Amsterdam airport offers a “Schiphol Behind the Scenes” tour for visitors which gives a glimpse into the working life of the airport. This is our independent review of the Schiphol tour…
The Behind The Scenes tour (run by Lovers) is made by a specially customised coach and takes about 1 hour – you are transported around the perimeter of the airport to the eastern side and then come back again.
You stay on the bus for the entire tour – you do not get out at any point. There are 7 on-board 24″ video screens that show the live GPS position of the bus. These play short films (Dutch with English subtitles) about the various passing points of interest and some historical anecdotes.
The tour takes you past a number of features around Amsterdam Schiphol airport. This includes the private jet terminal, the Fokker hangar, KLM operations centre, KLM engine maintenance and hangars, the engine noise testing facility, the fire station, the snow fleet, bird control, the justice centre and the former air traffic control tower.
There are some good panoramic views of the airport and runways and you may see some planes taking off and landing. Obviously photography can be a little compromised by being on the bus – at least try to get a window seat if taking photos.
The Schiphol Behind The Scenes tour costs €15.50 for adults or €7.75 for children aged 4-12. A family ticket is €35 (2 adults + 2 children).
Tickets can be purchased at the Planes@Plaza store at Schiphol Plaza or online. Note that for security reasons, everyone aged 13 or over will need to show ID to take part in the tour. You should “check-in” at the Planes@Plaza store at least 20 minutes before departure. The driver will ask you to confirm your date of birth (in front of the group, which some may find a little awkward).
You then board the bus which leaves from platform 15 just outside the terminal. Please note, there are no toilets on-board the bus.
Tours run all year round Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday). Departure times are 1100, 1300 and 1430.
We found the tour to be enjoyable with well produced video clips and a chance to see some of the working aspects of the airport you don’t normally get to see. It is certainly a must for any aviation enthusiasts.
The tour is aimed at all visitors to Schiphol and is popular with locals, especially during the school holidays. On the tour we took all the passengers were Dutch. For transfer passengers, do note that you must clear immigration to get to the tour departure point.