Few Hours Layover in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport? here’s what to do!

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM), is the Netherlands’ main international airport, located 20 minutes (9.1 km; 5.6 mi) southwest of Amsterdam. The airport’s official English name, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, reflects the original Dutch word order (Luchthaven Schiphol). Schiphol is an important European airport, ranking as Europe’s 4th busiest and the world’s 16th busiest by total passenger traffic in 2012 (14th in 2011).

Read more about Schiphol Airport in:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amsterdam_Schiphol_Airport_entrance.jpgSo what’s recommended to do on a layover in Schiphol? well, that depends on the layover duration, time of day, time of year… the most important factor is the duration of your layover, that will dictate the nature of your layover, from a stressed run for your flight to a relaxed semi-vacation.

Please note that these are just general recommendations. It is always best to consult with your airline and booking agent, so take these recommendations as they are – general guidelines…

Layover of 1 to 2 Hours in Schiphol Airport

You will most likely be spending your time running through corridors with your hand luggage to your next flight… Keep in mind that arrival time is the time that your flight has reached its parking position in the gate, and you will still need to wait until the crew has opened the doors, you left the plane and walked all through the terminal to board your next flight.

Other users commented:

  • “we had a 2 hr layover back to Canada by the time we got a bite to eat had a walk around some shops it was time to get to the gate…” (TripAdvisor)
  • “Two hours – lots of time. Schipol is a reasonable sized airport and I’ve made connections there with less time” … “make absolutely sure you go there as soon as the gate is displayed in the departure lounge. I … nearly missed our plane because security was so slow at the pier entrance” (VirtualTourist)
  • “Often there are very long queues for passport control when entering NL from outside a Schengen area” … “it can take a very long time to get from one gate to another, which can be very difficult if you have a short connection” (AirlineQuality)

Layover of 3 or 4 Hours in Schiphol Airport

So you have plenty of time to make it to your next flight, but you’d still like to make the best of these hours. The security lines in Schiphol airport may be long at busy times, and the terminal has some long stretches of walking (see terminal map with walking times), so with a layover of 4 hours or less, it will be best to spend your time inside the terminal and enjoy what it has to offer. Consider yourself lucky, though, Schiphol is one of the best airports to spend your time in!

Shopping: Use the time to browse the airport’s shops and duty free items. Schiphol’s website lists dozens of shops, all located within one stretch of 10 minutes walk, which conveniently feels more like a mall than a terminal. Opening times vary, but most shops are open from 6 am till 10 pm or midnight. Make sure your purchases will fit in your carry-on allowance!

Dining: Get some refreshment or a proper meal at one of the dozens of bars, restaurants and cafés in Schiphol airport, full list on the airport website.

Lounges: For a handsome fee, you could spend some time in one of the airport lounges.

Relaxation: The airport boasts several spas, and shower room rentals in the airport’s hotels. If you’d like to use the time to do some workout, the Sheraton Airport Hotel offers a day pass which also includes the use of sauna and showers.

Entertainment: Schiphol airport has some fine entertainment spots, making it a unique layover. It boasts its own museum, an extension of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, with a modest free exhibition. Next to the museum, you will find the stylish airport library with books and multimedia stands, focused on Dutch culture. Finally, you can get rid of some excess money at the airport casino.

(CC) by Kezee / Flickr

Kids: Travelling with kids? Spend some time in the kids forest, a lovely and colorful play area, or in any of the other kids activities at the airport.

Wi-Fi: Internet connectivity is free for 1 hour (2 sessions of 30 minutes), after which it is available for an hourly fee.

Layover of 5 Hours or more in Schiphol Airport

If you have enough time to venture out of the airport, go and experience Amsterdam. There are several transportation options out of the terminal including a local train station (situated right below the terminal), and Amsterdam central station is only 15 minutes ride away. However, take into account the time to exit the terminal, round trip time, and the time required to be back in advance for boarding, all of which easily amounts to at least 3 hours overhead, turning a 6-hour layover to at most 3 hours net free time.

If your luggage is inconvenient to wander around with, store it in the luggage storage services at the terminal.

If your layover is over a Sunday, make sure the destination you have in mind are open. Many shops and restaurants in Amsterdam will be open on a Sunday (though probably for shorter hours), as well as many museums and attractions, but if you have a specific venue in mind you would want to check in advance.

For a hassle-free excursion into Amsterdam, consider taking a short guided tour to pick you up from the airport terminal:

Or browse other ideas for how to spend a few hours in Amsterdam.

Do I need a visa in order to visit Amsterdam during my layover?

You may need to issue a short stay visa in advance in order to leave the airport during your layover. The answer depends primarily on the passport you carry, and whether or not your destination is within the EU (Schengen area). Check your personal case in this detailed Dutch government visa info page.

Note: we get many specific visa-related questions in the comments. Please understand that visa rules are quite complex and unfortunately we cannot answer most of these questions, as the focus of this site is on the airport stay itself. Preferably you should consult with your travel agent or the local Dutch consulate in advance, but you could also start by visiting a dedicated site such as VisaHQ.

Enjoy your trip!

154 thoughts on “Few Hours Layover in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport? here’s what to do!

  1. can you please let me know if there is a place were can we go to shower in shiphol airport we hae 11 hrs of layover before the next fly any recomendation to what we can do
    thank you

    • Hi Carmen, thanks for visiting. Schiphol can be considered one of the best airports to spend such a long layover in, and you could also consider leaving the airport to tour Amsterdam. To freshen up, you could rent a shower cabin in one of the airport hotels. See more information in this link.
      Enjoy your time in Schiphol and in your final destination, and you are most welcome to share your airport tips here at airport-layover.com when you’re back!

      • Iam a us citizen and have 13 hours layover in AMS and arriving AMS at 10:10 pm.Is there a sightseeing tour from airport and back to airport at this time

  2. hi, i have 8 hours layover at schiphol airport. i really wanted to see amsterdam. do you think i have enough time to go to central amsterdam just to take photos at the iconic i amsterdam sign? what is the best transport to travel from the airport to the city? Thanks

  3. Hi while travelling to US from India, is there any airline that offers a stopover for more than 6 hrs? I really want to see Amsterdam which is possible only with 8-10 hr stopover.

  4. Hi,

    Very nice blog…

    I have a stopover of 5 hours to Canada, and I’m contemplating to take a cab ride to the Van Gogh Museum… It’s closer to the Airport and if I purchase the ticket online… I have been to Amsterdam before..

    Do you think I can take another taxi back to the airport? Are taxies common in the Van Gogh Museum area…?

    Also, where exactly is the beautiful I AMsterdam? 🙂

    Thank you!!

    • Hello, My case is exactly the same. I will have 6 hours of layover in Amsterdam and after that i will leave for Vancouver, Canada. I have never been to Europe before.

      Could you please suggest me how i can utilize these 6 hours effectively in most economical way? I really want to see Amsterdam. Especially I Amsterdam.
      I will be there from 7 am to 1 pm.
      Should i stay on Airport or go out?

      • I hold Sri Lankan passport and am a permanent resident in Canada. I have 10 hr transit time available for a city tour art Schipol on 25th July . Would I be permitted to take a city tour without a pre-arranged visa. Is there a facility in the airport that would allow me entry facility. I am flying by KLM

        • You must have a visa to leave the airport, no way around it. Never heard of a visa being issued on the spot in the airport.

  5. Hi,
    I will be having a 7 hour stopover at Schiphol on my way to Canada and I do not have a transit visa. Is there any hotel within the airport where I can stay?

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for your article.

    This is very useful information as I am planning to go to UK and it seems that I have a choice of flights including the possibilities to make a long lay over in Amsterdam and France.

    Just one question, since I only prepare a business visa to visit UK, would it be possible for me to enter the Netherlands and French during long lay over?

    Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  7. Very helpfull blog! Congrats!
    I have a 8 hours stopover on Sunday (starting at 11:30am) and plan to go by train to Amsterdan downtown.
    Is there any round way sightseing tour bus where I can drop off to chosen places and catch the bus again later to continue the sightseing?
    Thanks in advance!!

  8. Hi Carlos, glad you’ve found it helpful!
    Looks like you are in luck, there is indeed a hop-on-hop-off bus going around Amsterdam, with a ticket valid for 24 hours, though the fare is not cheap. You can see the route in the link below, to figure out if it stops next to your planned places to visit.
    If you did find it useful and have some tips to share – drop us another comment once you’re back to share with future travelers…
    Enjoy your stay in Amsterdam!

    City Sightseeing Amsterdam:

  9. hI,

    I fly from birmingham to Sydney in August and have a layover time of 5 hours, is this a enough time to go into the city centre? Id only want to spend a quick hour in some shops 😉

  10. Hi!
    Thanks for the information! It is very useful.

    I would like to ask if do i have to take a transit visa? I am a Filipino Citizen going to Canada and i have a stopover in Amsterdam for 11 hours. My airline ticket’s itinerary is Manila, Philippines – Amsterdam – Canada. And I’m planning to stroll or walk outside the Amsterdam to enjoy my stop over there. Is it possible? Thanks and God bless….

  11. Great site!

    I am a US citizen traveling from the US to Ukraine via KLM (both ways), and have a 13-hour layover at Schipol. I’d like to meet up with a friend in Amsterdam city center for lunch and do a little bit of walking around before heading back to AMS. My question: upon leaving the airport, must I also take my checked baggage that would otherwise remain checked through to my connecting flight to Kyiv? If so, I would plan to store it in a locker before heading into the city, but was hoping to avoid that hassle. What should I expect and/or do?

    Many, many thanks!

    • Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by!
      Sounds like you have a great plan for spending your layover time. Normally your baggage will be sent to your final destination and you would not need to bother about it. If that’s not the case for your travel (perhaps due to the layover length), you could certainly store it in the lockers for that duration.
      However, in your specific case you may be in luck. According to KLM’s site, it seems you may be able to request for the baggage to be sent directly to Kiev, assuming you fly KLM for both legs. See in this link: http://www.klm.com/travel/il_en/prepare_for_travel/baggage/baggage_allowance/index.htm#p6
      You should inquire with KLM directly (or through your travel agent) how that may be arranged.
      Enjoy your travel!

  12. If i understand it correctly, transit visas for Filipino nationals are not required if you will just change flights at the airport and have no intention of leaving the airport. Am i correct? Thank you.

    Btw, helpful site

  13. I am Canadian citizan travelling to Spain and have a 5 hrs at Amsterdam, do I require a visa to step outside the airport? Is 5 hrs enough for a quick look at the
    main city? pls advise!

    • Hi Sofia,
      Canadian passport holders do not require a Visa for the “Schengen Area” which includes most of the EU and both Spain and the Netherlands. You can see more details in the links at the end of the above post.
      A layover of 5 hours will be borderline… you will likely have about 2 hours for the actual sightseeing, which should be just enough to get a glimpse of the city. Make sure you leave enough extra time for delays when travelling back to the airport.
      Enjoy your travel!

  14. HI I have a 5 hour lay over in Amsterdam, coming from the US, and heading to UAE. Is YOTEL open on Feb 25-27, 2015? I would like to catch a nap and freshen up before getting on my connecting flight… I also hold an American Express Platinum Card, and a Priority Pass Select (Card included with my platinum membership with amex) do you know if there is a lounge that I can access with these cards? Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi MaJene! thanks for stopping by. Sounds like questions you should like to take with these respective businesses, we can only provide the general layover information here. It does seem, though, that the YOTEL is closed until the summer for renovations. We’d recommend you check with Priority Pass directly to make sure you indeed can access the lounge (it does appear to be the case), which is probably the better choice for a relatively short layover of 5 hours.
      Enjoy your trip!

  15. Hi,


    I am a US citizen and have 12-hour stopover in Amsterdam on my way to Manila from Israel. I was hoping to go outside the airport and go to the Van Gogh Museum. Do I need any visa to do so considering I am coming from and heading to non “Schengen Areas” .

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Peg. The Dutch government page we link to at the end of this article lists all the countries whose citizens require a Schengen visa to visit the Netherlands. As you can see there, US passport holders do not require such a visa, regardless of their origin and destination.
      Enjoy your visit!

  16. I have an 8 hour layover and have a Schengen visa for Germany. Would I be able enter Amsterdam for a short tour before my onward flight?

    • Hi Stephanie – a Schengen visa for one country applies for the entire Schengen area, all 26 countries in it, unless otherwise stated (i.e. limited only for one country, or a few of the 26). So yes, if you have a regular Schengen visa for Germany, you will also be able to visit Amsterdam for a short period (the visa must be issued for the country you intend to stay the longest in).

  17. Hi. I will have about 7 hours layover at Schiphol Airport before my next flight to Iceland. Is it possible if i want to visit Zaanse Schans, take a short walk and come back to Schiphol? For your info, i will reach Schiphol at 6.00am and my next flight is 1.20pm.

  18. Hello Mohamed,
    The link at the bottom of the post will send you to the Dutch government regulations on this. The information there indicates that indeed Somali nationals require an airport transit visa to change aircrafts at Schiphol. It will be best for you to inquire with your travel agent, as this should normally be handled when purchasing the flight.

  19. I have a 8 hour wait in Schiphol airport, however the wait is during the night. Is there trains that go into the city during the night/very early morning and is there stuff to do in Amsterdam during the night?

  20. Hi,

    We are coming from Norway and we have 5 hours stop in your nice city, can we go to see the city and back on time? And what the best transportation we should us?
    Where you advise us to go?

    Thanks in Advanced.

    • Hi Jonas – if the entire stopover is only 5 hours, that would make the visit quite tight, as you want to leave enough buffer time in case of traffic etc., plus the time it takes to enter security and other possible delays. As mentioned, taking the train will be your most reliable option, and you should make sure to start the journey back to the airport at least 1.5 hours prior to your flight departure time
      What to do depends on a lot of factors – the exact time you have, what day and time of day it is, your preferences etc. We’d suggest to start in the main Amsterdam tourist information site (http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting) and then work out the times according to what you decide on, to see if it could work.

  21. Hello Admin, Very nice blog and really great information. I am a Pakistani citizen with a student visa of Canada. I have 6 hours stay at Amsterdam Airport. I would be allowed to go out of Airport?

    I just the website, but still confused! Please clear it if you can. Thank you.

    • Hi Ahmad, as you can see in the Dutch government web page linked to at the bottom of the post, Pakistani nationals do require a Schengen visa to visit Holland (or any EU state), even if it’s just for a few hours. Unless you have a Canadian passport, the Canadian student visa will not make your case an exception. We’d advise that you contact the Dutch embassy near you for more information.

    • Hello.
      I have a 14hr layover at Amsterdam airport. But I don’t land until 1030pm. Depart at 1230pm… Is there anything I can see or do besides the red light district at those times .

      Thanks in advance

  22. My trip from lax united states to Egypt my layover 12 hoiurs , my natinolaty Egyption , realy i want to see Amsterdam i dont have shenagan VIsa please advise

  23. Glad that I stumbled up on such an informative & helpful site on Amsterdam airport / Transit queries .

    I’m an Indian residing in UAE,Recently I got PR visa for Canada . I’m flying to Canada from UAE early next year , During my return to UAE I wish to stay in Amsterdam for 4-5 days . Being an Indian national I know I need a short stay visa but when I apply for Schengen visa can I submit my travel itinerary as UAE-CANADA-AMSTERDAM-UAE , Will that create an issue ? . Does it need to be UAE-AMSTERDAM-UAE ? . Also do I need to actually book flight & tickets before getting Schengen visa ? If embassy refuse my visa lot of money will be wasted on cancellations ? . Is there a way around ? .

    Does validity of my UAE residence permit has anything to do with Schengen visa ? In my case I will have one month left on my UAE residence permit from the date of my planned departure from Amsterdam ? . Should I renew residence permit before applying ? .

    Lastly How early can I apply for Schengen visa ? If my travel date is in January 2016 can I apply for Schengen visa now ?

    Expect your usual prompt response , Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Kurien,
      We’re afraid you’ll probably need to seek these answers on other sites or forums that focus specifically on visa issues. Airport-layover.com is all about the layover experience in the airport, unfortunately we do not have the expertise to advise on specific cases as in your questions.

  24. Hi!
    I had booked a flight back from Birmingham to Kuala Lumpur on 26/12/2015 ETD @1725hrs and had layoff at Schiphol for an hour and a half. My connecting flight to Abu Dhabi, ETD 2120hrs. Is the layoff enough to enable to get to the connecting flight.
    Thank you

    • Hi Rus,
      Assuming you booked this flight on one ticket and not as two separate purchases, the airline would probably not have sold it had it not been enough. Assuming no delays this should be enough, you will just not have time for anything but getting to the gate. Even if there would be a major delay that will make you miss it, Etihad will most likely put you on their next flight as it is their responsibility.
      Enjoy your flight!

  25. Hi, I’m flying from the US to Serbia with a layover in Amsterdam. My question is If I decide to stay in Amsterdam and not take my continuing flight at all (take a bus to Serbia) , where do I need to go and what do I need to do. Can I just walk out of the airport with my luggage. Thank you i ln advance.

    • Hi Cvel. To leave the airport into Amsterdam you will need to have a Schengen visa, a visa to any of the Schengen area countries. This also depends on your nationality, as some nationals are exempt from such visa, while others must obtain it in advance. Take a look at the link under “Do I need a visa in order to visit Amsterdam during my layover?” for more information and to find your specific case.

  26. Hi i am traveling from India to Amsterdam then I i have to change planes in few hours to go to my destination do i need visa. thank you

    • Hi Mark. Please check the link at the bottom of the article for an official page with all visa-related info. If you are not going to get out of the airport, look up the specific section for “Transit Visa”. Enjoy your flight!

  27. I will be travelling by KLM airlines on 23rd Oct, 2015. Itinerary: MEXICO — AMSTERDAM — INDIA. The layover at Amsterdam is 22 hrs and that is the only possible connection of flights for that time on this route. Would I get a free night stay for the time period of layover.

  28. Hi,

    Thank you for this useful blog. I am travelling with my family from Oman to France but have 9 hours layover in Schiphol amesterdam. I was wondering if is it possible to leave the airport to a nearby hotel to sleep before our connecting flight. We have valid Schengen visa. If yes, will we have to go through customs before leaving the airport or just exit the airport?

    Thank you again.

    • Hi Noura,
      Yes, leaving the airport means going through customs, as if you have finished your journey. You may be able to leave som eof your baggage in lockers if you’d like.
      Do calculate the time to get through customs, get to the hotel and back, and be on time for checking in with your next leg (check with the airline). It may leave you relatively little time to truly relax and sleep. Also note that there are hotels within the airport itself, if you can afford to stay there you will not need to leave the airport… see more here: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/FoodRelax/AfterPassportControl/Relax/FreshenUp.htm

  29. Hello! I am flying from Nürnberg, Germany to Atlanta, GA, USA with a 5 hour, 20 minute layover in Amsterdam. I’m an American citizen going home for the week of Thanksgiving, and I was wondering if I have enough time to visit the city for two hours or so. Given your advise to prior commenters, I’d guess that I *do* have enough time, but I’m wondering if the recent terrorist attacks in Paris have increased the amount of time it takes to get through security. I obviously don’t want to miss my Amsterdam -> Atlanta flight, but it would be lovely to go have breakfast in the city and walk around the canals for a bit. Is this doable, in your opinion? Thanks, Cynthia

    • Hello Cynthia,
      Security may indeed be tighter at this point, although airports were under high scrutiny also before the attacks. However, the situation on that specific day will be difficult to predict in advance, hence you would probably be best preparing a plan for a short tour, and then asking in an airport information desk upon your arrival. This way you will have the most up to date advice right then.
      We hope you have an enjoyable and relaxing travel!

  30. Hey there! I’m an American traveling to Indonesia for the holidays with a 10-hour layover in Amsterdam from 5:55am to 3:45pm on Monday. I’ve been reading through previous posts to answer some of my questions but I had a few remaining unanswered. As an American, would I need a Schengen Visa to visit the town for a couple hours? I’d love to maybe check out a cafe for breakfast or sight see for a bit. Also, if I did leave, I read you have to go through customs- but is there any website that provides further details or instructions on what this process is like in Amsterdam? And finally- just to confirm- would arriving 2-2.5 hours prior to my departing flight be enough time to not be rushed?

    • Hi Colleen!
      As an American national, you are exempt from issuing a visa, you can see the full list of such countries from the link in the “Do I need a visa” section above. Leaving the airport will be as if you reached your final destination, and then when coming back again, it’s as if you’re flying away, so no special process. The information desk at the airport will also be helpful for any question you may have then. Also, the time you mentioned to arrive to the airport again sounds fine, but it would be best to check with your airline to be on the safe side.
      Enjoy your travel and your layover!

  31. I have 7 hours of layover in Amsterdam and after that I will leave for Norway. I really wanted to see a close friend of mine who’s currently living there. Is there any possibility that I can go out of the airport and meet her ?

    • Hi Mary!
      As we mention above, having 5 or more hours of layover will certainly let you venture out of the airport for a quick visit, so in your case you could certainly do that. You would just want to make sure that you either don’t need a visa, or are exempt of one; to check your case, see the “Do I need a Visa” section at the end of the article.

  32. My flight will arrive at schiphol at 11 am and the next connecting flight will be at 5:45pm, I want to take a train to the city centre, when should I go back to the airport for the connecting flight?

    • Hi Katherine,
      It would be best if you’d consult your airline and/or the information desk at the airport after you’ve landed, as there may be specific delays or other issues on that specific day. In any case, you certainly have enough time for a nice little visit.
      Enjoy your layover!

  33. Very useful blog.
    I have a friend with Indian passport having her layover at Schipol for some hours. She has not taken a visa to venture outside. So is there a possibility that I can catch up with her in the airport ?
    Thank you very much.

    • Unfortunately that’s probably not possible. She cannot leave the airport (the “airside”) without a visa, and you can’t just get it for clear security reasons.
      The only way this may work is if you’d buy a refundable ticket for that day, get in as if you’re flying, meet her, then cancel the flight and get a refund,

  34. Hi there! I have a 3hr 15min layover in Amsterdam in March. Am I able to grab a taxi and take a 20 minute ride to the 7 bridges area at Reguliersgracht/Keizersgracht just to take a few photos and then get back through the airport in time for my flight? My friends who have been to Amsterdam said this is doable, as they have done it… What do you think? Cutting it tight on time, but doable?!?

    • Hi Danielle, thanks for stopping by.
      As mentioned, with 4 hours or less you will be best advised to stay in the airport. You can certainly try and risk it, but it’s a risk. With time for disembarking, security, queues, walking to and from gates, and taxi rides in potential traffic, you may be left with very little time out there, if any. It would be best to have a plan ready, then make a final decision after you’ve landed, quickly consulting the airport information desk to make sure there are no known issues on that day.
      Enjoy your trip!

  35. Hello I have an 8 hr layover and I am interested in going into the city to check it out, never been out of the airport in Amsterdam, but I read the posts above and know I have enough time to go check something out. I am thinking of catching the train, I hold a Canadian passport. Do I need a visit visa, and does anyone have any suggestions on where I should catch train too. Thanks in advance

  36. Hi!

    I have a 6.5 hour layover from Canada to Dubai, I was wondering if that would be enough to see the city? Also, if we do leave the airport, do I need to bring my luggage with me or do I need to check in all over again? Thanks in advance!

  37. Hi! I only have two hours layover and My connecting flight will travel outside EU. I desperately want to go to the arrivals Hall and buy some things at the grocery! Do you think two hours is enough time?

    • Hello Elisa,
      Two hours can be plenty of time and can also be extremely tight, it all depends on the load on that specific day… going through passport control just for grocery shopping could make you end up very stressed, hurrying to catch your flight (having to go through security again), so you’d need to decide if it’s a risk you’d like to take.
      Note that there are plenty of food venues in the airport itself, without leaving the airside. You may find what you’re looking for just there, see in this link: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/FoodRelax/AfterPassportControl/FoodDrinks.htm
      Enjoy your trip!

  38. Hi, I have a 3hr 50min-layover. Is it possible for me to hop on a taxi and just get to the bench where The Fault In Our Stars was filmed? GoogleMaps says it takes around 20minutes of car-ride to get there. Is it easy to find a taxi in Amsterdam? Please answer my question as this is a very rare chance for me to be in EuropeTT!

    • Hi Emella,
      As you can see, we recommend having at least 5 hours of layover to have an enjoyable venture out of the airport. Having just under 4 hours makes it very tight, and quite possibly a stressed experience. It’s doable in principle, but will depend on actual traffic and airport load on that specific day. So we’d recommend you to plan the trip, then right after you land you could head to the airport information desk and get their real-time advice for the status on that specific day.

  39. We have a 2 hour layover at Amsterdam travelling from Dubai to Detroit in July 2016. Is this time enough to board the next flight. Is the traffic In the month of July heavy in Amsterdam? We are travelling KLM from Dubai and Delta to Detroit. Please guide so that I can confirm my booking

  40. Hi.. We have a 14 hours lay over at Amsterdam. We hold a multi schenegan visa. Can we go to the city and get back to take our connecting flight.

    • Hello Devyani, and thanks for stopping by. Layover of 14 hours is certainly more than enough for a city visit, and if you have a Schengen visa then you are all set. See our short section on “Layover of 5 hours or more” for some tips and links. Enjoy your short stay in Amsterdam!

  41. Hello! I am Philippine passport holder and i am planning a trip to Costa Rica. Do i need a transit visa? My flight will be Manila- Amsterdam- Panama then San Jose, Costa Rica and how many hours they allow to stay for connecting flight because i have 10 hours lay over for both.

    Thank you and i am waiting for your reply soon…

  42. hi
    iam going to London and there is a layover in amsterdam for 3 hours can u plz tell should i go outside the airport or not or if i have to then do i need to have a visa iam confused plz reply fast thank you so much

    • Hi Ron,
      With 3 hours you would definitely want to stay at the airport, and in such a case you won’t need a Schengen visa. For more visa-related information, see the links at the end of the article.

  43. Hi we are travelling to Cambodia with a 19 hr stop over. The problem is we arrive schipol at around 23.00 hers ish. And wonder what we could do whilst there. Money is tight arms we will be in Cambodia for 2 months. If it was daytime we would love the sight seeing. Thanks

    • Hi Karl,
      19 hrs is a very long layover… this means you fly out at about 18:00, so you would certainly have the time for some sightseeing in the morning. You would probably be best finding an accommodation for the night (see some advice on that in previous comments), and plan a relaxed morning tour in Amsterdam, planning to be back at the airport ~3 hours before your next flight. Enjoy your layover!

  44. Hello,

    I’m a Filipino flying to Ireland (with Irish Short Stay Visa) for a short training. I will be back to Manila. I noticed on my ticket that I have a 12hr layover to Amsterdam (Cork – Ams – Taipei – Manila). I wish to roam the city while waiting for my next flight. What kind of visa do I need to apply so I can get out of the airport and have some sight-seeing? How can I get one?

    • Hello Caloyski,
      See the section on visa, and the link to the Dutch government page in this. In short, you will need a short stay visa for Schengen area, and since Ireland is not part of the Schengen area, the Irish visa will not do. You’d probably want to contact your local Dutch embassy for that.

  45. Hello,
    I will have an 11 hour layover in mid-December but I’m traveling with a 2 year old. Any suggestions about activities to do with him? Also, we both carry a mexican passport, will we be able to go outside the airport or we need a visa to visit Amsterdam?

    Thank you

  46. Hi,

    I find this site helpful for the queries from manu of us. Firstly, thanks for that.

    I have a question, we are a family traveling from India to US. From Bangalore to Minneapolis.. Via Amsterdam (AMS). Having only Indian passport with US VISA.

    We have a layover time of 6 hrs. Can we go out for sometime for quick tour in Amsterdam city? Means, do we need visa or anything else? Please help me in clarifying…


  47. Hi,

    I am a US passport holder and travelling to India from Toronto, Canada to Mumbai in Dec. 2016. I have a 12 hrs layover in Amsterdam. I would like to get a glimpse of the city instead on waiting at the airport. As a US citizen, do I need a transit visa to get out of the airport? If I need one, can I get the visa at the airport? How much does this visa cost?

    • US passport holders are exempt from obtaining a visa, as listed in the official Dutch visa page the article links to (and you can see more details there). Enjoy your visit!

  48. Hi,

    I have a 12 hour layover and have a French Schengen visa. Would I be able enter Amsterdam for a short tour before my onward flight?


  49. Hi,

    This is my outbound journey to Curacao

    Mumbai – Abu Dhabi – Amsterdam – Curacao
    EY 205 25JAN BOMAUH 0420 0600
    EY 77 25JAN AUHAMS 0915 1405
    KL 735 26JAN AMSCUR 1000 1450

    Just wanted to know can Schipol Airport permit me to stay for almost 20hrs without Transit visa without leaving Airport premises.

    Please help …very urgent….

    • Please consult with your travel agent. A transit visa (meaning, just to stay within the airport) is usually taken care of when you buy the ticket. If you got the ticket issued, it’s most probable you have the needed visa, but again – it would be best to validate it with your travel agent.

  50. Hi,

    I have a 5 hours layover (2pm – 8pm) and have a Schengen visa. Would I be able to enter Amsterdam for a short tour before my onward flight (8pm)? Do you have recommended day tour (cheap) within the city?


  51. Hi,

    I’m looking into flights from Florence to the US and amongst the options is a 19 hour layover in Amsterdam. Flight lands at 3pm and leaves at 11am next day, I can either take that flight and tour Amsterdam or take a flight with a 2 hour layover connecting in Paris. I have a US passport and do not need a short term visa. Do you think it is worth me taking the Amsterdam layover to tour the city? If so, do you have any recommendations or know of another website I could visit to look at what to do around the area? Is the city safe enough for a single female traveling alone?

    I much appreciate your help,

  52. Hello! My husband and I are traveling to Italy in October of 2017 and will have a 19-hour layover in Amsterdam on the way back on November 2, 2017. Never traveled internationally before so this will be a first for us!

    Any recommendations for places to stay near the airport?

  53. I have a 3.5 hours stop over in Schipol and have a good friend of mine I havent seen in years who lives in Amsterdam and is willing to come and see me at 6:00am in the morning! Would I have time to pop out of the transit area and meet with him for a quick coffee and go back in to carry on my journey to Nice? I am traveling business so I think I would get priority in Security etc Am i correct?

    • Hello Bernie, and thanks for visiting. Given that you’re not actually leaving the airport, 3.5 hours are certainly more than enough. In case your itinerary requires you to go through security again, you will anyway need to leave the airside and be able to meet your friend there, but even if you need to do that just for the meeting, the transit time should suffice.
      You may want to check on opening times in the Schiphol Plaza, where you will likely want to sit – most shops will only open at 7:00.
      Enjoy your layover!

  54. Hello! We have a 12 hour layover and want to leave our carry-on baggage in one of the lockers. When we come back for our connecting flight, I’m worried about getting to the lockers. I’ve seen they’re located “in the basement under arrivals”. Since we’ll be departing on our connecting flight, can we retrieve our luggage?

    I’ve seen YouTube videos that show luggage locker signs before border control. I’m worried our connecting flight will be at a different gate than our arrival and we won’t be in the same area where we used a locker.

    I just don’t want to make a stupid American tourist mistake.

    • Hello Shauna,
      Being prepared in advance is very important for a hassle-free trip, so by checking this in advance you are doing the right thing. As you will be leaving the airport, you will anyway be going through security again on your way back to your outbound flight. Therefore, using a locker that is on the public part of the airport (meaning, after going through passport control on your way out) will make sure you will have access to it quickly upon your return. Security in Schiphol is centralized, meaning all security checks are done in a central area only on the departures floors, so lockers in the arrivals hall (or below it) are easily accessible to you as you return to the airport, and without any security line concerns.
      Enjoy your visit to Amsterdam!

  55. hi, i’m about to book flights to turkey via schipol but layover times in access of 10 hours. i dont want to leave the airport. reason im asking is some countries like saudi does not allow layover of more than 12 hours in which case you need a transit visa. my q- does the netherlands have any limit on the time spend in transit? thank you

  56. Hi , i am indian pasaport holder who will travel from Turkey to Toronto via Amsterdam with layover of 20 hours.
    Will there be any problem to have such a long layover ? And if yes , then how can i solve it ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Jaspreet,
      There is no reason this would cause you problem, except for having to think how to spend this time… Airlines usually permit layovers of up to 24 hours, and in some cases may even compensate for such a long layover with a free hotel night, so you may want to check with your airline. Then, if you have a valid EU (Schengen) visa, or can get one issued, you could leave the airport and go explore Amsterdam for half a day, which is a great way to spend this time. Of course, you can still spend your time in the airport itself, and take advantage of some of the airport amenities described in the post above.
      Enjoy your layover!.

  57. Hi, I travelling from UK to India via Schipol with my wife and children. We have a 14 hrs layover in Schipol and the agent tells me that there are restrictions on how long we can stay in the airport and that we may need transit visas.

    Both me and my wife have long term Schengen visa, however my children 4 and 6 years dont, I have seen there are hotels in the airport.
    Could you kindly advice weather we are allowed to stay at the airport over night (14 hrs) and if there are restrictions on how long or otherwise even use the airport hotels or it is it necessary to get a transit visa.
    I am worried that the the check-in counter or BA may deny us boarding passes for travel and will be stuck in London even before we start travelling,

    Thanks for your advice

    Kind Regards

  58. Hi
    I am a USA passport holder and I have 10hours layover in schiphol airport from 7am to 5pm , what are the best places to go? how can I get there? how much will it cost me? and how much time will it take?
    Where exactly are the lockers in the airport that I can put my carry-on baggage?

  59. Hi,

    I am from India, holding Mexico visa. The flight (KLM) is from India (Delhi) to Mexico city via Amsterdam Airport (7-8 hours layover time).
    I am traveling first time outside my country. So definitely, I’ll feel a little bit complex and worried in my journey.
    Should I go outside the Airport (to visit the Amsterdam city)? (before this, Would I be applicable to go outside Airport as I won’t be having transit VISA).
    Any important thing to keep in mind while check In – Out?


    • Hello Nirav,
      To leave the airport you must issue a Schengen visa. In addition, 7-8 hours will give you a few hours to roam the city but not a lot. Note that the airport itself has a few interesting spots, and you could also find a place to rest there. So both options are fine, it indeed depends on how comfortable you feel with this added mini-trip.
      Either way, enjoy your layover!

  60. Hi,
    My flight (KLM) is from Chile to bangkok via Amsterdam Airport (7 hours layover time). Should I go outside the Airport (to visit the Amsterdam city)? And I am holding official passport. I have to use a visa to go outside the airport?


    • Hi Lipk – 7 hours are more than enough for a quick visit to the city. Read above under “more than 5 hours” section, for further tips and a link to check your visa case.

  61. Hi,
    I am an Indian staying in Amsterdam on MVV visa. My friend is traveling from India to US via Amsterdam with a 2hr layover at AMS Schiphol airport. She doesn’t have a transit visa. Is there any possibility that I can meet her during her layover inside the airport or some place nearby? Can we meet and spend time at any of the transit hotels?
    Thanks in advance!!

    • Hi Mickey,
      Being able to meet as you describe can only happen in one of two ways – either both of you are in the international side of the airport, or both in the Dutch side. Without a visa, your friend simply can’t enter the Dutch side. For you to pass to the international side, you’d have to have a valid plane ticket and pass through security etc. You could consider getting a cheap last minute ticket, and simply not fly after meeting. Alternatively, try contacting the airport, perhaps there is some other arrangement we’re not aware of. Good luck!

  62. Hi,

    I am arriving at AMS at 19:35 and have a layover of about 17 hrs. Considering this mostly falls over midnight , is it recommended to go sightseeing? Anywhere open expect for bars and clubs? I know I can probably get to the City Center by 9:30 p.m. and get a glimpse of the City before midnight, but wondering how to best use the rest of my time between then and 9:00 a.m. , when I’ll be heading back for my departing flight?!!!! Should I just head back to the airport by midnight where trains still run frequently?

    Thank you,

  63. Hello!
    I am a Philippine passport holder and flying to Canada. I have 3 hours layover to Amsterdam. Do I need a transit visa?

    • Hello dream – if you’d check the link we provided at the bottom of the article for visa details, and click over to “airport transit visa”, you’ll notice such visa is required only for certain passports, and the Philippines are not on the list. Therefore you don’t need any visa if you are only transiting through the airport.

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  66. I have a 3-hour overlay at Schiphol (BCN -> AMS -> YUL). I’d like to have a coffee with a friend outside the security. So I wouldn’t leave the airport. But is feasible? What are the steps involved. I’m Canadian, so I don’t need a visa. How much time should we plan for coffee in order to allow me enough time to get back in the security zone? Is this even feasible?

    • Hello Marie-Claude,
      Yes, this is certainly feasible. If you’re not leaving the airport, then you just have to take into account the security checks when coming back in, and 3 hours should be more than enough. Once you’ve landed, you’ll make your way out through passport control, as if Amsterdam was your final destination. Make sure you take your passport and boarding pass with you, and meet your friend in the arrivals area. When it’s time to return, you will go through security again and head for your gate. It is important that you check how far your meeting place is from the gate you’ll be flying out from, and how long in advance the airline recommends you be at the gate, so you can work out at what time you should be heading back.
      Enjoy your layover!

  67. Hello..Thank you for this site its very useful. In the case of landing at 10:45 at Schipol connecting to the 13:25 flight to Hamburg Germany.

    Will I have enough time . to meet a friend and have a coffee outside the security zone. Please advise

    • Hello BJ – thanks! 2.5 hours will be quite borderline, although not impossible. Your final destination is Germany so you already have the needed Schengen visa. It will really depend on your exact gates and the queues on that specific day, which are difficult to predict. If your friend doesn’t mind, you could tentatively arrange, and when you land you could decide if it’s indeed feasible, and communicate with your friend accordingly.
      Enjoy your layover!

  68. I have a 5 hour layover on July6th in Amsterdam. Do i have enough time to hire a driver to take us to see some sight? Do i need a visa?

  69. Hi,

    I am an Indian citizen. I am travelling next month to Colombia via Amsterdam in KLM Airlines. While returning back to India, I have a 23 hours layover in Amsterdam.

    Is there any way I can leave the airport without a Type C Schengen visa?

    Please guide. I really want to see Amsterdam and that day is my birthday too!

    Thank You.

    • Hi Pankaj,
      Unfortunately there is no way around it. You will need a valid Schengen visa in order to leave the airport. Try to apply in your local consulate, hopefully it’s an easy and quick enough process to still make it on time.
      Enjoy your travel!

  70. Hi, I am in Munich on a business trip in schengen visa. My husband is travelling from India to Mexico on work permit via Amsterdam. Is it possible for me to meet him in Amsterdam airport.he is having 5 hours layover time. Please let me know whether he can come out of the airport to see me.

    • Hello Radha – whether or not your husband can leave the airport depends on whether he has a Schengen visa (or is exempt from one by his nationality). If not, the only way you two could meet is if you’d happen to be flying out of the airport at the same time, so you two could meet airside (past passport control). Otherwise, unfortunately that will not be possible.

  71. Hi, my name is Felipe. I am from Ecuador and I’ll flight to Korea. My flight lands in Amsterdam, and I have a 8 hour layover. I would like to leave the Airport, and visit Amsterdam before my flight to Korea. My Passport is from Ecuador, and I have a B2 American Visa and a Korean D4 Visa. Do you think it is possible?

  72. While traveling from Mexico city to Mumbai, I had to face a layover of around 23 hours at the Schipol Airport. I made the best of my time by exploring the beautifully huge airport. Though there are lots of things to do there, in this video I am pointing out top 15 things to do when you feel bored at the Schipol Airport. Do comment if I am missing anything here :

  73. Hi! My family is planning to travel to Paris in May from Uk. My husband and I hold a Philippine passport whilst my daughter has British Passport. Husband and I have permanent residents permit here in UK. We are thinking to have a short tour in Amsterdam while waiting for flight back to UK. Is this possible? Will we be allowed to leave the airport? Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hear from you!

    • I forgot to mention, husband and I are going to apply for french schengen visa to enter Paris via Amsterdam from Norwich airport in Uk, and as mentioned, daughter has a british passport. So is it ok to leave airport for a tour either before flight to Paris or on our way back to Uk? Thanks

      • Hello Emelyn,
        As mentioned in the post, we cannot advise on visa issues, and you’d be best consulting with a local embassy or consulate. It’s worth noting though that a Schengen visa is valid for the entire Schengen area, while you need to apply at the country with longest stay (presumably France in your case). You could read more info on dedicated websites such as this one: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/apply-from-uk/
        Enjoy your trip!

  74. Sir/Madam
    Hello! Good morning, I would like to inquire if i need a Amsterdam transit visa for layover? From DUBAI to AMSTERDAM AIRPORT( layover 5 hours and 35 minutes) to PANAMA AIRPORT to COSTA RICA and COSTA RICA to PANAMA to AMSTERDAM (layover of 2 hours and 10 minutes) to DUBAI. What is the validity of transit visa? I’m Susan Ortiz, Philippine passport holder, working visa of Dubai, UAE. I will look forward for you reply and Thank you very much and more power.

    Susan Ortiz

  75. Hello,

    I would be travelling to Mumbai from Mexico via Amsterdam, I have a layover of 20 hours. But I am holding an indian passport + Mexico Business Visa.

    Could you please help me so that I can apply for Netherlands tourist visa and utilize those 20 hours ?

    Thanks in advance !

  76. Hi my name is khalid I’m going to Istanbul from USA and i need to stay in Amsterdam for 2 days to visit and I have Green card and Iraqi passport so my Question Is do I have to apply for visa

  77. Hello I’m about to book a return trip for my partner. He is coming to the UK and has his UK visa. He is Thai nationality. I would like to book the Bangkok – Amsterdam – Glasgow route. One way he would have 2 hour 35min layover in Amsterdam and the other 1hour 50min wait in Amsterdam. Am I correct in thinking he does NOT need a visa as he is not leaving the airport and his luggage should be checked all way to Glasgow on his way to UK and all the way to Bangkok on his return.

    Is 1 hour 50 minutes enough time to make his connecting flight back to Bangkok?

    • Hello Debbie – indeed one does not need a visa if not leaving the airport. Note that passport holders from certain countries do need a *transit* visa (meaning, even if not leaving the airport), but Thai nationals are not on that list. As for the transfer time, normally even an hour would be sufficient to make the connection, however you should take into account extra time for added security checks on international flights (in and out of the EU).

  78. Hi,
    I am an international student in Ireland. I am Indian citizen and holding Indian passport. I going India . But I have a layover in Amsterdam for 4 hr 35 minutes. Please could you tell me if I need a transit visa or not?
    Thank you.

  79. I am from Pakistan. I want to go to Mexico through KLM. I have 4 hour hour of layover. I don’t want to go outside of the airport. Please let me know do I require transit visa for this.

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