Amsterdam Layover

Feb 17th, 2010, 07:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 41
Amsterdam Layover

My wife and I have an 18 hour layover in Amsterdam on our way back from Rome to the States on March 23-24. We arrive at 7pm (3/23)and depart at 1pm (3/24). We were thinking it made no sense to hang around the airport that long when such a wonderful city is just outside, so we're planning on catching a cab, grabbing dinner, and seeing a few sights. We might try to find a hotel late, or might just go back to the airport and try to catch a few winks there.

Any ideas as to where to spend a few hours, get a great meal, etc. in Amsterdam? By the way, this will be our first time in the city. Thanks for any suggestions.
darby00 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Take the train, not a cab. Cheaper, quicker, and safer.

There are four hotels actually at Schiphol which will offer you a more comfortable night than the airport will -
the Sheraton, the Mercure, the Citizen M, and the Yotel. If you look at the Schiphol website under facilities you will find the hotels and how much they charge.

Alternatively find a hotel in the city for the night. Book it ahead of time though!

You will need to be back at Schiphol by about 11 am, but staying in the city would give you time for a quick look around in daylight. The sunsets at 7pm when you are here in March, but rises at 6.40 am.

You could perhaps book an evening canal cruise, though that might be a bit tight with your flight.

Sadly you won't have time for a museum unless you pre-book the Anne Frankhuis which opens at 9. You would need to book your tickets for then and have a quick look before heading back to Schiphol. The Van Gogh doesn't open until 10 so you don't have time for that.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:37 AM
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No reason to take cab from airport when the train is quick direct and cheap. You have time for a nice dinner, walk around admiring architecture and canals and either sleep in a bit late in the morning or get up early and do a quick visit to Anne Frank House or perhaps one of the great churches or the flower market before catching the train back to airport the next day. We got some good inspirations for our trip last spring from this New York Times article "24 Hours in Amsterdam". and this other website regarding the Nine Streets area mentioned there: Wide hotel selection in Amsterdam, depends on your budget.
laurie_ann is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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There's a Yotel in the AMS airport.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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I already stated there are four hotels at Schiphol, including the Yotel, and to take the train. Does nobody bother to read earlier replies??
hetismij is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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I think people are writing their replies while others are submitting, judging from the times of the posts. It was such an easy answer, everyone wanted to put in their 2 cents.
LSky is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Well, let us JOIN TOGETHER and give these folks even MORE information, OK?

First of all, the Sheraton is within easy WALKING distance of the so-called Schiphol Plaza area of the airport (the same place you can buy your train tickets)..AVOID that Burger King there, however...WORST french fries on the planet IMO!!! There is a moving ramp up from the Plaza and the Sheraton is right beyond the top. I believe the Mercure is actually attached to one of the concourses if i am not mistaken so it may be even closer.

The train into the city: they leave about every 15 minutes and they take about 20 minutes to get there. As others have said, they are much better than taking a taxi. You can buy tickets from the machines at the top of the escalators down (to the platforms below) or you could use the ticket windows adjacent.

There is also luggage storage available at the airport if you need it...both self-service lockers and a manned window.

There used to be, and perhaps still is, a casino where you can lose your money and a branch of the Rijksmuseum for your amusement.

I think they are still selling bulbs and there used to be a place where you could arrange bus/sightseeing tours.

Now, what did I miss??????
Dukey is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for all of the wonderful info, and so quickly!

Have there been any significant changes in airport security since the attempted Christmas Day bombing on the flight to Detroit from Amsterdam? Particularly, if we spend the night in the city, would three hours early be sufficient for arriving at the airport?
darby00 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Perhaps the others are still in their snit or just on to other more important things...I cannot imagine, given the usual efficiency at Schiphol, that you are going to need to be there any more than 3 hours ahead and perhaps, depending on the time of your departure, even THAT early.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Three hours ahead is recommended for US flight. Assuming your bags are checked through and you have your boarding passes already then you could get away with slightly less time. Security is done at the gate and includes a full body scan. This is viewed by a computer not a human unless the computer flags something unusual.
Boarding commences very early because of getting everyone through security (about an hour before the flight is due to depart). They tend not to hang around for missing passengers for too long, and will offload the luggage if it looks like they will miss their slot. Slots are expensive!
hetismij is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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That should have been a security scan using millimetre waves. The full body scan using x-rays is used for certain flight arrivals and suspected drug smugglers. Sorry.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Thanks hetismij. I just read a thread from early January by palenque, which also helped shed some light on the new security. I do think we'll just check all of our bags (except for DW's purse) and print the boarding passes on-line so as to lessen the carry on issues. Either way, we'll plan on being there at least 3 hours early.

Who knows, maybe we'll just stay up all night and get back to the airport very early morning and be earlier than that. We'll sleep when we get back home!
darby00 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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If I were in that situation I would change my return ticket from ams so you have a couple of days to check out Amsterdam.
It will be one big stressful rush. By the time you get your bags and get the train to central station you will be arriving at 9 pm. In the morning you will have to start heading to the airport around 10ish. Not worth the hassle.
Erov is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 10:36 PM
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Considering that most of the time you spend in Amsterdam is when most things are closed, what hetismij seems to make most sense: stay at airport hotel, head over to downtown by train and have a nice dinner and spend evening downtown.

When booking sites offer hard to use layovers like this one, I always play with my flights to see if I can get a better layover option. A layover above 24hrs usually incur major cost adders, so I only do it up to about 23hrs.
greg is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I highly recommend spending the night in the city!!

My husband and I had a 20-hour layover in Amsterdam about three years ago. We took the train into the city, arriving around 4:00 pm, and checked into Hotel Estherea, which was about a 10-minute walk from the station. I was so sad to miss the museums (and wouldn't all of us always love to have an extra day??), but we had a wonderful time walking around, having dinner, and just enjoying the ambiance and observing the local culture.

But the BEST part was the next morning -- we had to rush to the airport even earlier than you do, but we just loved experiencing the bustle of Amsterdam's morning "rush hour." As we made our way to the train station, we were nearly mowed down by hundreds of cyclists en route to work as we watched the shops open. We even saw lots of people having morning coffee in their street-level kitchens (they weren't big on curtains). Heck, I even loved the morning light. I took about 25 pictures of the sun rising over the rooftops from my hotel window.

For a little extra trouble and expense you can have a truly memorable experience!
abbydog is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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We stayed at the Hilton AMS when we were in a similar situation. It was a very short walk from the terminal.
HappyTrvlr is offline  

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