questions about layover in AMS (schiphol)

Old May 5th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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questions about layover in AMS (schiphol)

hi fodorites,

DH and i have the following open-jaw flight ... YYZ - AMS - BCN and CDG - AMS - YYZ.

we will have just under three hours each time we stop over in AMS. i've checked out the airport's website and notice that there seems to be a pretty big selection of shops there that are open to non-travelers as well (

a few questions:

1. if we go to schiphol plaza (before passport control), i'm assuming we will need to go back through security to board our connecting flights. both times, we're flying around mid-day. how much time should we allot for this?

2. has anyone used the "pick up on return" service offered at schiphol? (
i'm not sure if it's a worthwhile service since we seem to have enough time on our return flight to just buy everything then; unless we're looking at some kind of a rare/low-stock item (can't imagine what that would be)...

3. if we do end up shopping @ schiphol, does KLM re-check/re-weigh your carry-on before the connecting flight? i'm not planning to go crazy but it would be good to know.

4. any recommended dutch food experiences @ schiphol? we're amateur foodies, love trying new things, and we're always hungry!

5. finally, since our return flight originates from CDG, should we just do our duty free purchases there (i.e. liquor, fragrances, etc.)? who has a better selection of duty free goods? luckily, we'll hit AMS on our way to BCN so i guess we could check out their duty free selection beforehand...

thanks so much!

lilaki is offline  
Old May 5th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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I think you'll find that there are plenty of shops in the departures area.

In any case, you do need to go through both passport control and security at AMS on your outbound and return even if you don't leave the departures areas. If you leave the departures area, you'll be going through different passport control and security check points. My connections are usually 2 hours or less so I never leave the departures area and don't know how it compares time wise. I just wanted to let you know that you do need to go through both in either case.

I've not noticed KLM weighing carry-ons before connecting flights.
Patty is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 08:47 AM
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I don't find CDG good for anything so I would plan to shop at AMS unless you see something at CDG that you like.
lifetravel is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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1) This depends upon which leg you do it on:

- If you visit Schiphol Plaza after the YYZ-AMS leg, then you will clear passport control and customs when exiting into Schiphol Plaza. To get to your next flight, you will go to the Schengen departures section, which will entail a main security checkpoint.

- If you visit after the CDG-AMS leg, then you will only pass through customs when exiting into Schiphol Plaza (go through the arrivals from EU lane). To get to your next flight, you will go to the non-Schengen departures section, which will entail a passport check, but not security. You clear security for your AMS-YYZ flight at the gate, regardless of whether you enter from Schiphol Plaza or from the connecting route.

The lines at both the Schengen security control and the immigration booths for non-Schengen departures are long in my experience. I would count on maybe 30 minutes. This would mean that I would head to the Schengen security control 1:30 before my departure to BCN or 2:00 before my departure to YYZ, to ensure I had enough time to get to my gate, etc.

Personally, I can think of little of interest in Schiphol Plaza, shopping-wise, that would warrant leaving going through the hassle. I've done it to get my haircut, but the shops are mostly lower-end, mall-type places and there is plenty of shopping in the terminal.

2) Never used it. Don't see the point.

3) I've never had them do it. Anything purchased from Schiphol Plaza, though, will need to meet the liquid restrictions. Purchases from the terminal shops will be sealed as appropriate.

4) Stroopwaffels are tasty and available at one of the several "food" stores. Also look out of bitterballen and the delightfully decadent McKroket at McDonald's. Deep-fried gravy, yum.

5) Do your shopping at Schiphol. Much easier and they will probably have a better selection. Terminal 2F (where your flight will depart from) is nothing special on the shopping front.
travelgourmet is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 10:39 PM
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"any recommended dutch food experiences @ schiphol?"

There's a cheese shop in the airside shopping complex that has a decent selection of mature Gouda and the like. Just about the only Dutch cheese anywhere that actually tastes of anything.

And that's about it. There's a just-about-OK oyster bar (which, surreally, seems to have a casino attached). Otherwise, it's the usual collection of junk food and bland restaurants.
flanneruk is offline  
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