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.

Options include

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

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.

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.

According to the Amsterdam Tourist Board, experience shows tourists with luggage prefer to take a taxi or shuttle bus into town.

Bus

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.

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.

Amsterdam Airport Express / Bus 197

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).

Bus 69

Taking this bus only makes sense if your hotel is near the Sloterdijk train station, and if — for one reason or another — you do not wish to travel by train.

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.

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 the footnote for details:
2

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 cases the river IJ — right across from the ferry boat landing.

Abel Taxi

Recommended

Nowadays, when the DutchAmsterdam folks are in need of a taxi, we frequently use Abel.

Abel can only be ordered via an app (both Apple/itunes and Android versions available), and doing so is well worth it. [Note: Schiphol provides free wi-fi, so you can easily download and use the app on the spot].

The concept is easy: you can elect to travel by yourself (‘private car’) or potentially share your ride with others. Either way you’ll save a chunk of money over using a more traditional taxi service.

ABEL DISCOUNT CODE
Once you have downloaded the Abel app, click the menu and select ‘Promotions.’ Then click ‘Promocode.’

Enter this code to get €7,50 off your first ride: 6PKR

The fare price is determined by the distance, desired arrival time and willingness to share a ride with others. (In a hurry? Indicate that you are in a hurry in the booking process or book a private Abel car.)

You sign up with a credit card. You book your ride via the app, and the app lets you know the exact fare. This is your final price, so no surprises.

The app also shows you where the nearest Abel car is and in how many minutes it will arrive to pick you up. The name of the driver is shown as well, and we must say we are tremendously impressed with the friendliness and services provided by Abel’s personnel.

By the way, the company uses electric vehicles exclusively, so you’re helping the environment as well.

Did we mention the savings? For instance, a trip with Abel from Schiphol to Leidseplein with Abel costs $16.88 (one person, no hurry). That same drive will set you back €44.00 with a regular taxi.

In our experience Abel is also cheaper than pre-booked taxis. It’s still got Uber beat as well — though nowadays by a lot less than it used, as Abel’s rates saw a small hike earlier this year.

We’re sure you will be using Abel during your stay in Amsterdam as well — and for the ride back to the airport.

Note: the pickup spot is outside Departure Hall 2. Do not order your Abel taxi until after you have picked up your luggage. Depending on where the nearest car is the pickup time could be anywhere between 5-20 minutes from the time your order your ride.

(Just so you know: you have our word that this is an unsolicited write-up. We’re just happy customers.)

Uber

In Amsterdam Uber is both legal and efficient.

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 has been declared illegal in the Netherlands, and is therefore not available.

By special arrangement Schiphol allows Uber to use the official taxi rank just outside the arrivals level. Pickup for uberX is across from exit B, while Uberblack and UberVAN are in front of exit C.

The use of this convenient taxi rank adds €2.50 to the price of a ride.

Exit C is in that part of the main plaza — the main hall — that is furthest away from the huge red and white “Meeting Point” cubicle.

Exit B: Look for the Esprit fashion store. 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 the left hand side.

We find ourselves using Uber more frequently than Abel nowadays. Though Uber is a little more expensive, in our experience the wait times — both when ordering and once a ride has been booked — tend to be a lot shorter than those of Abel.

Private or Shared Transfer

Many travelers prefer to bypass all public transport hassles by pre-booking a private or shared transfer. Usually meant for ‘groups.’ Essentially a taxi, though the term ‘transfer’ is often used to differentiate from taxi concessions.

Travel to or from Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) — the cruise ships terminal?

From the Airport to the Cruise Port

From the Cruise Port to the Airport.

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 (€7,10 instead of €4,20) 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.

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