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Layover in Amsterdam

I have a trip coming up in a couple of weeks, traveling through Germany and the Czech Republic, and will be flying out of Prague, through Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport), to return back to the US and I have a couple of questions. I have a 7AM flight from Prague to Amsterdam on Czech Airlines, arriving in Amsterdam at 8:35 AM and then have a 12:25 PM flight from Amsterdam to NYC on Norwegian Air Shuttle. That leaves me 3 hrs and 50 minutes in Amsterdam. Both flights were booked separately.

-I really want to see Amsterdam but I was wondering if I had enough time to take the train and take a quick walk around the city and purchase some tulips for a family member. If there is enough time for this? Does anyone have any good ideas or suggestions of things for me to do or walks to take, or foods to try if I have enough time?

-Im assuming that since the flights were booked separately, I will have to get the one bag that I will check (already paid for) from the baggage claim and then re-check it for my second flight to NYC. Im also assuming that since Amsterdam is in the schengen area, that I wont have to go through customs in Amsterdam, only after I get off my flight in NYC. Am I thinking straight here, or do I have it all wrong?

Posted by
8906 posts

Sorry, you don't have enough time to head into the city center:( You would need at least six hours between flights for it to be feasible. If it's any consolation there is an airport branch of the Rijks Museum inside the terminal.

Im also assuming that since Amsterdam is in the schengen area, that I
wont have to go through customs in Amsterdam, only after I get off my
flight in NYC. Am I thinking straight here, or do I have it all wrong?

It's gonna be a bit of a hassle. When you arrive at Schipol you will have to exit the airport to reclaim your checked bag. That means you will have to go through immigration/passport check, baggage reclaim, customs (just a walk through), to the Norweigan check-in desks, back to immigration, securty checkpoint, and then to your gate. Cross your fingers that your flight from Prague isn't delayed.

Posted by
15640 posts

Once upon a time, pre-9/11, Schipol even suggested a quick trip into Amsterdam if you had a minimum 4 hour layover there. That is no longer the case. Given that you will have to go through a second security check at the gate, 3 hours is the recommended check-in time. So I would not do it with less than a 6 hour layover.

As far as tulips, you can buy at the House of Tulips at 3 locations at Schipol Airport. I have no idea about specific restrictions about bring flowers or bulbs into the US, but I would research that before spending any money.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank You for you responses. I guess I'll have to make it back to Amsterdam another time. Does anyone know the recommended amount of time to be at the Prague airport before your flight takes off?

Posted by
635 posts

There is a museum run by the Amsterdam Hermitage in Schiphol. You have plenty of time to see this.