Quick tour of Amsterdam

International terminal, Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam

Let’s be honest – airport layovers stink, especially on international trips. But if you’re on a trip that takes you through Amsterdam and you have more than 5 hours to spare you’re in luck! You can have some fun during your layover and take a quick tour of Amsterdam easily and inexpensively. The heart of the city is a quick train trip from the airport, and getting a taste of the city is easy. In this post we’ll give you some information on how to get into the city and what to see while you’re there.

Quick tour of Amsterdam

Centraal Station, Amsterdam

Getting Out Of The Airport

As noted above, you should only consider taking this trip if you have 5 hours or more to spare.  If you don’t want to carry bags with you on the train, storage lockers are available at the airport. Keep in mind that you will have to clear security and customs to re-enter the airport, so leave 2 hours at a minimum for this process.

Getting Into Amsterdam

A return ticket from Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Centraal Station is only €9.40, and the trip takes about 30 minutes. As the name implies, Centraal is centrally-located relative to the rest of the city. After exiting the train you’re just a quick walk from the canals, shops and sights of the city.

As a quick side note – if you have more time to spend in the Netherlands or in the rest of Europe, Centraal Station can be a great jumping-off point for touring Europe by train. Check out this excellent post on a 22-day inter-rail route for a first trip to Europe, courtesy of the Got My Backpack blog.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve got less than 5 hours between flights it probably doesn’t make sense to take a quick trip to Amsterdam…just enjoy the airport, which is nice in its own right. But if you have the time, go and see the canals, have a coffee, and soak up the Dutch ambiance.




Comments (8)

  • Mikkel . February 25, 2017 . Reply

    I love being able to store my luggage in left baggage lockers. Great tip!

    • (Author) travelstories . February 25, 2017 . Reply

      Thanks! It was the first time I’d tried storing a bag, but it worked out really well.

  • Sally . March 4, 2017 . Reply

    Interesting to know the airport is only 30mins from the central train station. Great that you can have a nice layover!

    • (Author) travelstories . March 5, 2017 . Reply

      Yes, it was a pleasant surprise for me to find that out as well! The good news is that the airport is an enjoyable place to stay for a short layover…but for those with time, I definitely recommend a trip into the city.

  • Lena from fouronaworldtrip . September 17, 2017 . Reply

    oh that’s very true! The trainstation of Amsterdam is really in the middle of the city and you can basically see everything that you associate with Amsterdam in 5 hours, plus eat some frikandel and some fries 🙂

    • (Author) travelstories . September 17, 2017 . Reply

      Thanks for your comment! I’ll definitely put frikandel and fries on the list to eat for my next trip. 🙂

  • Arnav Mathur . April 22, 2018 . Reply

    This sounds amazing. Definitely heading out of the airport, if I have a 6 hour+ layover in Amsterdam.

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