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5h 30m layover in Amersterdam - suggestions?

I will be travelling in August from Africa and landing in Amsterdam for a 5 1/2 hour layover. This will be my first time in Amsterdam.

I'd love to see Anne Frank's house but don't know if I will have enough time to get through the airport, customs?, and into the town. My plane lands earlier in the morning and would need to be back to the airport no later than 11:00ish. Would this be pushing it?

Thanks for any suggestions you may have on how to do this (best transportation to and from airport, getting tickets to Anne Frank's house, anything to see there in the mornings).

Posted by
650 posts

I had a 6 hour layover before flying to Spain. I tried getting from Schipol into Amsterdam but too damn confusing so I stayed in the airport. I don't know if is worth it but I wish you better luck than I had. And I was traveling single with only a carry on bag.

Posted by
7084 posts

They open at 9 am so you should make yourself the first in line for the 9 am showing
If you try this get tickets online 2 or3 months in advance as they sell out.
Read the details from the official site

You have to take a taxi to get there and back on time
You are pushing it Anne Frank House is a 1 hour visit at least and packed narrow perpendicular with lots of stairs.
You won't be able to easily go through it

Posted by
650 posts

I think you might want to stay at the airport. Definitely not enough time to get into the city and back to catch your flight.

Posted by
21666 posts

It is a sucker play. You don't have enough time. Enjoy the airport. At least it is one of the better airport to kill time.

Posted by
6857 posts

I differ with the comment about transport being confusing....there are plenty of options and they're very straightforward, couldn't be easier.

You didn't say when exactly you'll be landing. I would play by ear. If you get out of customs quickly, then decide whether you want to go into town. I saw services in the airport that even provide easy transport to the flower gardens, so getting to Anne Frank's House shouldn't be difficult. But be realistic about how much time you really have to spend in Amsterdam...if you don't have enough time, then just let it be and enjoy the airport. As far as airports go, Schipol is very user-friendly. If you're tight on time and still want to leave the airport, then you have to plan very well (prior to your trip) so everything goes off without a hitch.

Posted by
1405 posts

Figure 1.5 hours to get out of the airport and into town. Figure another 1.5 hours to get from town back to the airport and through security. That would leave you 2-3 hours in the city. Amsterdam is great, but the hassle and expense isn't worth it just for a couple of hours in the city.

Posted by
292 posts

The problem with the Anne Frank house is that even if you sailed through Customs and had plenty of time, unless you had a timed entry reservation, you'd just spend your time in Amsterdam waiting in line to get in. And you probably wouldn't want to reserve a timed entry if you weren't sure you could get there.

The area around Amsterdam Central station has some sights; if you did exceptionally well going through Customs you could take the train from the airport to town, wander around a little, and then go back. But as others have said, it's a nice enough airport, and it might be smarter to stay there.