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Schiphol to Amsterdam Central train

We're arriving into Schiphol after a long overnight flight, and I expect to be tired and a bit dis-oriented, so want to nail down how to get to Central train station from the airport.

I see where we exit into Schiphol Plaza, and look for the trains there. I assume there is an easily marked location where we can purchase tickets into town, is it with the regular train ticket booth or a separate booth? Is it manned or automated only? And can we buy our return train tickets now as well for later use?

And do we need to punch or stamp our tickets before or while boarding (like mass transit), or will there be a conductor checking tickets (like on a train)?

Thanks for the help!

Posted by
8995 posts

There are a long line of manned ticket windows to purchase tickets, can't miss them. You can use any booth. Only purchase one way tickets as they are only valid on the day they are purchased. There will be a conductor checking tickets.

Posted by
2487 posts

You can already buy your ticket while waiting for the luggage to show on the belt. There are yellow ticket machines nearby, taking credit cards. Amsterdam Central is already on the screen as a default choice.
Trains leave every few minutes and you can take any train: Sprinter, Intercity or Intercity Direct.

Posted by
8995 posts

There are yellow ticket machines nearby, taking credit cards.

Be aware that these machines don't always accept US credit cards. Also same deal with the manned ticket windows they only accept chip & pin cards. So best to use cash.

Posted by
961 posts

Stewart - I found this article helpful:

Mike'sTravelGuide

He has composed quite a few articles about Amsterdam that you may find interesting on his site.

Posted by
6720 posts

I am surprised that the manned ticket windows don't take mag strip cards; we have bought tickets all over Europe at train stations without problems. Machines often don't take our cards, but the manned windows always have.

Posted by
28075 posts

janettravels44

What Michael Schneider says is true about the ticket windows. That has been the case for many years now.

Posted by
16941 posts

I am surprised that the manned ticket windows don't take mag strip cards

The Netherlands are different.

Posted by
1976 posts

The bank of manned ticket windows in the airport has a large red symbol above it which is used to designate trains. It's 2 horizontal lines with a vertical zigzag through them. After you buy your tickets, don't forget to validate them before you get on the train. I did, as did a bunch of other tourists, and we were firmly chastised by the ticket agent on the train.

Posted by
38 posts

Wow, thanks for all the replies! And I'll be sure to check out Mike'sTravelGuide. Thanks, again!

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks for the chip and pin suggestion. I've been receiving chip credit card replacements over the last 2 years, and usually have to use the chip reader machines at stores here in the US now, so I think I'm good there, I'll be sure to double check that I have or request a pin well in advance (since don't usually have to use that here). I'll also let my bank know so I can use my ATM card there, I have done that before on other trips to Europe, but the chip/pin issue I'm sure is more of an issue now. I usually try to get some Euros at a local bank near my office, so I'm prepared just in case.

And thanks for mentioning the turnstile usage, I wasn't sure and I've heard of issues with having a ticket but not having it punched or stamped, and a turnstile would take care of that.

That's pretty neat, that you can buy a ticket from an automated machine while waiting for luggage, that is convenient!

Posted by
5483 posts

You may want to check with your hotel to see what is the suggested way in from the airport. In my case, an airport express bus stops at the corner next to the hotel. This will be less expensive and easier for me than taking the train in and transferring to a tram that won't get quite as close.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks Carol, we're staying at one of the Ibis hotels just across from the train station, so that is ideal for us, but I do see your point.

Posted by
2829 posts

To answer the last of your questions, Stewart: in the Netherlands you don't punch tickets any longer. There are totems or electronic gates where you touch your ticket (which has a disposable RFID chip) when checking in and out.