Amsterdam Airport Transfers

Here's everything you need to know to get between Amsterdam airport and the city: fast and cheap!

Vicky Del Moral

Vicky Del Moral

4 min read

Amsterdam Airport Transfers

KLM plane landing at Schiphol | ©Paul Jespers

If you are travelling to Amsterdam you will most likely be taking a flight to Schiphol, the most important airport in the Netherlands. As such, it is very well connected so I'm going to tell you how to get between the airport and the city.

Transfers by private car from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam city centre and vice versa

Private transport| ©Kārlis Dambrāns
Private transport| ©Kārlis Dambrāns

There are many reasons why you might want to hire a private transfer service to get between Amsterdam airport and your destination, even if it costs more than a train or bus. If you are travelling late at night, with a family, or if you are not fluent in English, hiring a private transfer service will make your journey easier and more comfortable.

This door-to-door service has private cars with professional drivers and a capacity for up to 6 passengers with one suitcase each, and picks you up throughout the day, making the journey in around 20 minutes.

How it works on arrival at the airport

To go from the airport to your accommodation, the driver will wait for you for 45 minutes after your plane has landed so that you can pick up your luggage without haste and with an identification plate with your name on it so that you can locate it. The pick-up point at the airport is located one floor above the baggage reclaim area and is at exit 3, gate D.

How it works on your return, when you leave the hotel

In reverse, the system is very similar. You will have to provide your hotel details and the pick-up time where the driver will wait for you punctually for up to 20 minutes. If I may give you a piece of advice, allow plenty of time before your return to the airport so that traffic will not be a problem.

What is included in this private service

  • Private transport for you and your companion(s) door to door between the airport and your accommodation.
  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Space for your luggage.
  • Waiting time, the driver will wait for your arrival at the airport and at the hotel.
  • Air-conditioned vehicle.
  • You will receive an immediate confirmation of your booking, which can be cancelled with 24 hours notice.

Book a transfer from Amsterdam Airport to Amsterdam city centre

Shuttle buses between Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport

Schiphol airport shuttle bus stop| ©Robert
Schiphol airport shuttle bus stop| ©Robert

With the Amsterdam Airport Express you can get between Amsterdam city centre and Amsterdam Airport in about 40 minutes. Their buses, line 397, depart from bus stops B15-19 outside the airport every 7.5 minutes. They also run a night service, the Niteliner N97, which follows the same route.

A single ticket for the bus between Amsterdam Airport and the city centre can be purchased online in advance.

When I recommend this option

This bus is recommended for getting directly to a specific location in Amsterdam as it makes several strategically placed stops. If your accommodation is in the city centre, for example, you may want to get off at the Leidseplein stop, while other stops of interest are at the Rijksmuseum, Museumplein and the Olympic Stadium, ending at the Elandsgracht Bus Station.

The Amsterdam Airport Express can accommodate up to 20 people and bulky luggage and is fully equipped with free Wi-Fi, child seats and air-conditioning, as well as being wheelchair, pushchair and pet friendly.

Bus timetables are Monday to Sunday from 00:00 to 23:30.

Book a transfer from Amsterdam airport to Amsterdam city centre

Private transfer between Amsterdam airport and cruise port

Amsterdam Cruise Port| ©a200/a77Wells
Amsterdam Cruise Port| ©a200/a77Wells

Another possibility when travelling to Amsterdam is to take one of the hundreds of cruise ships that depart from the port. To facilitate your arrival from the airport to the port, there is a private transfer service to the port that will take you there in about 20 to 40 minutes.

How the service works

A professional bilingual driver, in English and Dutch, will wait for you at the arrivals terminal of the airport, holding a sign with your name on it, for up to an hour. After this time the driver will contact you to verify your location and arrival time. If you are delayed for more than an hour, the company will arrange a new pick-up and extra fees may be charged.

These private vehicles are fully adapted for the transport of wheelchair users and children in need of car seats with an extra child seat service.

  • Flight number
  • Pick-up time
  • Number of passengers
  • Destination address
  • You will receive an immediate confirmation after making your booking. Cancellation is free of charge with 24 hours notice
  • Is suitable for small children with child seats
  • Is wheelchair friendly

Book a transfer from Amsterdam Airport to Amsterdam city centre

Other options for getting between Amsterdam and Schiphol airport

Schiphol Airport sign| ©John van Weelden
Schiphol Airport sign| ©John van Weelden

The train

Trains are a common way of getting between Amsterdam city centre and Schiphol airport. Trains run very frequently, about 9 trains per hour, 24 hours a day, from the station under the Schiphol Plaza building and arrive at Amsterdam Central Station in about 15-20 minutes.

If you buy your tickets online or with an OV-Chipkaart card, the train fare is cheaper and starts from €4 per person in second class and from €7 in first class. You can also buy them on arrival at the yellow ticket machines at Schiphol Plaza or at the NS offices at the airport's Meeting Point, but you will have to pay a €1 supplement for the Smart Card.

The country's main train company is Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and the journey from the airport to the centre of the capital can be made by Intercity Direct and Sprinter trains (via Lelylaan and Sloterdijk). Direct trains to Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam are also available from Amsterdam Airport.

The Taxi

If you are travelling with several people or have a lot of luggage, there is also the option of taking a taxi between Amsterdam Airport and your accommodation, which will take you to the city centre in about half an hour.

Frequently asked questions

  • How big is Amsterdam airport?

    Amsterdam Airport is a three-storey building with a total of 165 gates. It has one terminal with 6 boarding areas.

  • Is Amsterdam airport open at night?

    Yes, Amsterdam Airport is open during the night and sleeping is allowed in some areas, as long as there are no flights operating.

  • How early should I arrive at Amsterdam airport before my flight?

    Amsterdam airport has fairly standard check-in times, so arriving 2 hours before departure for a European flight and 3 hours before departure for an intercontinental flight should be more than enough.