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What do Do During Long Lay-Over at Schipol

We arrive early morning from USA but our connecting flight to Berlin departs 6 hours later. Is it realistic to leave the airport to do something and get back in time to check in? What would you recommend? If not is there an airport lounge, etc. at that airport you would recommend?



Posted by
77 posts

It's only a short train ride (15-20 minutes) to downtown Amsterdam or Haarlem. I would think you'd have an easy 2-4 hours to see some local sights. I would only wonder about how much time to leave for getting back through security when returning to the airport. Also if you check RS' guidebook, there's some museums and shopping inside the airport itself. A meal and a museum might be just the thing since you'll be arriving jet lagged anyway.

We'll be flying into Schiphol ourselves late September and our plan is to kill some time by not being in a hurry at the airport anyway since we can't check into our hotel until the afternoon. We usually try to stay up until late afternoon by walking around and that could include the airport mall/museum as well as the Damrock since we won't be flying out of Schiphol.

Posted by
1994 posts

Maybe I've just been unlucky, but based on my last 3 experiences there, I wouldn't try it. I encountered horrendous lines and missed one connection to the U.S. because of those lines. But I think it would be a pleasant airport to spend time in (were I not sprinting through it trying to make a connection).

Posted by
38 posts

AMS is a very busy airport-lots to keep you busy. The Rjiksmuseum has a branch there, with a lively gift shop. The duty free shop for both cosmetics and fragrances is huge as is the one for alcohol and food. Lots of upscale and mid price shops; go diamond shopping. Even if you don't buy you can get a great education. Lots and lots of restaurants. You may need to go thru customs and immigration which will use up some time. There used to be a hotel where you could rent a room by the hour allowing you to take a nap and a shower. You will easily be able to kill 4-6 hours there!

Posted by
703 posts

one option might be , if you are early in the day, to visit the aalsmeer flower auction. its near the airport, only cost a small amount to do a self guided tour. it was a highlight of our visit, its amazing to see that many flowers and the size of the place. but you need to be early to see it all happen. even if you not into flowers.

Posted by
956 posts

It takes almost as long to get thru Schipol and buy your train ticket to go into Central station as the ride itself. there can be quite a distance between gates.There are quite a few airport lounges where you can purchase a day pass. They are not all created equal- we had a day pass when flying United that was very limited in comfort and refreshments. What airline are you using, and wIll you have luggage with you or are you checking it? You would be taking a domestic flight so the checkin for the flight to Berlin consumes less time, but the line for security is a risk as stated above..

Posted by
74 posts

It may be a tight squeeze to do something and get back to the airport in time. Before all the other airports in caught on, Schiphol was known for having some of the best duty free shopping in Europe (it was kind of a right of passage to tote the SEE BUY FLY bag around). That will keep you occupied for some time. However, I would have a problem with being tempted to go into Amsterdam. There is train access right after you pass through the arrivals hall and as mentioned earlier, the travel time into Amsterdam is short. I haven't had the delay problems but I have heard many similar stories as the one Jane passed along. Still, its one more city to add to your trip and one of the easiest/shortest airport to city connections in Europe.