A quick guide to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam (AMS)

The information gathered in this post aims to help passengers going through Amsterdam Schiphol airport navigate its terminal and arrive at their gate on time, find out which shops and services are available while they wait to board the plane or commute efficiently and safely from the arrivals lounge to their destination in the Netherlands.

The ground floor of the landside or public area accommodates four arrivals halls, the car rental facilities, some shops and cafés, the railway station and the bus and taxi terminus. If we are catching a flight out of Schiphol in Amsterdam, we will need to go up to the first floor, as both the check-in desks of all airlines and the security checkpoints granting access to the passenger-only restricted zone are located on this level.

After security, the different concourses and its corresponding gates are arranged encircling a central area conceived for shopping, dining and relaxing. In Schiphol, airlines use gates depending on where flights are bound to, so go on reading to know more and, most importantly, pay attention to the information displayed on screens in order to go straight to the right concourse when the boarding time approaches. Except for Lounge 4 –where gates M are-, the other three lounges are connected and you can easily transfer from one to another on foot.

Airlines operating from AMS / Where is my boarding gate?

Schiphol airport serves as the European hub for KLM and Delta, operating flights and connections to many destinations worldwide in collaboration with codesharing partners. Other airline companies flying to and from Amsterdam Schiphol include British Airways, Transavia, Jet2, EasyJet, Iberia, Vueling, Tunisair, TuiFly, Aeroflot, Etihad Airways and Air France.

At the check-in counter, your agent will inform you of the lounge in which your flight has been scheduled for departure. Gates B and C are situated in Lounge 1, from which the majority of Schengen flights depart; Lounge 2 includes the D and E boarding gates, used for Schengen as well as non-Schengen operations; if you are boarding through a gate with the letter F, G or H (only non-schengen, intercontinental flights), you will need to go to Lounge 3, and lastly, Lounge 4 is house to the M gates, which are specifically designated for lowcost airlines and stand isolated from the rest of the airside zone once you have passed the security filter.

Passenger services available at Amsterdam Schiphol airport

All travellers can enjoy the following services while in AMS: free WiFi, Internet work stations, currency exchange and tax refund offices, ATMs, special baby care toilets, an art museum with free admission, first aid assistance and medical centre (24 hours). The Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport was, in fact, the first ever museum to be installed in an airport terminal building in Europe back in 2002. You will find it after security between the E and F gates and it remains open for visits from 6:00h. until 20:00h. every day.

Moreover, if you are having a layover in Amsterdam and need to spend the night at the airport to catch your connecting flight early, you may also book a room in any of the hotels inside Schiphol and ensure you have a nice place to rest, unwind and take a shower while still in transit and without leaving the airport facilities. Business travellers also have at their disposal transfer desks, meeting rooms, meet and assist services and VIP lounges.

Transport from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal station and the city centre

Travelling from the airport to central Amsterdam and the main cities within the Netherlands is extremely easy thanks to how close the railway station is (outside the arrivals area of Schiphol), its easy-to-use ticket vending machines and the fact that most services running from it are direct and do not require changing trains. From this point, you can reach Amsterdam Centraal station in less than 20 minutes by train.

If you would rather commute to downtown Amsterdam by bus, choose the Amsterdam Airport Expressline 197 or 97 (night service). A single journey costs 5 euros. However, if you are willing to spend around 15 euros for something a bit more exclusive, you may hire the Hotel Shuttle van service operating from platform A7 at Schiphol, which smoothly transports travellers and their luggage to most hotels in Amsterdam between 6:00 and 21:00 during daytime.

Shops in Schiphol airport

Provided that you are not only a travel lover but also a fashionista on the hunt for the best last-minute purchases, know that top international designer stores await you after security in Schiphol: Burberry, Bvlgari, Gucci, Victoria’s Secret, Hermès and Hugo Boss, among others. The best gifts to bring home for family are on sale at the diversity of shops of the Holland Boulevard: some specialise in traditional Dutch food, chocolates, liquors and souvenirs, and share the space with jewellery and electronic gadgets stores and reputed brands such as Montblanc, Omega, MAC Cosmetics, Rituals, Johnnie Walker, Rolex, Swarovski and Swatch.

Are you planning a business trip to the Netherlands? Find cheap hotels in Amsterdam or transit hotels near Schiphol airport.