It’s easy to get from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to central Amsterdam in a jiffy. Trains, buses and taxis quickly and easily whisk you to the center of town. Here are some of our tips to travel to the center of Amsterdam from Amsterdam’s airport.
HOW TO GET FROM SCHIPHOL AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF AMSTERDAM
Getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam by Train
You can get to Amsterdam Central Station by train in less than 20 minutes from Schiphol International Airport. On weekdays during daytime hours trains leave about once every 10 minutes to Central Station, and during the night about once per hour. Check the NS Train website for schedules.
Train tickets cost €4 each way for second class fare. Tickets can be purchased at the yellow and blue machines in the main plaza at Schiphol, just follow the signage to Schiphol Plaza once you exit baggage claim.
The bright yellow machines have touch screens that can be viewed in Dutch or English. Select “Amsterdam Centraal” if that is your destination and follow the prompts to select a second class, full price ticket for traveling that day. The discount fares are for those with a special OV discount card, and first class fares are not really worth it for the 20 minute ride.
However, keep in mind that the NS ticket machines are a bit finicky. They don’t really accept American credit cards nor do they accept Euro bills, but some do accept coins (look for machines with screens that show a white box with coins that is not X’ed out). The most common way to pay at the machines is using a Dutch Pinpas, Maestro card or by Visa or Mastercard with four-digit pin (€1 fee).
Those travelers from outside Europe might find it easiest to purchase their train tickets from the ticket windows located on the side of the plaza near Starbucks. The lines may look long but they go pretty fast.
After you get your train ticket you can check the schedules by consulting the big blue departures board located near Starbucks. This will tell you which platform to go to. Trains to Amsterdam Centraal typically leave from platforms 1-2 or 3. Check the signage or ask at the help desk and head down the escalator to catch your train.
Trains may make a stop at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station on their way to Amsterdam Central Station. Make sure you get off at the right place, the stations are announced by the conductors before each stop.
Once you reach Central Station you can hop on a tram, bus, taxi or start walking to reach your final destination.
Getting from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam by Bus
It is also possible to travel to and from Amsterdam and the airport via bus, though you may have to transfer buses once to get to Central Station. The red Schiphol Sternet buses leave from the area just outside Schiphol Plaza.
To travel on the bus you will need to buy a ticket onboard with cash for about €4. The bus takes about 30 minutes to get to Museumplein depending on traffic.
Take buses 197(to Museumplein/Leidseplein), 310 or nightbuses N30 or 392.
Schiphol to Amsterdam by Taxi
If you have a lot of luggage or are traveling with a group, it may be wiser or more economical to take a taxi to your destination in Amsterdam.
To get a taxi go out the big doors at the front of Schiphol Plaza and head to the left. You will see a line of taxis waiting to take you to your destination.
A taxi to the center of Amsterdam is about €40 and takes about 20 minutes depending on your destination and the time of day. If in doubt, just ask the driver how much the fare will be before hopping in the cab. Tipping is nice, a few Euros should suffice depending on how much luggage you have.
Renting a Car
While we really do not recommend renting a car when visiting Amsterdam, it may be part of your plan. The car rental desks are located at the back of the arrivals plaza.
Meeting Someone at Schiphol
Are you planning to meet a travel companion or local friend in the Amsterdam Airport? The easiest place to meet is at Schiphol Plaza, just head from your arrival gate toward the center of the airport by following the signs to the plaza.
There is a giant red and white checkered cube near the train ticket booth that makes an excellent meeting spot, or pick one of the restaurants like Starbucks or Burger King as a convenient rendezvous location.
You can also meet arriving travelers outside their arrival area.
Arrival and departure information is located on screens at the center of the plaza, take a look at those to see when and where your companion is arriving.