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Schiphol sees itself as far more than
airport. Its mini-guide, obtainable from the information desks, claims
boldly that this is the Netherlands newest city. That may be slightly
overstating the case, but there is no doubt that Schiphol - sorry,
Airport City - caters to an audience wider than the humble traveler.
Among its offbeat attractions are a sauna and massage service. Among
Schiphol's advantages is that it is all housed under one roof, with
none of the terminal hopping that causes minor panic in transfer
passengers or sometimes confuses unwary first time users. Everything
emanates from the massive Schiphol Plaza, the airport's central hall,
which gives access to car parks, the conveniently located rail station
and puts pressure on your wallet by providing more than 40 shops.
Schiphol scores highly for its catering, both before and after passport
and security, and has thoughtful touches like a nursery for people
traveling with young children.
banks, ATMs, bureau de change, a post
office, conference and business services, duty-free shops, a medical
centre and pharmacy. Shower facilities and saunas are located at the
terminal hotel. The airport has even an art
gallery. Disabled facilities are available, those with special needs
can contact the airport on: +31 (0)20 316 1417.
from the Amsterdam airport
The train is the fastest and most convenient way to get directly from
the Schiphol Airport to the Amsterdam Central Station, during the day
and night. A single journey costs 3.60 EUR. The platforms are located
under Schiphol Plaza, the central hall of the terminal.
Travel from Shiphol Airport to the city center starts at 40 euros per
fare. On Schiphol Airport they have a special VIP-pass, this allows to
park as close as possible at the arrivals. To avoid troubles while
seeking the way from the airport, you can order a shuttle with a driver
holding your name at your flight's departure
You can rent a car from several car rental companies at Schiphol
Airport, which has outlets of six international car rental companies
(Avis, Budget Rent-a-Car, Europcar Autoverhuur, Hertz Automobielen
Nederland, National Alamo Rent a Car, and Sixt Rent a Car) to choose
from. These are located in Schiphol Plaza, open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm,
and you can also book a car in advance
City and regional buses operate between Schiphol and surrounding towns.
For Amsterdam, the train is the most convenient way of transport.
Amsterdam has a very good public transport system, with trams, buses, a
metro and taxis. And, of course, plenty of good bicycle lanes. There is
also a useful national public transport telephone information service.
All you have to do is say when and where you want to travel to anywhere
in the Netherlands, and they will tell you how to get there. The
telephone number is 0900-9292 (€0.50 per minute).
The best way to get around Amsterdam is by tram. You can buy tickets
onboard from the driver or conductor at the back, but it’s is
cheaper to buy a 'strippenkaart' from GVB sales points,
supermarkets, or newspaper shops, or the Amsterdam tourist office.
until just after midnight - the last trams leave Central Station at
12.15. After that there is an hourly service of night buses from
Central Station. Day and Week passes are also available.
Buses in Amsterdam run similar routes to the trams and work in a very
similar way, the only difference being you get on at the front and buy
your ticket from or have your strip stamped by the driver. The buses
also continue to run an hourly service all night.
The metro system in Amsterdam is a combination of full metro and rapid
trams (sneltram) running mainly overland. Only 3.5km in the city centre
between Central Station and Amstel are underground.
You can either hail a taxi, pick one up at a taxi rank or phone to
order one. (0206777777 – get busy on Friday and Saturday
Taxis are fairly expensive per km but since Amsterdam is fairly small
traveling by cab usually works out reasonably inexpensive.
One of the fastest and most enjoyable ways to get around and see the
city is by bicycle. There are special lanes purely for bikes, which
makes negotiating the city much easier. Two points of caution though:
always lock your bike up well, with preferably two locks, and lock it
to something immovable. Amsterdam is a haven for bike thieves.
Secondly, be careful when crossing the tram lanes – it
isn’t uncommon for a bike wheel to get stuck!
Tourism Guide Amsterdam
Basic info Amsterdam