Airport review: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands, AMS


Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands.


Singapore Airlines Flight SQ323 Amsterdam to Singapore, economy class.


The train is the most efficient and affordable way to reach Schiphol from Amsterdam Centraal Station taking, around 15 minutes. A one-way second-class ticket costs €4.70 ($6.90), with passengers alighting directly underneath the airport terminal. International connections on the Thalys high-speed train network to Brussels, Antwerp and Paris stop here, as well as the Eurostar to London. Roads around the airport are well designed and lack congestion; however, navigating the parking garage can be challenging with different areas delineated with drawings of windmills, cows and cheese. Parking costs €1.10 ($1.60) per minute; kerbside drop-off is free and relatively fast.


Arriving early at Schiphol is highly recommended due to the size of the airport and the nature of travel at the moment.  All documentation was fastidiously double-checked by staff; at the time of flying, the complexity of Australia's and Singapore's entry requirements caught out many passengers trying to check in (including us). Despite being close to the front of the queue when check-in opened, it took over two hours for us to eventually be able to check in successfully, with clear pandemic teething problems.


All passengers to The Netherlands are required to download and complete an official Health Declaration Form, which must be carried with you at all times. In the terminal, face masks are required from when you scan your boarding pass at security until boarding; on arrival, they must be worn from when you disembark to when you pass through the baggage collection area and customs. Some countries and airlines still require RAT or PCR testing, and while this can be done at the airport near Arrivals Area 4 from Test2Fly.Amsterdam, it's expensive: RATs cost from €59 ($86), PCR tests from €119 ($174), and urgent PCRs with a rapid 90-minute turnaround cost an eye-watering €239 ($349).To avoid the price gouge, we take a PCR the day before for €69 ($101) from


A few years ago Schiphol moved the security area so passengers have to go upstairs from the check-in area, walk in a wide arc through security and then back downstairs to reach the terminal: a long exercise in cattle control that favours the able-bodied (and those not juggling carry-on and kids). Expect a no-nonsense and occasionally blunt attitude from customs and security staff; the Dutch aren't a service-oriented culture, but they are efficient. Additional screening is also done at the gate for some international flights.


After a big delay at check-in, we dash to the closest fast food outlet for breakfast - in this case, Jamie's Deli, picking up freshly squeezed juice and a pastry (sandwiches from €4.95/$7.20). There's a surprising lack of sit-down restaurants at Schiphol: most food options are grab-and-go retail outlets primarily selling sandwiches and reliably underwhelming airport-quality coffee. The pick of a bland bunch is popular Dutch food chain La Place, serving soups, sandwiches and yoghurt smoothies.


Located before security on the ground floor of the airport, Dutch basics store HEMA and supermarket chain Albert Heijn are the best options for any last minute snacks, spare clothes or basic toiletries. After passing through security, you'll find the usual stable of luxury brands including Gucci, Burberry and Bvlgari; Dutch delights include famous diamond store GASSAN, the tulip bulb and cheese stores. Don't miss the Willy Wonka-esque Tony's Chocolonely store, which sells bars of the increasingly-popular, pricey and exceptionally tasty Dutch chocolate brand.


Schiphol has a surprising number of cultural attractions. If you're not running for the gate with a whiny five-year-old (like us), make time to check out the airport arm of the exceptional Rijksmuseum. The 162-square-metre gallery has a rotating temporary collection of works by 19th century Dutch Masters; located up a discreet set of stairs, look out for the Museum shop for access. The airport also boasts what is the world's first airport library, complete with grand piano, ipads and books in a quiet lounge setting.



Servicing 108 airlines and 71.7 million passengers in 2019, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located four metres below sea level at the bottom of what was once a lake.


Spacious and well organised, what Schiphol airport lacks in customer service and culinary highlights is made up for in efficiency and well-maintained facilities. Despite the downturn in passenger numbers, Schiphol remains busy and functional, trumping most other European destinations for its accessibility and reliability. See