Getting from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam — and back — by public transport is easy, inexpensive, and fast.
Schiphol, as is it known colloquially, is the Netherlands’ main international airport. It is located 20 minutes southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlem.
Schiphol Airport Public Transport Map
One of the most popular options is the Amsterdam Airport Express bus — a comfortable and inexpensive ride into town. The bus stops close to many hotels, and provides free WiFi as well as plugs to quick-charge your phone.
The bus station is located at Schiphol Plaza — the square in front of the main hall.
There are two rows of bus stops just across the street from the taxi rank. Additional bus stops — including the one for the Amsterdam Airport Express — are on the right, past the overhead walkway.
Amsterdam Airport Express / Bus 397
Note: many old guidebooks will still have this bus listed with its old number, 197.
Sit back and relax while you charge your smartphone, use the free WiFi and check your bus stop on one of the screens. The bus has a low entry so you can bring your luggage inside the bus and keep it with you.
- Tickets: Buy your return tickets (€11,25) in advance. Valid up to 14 days. Note: the most popular option is to buy these return tickets in combination with a (multiple-day) Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket. This provides you not only with return transport between the airport and the city, but also covers your transport within the city itself.
- Destinations: Museumplein (28 minutes), Rijksmuseum (32 minutes), Leidseplein (34 minutes) and bus station Elandsgracht (38 minutes).
- Where: Platform B15-19 at Schiphol Plaza. Look for a red bus marked ‘Amsterdam Airport Express’
- When: Departs every 7.5 minutes (between 7 am and 6 pm) or about every 15 minutes before 7 am and after 6 pm
Public Transport Ticket Options
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Bus 69 is the only part of Amsterdam’s Public Transport system that services Schiphol Airport (which technically is outside Amsterdam’s municipal borders).
Taking this bus only makes sense if your hotel is near the Sloterdijk train station, or one of the stops along its route.
- Destinations: Takes you to train station Amsterdam Sloterdijk (final stop, 41 minutes), where a growing number of hotels are located in the vicinity. From there, you can reach Central Station either by bus (48) or by train.
- Where: Platform B17, the second row of bus stops at Schiphol Plaza, across from the taxi rank.
- When: Schiphol Airport to Sloterdijk from about 5:30 am through 1:00 am. Sloterdijk to Schiphol from about 4:30 am through about 12:20 am. Since this is a city bus with many stops along the way, the full trip takes about 50 minutes.
- Tickets: €3.20, (or, if you prefer, a day pass at €8,00) purchased from the driver. Note: As of March 26, 2017 you can no longer pay cash on board any GVB buses. In the bus you can pay by Dutch pinpas or a credit card. You can purchase (multiple) day tickets ahead of time. At Schiphol Airport you can also purchase a ticket at the AKO bookshop/newsstand. However, they sell day tickets only, with a minimum price of €8,00 for a 24-hour card.
Buy your GVB Day- or Multiple Day passes online: This ticket gives you unlimited travel throughout Amsterdam on all GVB trams, buses, metros (day and night) for the number of days that best suit your plans.
Train From Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station
Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport, is located 18km (11mi) southwest of the city. The airport includes a train station – right underneath the main hall.
- Destinations: Among other places, Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station (about 11 minutes) and Amsterdam Central Station (about 15-20 minutes)
- Where: Underneath the main hall, the tracks can be reached via escalators or elevators. Trains to Amsterdam usually leave from track 3.
- When: Trains to and from Amsterdam Central Station run 8x an hour — so once every 7.5 minutes. Signs above the escalators will show you when the next few trains depart, and where they are headed. Signs near the yellow ticket machines list trains that will depart within the next half hour or so. Type of trains: Sprinter stops at Lelylaan, Sloterdijk, and Central Station. Intercity or Intercity Direct only stops at Central Station. The difference in travel time is 3 minutes.
- Tickets: €4.50 (2nd class) or €7,43 (1st class)1 [Note: Unless you have an OV chipkaart (as a tourist you won’t have one) there is a surcharge of €1 per ticket], purchased from the yellow machines in the main hall. Note: If you prefer to bypass the hassle of dealing with machines, purchase your train tickets online instead. [Departure station: Schiphol Airport. Arrival station: Amsterdam-Centraal]
The ticket machines are easy to use (English language option available) and accept standard international credit cards. If you need assistance, visit the ticket counter instead.
You must activate your ticket (a chip card) at one of the card readers near or at the top of the escalators, or next to the elevators.
Do not buy return trip tickets, unless you plan on returning to the airport on the same day. Round-trip tickets are valid for same-day travel only.
Train From Amsterdam Central Station to Schiphol Airport
The trains from Schiphol to Amsterdam are prime hunting grounds for these criminals.
Take precautions and do not let yourself be distracted. Do not turn your back on your luggage, and keep your handbags and purses where you can see them.
If you are sitting near an exit, hold on to your luggage to prevent grab-and-run theft.
- Destinations: The Connexxion Schiphol Hotel Shuttle takes you from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to more than 100 hotels in the city of Amsterdam between 06.00 a.m. and 21.30 (9:30 p.m.)
- Where: After you have bought your ticket online, when you arrive at Schiphol go to platform A7 at Schiphol Plaza; follow the signs to Taxis & Buses
- When: Departs at intervals of maximum 30 minutes.
- Luggage: The fare includes one piece of hold luggage and one piece of hand luggage per fare-paying passenger. This may be a deal-breaker if you don’t travel light.
- Tickets: At the shuttle’s website select your hotel to view the ticket price. Rates start at €17,00 one way, per person. There are discounts for return journeys, children age 4-14, or groups of more than 3 people up to 8 people. You can book your ride ahead of time, and it is possible to book a return trip. VISA and Mastercard are accepted.
Amsterdam’s taxis are among the most expensive in Europe. The 30-minutes ride from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station should set you back about €40,00.
– To Museumplein: about €35,00.
Confirm these rates with the driver, so he knows that you are aware of the average cost.
Note: a taxi ride from Amsterdam back to Schiphol typically costs less because there is more competition. While Schiphol has licensed a number of taxi companies to pick up passengers at the official taxi rank, all taxi firms are allowed to drop off passengers at the airport. We’ve seen prices as low as €37,50 ‘from anywhere in Amsterdam.’
Note: For several years, arriving passengers were accosted — inside and outside the airport — by people who offered, sometimes aggressively, taxi services. They were not licensed to operate at Schiphol. At times, tourists were quite literally taken for a ride. Some were charged hundreds of euros for a trip that should have cost less than 50 euro. Legal measures introduced in May, 2017, have now taken care of this problem. Still, be aware that some rogue cabs may still try and accost you.
See this footnote for details:2
NOTE: Currently (last update: June 2018) rogue drivers attempt to divert passengers by holding up ‘TAXI’ signs. Ignore them.
Select a taxi only at the official taxi rank in front of the main hall. You can select any of the taxis you see there. You are not obligated to take the first one in line — though lately airport-authorized ‘hosts’ have been used at peak times. Follow their instructions.
Theoretically you could catch a taxi after travelling to Amsterdam Central Station by train. You can do so at the Westernmost section of the IJzijde – the part of the train station that faces the river IJ — right across from the ferry boat landing.
In Amsterdam Uber is both legal and efficient. Uber is approximately 50% cheaper than traditional taxi services.
You can use uberX (low-cost option), UberBlack (“the original Uber”), or UberVAN (“Room for Everyone”). They can all be ordered via the Uber app (Apple and Android versions).
UberPOP is not available in the Netherlands.
Get €5 off your first Uber ride
Uber Pickup spot
The pickup spot for uberX is across from exit B on the Arrivals level. See this map.
Exit B is not in the main ‘Schiphol Plaza’ hall. Look for the Esprit fashion store inside the main hall. Just across from it you’ll see Gassan Plaza jewelry store. Enter the shopping corridor between these two shops, and you’ll soon see Exit B on your left hand side.
Once you’re outside, you’ll see a Sheraton Hotel across the street. Across from its main entrance, look for a glass shelter alongside the street. This is the Uber pickup spot at Schiphol.
Note: It is best to make your way to the pickup spot before ordering your Uber ride. Uber charges extra after 2 minutes waiting time. See below as to why you will not want to order an Uber taxi before you are at the pickup spot.
Abel is no more. The investor has pulled the plug.
ViaVan, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and US ride-sharing startup Via, has been available in Amsterdam since March 2018. From what we hear the company is doing well. You’ll find that a good many Uber drivers also are signed up with ViaVan. The company has recently started to include service to and from the airport. Pickup is just outside Exit B, on the closest lane to the terminal.
In our experience a shared ride (meaning the car can pickup or drop off other passengers along the route) is a few euros cheaper than Uber. But a private ride with ViaVan is quite a bit more expensive.
Mind you: realize that a shared ride also means you have to share the luggage space.
Many travelers prefer to bypass all public transport hassles by pre-booking a private or shared transfer. Usually meant for ‘groups’ or ‘families.’ Essentially a taxi, though the term ‘transfer’ is often used to differentiate from taxi concessions. It generally includes a higher level of service.
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Hotels at or near Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
If you have a layover in Amsterdam, or you want to stay away from the hustle ande bustle of the city, choose at hotel at or near the airport:
Hotels convenient to the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus
These hotels are close to the indicated stops of the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus:
- Museumplein (28 minutes)
- Amsterdam hostel Annemarie
- B&B Alexander
- Bilderberg Garden
- Billmore Hotels Internationals
- Conscious Hotel Museum square
- Conservatorium Hotel
- Hotel Atlas
- Hotel Bema
- Hotel Bronckhorst
- Hotel City Garden
- Hotel Cosmos
- Hotel Inner
- Hotel ‘Marianne’
- Hotel Omega
- Hotel Sander
- Hotel The Neighbour’s Magnolia
- Hotel Verdi
- Hotel Washington
- Memphis hotel Amsterdam
- NL-hotel museumplein
- Nova apartments Amsterdam
- Park plaza vondelpark
- The College hotel
- The Concert Hotel
- Trianon Hotel Amsterdam
- Bus Stop: Rijksmuseum (32 minutes)
- Art Gallery Hotel
- Best Western Apollo museum Hotel
- Bilderberg hotel Jan Luyken
- Hotel Aalders
- Hotel Bellington
- Hotel Cornelisz
- Hotel Fita
- Hotel JL no76
- Hotel Museumzicht
- Hotel Piet Hein
- Hotel The Neighbour’s Magnolia
- Hotel Van Gogh
- Hotel Vossious Vondelpark
- Park Hotel Amsterdam
- Park Mansionhotel
- The Flying pig uptown hostel
- The Poet Hotel Amsterdam
- Bus Stop: Leidseplein (34 minutes)
- Amsterdam American hotel
- Amsterdam Goodstay Guesthouse
- Amsterdam hostel Leidseplein
- Amsterdam hostel Orfeo
- Amsterdam Hotel Centre
- Amsterdam Mariott hotel
- Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
- Backstage hotel Amsterdam
- Bed and breakfast Helmers
- Best Western Leidse square hotel
- Boutique hotel view
- Dikker & Thijs Fenice hotel
- Freeland hotel
- Grand Hotel Mi Casa
- Hampshire hotel
- Hans Brinker budget hotel
- Hem Hotel Maas
- Hilton Amsterdam
- Hotel Aero
- Hotel Alexander
- Hotel Blyss
- Hotel D’amsterdam
- Hotel de Lantaerne
- Hotel de Looier
- Hotel de Paris
- Hotel Espresso city centre
- Hotel Europa 92
- Hotel Hestia
- Hotel Iron Horse Amsterdam
- Hotel Jupiter
- Hotel Kooyk
- Hotel la Boheme
- Hotel Leidsegracht
- Hotel Marnix City Centre
- Hotel Roemer
- Hotel Sipermann
- Hotel Vondel
- Hotel Weber
- International budget hostel
- Jefferson hotel
- King Hotel
- Mozart Hotel
- NH Amsterdam centre
- NL hotel district Leidseplein
- Owl Hotel
- Prinsen Hotel
- Quentin Hotel amsterdam
- Sara’s Boutique Hotel
- Stayokay Vondelpark
- The Golden Bear
- Titus hotel
- Wildervanck bed & breakfast
- Bus station Elandsgracht (38 minutes)
- Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel
These hotels are located within walking distance of the indicated bus stops of the Amsterdam Airport Express
- Dutch trains have First Class and Second Class cars, marked simply as  or . Most Dutch people travel second class, which usually is good enough. First Class offers a bit more space and a bit more comfort, especially in newer trains — but the extra expense (€7,43 instead of €4,50) is not really worth it. At Schiphol, the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen = Dutch Railways) ticket machines may ask you to select a ‘comfort class.’ At one time, First Class was pre-selected. Note: If you use a First Class carriage while you only carry a Second Class ticket, you risk a fine. ↩
- Taxis at Schiphol’s official taxi tank belong to companies that have won the airport’s concession. Individual taxi drivers pay €3.600/month for the permit, which is issued by Schiphol, with the blessing of the municipality of Haarlem, in which the airport is located. Both the airport and the municipality of Haarlem want to make sure that taxi drivers meet certain quality standards.
However, in the Netherlands by law all taxi drivers are allowed to offer their services ‘on public roads.’ In April 2015 the Court of Amsterdam [Gerechtshof Amsterdam] ruled that this applies to Schiphol airport as well. The airport can legally designate roads as private property, by closing them off with a mechanical barrier. This is why the airport pays some poor guy to do nothing all day but push a button to allow licensed cabs to pass the barrier.
Since that ruling, recruiters for taxis that have not been licensed by Schiphol have been accosting travellers, both inside and outside the airport buildings. At times travelers have found themselves set upon by three or more recruiters at a time, and rejections are sometimes met with rude remarks.
Effective January 1, 2016, a new by-law for the municipality of Haarlemmermeer has made recruiting for passengers outside the immediate vicinity of one’s taxi cab illegal. Since cabs not licensed by the airport cannot park anywhere close to the exit, this measure was expected to bring an end to illegal recruiting. However, now the unofficial cabs use ‘runners/recruiters.’ Schiphol has hired 25 private security guards to tackle the problem, but people are still being accosted.
Latest: Starting May 15, 2016 the guards are authorized to hand out fines to taxi operators who do not have a Schiphol concession and who nevertheless recruit inside the airport and outside on the main square. During the first two weeks of May the guards hand out warnings only. After that, fines will be issued: €350,00 for a first offence — and up to €1.500,00 for each repeat offence.
Nevertheless, on occasion travelers still report being accosted.
Update, May 2017: This issue has now been taken care of. The new rules have withstood various legal challenges and are now being enforced consistently. A number of rogue cab drivers and recruiters who tried their luck anyway have been issued large fines. And some drivers offering the illegal taxi services have seen their cars impounded.
Update, March 2018: Rogue cab drivers now have recruiters hold of ‘TAXI’ signs as close to the exit as legally possible. They are thus still attempting to divert passengers.
As a result, the exclusion zone may be expanded. Until that happens, simply ignore the rogue cabs.
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