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Layover in Amsterdam


My daughter and I are traveling to Portugal through Amsterdam in a week. We have a 8 1/2 hour layover at Schiphol Airport, and we really want to take advantage of seeing Amsterdam. I read in a previous post that having a layover of 8 hours or more is enough time to explore. I have a few questions. 1. Is there a tour we could take that picks up at the airport? 2. Is the train the best option of getting into Amsterdam? With the limited time, I'm wondering if Uber does business in Amsterdam or taking a taxi--cost prohibitive? I'd love any advice. If taking a train into the city, is there a tour that would be manageable for that amount of time, considering that we'd like to be back at the airport approximately 2 hours before our flight that evening? Any advice or thoughts are welcome.


Posted by
8500 posts

I think that it would be fairly easy to take the train to Amsterdam Central, walk across the street, and take a 1 hour canal boat tour of the city. These leave every 15 minutes and are a relaxing way to get an overview of the city.

Posted by
4637 posts

We did what Carol suggests and still have time for some walk in the downtown and some coffeehouse. Train is the fastest way to get from the airport and goes very often.

Posted by
7644 posts

You know, I was going to sy that there is probably no tour from the airport...but Google proved me wrong, if you search you could find a number of option. Cost may be an issue, and you can certainly just take a train into Amsterdam Centraal, walk up Damrak to Dam Square, and then explore from there. You could easily hit one or two museums, but just walking and exploring is the best part of Amsterdam, maybe hit the Flower Market or other market, have a nice meal, maybe a beer or wine.

Posted by
985 posts

Becky, there's plenty of fairly quick sights to see in Amsterdam on your layover. I too would vote for taking the train in to Centraal. If you do end up in the Noorderkerk area make sure you stop for apple pie at Winkels 43 - across the street from the church. They have markets outside the church on Saturdays and Monday mornings that are interesting to browse through.
To get a taste of what Amsterdam used to be like you might enjoy visiting one of the canal houses. I highly recommend Museum Van Loon and Willet-Holthuysen canal house museums. You might also consider a visit to Our Lord in the Attic. Enjoy wandering the canals! If you really want to do a walking tour I can also recommend Mark Law of ThatDamGuide. We thoroughly enjoyed a city walking tour with him.