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.
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.
Transfer: Airport ↔ Amsterdam city center and surroundings
When 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
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.
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.
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.
Schiphol Plaza – the center of the airport and shopping mall
The center of the airport is the “Schiphol Plaza”:
- It connects the three halls of the terminal building
- Underneath the Schiphol Plaza is the “Schiphol Airport” train station. This station offers local connections, e.g. to the center of Amsterdam, but also long-distance connections.
→ More information in this travel guide :
train station “Schiphol Airport”, connections, prices, etc. can be found here.
- Schiphol Plaza is also a large shopping center with many stores and restaurants
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 travelguide.amsterdam – FAQ 2024
How far is it from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the city center?
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.
How long does it take to change planes at Amsterdam Airport?
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.
What are the stores in the airport shopping center "Schiphol Plaza"?
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.
How much does it cost to park at Amsterdam Airport?
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.