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Amsterdam airport

We're new travelers to Europe and are unfamiliar with how long to allow for check-in. Is it the same as in the U.S. - at least two hours? Longer or shorter?

We're looking at a flight from Chicago to Munich that would have a 4.5 hour layover in Amsterdam and we're wondering how long it will to take to process out of the airport and how long to come back and check-in.

Do the airlines ever say that you can't leave the airport during a layover?

Thanks for listening to my beginner questions!

Posted by
208 posts

I know there are some airports that allow you to leave to take a quick tour of a city and I thought Schiphol was one of them. However, after checking their website, you might not have enough time...they recommend that you allow 2 hours for European flights and 3 hours for non-European flights.


Here's a sound piece of advice to all travellers: make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time! We recommend the following check-in times for flights:

two hours prior to departure if you are flying to a European destination

three hours prior to departure if you are flying to a destination outside Europe."
In the meantime, AMS has great shopping and an art museum!

Posted by
4 posts

While I can understnad your desire to venture into Amsterdam, four and half hours to leave Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS), see some of Amesterdam and return to the airport is really pushing it. AMS is a pretty big airport (comparable to O'Hara) and is also relatively outside of Amesterdam. Also, if Munich is your final destination, you will be going through immigration in AMS. Keep this is mind. I've run into rather long immigration lines in AMS as well.

If the lengthy layover is a concern, there is enough to keep you entertained for the 4.5 hours. AMS has a virtual in-house mall. Between a coffee (you will need it after the flight!) and the window shopping, you should be enough to get you by until your departure to Munich once the reading gets boring.

Best travels! (You'll have a blast!!!)


Posted by
359 posts

Diana, if you're going to get stuck in a European airport for 4.5 hrs, Schiphol is where you want it to happen. Lots of reasonably quiet places to catch some ZZZ's after the overnite flight; bright and busy if you want that; lots of shopping, window or otherwise; for an airport, decent food/drink; even a casino if you're into that; lots of natural light and not dark and dismal like so many airports. You could live there if you had to -and some weeks, when living/working in NL, I thought that I was........ Don't chance a quick excursion, with the least glitch you could miss your connection.

Posted by
349 posts

Amsterdam is nice I would interview cab drivers and arrange an 90 tour won't be cheap but chance to see Amsterdam pricless. could be done with the train and boat tour I HAVE done it but before 9/11 .

Posted by
11805 posts

You can leave Schipol but 4.5 hours won't give you time for anything. As Kent said, Schipol has a Rijkmuseum display at the airport that is worth visiting.

Check in times at Schipol are about what you would expect at major hubs in the US. Everything is in Dutch and English, so you're not likely to get lost.

Posted by
473 posts

Make sure that you see the Lego miniature of Schipol airport! I don't remember which terminal it's in, but it's worth seeing.

Posted by
37 posts

Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the advice. We'll probably play it safe and hang out at the airport, see the museum, and walk around.

We'd love to see Amsterdam but not in a mad dash.

Thanks again!