Friday, June 15, 2012

Amsterdam Travel Tips

  • From a logistics perspective, you cannot get it much easier than Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.  Once you make it to the main gathering area, it is an easy (15 min) and inexpensive train (under 5 Euro) ride into the heart of Amsterdam, Centraal Station.
  • The train station area at Schiphol is a mini mall as well, with restaurants and actually useful shops.  D particularly likes the airplane shop (not an example of useful) with its real KLM airplane landing gear in front. 
  • We prefer connecting via Amsterdam compared to the other major hubs in Europe like London, Paris or Rome.  Passport control is relatively pain free depending on the time you land.  There are supposed to be lines but it ends up being a big mass of people all over the place.  That has changed as SkyTeam has been introducing their SkyPriority Line of services.  We flew via Paris to Munich and got a chance to experience it and it was fabulous.  I will be maintaining my status level in order to keep this perk. 
  • There is a mini extension of the Rijksmuseum on the second floor of the airport.  They were featuring floral paintings this time. 
  • If it is your first time at this airport, it may seem unorganized.  In North America, we are used to big signs and symbols pointing the way.  You won't get that here.  But, you can only go one way to get out of gate area. 
  • Amsterdam canals are concentric and streets and city districts are built to work with them.  The first time I saw a map of the city, I decided I was going to have to get used to being lost.  As it happens I found it not to be difficult at all.  Everything seems to bring to you back to the center, just like the airport.
  • Most shops are closed on Sundays and a lot of them are closed Mondays.
  • I love seeing all the different things you can buy at various supermarkets around the world.  Amsterdam has great meat.  You can buy freshly ground jalapeno pepper burgers and many different types of marinated meats.  I found prices to be fairly inexpensive.
  • If you are into walking, this is one of the more perfect cities for it.  The views are beautiful.  It can be so quiet and romantic.
  • In contrast, the Leidsplein area is very touristy with frequent bad busker music. 


  1. Did you happen to see anyone walking around the Amsterdam airport in their socks whilst carrying their boots? No... wait that was me too many years ago to mention.

    To be more comfortable on the overnight flight to Amsterdam I removed my boots... by the time I arrived my feet had swollen and no matter how I tried... those boots were not going on.

    No doubt the clerk checking me through security was rather amused to see this 19 yr old kid wearing a backpack and carrying his boots wandering about the airport.

  2. @ Sailing;

    You were way ahead of your time, with no shoes at security...

    I switched from window seats to aisle a while back so I can stick my leg out farther. It helps.

    Ah, the joys of can't discount the value of great stories afterwards.