics, and plenty of shops. You can, of course, make use of these if you are flying to or from Amsterdam. But those with a long layover who can enter the Schengen area should also come and explore the full plaza.
You are allowed to sleep overnight at Schiphol airport, both landside and airside. However, you can only sleep landside if you have a boarding pass to show you are flying from the airport. It’s preferable to sleep airside in any case as there are many comfortable seating options. You will find loungers between E and F gates. The ‘Airport Park’ near D gates has loungers and beanbags too.
If you’d prefer to stay in a bed, you can use the Mercure (near F gates) and YOTELAir (near D gates) hotels located airside. Landside has more options with a Sheraton, citizenM, and Hilton within walking distance, as well as an Ibis Budget accessible by free shuttle.
Shower facilities are available in selected lounges. We have more details of these below. There are also free shower facilities in the non-Schengen departure area if you have a towel with you. Alternatively, the on-site Mercure Hotel (near F gates) or on-site YOTELAir (near D gates) offer shower facilities for a fee. In the train station area is a Sheraton hotel which has a fitness & spa allowing travellers to shower in style at a higher price.
Free water fountains are available for passengers to top up their water bottles, mostly located next to WCs. They are signposted on in-airport maps. Remember that you will need to empty your bottle before passing through security.
Luggage storage is possible both before and after security. If you have large bags, however, you need to drop these off landside (i.e. before security). The options in the departure lounges are best for smaller items such as backpacks and handbags as the dimensions are 40cm x 40cm x 70cm. There are five locations around the lounges which are signposted. You can leave your luggage here for up to a week at €8 per 24hrs.
For larger items and longer storage times, you must go to the basement area between Arrivals 1 and Arrivals 2. You can leave your hold baggage (and smaller items) for up to 30 days here. Small bags are €6/day, hold bags €9/day, and oversized items are €12/day.
You will receive a ticket when you store your luggage. It is a good idea to take a photo of this as there is a fee if you lose it. To save costs, you can store luggage at most hotels for free if you are staying in the city.
Schiphol Airport layout
Unlike many other major airports, Amsterdam Schiphol has been designed to operate under one main terminal building. There are four large public waiting areas, called lounges. These are not airline lounges, but freely accessible zoned sections of the terminal. Passengers can wait here while looking to shop, eat, or relax. There are then seven concourses, which are sometimes referred to as piers in the airport. These home the gates passengers should move to prior to boarding. B gates are found if you head right when you walk through security. G gates are found when going left, with C, D, E, F, and G all in between. The pier for H gates and M gates is located to the left of G gates. This is where budget airlines typically operate from.
Schengen Flights – B & C gates, and M gates
If your flight is headed to a country within the Schengen area, you will depart from B & C gates. You will need to pass through security but will not need to go through passport control as you will be moving within the Schengen region. The exception to this is when you are travelling with a budget airline such as Easyjet. These flights depart from the other side of the terminal, and you will need to allow time (20-30mins) to walk to these gates.
Non-Schengen Flights – D, E, F, G gates and H gates
If you are flying to non-Schengen countries, then you will depart from D-G gates, or H gates if flying with a budget airline. As the Netherlands is part of the Schengen zone, then you must clear passport control to mark you leaving a Schengen country. If you are not from the area, you may want to ensure you have a stamp in your passport to show proof of your exit. If travelling with a budget airline such as Easyjet, allow time (20-30mins) to get to H gates as they require some walking to get to.
The departure hall “lounge” areas for these gates are large and have a lot of space to explore. You can walk between E and F gates down ‘Holland Boulevard‘ which is home to a library, a Rijksmuseum outlet, and a family-friendly science museum, called Nemo.
Schiphol Transport Connections
Schiphol airport has many useful links to Amsterdam city centre. As the travel distance is not too far, and the Netherlands is famously flat, there are even free bike lockers where residents store their bicycles! Depending on the length of. your trip, and your interest in tourism, it may be beneficial for you to purchase a tourist travel ticket. There are several options to suit different purposes of visit. Each can save you money if you are relying on public transport and/or are looking to visit local attractions.
Bus: There is an express airport bus which will leave Schiphol Plaza to Amsterdam Elandsgracht for €6.50 single/€11.25 return. The bus operates to/from the airport via Museumplein, Leidseplein, plus other key stops and runs 24/7. Overnight, the service is down to twice per hour, but throughout the day it is as frequent as eight buses per hour. The service departs from bus stand B17. The journey will take approximately 30 minutes.
If you are looking to save every bit of money, you can also take bus 69 out to Sloterdijk before connecting to other services depending on your desired location. It is operated by GVB and would cost you €3.20 for an hours access on the GVB network.
Car: All the major car rental companies operate from Schiphol. The desks are located in Schiphol plaza close to the escalators leading to car parking. Taxis operate outside on the main road when you pass through the revolving doors. It would cost around €40-€50 to reach the city. In high traffic, the journey to central Amsterdam would take up to 50 minutes while at quieter periods it can be half that. Uber operates from the airport also with prices as low as €30 or so. There is a pickup point across the road when you exit through door B.
Rail: Trains are quick, relatively cheap, and frequent from Schiphol. There is an NS train station underneath Schiphol Plaza which will give you connection options to get to the city (Amsterdam Centraal station) in around 15 minutes. Trains depart as often as ten times per hour during the day. The cost is €5.50 for a single journey. However, depending on your purpose of visit, the tourist ticket may be a more economical option. Children under 11 travel for €2.50 while those under 3 travel for free.
Amsterdam is a major hub for travel in the Netherlands. As such you can find a rail link to other cities in the country from here. There are also international services to Paris, Brussels, and Antwerp. If you travel to Amsterdam Centraal station, you will be able to connect to further international destinations also.
In all cases, you can purchase tickets at the yellow self-service machines in the main foyer of Schiphol Plaza. Then you can take an escalator underground to the train station and check the boards for your platform number. There are six platforms, and trains to Amsterdam usually will be found on platforms 1, 2, or 3.
When travelling via Amsterdam Schiphol as a layover airport, your airline should advise you on how best to transfer to your connecting flight. The airport is well laid out with the single terminal design and less time is required to transfer than at many other international airports. One of the many transfer desks will assist you in where you should head for your connecting flight. All transfers can be done airside, but you may need to go through passport control depending on where you are arriving from and departing to.KLM recommends a minimum of 40 minutes to transfer from a Schengen flight to another, or 50 minutes if you need to go through border control.
However, if you have a self-transfer due to purchasing two tickets, you will need to allow for more time to transfer. This might be because you are making use of Amsterdam to fly onwards as a deal from another city, for example. If travelling with hold luggage, you would need to collect this and check it in landside. This will add considerable time, and you should allow a minimum of 2 hours.
Schiphol Airport Lounges
Despite its prominent role in European aviation, Schiphol does not have an overly large number of airport lounges due to its single terminal design. This means that each lounge can be rather busy if you are flying during peak hours. Each of the airline alliances has a lounge presence, with KLM offering two for SkyTeam partners. There are then four airline-unaffiliated lounges spread across the departure areas.
The lounges have seemingly random numbers associated with them. Check our location tips below or consult a map; the numbers do not correspond with a gate or airport area. Due to the layout of the airport, some are located in Schengen areas. As such, you may need to pass through border control to access them, if you have the appropriate visa or residency.
Schengen Area Lounges
KLM Crown Lounge 25 (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located near the D gates between Lounge 1 and 2 on the upper level.
Aspire Lounge 26
Located near the E gates of Lounge 2 on the second upper level.
Star Alliance Lounge 27
Located near the E gates of Lounge 2 on the second upper level.
Located between Departure Hall 1 and 2, nearby to check-in desks 8 and 9.
Regus Express Lounge
This lounge is for international rail travellers and is not part of the airport departures or airside section of Schiphol. It is located at the Arrivals area 4 of Schiphol Plaza, between exit doors A and B.
Non-Schengen Area Lounges
Aspire Lounge 41 (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located near the E gates between Lounge 2 on the second upper level. This lounge acts as the Star Alliance lounge for non-Schengen travellers.
British Airways Lounge 40
Located near the E gates of Lounge 2 on the second upper level.
KLM Intercontinental Lounge 52 (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located near the F gates of Lounge 3 on the upper floor.
Privium Airside Lounge
Located near the E gates on Holland Boulevard.