Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) Airport Guide
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main airport serving the Netherlands, which is otherwise known as Holland. Although the airport is closest to the capital Amsterdam, because Holland is so small you can get to the other parts of the country very quickly from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This a very important airport within Europe and it is one of the busiest in terms of both passengers and cargo traffic. It is located in Haarlemmermeer which is a short distance away from the centre of Amsterdam and there are numerous public transport connections.
The airport has won various awards for its high-class design and excellent passenger service. Schiphol only has one large terminal which is divided into three departure halls and various piers. If you are departing for a flight then remember that there are two security phases, one right before you get on the plane. If you do not allow for this, a potentially large queue might make you miss the flight.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol started life as a military base which was opened during the First World War. That makes it the oldest international airport in the world which is still on the site where it was originally built. The airport got its name because it used to be the site of a large lake. When there was bad weather ships often sunk in the lake and Schiphol translates as ‘ship hole’ in Dutch. The first KLM flight left Amsterdam airport in 1920. The Germans bombed the airport in 1940, captured it and used Schiphol as a base from which to attack Britain.
Schiphol Airport is located 15 kilometres to the south west of Amsterdam. Driving there is very easy if you don't get caught in traffic. You just follow the main A4 road which goes through the country connecting all the cities. First follow signs to Amsterdam and then for the airport. You can also take the A9 road and follow signs.
If you need information head to halls two and three, Schiphol Plaza or the lounges behind passport security.
When you come out from the airport you will see direct links down stairs to various train lines. However it can be confusing which platform to take and the trains are relatively expensive. Always buy a ticket before boarding the train otherwise the penalties can be very harsh.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has banks, bureaux de change, ATMs and facilities for exchanging currency.
There is a prayer room in the middle of the airport or people of any religious persuasion.
You can also make use of showers at the Hotel Mercure Schiphol in the main terminal.
There are comprehensive business facilities which include meeting rooms, Internet access and a telephone centre with full telecommunication facilities including faxes.
As well as all the expected disabled facilities there is an electrocar service in the Arrivals hall, which also runs between piers D, E, F, and G. If you need special assistance or a wheelchair you should inform your airline before travelling.
There are numerous facilities for looking after your luggage. A lost property service operates. There are porter and luggage carrying services. And you will see Seal n’ Go all over the airport which can tape up your luggage for you instantly if needed.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a wide open plaza with lots of shops. There are clothes shops, everything from high end designers today Nike sportswear shop. There are newsagents which sell Dutch and European titles and also a flower shop.
There is a good selection of duty free shopping at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and it is possible pre-order online and then collect when you get to the airport
With all leading suppliers located at the airport you wiil be spoilt for choice with Amsterdam Airport car hire