Train or taxi in Amsterdam

Old Apr 28th, 2012, 05:46 AM
  #1  
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Train or taxi in Amsterdam

We will be arriving on an overnight flight from the US into Amsterdam. Our hotel is right near the central train station in Amsterdam, and thought we would take a train from the AP. However, as seniors, with some luggage, and a bit jet lagged, should we just bight the bullet and take a taxi? I think I have heard that a train stops right in/at the airport. Of course we will have euros with us, but how tricky is it to buy tickets? Is there a ticket window, or a bank of automated vending machines? Would love some advice.
Aussiemaid is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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Yes, the train station is in the airport, a fairly straightforward level walk from the baggage hall, but for some bizarre reason the ticket machines there won't take euro notes or foreign credit cards (or didn't in January - but I did find a machine that did in central Amsterdam, so maybe they are in the process of updating them everywhere). On the other hand, there was no great queue to buy a ticket from the booking office - indeed I've never had much of a wait there.

To get on the train, you go down a moving walkway to the platform. There may be steps to get in and out of the train, which will usually be a double-deck commuter type of train. At Central Station there will be steps again. I can't remember if they have escalators down from the platform to the concourse, from where it's a level walk out of the station.

You'll need to check how far your hotel is from the station; if you walk it, you'll need to be aware of traffic as you cross the roads around the station, not just cars and trams but also bikes.

Up to you if that puts you off or whether you'd prefer the comfort and ease of a taxi door to door (timewise, I don't think there would be a lot in it, one way or the other).
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 06:16 AM
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The ticket machines only take European debit cards and coins. You can buy your tickets at a window. They will cost a little extra that way, but you will have little option.

It is easy to get to the station at the airport - with luggage - it is designed for that!
There are also lifts at Centraal, or escalators.

It is much cheaper to take the train than a taxi, but if you do decide on a taxi make sure you get one from the stand outside the airport terminal, check it has blue number plates and you can see the taxi licence displayed in the vehicle.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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Train!, It is sooooooooooooo easy. The train is in the middle of the airport.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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RE payment:

I must correct the above posters and I think my word, ahem, may be considered definitive -- since I used one of those machines on Wednesday, IE 3 days ago, to buy a return tkt from the airport to the Central Station.

We used a North American credit card (with chip; using a PIN) and had no problem.

The machines offer English language instructions, step by step.

You touch the screen for ENGLISH

You touch the screen for:

TO CENTRAL STATION

RETURN (UNLESS YOU WANT 1 WAY -- RETURN IS EXACTLY TWICE THE ONE WAY PRICE)

2ND CLASS

2 TICKETS

You are also offered the choice between Valid Today and Open Validity. I'm guessing you should take "open" if you buy a round trip tkt, "today" if you get a one-way tkt

Now comes the tricky part. You will then be invited to choose between 2 routings -- the normal routing and an express routing on the HiSpeed train. There is a difference in price. Two return tkts would cost about 18 E on the HiSpeed train, 15E20 on the normal train.

We took the regular train, which made no stops. I'm not sure what the advantage might be to the pricier ticket -- perhaps someone here can explain.

I believe that there is an announcement when a HiSpeed train comes into the station. Something like "Please be advised that a supplement is required to travel on board a train of this class". Anyway, we did hear such an announcement when we were in the station. But I cannot be definitive on that.

PS: Neither in going in nor in returning to the airport were our tkts ever checked, by the way.
tedgale is offline  
Old Apr 28th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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I would agree that waiting at the ticket counter, as PatrickLondon suggested, may actually be as fast.

There's lots of confusion at the tkt machine among 1st time users.

Or among those like myself who have used them in the past but have forgotten everything about how they work, lol.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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Thanks for the update Tegdale. I suspect the chip is an essential thing on a credit card though. Glad to hear NS are finally allowing CCs. Since I got my OV chipcard I haven't used one of their machines.

I agree the machines can be confusing for first time users, especially when they are jet lagged.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 07:52 AM
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OK, when you actually GET to that area where you see the escalators going down to the rail tracks, look to your LEFT and you'll see the ticket windows. This is, of course, if you don't have a credit card with a chip and pin and you don't have any Euro coins, and you don;t decide to keep right on walking out the doors to where the taxis are.

Perhaps someone can now update this but it used to be there were about four trains into town every hour. Is this still correct?

The folks at the ticket window speak English so you won't have any trouble being understood.

What might be helpful NOW is the exact hotel location.

"Near" Centraal Station is kinda vague. Some posters might tell you within a MILE is "near."
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Oh, and one more thing...some of those trains USED to make one stop between the airport and town...do NOT, under any circumstances whatsoever leave your luggage unattended and especially not unattended near the doors.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Depending on the time of day there are about 10 trains an hour into Centraal. Two of which are Fyra trains, which you should pay a supplement for, so should be avoided. These leave at 18 at 48 minutes past the hour. Two make a stop at Sloterdijk. These leave at 15 and 45 past the hour.

The rest are direct and take on average 17 minutes to get to Centraal.
It costs €3.80 for a single ticket at the machine, €4.30 at the window. There are no discounts for seniors.

There are generally a couple of NS staff around to help with machines or direct you to the windows, station etc. but the signs are pretty clear.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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A taxi btw will cost about €40.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 02:03 PM
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Buying a train ticket is not challenging. However, getting from the station to your hotel might or might not be, depending on the hotel's location and your energy/awareness level. Some hotels bill themselves as being "near Central Station," even though it might be a 10 or 15-minute walk.

If you tell us the name of your hotel, we can give some advice. If in fact your hotel is a relatively long distance from the train station, you could still save €20-30 by taking the train to Central Station, then a taxi from the station to your hotel.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Has anyone taken the Connexxion Schiphol Airport shuttle bus service from the airport to their hotel in Amsterdam? If so, what was your experience? Decent service? Cost?
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 03:57 PM
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What great advice. Thank you all so much. Our hotel is Nh Barbizon Palace Hotel,Prins Hendrikkade 59-72.

How do you know if your card has a "chip". Is this needed everywhere? We have two different Visa cards
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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That hotel is close, no more than 5 mins walk from the station. After you exit from the station, turn left and the hotel is about 100m ahead.
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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 12:10 AM
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TTT for my own reference later today - I'll be taking that train again today and want to refresh my memory RE choices among the various train options.
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Old Oct 17th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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A small detail: The tkt machines in Schiphol (we used one yesterday) do not take banknotes, only coins.
Machines do give change, though, if you do not have the exact sum.
BTW: Shops in the concourse tell you they are *not allowed* to change your notes for coins.
If you do not have coins or a chip CC, you are SOL.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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We took the train into town yesterday; we each had a rolling carry-on bag, a smaller bag, and a computer bag(me) and purse(wife) . We had a big struggle getting things stowed, since the overhead storage accepts nothing bigger than a fat briefcase, and the under seat space can not handle a bulging carry-on. We decided that on the way home we will forego the train, and take a taxi. FWIW, we are 80 and 77, sort of like your profile??
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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TravelingMan76 - when we were there in September, most people traveling on the IC trains with rolling bags just parked them in the aisle near their seat.
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