Schiphol Airport Amsterdam – Travel Guide

Schiphol Airport is the largest and most important airport in the Netherlands. It is only 18 km from the centre of Amsterdam. This makes it very popular with visitors to the city.

In this guide you will find all the information you need about Schiphol Airport and our tips on how to get to the city centre quickly and cheaply.


Schiphol Airport Amsterdam – the largest airport in the Netherlands

With almost 75 million passengers a year, it is the third busiest airport in Europe. To avoid confusion, airports around the world have standardised abbreviations.
At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, this is “AMS” according to the IATA standard and “EHAM” according to the ICAO standard. You can use these abbreviations, for example, when searching for flights on online booking portals.

Schiphol Airport is the third largest airport in Europe (Image: K.Walsh, CC 2.0 license)

Home base and hub for many airlines

The airport is home base and hub for several airlines: KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) and its subsidiary KLM Cityhopper, as well as Corendon Dutch Airlines, TUI fly Netherlands, Martinair and Transavia.

Schiphol Airport is home base and hub for several airlines – including KLM (Image: G.van der Schaaf, CC 2.0 license).

Transfer: Airport ↔ Amsterdam city center and surroundings

Airport Express Bus Connexxion 397 SchipholWhen planning a trip, the transfer to and from the airport is often more complicated than the flight itself. Planning the transfer to your accommodation or destination before you fly will save you time, money and stress. It’s worth taking a few minutes to plan.
From Amsterdam Airport, there are many options for getting around the city centre and the surrounding area.

Terminals at Schiphol Airport (+ map)

Although Amsterdam Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, passengers can easily find their way around. Since the airport has only one terminal building, it is very clear for its size.
The one-terminal concept means you never have to leave the building when changing planes.
There are also no shuttle buses running between the terminals.

Schiphol Airport – map for download

Plan of Schiphol Airport Amsterdam incl. terminals (*.pdf)

Schiphol Airport – interactive map

Here you can find our interactive map. If you zoom in more, you will find all stores, restaurants, piers and terminals in the airport.

If you zoom out further, you can explore the surroundings of the airport. For example, all stops of the Airport Express Bus 397 (shuttle bus to the city center) are also marked.

Getting to the airport by car: arrival and parking fees

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located on the two freeways, A4 and A9. It is easily accessible by car. Due to its proximity to Amsterdam, traffic jams can occur, especially during rush hours.

The A4 and A9 freeways lead directly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

Car parks and multi-storey car parks at the airport – parking fees

When travelling to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, it is important to find a parking space in time. The airport offers a variety of parking options, including short term, long term and valet parking.
It is advisable to reserve a parking space in advance, as this will save you time and money.

Advantages of an online reservation

Parking fees at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can vary depending on the car park and parking duration. If you book in advance, you can often benefit from cheaper rates and be sure that a parking space will be free when you arrive.
Furthermore, some car parks offer additional services such as a shuttle service to the terminal or surveillance cameras for added security.

Another advantage of pre-booking a car park is that you don’t have to worry about finding a parking space when the airport is crowded.
This can save stress and time, especially if you have an early flight and don’t want to deal with finding a parking space.

More information in our travel guide:
Parking at the airport: car parks, multi-storey car parks and parking fees

7 hours parking directly at the airport terminal – costs €46.20. If you park a little further away, it will be significantly cheaper.

Cheap car parks

Tip: In addition to the official car parks at the airport, there are other parking options. For example, hotels also offer their car parks / multi-storey car parks. These can be significantly cheaper.
You can use this online portal (click here) to conveniently compare prices and book a parking space.

Transfer times – long walking distances

Due to the one-terminal concept, transferring at Europe’s third largest airport can be a long walk.
Especially if you arrive on a non-Schengen flight and have a connecting flight to a Schengen destination, or vice versa, there are usually long distances to walk because Schengen and non-Schengen flights are handled in different halls.

The One Terminal Concept means you do not have to take a bus or train between buildings to change planes. As a result, walking distances can be long.

Schiphol Plaza – the center of the airport and shopping mall

The center of the airport is the “Schiphol Plaza”:

  •  Schiphol Plaza is also a large shopping center with many stores and restaurants
Schiphol Flughafen Terminal

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has only one terminal building. The center is the Schiphol Plaza. (Image: Martin., CC 2.0 license)

What stores are located in the shopping center “Schiphol Plaza”?

At Schiphol Airport there are two areas with shopping facilities. One area is located outside the security area (before security). This area is open to all visitors to the airport. The second area is located after security. This is only accessible to passengers after security.

At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, many stores are located in the “before security” area, which is accessible to all visitors.
As a result, many local residents also use Schiphol Plaza for shopping.

Schiphol Flughafen Shopping Duty free einakufen

The choice of stores and restaurants at Amsterdam Airport is huge. (Image: FunGi_, CC 2.0 license)

Stores in the “after security” area (boarding pass required) – as of 2024

Alcohol, Tobacco, Food: Chocolates, Fine Food, Liquor & Tobacco, Gall & Gall, Leonidas, Nespresso, old Amsterdam Cheeses

Flowers, Gifts, Souvenirs: Aviflora, I Amsterdam, Dutch Discoveries

Electronics: Electronics

Fashion: Bottega Veneta, G-Star Raw, Gucci, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Sunglasses, Victoria’s Secret

Jeweler & Watches: Bvlgari, GASSAN, IWC Schaffhausen, Montblanc, Rolex, Swarovski, Swatch

Stores in the “before security” area (no boarding pass required)

Alcohol, Tobacco, Food: Albert Heijn to go (Supermarkt), Chocolates, Liquor & Tobacco, Jamin

Books & Media: AKO Books & Travel

Flowers, Gifts, Souvenirs: Bloem!, Dutch Food Gifts, House of Tulips

Electronics: Airport Telecom Shop

Perfumery & Cosmetics: Etos, Kiko

Fashion: Bottega Veneta, Burberry, H&M

Flughafen Schiphol Terminal Plaza

Shopping Mall? Food Corner? Terminal building? Amsterdam Airport has it all… (Image: Sasha_India, CC 2.0 license)

Fresh, local food is also available at Schiphol Airport (Image: Sasha_India, CC 2.0 License)

Which restaurants are located in the Schiphol Airport?

Schiphol Airport offers a huge selection of restaurants. Again, there are two areas where the restaurants are located:
One area is located outside the security area (before security). This area is accessible to all visitors of the airport. The second area is located after security checks. This is only accessible to passengers after security.

Restaurants in the “before security” area (no boarding pass required) – as of 2024

Burger King, Café Rembrandt, Crossroads (Diner), Douwe Egberts Coffee Bar, Dönder Kebab & Pommes Frites, Grand Café Plaza, HEMA Food, Happy Seafood, Health Food Wall Plaza, Hello Goddgye Bar, LEON, La Place, Pizza Per Tutti!, Segafrod Espresso Bar, Starbucks, The Verspillingsfabriek (Waste Factory), Toko to go, Urban Beans, Yoghurt Ban

Restaurants in the “after security” area (boarding pass required) – as of 2024

Bread!, Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar, Café Chocolat, Café Choco, Dutch Bar, Fair Taste Café, Frames, Harvest Market, Heineken Bar, Jamie´s Deli, Joe & The Juice, Kebaya, McDonald´s, Murphy´s Irish Pub, Pana Eatery, Starbucks, Sushi & Noodles, The Grill, The Oven, Two Tigers

There are several branches of the Dutch supermarket chain “Albert Heijn” at the airport. They offer a wide range of snacks and hot meals. This is very popular as it is cheaper than going to an airport restaurant.

Rijksmuseum and Airport Library at Schiphol Airport

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum and displays works of art from the golden age of the Netherlands. For example, the collection includes the famous painting “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt.
The museum is located in the center of Amsterdam and is one of the top attractions in the city, with over 2 million visitors per year.
The airport also has its own airport library.
Branch of the Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport

Branch of the Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport

Since 2002, there has been a branch of the museum directly in the airport building. In 2017, this museum was extensively renovated and shows exhibits from the Rijksmuseum in worth seeing temporary exhibitions. Works by Jan van Goyen, Abraham Mignon or Michiel van Mierevelt, for example, are on display.

The quiet atmosphere in the museum is a great contrast to the hustle and bustle in the rest of the airport. The museum is always open. Admission is free.
The museum is located between Pier E and F in the “after security” area. Therefore, it is only accessible to passengers with boarding passes.

Flughafen Amsterdam Schiphol Rijksmuseum

The world-famous Rijksmuseum presents an exhibition worth seeing at the airport. Admission is free. (Image: Sasha_India, CC 2.0 license)

Amsterdam Schiphol Bücherei Service kostenlos

Here you can stock up on new books (Image: Sasha_India, CC 2.0 License)

A few words about the history and name of the airport

Schiphol Airport is over 100 years old. It was opened as a military airport during the First World War, on 16/09/1916. Civilian air traffic started in 1920 and the airport was named after the medieval field name “Schiphol” (English “ship’s hole”).
The airport has continued to expand. On its 100th birthday in 2016, it was given the title “Koninklijk” (Royal) by King William Alexander.

Frequently asked questions to – FAQ 2024

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located only 18 km from Amsterdam city center. Therefore, it is very popular with visitors to the city. It is well-connected to local transport. More information about Amsterdam Airport and tips on how to get to the city center quickly can be found in our travel guide.

Due to the one-terminal concept, there can be long walking distances when changing planes at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport.
Especially if you are arriving from a non-Schengen country and have a connecting flight to a Schengen destination or vice versa, long walks usually occur.
Schengen flights and non-Schengen flights are handled in different halls.

You can find more information and tips in our online guide.

At Schiphol Amsterdam Airport there are two areas where stores are located.

One area is located in front of the security checkpoint (before security). This area is accessible to all visitors of the airport. The second area is located after the security checks. This area is only accessible to passengers after security.

You can find a list of stores in our Amsterdam Online Travel Guide.

Parking at Amsterdam Airport can be expensive. Directly at the terminal, you can currently (2024) expect to pay almost €50 per day.
You can find more information and tips on how to save money on parking in our online guide.