Amsterdam Tourist Information

Public Transport to and from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

DutchAmsterdam.nl: 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.

 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to and from Amsterdam — Options:

  • Bus Highly Recommended by DutchAmsterdam
  • Train Very convenient as well

Schiphol Airport Public Transport Map

This map shows the location of public transport services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

 

Bus

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

An inexpensive, comfortable option if your hotel is within walking distance of its major stops (Check Google Maps — or see if the name of your hotel is on this list).

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.

Public Transport Ticket Options

 
Amsterdam Public Transport Ticket (1-7 days) Unlimited Bus, Tram, Metro in Amsterdam Option: add round-trip on the Amsterdam Airport Express bus (from and to Schiphol airport)
I amsterdam City Card Unlimited Bus, Tram, Metro in Amsterdam Includes free museums, free canal boat tour, and other discounts
Amsterdam Airport Express Roundtrip Airport, City center, Airport Ticket valid up to 14 days

Bus 69

Buy the I amsterdam City Card   

Long story short: 93.4 % of users say they are satisfied with the I amsterdam City Card.

Small wonder: you get free use of public transport, free or discounted access to top museums, free canal boat tour, and much more.

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.

Day- or Multiple Day Tickets for Public Transport in Amsterdam   

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

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – underground train station inside, other public transport right outside the main entrance

Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport, is located 18km (11mi) southwest of the city. The airport includes a train station – right underneath the main hall.

Note:
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

From Amsterdam to Schiphol airport by train

ALERT!   

Be extremely alert for pickpockets.

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.

The train ticket machines at Schiphol airport are easy to use — with English-language menus available. The machines accept major credit cards and have English-language menus.

 
 
 

Shuttles

 

Taxi

 

Book Amsterdam airport private transfers

Regular Taxi

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.’

Don’t get taken for a ride: Avoid rogue cabs
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.

Uber

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.

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 Taxi

Abel is no more. The investor has pulled the plug.

ViaVan Taxi

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.

Private Transfer

 
What time to book your trip for When booking a transfer or Uber service, keep in mind that you may spend half an hour or longer in the airport upon landing. Some of Schiphol’s runways are so far away that it will take planes about 10-15 minutes after landing to taxi up to the gate. And if your gate is far removed from the main building (the higher your gate number, the further away it is), it may take 10-15 minutes just to reach the luggage belts. From there, count on 5-10 minutes to reach the taxi ranks or Uber and/or Transfer pickup spots.

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.

Rent a Car

Would you prefer to rent a car at Schiphol airport, or in Amsterdam?

 

Hotels convenient to the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus

These hotels are close to the indicated stops of the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus:

Notes:

  1. Dutch trains have First Class and Second Class cars, marked simply as [1] or [2]. 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 (€7,20 instead of €4,30) 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.
  2. 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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