Airport Transit Guide: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam city center

Here is your airport transit guide for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. It includes 4 ways to get from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the city center, including Amsterdam Centraal Station.

jessica at schiphol railway station

If you are coming into the Netherlands by plane, you’ll likely fly into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, or as I call it “Schiphol” or “Schiphol Airport”. Buuuut apparently the actual name isn’t as well-known as I thought. Most people know where “Charles de Gaulle” and “Heathrow” is, but “Schiphol” doesn’t seem to be a popular thing to call it. But oh well, I live here and that’s what I’ve always called it. To be fair, it might be because I wanted to learn to say it correctly and it is actually a bit hard to pronounce. So, we’ll just go with “Amsterdam Airport”, okay? I think that’s just easier for everyone!

To be clear, you can also fly into the Netherlands through Eindhoven Airport and Rotterdam-The Hague Airport. So, if you find a cheap flight to those, it might be worth taking it there! But, for now, let’s go over the best ways to get from the Amsterdam airport to the city center and Centraal Station.

How to get from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to the city center

part of the iamsterdam sign at the airport

Take a taxi/Uber

There are official Schiphol taxis available at the airport. Simply, follow the signs on the floor or on the signage above to exit the building to the taxi stand.

While things have gotten a lot better, do not let anyone talk you into a taxi before you get to the taxi stand. It’s big and obvious. You can’t miss it! Also, it’s right next to the Iamsterdam sign. You may ask for a flat rate to the city center or it will be approximately €40-50.

To order an Uber, use the app as normal. For the only pick-up spot, follow signs in the airport to the car rental desk and exit out that door. Cross a few crosswalks to head towards the Sheraton hotel. There is an old bus stop in front of the hotel. Below is the exact point on Google Maps. An uber will likely cost €30-40.

Take a hotel shuttle

Save some money and see if your hotel offers a free hotel shuttle. Seriously, it never hurts to ask! These will also pick up right outside the door by the car rental desk. OR book a hotel shuttle from Connexxion. This may be around €20 and takes a group of people and drops everyone at their hotel as they drive through the city. This is a great option for solo travelers who may not be staying right next to public transportation.

Bus 397 from Amsterdam Airport to city center

Take the bus

To take a public transportation bus, head out either door C or D and find the red van selling transportation tickets. A round-trip ticket is €11.25 and is good for 14 days. Or you can get an Amsterdam Travel Ticket which allows for transportation from the Amsterdam Airport to the city center of Amsterdam and around the entire city no matter the company running the transportation. But if you are planning on visiting the whole region (which I highly recommend!), think about getting an Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket. The costs vary by how many days you want.

Amsterdam transit ticket at Schiphol airport

Order your Amsterdam Travel Ticket online

Order your Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket online

NS ticket machines at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Take the train

You can use the travel tickets mentioned above or purchase a one-way ticket (€5.50) from the big yellow and blue machines that say “Train Tickets”. Another option if you like to collect the transit cards when you visit a new place (we do!), you can buy a blue anonymous OV-Chipkaart from the same machines. Be sure to have at least €20 if you take the train or it may not let you check in.

There are screens with all the information you need to help you find your way to the right train station. Some trains may have Amsterdam Centraal as an endpoint, but some may not and still go to Amsterdam Centraal. If you get confused, just ask someone who looks official…or someone who seems to know exactly what they are doing. There’s also a large Information Booth/Ticket area with actual humans to help. The speak English very well and are happy to help. Pretty much anyone will help you get on the right train. Don’t forget to tap in and out at the yellow posts and listen for the “beep”.


lloyd hotel

Find an Amsterdam hotel

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What should you do in Amsterdam?

We have a bunch of Amsterdam content on this website and on our YouTube channel. I encourage you to browse through because it will be constantly updated since this wonderful city is our home! But if you want a quick itinerary, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our 3-day itinerary for Amsterdam. It’s a mix of touristy things and what we actually do as locals.

Also, check out our neighborhood guides to get you off the tourist path. There’s definitely more than the stunning canal ring…but I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t my favorite part, too.

Whatever your reason for visiting this great city, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest (responsibly and respectfully). Please reach out on any of our social media if you have other questions, or leave them in the comments.

Wishing you joy and travels!

schiphol transit
Jessica Cutrufello wearing a green floral dress, glasses and pink lipstick

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel.

Travel with us - Tuscany October 2022