Quick Layover in Amsterdam | Worth Leaving the Airport?
Last Updated on July 16, 2020 by Dana Berez
Quick Layover in Amsterdam | Worth Leaving the Airport?
One of the best things about having a long layover is the chance that you can actually get out of the airport and explore. It’s like adding an extra city to your trip.
This was why I was particularly excited to have a 9-hour layover in Amsterdam.
However, our flight was delayed, customs took 40 minutes, finding & storing our luggage took a while, and taking the train into the city cut into that time. Factoring all of these things we were left with a 5-hour layover.
With just 5 hours, it did give us enough time to leave the airport to explore.
In this post, I will break down if you can leave the airport on a layover in Amsterdam and if it’s worth it on this quick layover in Amsterdam.
Can You Leave the Airport During a Layover in Amsterdam?
The first thing you need to factor in is how long your layover is. Just because the airline says you have a certain amount of hours, doesn’t mean that will be true.
Airlines calculate the time of arrival when the plane lands. What they don’t calculate is the time getting off the plane, going through customs, and retrieving luggage. These factors may cut into your layover time.
So considering all of this if you are left with 5 hours or more you can definitely leave the Amsterdam Airport. If you have 4 hours, you can leave but you will not be able to see as much.
Under 4 hours I would not recommend leaving the airport, unfortunately.
Factor time to get back to the Airport
Just because the train back is only 20 minutes, be sure to have ample time to retrieve your luggage and check-in your next flight.
Some flights require all checked bags to be checked an hour or more before departure. Check with your flight, and plan your way back to the airport accordingly.
Storing Baggage at Amsterdam Schiphol Aiport
Can you store your bags at Schiphol Airport? Yes! This is what makes it super easy to explore on a layover when in Amsterdam.
To find baggage storage inside the airport, follow the ‘Baggage Storage’ signs. The storage room is located in the basement level at Terminal 1. You will have to either take the elevator, or steps to get there.
The line may be busy, so factor in some time waiting to drop your bags. Prices range from €6 to €9, and you can store your bags up to 7 days.
How to get to Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport
If you have enough time to leave the airport, there are 3 major ways you can reach the city center: by bus, taxi, or train.
Taking a taxi is the most convenient and quickest, but comes at a cost. On average you will be paying €39 one way, but the ride only takes 15 minutes.
Taking the train is cheaper, and will get you to the city center in just 20 minutes. You can find the trains directly at the airport which makes it convenient for all travelers. Tickets are €5.90 one way and can be purchased at the self-serve ticket booths.
Just a note: when I tried to purchase my ticket at the ticket booth with a credit card, it kept asking for a pin number. After a couple of tries, it ended up going through, but just be aware this might happen to you.
Once you have your ticket, you can head downstairs to the train platform. Take the route to Amsterdam Centraal Station.
Tip: Just be cautious of your belongings on the train. It is known as an easy target for pickpockets.
What I did in my Layover in Amsterdam
Started With Breakfast at Omlegg
By the time we arrived at Amsterdam Centraal Station, we were hungry! We took a short walk to a popular breakfast spot serving omelets all day called Omlegg.
Breakfast was much needed after flying for 7 hours and Omlegg was the perfect spot for a big breakfast.
Other Breakfast Spots We Considered:
- Coffee & Coconuts: This breakfast spot was on my Amsterdam Bucket list, but due to lack of time we opted for something closer to the Train Station.
Headed to The 9 Streets
The 9 Streets is a trendy area in Amsterdam filled with small boutique shops and cafes. Be sure to bring your camera here. You will find the cutest homes and quaint streets.
We strolled around taking in the atmosphere. If I had more time in Amsterdam, I would have loved to explore this area more in depth. If you are looking for the cutest streets, this neighborhood is a must on your layover.
Checked out Bloemenmarkt
Amsterdam has the world’s only floating flower market. Did I have to check it out on my layover? Absolutely.
To be honest, I was surprised to see that most of the market was very touristy and sold mostly flower seeds & Amsterdam souvenirs. For some reason, I pictured fresh flowers everywhere, but I did manage to find a stunning flower shop with fresh flowers.
I bought myself some pretty tulips for some fun photos in Amsterdam.
Canals & Bikes of Amsterdam
Did you know that Amsterdam has more canals than Venice? And has more bikes than people? I was mesmerized by all the beautiful canals, and took great pleasure in finding so many bikes to photograph.
After buying some flowers, we walked along the pretty canals of Amsterdam and took some photos. Thankfully our weather was absolutely perfect to take in the beautiful scenery and architecture.
Van Wonderen Stroopwafels
I wanted to indulge in something uniquely Amsterdam, and a delicious looking stroopwafel was just the answer! A stroopwafel is two layers of waffle with a caramel filling inside. I ordered the speculoos and it was perfect.
My Amsterdam Bucket List
I had such a great time exploring, and definitely made a note to come back. Here are some things I need to check off my bucket list: visit Van Loon Museum & Rijksmuseum, try some fried and garlic sauce at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx, and explore the neighborhoods of De Pijp and Jordaan.
Is it Worth Leaving the Airport
Absolutely! It was definitely worth leaving the airport. Why wait inside when there is so much to see and discover. The more time you have the more you can see. But if you have around 5 hours you can get a bite to eat and walk along the streets.
If you have 4 hours or less (from plane touch down to your next flight) I don’t think you would have enough time to leave the airport to explore Amsterdam.
However, if you do have time the train located inside the airport takes you directly to the center of the city. This makes it super convenient to get out and explore.
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Check out where I went next: Sailing Along the Amalfi Coast