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Early morning flight from School airport

We are traveling from the states in May and arriving at Amsterdam airport in the early afternoon. The following day we have a 7:30 am flight to Croatia. Is it too ambitious to spend the night in Haarlem area and should I rebook and choose an airport hotel? Customs looks like a daunting process in this airport.

Many thanks

Posted by
11294 posts

While in the US we often say "customs" to mean "customs and immigration," note that these are different things.

Customs in Europe (control of goods) is just a matter of walking through the Green Channel - Nothing to Declare line. Unless you're "randomly selected for addition screening" (possible but rare), you're done.

Immigration in Europe (passport control) is not "daunting" but can take time. How long it will take depends on how many officers are on duty and how many other flights are arriving. The only thing to make sure of is that you use the lines for non-EU passport holders. You just line up with everyone else and wait your turn. You then pick up your checked luggage, go through the Green Channel, and you're done.

You will have go through these steps on arrival whether you stay at an airport hotel or in Haarlem.

For that 7:30 AM flight departure, you'll want to be at the airport at 5:30 or 6 AM (check with your airline for recommended times). Staying in Haarlem would mean far too early a wake up call for me, but you may feel differently. I'd drop my bags at the airport hotel, then go to Haarlem by bus or train, then return to the airport hotel to sleep; this will give you about an hour of extra sleep vs staying in Haarlem.

Posted by
7638 posts

Stay at the Ibis Schiphol Amsterdam. It has a free shuttle takes 15 minutes to get Schiphol.

Posted by
18842 posts

Of course, visiting Haarlem after you get your hotel room is a piece of cake. It takes 1/2 hour from the airport, the trains go every 15 minutes and you change trains at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station. I'm sure there are buses as well.

Posted by
2487 posts

I know Schiphol as a busy, but efficient airport.
The easiest connection between Schiphol and Haarlem is bus # 300, leaving from the bus station in front of the Haarlem railway station, taking 40 mins and with the first departure around 05.30. But for this time of day (or rather night) I would also choose an airport hotel.

Posted by
1005 posts

Book a room at the airport. After you check in, relax for a while, then go back to the airport and take the #300 bus direct to Haarlem. Enjoy the town, have dinner there, and then take the #300 back to your airport hotel. That way you won't have to worry about catching your 7:30 a.m. flight to Croatia.