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Is 4 hours between flights at Schipol sufficient to make a quick visit to downtown Amsterdam?

We are flying from Indianapolis to Munich in mid-June, via Paris and Amsterdam. Will we go through customs/immigration in Paris, Amsterdam, or Munich? Also, we are scheduled to arrive in Amsterdam at 11:35 a.m. and depart for Munich at 3:35 p.m. Assuming the flight into Amsterdam arrives on time, would we have enough time to take a train trip to downtown Amsterdam for a quick hour or so visit? We'd likely just take a small backpack with camera into the city... Thanks!

Posted by
6410 posts

You will go through immigration or passport control where they stamp you into Schengen and then customs on the way out landside
I've been through AMS many times; I'd go for it; and then I would head back to the airport at 1:30.

edit : my bad I did not see that you have two connections what a drag; Tom_MN is correct you will go through immigration at CDG

Posted by
5019 posts

Are both your flights on a single ticket, or two separate tickets?
If you are delayed getting back to the airport, and you miss your flight, what would be the consequences?

Posted by
2708 posts

Immigration will be in Paris.

4 hours isn’t a lot of time. What would you do in that 40 minutes of wandering?

Schiphol has endless shopping, although that’s all behind passport control so you can’t access it.

Posted by
6410 posts

What would you do in that 40 minutes of wandering?

If you want to toke up I know a good coffee shop close to the train station from the airport

Posted by
15573 posts

Twenty years ago, the Schipol brochure actually suggested that. These days, it is just too short a time. You will clear Schengen immigration in Paris, and customs, normally just walking out the "Nothing to declare" door at Munich. I'm thinking it will take 30 minutes to get off the plane and walk to the train station. Another 15 minutes from the time you locate the ticket window, buy tickets and head down to the platforms and wait for the next train, 20 minutes for the train ride to Centraal. So that is over an hour. Figuring that you should start back to the airport at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure, your time is barely enough to stick your head outside of Centraal and snap a few pics and head back. Do you have carry-ons you need to store in a locker? That will eat up some time.

I think that nowadays, 6 hours is what is required to make the effort to go into Amsterdam on a layover.

Posted by
4637 posts

Four hours is not enough. I would not take my chances. I did it with having eight hours.

Posted by
8889 posts

Do you really mean changing planes twice (3 flights)?
1) Indianapolis - Paris
2) Paris - Amsterdam
3) Amsterdam - Munich

I would say no way do that routing. There absolutely must be plenty of flights from Paris (whichever airport) to Munich.

If you do this routing:
You will go through immigration (=passport check = check on people) at your first Schengen Area airport, that is Paris.
Your bags (not you) will go through customs whenever they are returned to you, presumably Munich. Customs is a random stop only. Most people are not stopped.

And I would not want to go into Amsterdam with only 4 hours between flights.

Posted by
1932 posts

We usually have a 3.5+ layover at Schiphol. Never felt the need to leave the airport. We would rather be "bored" than miss our connection. Having up to 4 hours gives us downtime to exercise, read and have a snack.