Guide to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Interior of the Schiphol Airport Main Hall
••• Enric Martinez / Flickr / CC BY

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (ASMS) was the world's 14th-busiest (fifth-busiest in Europe) airport, serving 58.4 million travelers in 2015 alone, according to statistics compiled by Airports Council International. The airport has non-stop flights to major cities in Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

An airport first opened on the site in September 1916 as a World War I military airbase.

By 1940, it was a commercial airport with four runways. It was destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt in 1949, when it became the main airport for the Netherlands.

Schiphol is housed in one large terminal, broken down into three departure halls with 90 gates. It offers service from 108 global carriers and is a hub for KLM and Corendon Dutch Airlines, as well as a European hub for Delta Air Lines and EasyJet. Schiphol has five runways and flights to 322 destinations.

Amenities

The airport offers VIP Service for travelers, which takes care of check-in, baggage transport and passport formalities while travelers sit in a private lounge. Right before a flight departure time, staff escorts travelers to a special security check reserved for guests of the VIP Center, then take you directly to your aircraft.

Other features of the airport include some of the more common ways to spend time during a layover, such as shopping, dining and relaxing, and accessing the internet.

The flight status function on the airport's on the website is pretty basic; travelers can check their flight status by typing in a flight number. If that's not available, the site asks for the origin and airline name. All information is given in real time.

For longer layovers, take advantage of the fact that there are nearly 200 hotels in the general vicinity of the hotel, including Mercure Amsterdam AirportSheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center, and citizenM Schiphol Airport.

Uncommon Services

Schiphol is home to Dutch Culture, a series of shops and restaurants designed to give travelers a taste of the Netherlands. The Dutch Bar offers cocktails from a professional barman who features Dutch gins, liqueurs and beers. The Dutch Kitchen allows customers food including raw herring, miniature croquets, miniature pancakes and stroopwafels. 

Additionally, there is quite the art collection at this airport, as part of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol. The airport has also won Business Traveller UK's ‘Best Airport in Europe’, for 26th year in a row in 2015. The House of Tulips has a facade that features a typical Amsterdam townhouse and a greenhouse. Travelers can buy the country's iconic flowers. Finally, pick up genuine Netherlands souvenirs from the NL+ shop.

Security

In 2015, the airport centralized its security checkpoints to offer a better passenger experience. There are now five sections: two for passengers traveling to non-Schengen countries, one for Schengen countries and two for passengers with an onward connecting flight out of Amsterdam.

Getting There and Away

Travelers have a number of options for getting to the airport and from the airport, including public transportation options, taxis, and car rentals.

For those interested in mass transit, you can get to and from the airport via a train station that goes to destinations including Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague, Delft and Rotterdam 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Available bus transport includes Amsterdam Airport Express and city buses.

There are always plenty of taxis available outside the Departure Hall. The airport advises travelers to ask if flat-fee fares are available to downtown Amsterdam.

Business taxis are also available and travelers can reserve these taxis in advance so that they will arrive and depart on your schedule.

Minibus taxis can take travelers to most cities in the Netherlands and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you need more room, you can order a special private minibus that can seat up to eight people.

You can also share a minibus with other passengers. 

The car rental companies available at Schiphol are Avis, Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.

Parking

The airport offers myriad parking options for every price point. It offers a central location on its website where travelers can enter their dates into a reservation system and review all parking options. The sooner a space is booked, the more travelers can save.

Location

Evert van de Beekstraat 202
1118 CP Schiphol, Netherlands (just south of the city center)

+31 900 0141