7 hour layover in Amsterdam-Help

Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 05:59 AM
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7 hour layover in Amsterdam-Help

Hi everyone,

I have a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam and would love to go to the Anne Frank Museum. We arrive in Amsterdam early-5:55am. Do you think this would be enough time to leave the airport and go tour the museum and maybe walk around a bit?

Has anyone had a long layover there? I've read several ppl stating that the airport in Amsterdam is quite large and to allot an hour or so just to get out of the airport.

Any suggestions?
krystle0819 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:14 AM
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Is that 7 hours from touch down to take off? If so that really leaves you about 4 - 5 hours. for getting into the city and mor importantly back out again.
I don't think the desk which organises tours for people with a layover is open that early. Never mind.
It can take 20 minutes just to taxi to the gate at Schiphol, but then you can fairly quickly get through immigration and customs at that time of the morning and get a train in to the city, which takes 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the train you get.
Find somewhere for breakfast and a cup of coffee. Book your ticket for Anne Frankhuis online for the 9am slot and be there on time. You can easily walk there from the station.
Any time you have afterwards can be spent having a quick look around the Jordaan for instance before heading back out to Schiphol by train again.
hetismij is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:17 AM
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Our flight touches down in Amsterdam at 5:55am and we depart Amsterdam at 1:40pm.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:17 AM
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The museum doesn't open until 9am, so I don't think you'd have a problem getting there in time if your flight isn't delayed, but you need to make a reservation on line that guaranteed you were first inside the door that day, because you will need to be back at the airport by 11am to pass through security (and perhaps passport control again) to catch your onward flight at 1pm. I think you need to be heading back to the airport by 10:15 at the absolute latest.

Also, will your luggage be checked through for you by the airlines? I doubt the museum would hold it for you or let you enter with it. Even if it did, I doubt the interior of the house is lugguge -haul friendly.

I've never been in the museum, but I would be concerned that once inside, if you found it slow going, there is no fast way out. My impression is that it is a small space and you can move in one direction only.

Any chance you can rearrange your ticket to spend the night in Amsterdam?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Also - type "Layover in Amsterdam" in the Search the Forums box at the top of the page.

There are hundreds (more if you expnad the time frame) of this exact same thread with many, many, many ideas posted in reply.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:30 AM
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I found ticketes which allow entry from 9:30-10:30. Our luggage will be checked so I don't think that should be a problem. I think we may have a small carry on but thats about it. We won't be able to change our flight plans without incurring additional costs which I wish we could. Even if we are only there for a half hour, I believe it will be worth it. Thanks again!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
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We booked our Anne Frank house museum tickets for the first available time on Tuesday, Oct 6th and it is for entry between 9:30 to 10:30. I plan to go earlier than 9:30 and if there isn't a line we might get in earlier than 9:30, we probably won't be the first in the door but with the timed entry I know we WILL get in Deborah
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:36 AM
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If you arrive at 5:55 am, then that means your onward departure is around 12:55 am, no?

The problem, then, is that the Anne Frank House doesn't open until 9am. You could easily make it there by 9 am.

But what about the return? I will leave it up to those that no the city better, but I would think this means you would have to leave the Anne Frank House by 10 am, in order to make it to the airport before 11:30. An hour may be enough, but I would prepare myself for the tight schedule.

Some thoughts:
1) I would definitely find a baggage locker on the airport side to put your bags in, while walking around.
- If you are connecting from the Detroit flight to a Schengen flight (most of mainland Europe), then I would go through passport control and security on the airport side before stowing your bags in a locker.
- If you are connecting between two non-Schengen flights (say Kuala Lumpur to the US or Detroit to the UK), then I would find a locker on the non-Schengen side and then pass through security.

2) In order to ensure that I got in as close to 9 am as possible, I would buy my ticket for the Anne Frank House online before arriving.

3) The arrivals process isn't bad and you can, depending upon how far your gate is, have stowed your bags and be at the train station in 30 minutes, but you aren't pressed in the morning anyway. The airport is big, but it is also efficient.

4) Lines can be long for security getting back into the Schengen side of the airport. Plan on 30 minutes for this, and give yourself wiggle room. If you have a business class ticket, then you can use a priority line, in which case, 10 minutes should be fine. You should also be able to use the line with a Skyteam Elite Plus card, if you have one.

5) If your next flight is non-Schengen, you will have two lines to deal with, passport control, which can be long, and security, which will be done at the gate.


Personally, I think this is cutting it tight to try and do this. You have enough time, but the hours are all wrong. You lose almost half of your layover waiting for the museum to open.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:42 AM
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I tend to agree with travelgourmet - but don't let that stop you from seeing some of Amsterdam. I think a walk through the canal rings area as well as through the old center in the early moring sounds wonderful.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:58 AM
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If your bags are checked through it is doable, just, though it does depend on where you are coming from and going to as TG says.
If your bags aren't booked through I think I would just relax at Schiphol - visit the Rijksmusem there, grab a massage maybe, enjoy the shops.

You do need to be on a train back to Schiphol by about 11.30 at the latest (earlier is always better of course), assuming your bags are checked through, and you are checked in on your second flight.

Flights close early at Schiphol (40 minutes before departure) due to the security checks being done at the gate (on non Schengen flights). These take a long time, especially if the second flight is to the US, and the flight may close earlier.
Generally showing your passport & ticket to enter the airport doesn't take too long, and at that time of the morning shouldn't take long for leaving it.
If your second flight is within Schengen then you do not show your passport but do go through security immediately, not at the gate - you will be leaving from Departure Hall 1 in that case, and there can be a queue there.

Sadly I can't suggest you visit a different museum in Amsterdam - most don't open until 10 am which is even worse for you. If you don't think you will have enough time for the Anne Frankhuis, then maybe take a canal trip instead, just to get an impression of the city. They usually start at about 9 to 9.30 and take about an hour.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 07:09 AM
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I visited the Anne Frank House earlier this month during a long layover. I spent one hour in at the Museum. I arrived 10min earlier than the reservation time but was allowed to get in early. I would have tried getting in earlier had I known about this. I don't think you have time after the visit to walk around Amsterdam, but several hours before the Museum opens.

Is the 1:40pm flight back to the U.S. or to another Schengen country or somewhere else? The check-in process back to U.S. takes longer than for a flight to another Schengen country. Even so, if you leave the Museum by 10:30 (try to enter enter and leave early), you should be able to get back to airport around 11:30.

Schiphol is large. It has many long forks starting from one big hub. Allocate enough time to get to the gate.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Thank you everyone for the great tips. My husband's and my flight after Amsterdam is to Rome. We are hoping to be able to walk around a bit before the museum opens (although I heard that not many things are open at this time) and then get to the museum by 9-9:15am to hopefully get early entry, possibly leave by 10-10:30 then head back to the airport. Would this seem plausible?
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 07:51 AM
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That is plausible. It will be tight, but it is plausible.

Note that Rome is Schengen, so this means that you clear security at a central security screening, not at the gate.

As I noted above, I would go through passport control and security screening to go from the non-Schengen side (where you arrive), to the Schengen side and stow my bags there. As you have already passed through passport control, you can just exit the airport after dropping your bags in the locker. This should be about as fast as going through the normal passport lines and will save you from having to take your carry-ons with you.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Another point.

You could take your travel carry on little luggage with you, get a taxi and have your luggage in his vehicle.

Then have him drive you around a bit ( showing you some sites) in Amsterdam as it is still early in the morning.

Them make arrangements with the taxi driver to pick you up at a certain time. ( with enough time to head to the airport.)

There is a nice coffee shop almost next door to the Anne Frank House. ( get your tickets ahead of time on line as has been mentioned).

Don't worry the taxi driver will be there when you want him, he wants the fare back to the airport.!

This is exactly what I did last weekend, as my flight arrived at 5:45 AM and my departure was at 3 PM.... so the taxi driver just drove us around to see more places before and after the Anne Frank house visit.

Then he dropped us off at the proper door at the airport,...and since we already had our boarding passes, we just went through security and that was it.
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Well, we made it to and from the museum with no problems! We did get a bit lost and couldn't find a cafe open that early in the morning (6am) but all went well! The Anne Frank Museum was incredible. I am very thankful that we were able to see it. Thank you everyone for your help!
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Old Nov 10th, 2009, 12:04 PM
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Oh I am so glad Krystle! thanks for coming back and telling us.

I hope you can get to spend longer in Amsterdam some day.
hetismij is offline  
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