Air TravelSchiphol AirportTransport

Getting to Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) is a major international airport which lies 17km south-west of central Amsterdam. It offers excellent transport connections including a railway station directly under the airport.

For many passengers the train is the cheapest and most convenient way of getting to Amsterdam city centre. Below we compare all the possible travel and ticket options – by train, bus and taxi.

Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam summary (2024 prices)

1. TRAIN: NS (Dutch Railways) train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central (single €5.90 including €1 surcharge for a disposable ticket, 15-20 mins). Book e-tickets here

2. TRAIN+METRO: NS train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Zuid (single €4.30 including €1 surcharge, 7 mins) where you can connect onto the metro (single €3.40).

3. BUS: Amsterdam Airport Express Bus 397 (Connexxion-RNET) from Schiphol Plaza to Amsterdam Elandsgracht (single €6.50, open return €11.75, 30 mins). Also, GVB bus 369 Schiphol to Amsterdam Sloterdijk (single €3.40, 40 mins). Note neither bus goes to Amsterdam Central.

Multi-day transport tickets useful for visitors:

Best Value & Validity
Best for AMS airport
Best for Excursions
GVB day ticketAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
GVB Day/Multi-Day ticketsAmsterdam Travel TicketAmsterdam & Region Travel Ticket
1/2/3/4/5/6/7 days1/2/3 days1/2/3 days
€9-€41€18/€24/€30€21/€31.50/€40.50
Valid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in AmsterdamValid on all GVB transport (trams/metro/buses) in Amsterdam
Valid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport busValid on Schiphol airport train + 397 airport bus
Valid on regional NS trains + EBS/Connexxion/Arriva buses in region
24 hours basisCalendar day basisCalendar day basis
Digital + Card versionsCard onlyCard only
Order here Order here Order here
more infomore infomore info

Holland Travel Ticket: 1 day ticket (€70/€48 off-peak) valid on all Dutch public transport. Only good for longer journeys around the Netherlands and/or if using multiple transport companies.

TAXI: Standard metered fare will be €45-€60 to central Amsterdam; fixed fare discounts offered by some companies. Book a taxi at a fixed rate with Sneleentaxi

UBER: Ride-hailing app Uber is present in Amsterdam and airport-city transfers cost around €62 (Uber Black) and €39 (UberX).

1. Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam by NS train

All Schiphol passenger arrival points (exits 1-4) are a short walk to the main station hall. Dutch Railways (NS) runs trains to Amsterdam Central station up to 10 times per hour between 0600 and 0100. There are also night trains running once an hour on the hour between 0200 and 0500.

There are 6 underground platforms at Schiphol with trains to Amsterdam normally departing from platforms 1-2 or 3. You can go down to the platforms by escalator or stairs from the station hall.

schiphol airport escalators to rail platforms
Escalators take you down to the train platforms at Schiphol Airport

How much does it cost? One-way tickets to Amsterdam Central cost €5.90 standard 2nd class or €9.33 in 1st class – these prices include the €1 surcharge for buying a disposable ticket. The standard Schiphol-Amsterdam 2nd class fare is thus €4.90.

Do not buy a return ticket (2x single fare) unless you are coming back to the airport on the same day. Children aged 4-11 can travel on a “Railrunner” ticket which costs €2.50 (+ €1 surcharge for a disposable ticket) and is valid the whole day in 2nd class on the rail network. Children 0-3 travel free.

You can buy e-tickets here

and hop directly onto the train at Schiphol, scan your barcode to open the gates at Amsterdam Central.

Alternatively, you could buy the Amsterdam Travel Ticket (which includes the airport train trip + unlimited GVB transport in Amsterdam) or the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket (which also includes unlimited transport in the entire Amsterdam region). See below for more detailed info.

The complex OV-chip card system is in use on Dutch railways and this means it is mandatory to check-in and check-out of your journey using the yellow card readers or gates. At Schiphol the card reader poles are located around the station hall before going down to the platforms.

If you are on a short visit to Amsterdam it’s probably best to stick with disposable single tickets or buy one of the good value multi-day tickets.

For regular visitors or those wanting to use a lot of public transport you could consider buying an anonymous OV-chip card. This plastic card costs €7.50 to purchase and will last 4-5 years. It’s possible to load travel credit onto the card which can be used on trains and all other public transportation in the Netherlands. Be aware that the cards always require a minimum of €20 credit for using the train.

You can now also check-in and -out using contactless debit/credit cards/mobile using the OVPay system. The standard fare is charged to your card.

For more tips and tricks on buying train tickets in the Netherlands see our detailed guide: How To Buy A Dutch Train Ticket

Buying train tickets at Schiphol Airport: You can buy disposable train tickets at either the ‘Train tickets & Services’ desk or at the yellow/blue automatic ticket machines.

train tickets desk amsterdam schiphol airport
Train tickets & services desk at Schiphol Airport station hall

The ticket machines can be found dotted around the station hall – plus a couple in the luggage reclaim area as well. The touch screen display is available in both Dutch and English.

amsterdam schiphol station hall
Amsterdam Schiphol station hall – ticket machines and card readers

The front page of the machines has a quick one-press option for tickets to Amsterdam Central – you do need to specify the date of your journey.

The ticket machines accept payment by debit and credit cards (V-Pay, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa and American Express) using pin and/or contactless. The machines also accept euro coins (change given) but euro banknotes are NOT accepted.

The ticket desk does accept euro cash payment by notes/coins and also accepts debit and credit cards as described above.

Which train? Train departure information can be found on the large screen above the ticket desk and on smaller triple screens around the station hall and platforms. For timetables check the ns.nl website – free WiFi is available at Schiphol – or the printed yellow boards.

schiphol airport rail station hall
Departure screens at Schiphol Airport station hall

If going to Amsterdam Central station (Amsterdam Centraal) make sure you get on the correct train!

Trains going to Amsterdam Zuid (see below), Amsterdam RAI or Amsterdam Bijlmer-ArenA use a different route and DO NOT go to Central station. Every day quite a number of people get on the wrong train and the odd lost soul ends up in Utrecht! If you have taken the wrong train then get out at Amsterdam Bijlmer-ArenA where a Sprinter train can take you back up to Amsterdam Centraal.

Which station in Amsterdam? Familiarise yourself with our Amsterdam Rail Network Map

With a checked-in OV-chip card or ticket, you can get on any domestic train between Schiphol and Amsterdam Central. Sprinter and Intercity trains generally make stops at Amsterdam Lelylaan and Amsterdam Sloterdijk stations before reaching Amsterdam Central in just under 20 minutes.

The comfortable Intercity Direct trains run 5x hourly non-stop taking 15 minutes between Schiphol and Amsterdam. If possible we recommend taking this train from Schiphol to Amsterdam as it has good luggage racks.

intercity direct train at schiphol airport
Intercity Direct train departing Schiphol Airport station

Note, if travelling from Schiphol to Rotterdam on the Intercity Direct (which uses the high-speed track) you must pay an extra supplement of €2.90, although this can be occasionally waived for various reasons, check for announcements. No supplement is required between Schiphol and Amsterdam.

On the journey to/from the airport please watch your belongings as opportunist thieves and pickpockets are known to occasionally operate along the route.

At Amsterdam Centraal station the airport trains mainly arrive and depart from platforms 13, 14 and 15 at the northern waterfront side (IJ-side) of the station. From the platform go down the stairs or escalators and check-out with your ticket or OV-chip card at the gate barriers.

amsterdam central station - Ij side (waterfront)
Amsterdam Central station (IJ side) – connect to trams, metro and ferries

Taxis and ferries are found on the waterfront side; head towards the opposite southern exit for the city centre, trams and metro.

2. Train to Amsterdam Zuid then North-South Metro Line

An alternative route to the city is to take the train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Zuid (2nd class €4.30, 1st class €6.61 including the €1 disposable ticket) and then connect onto the North-South metro line M52. The train trip takes just 7 minutes to Zuid with up to 12x hourly services.

At Amsterdam Zuid you can get onto the North-South metro which runs towards Amsterdam North through the central spine of the city. Stops can be made at Europaplein (RAI), De Pijp, Vijzelgracht, Rokin (Dam Square/Spui), Amsterdam Central and onto Amsterdam North. See Amsterdam Metro Map

amsterdam central metro station
GVB Amsterdam metro train

The best way to do this is booking the Amsterdam Travel Ticket (see below for more info) which covers both the train and metro journeys on a single ticket. Otherwise you will have to buy separate rail and metro tickets.

In terms of metro tickets, there is the a GVB 1 hour ticket (€3.40), a Bus Tram Metro BTM 1.5 hour ticket (€6.50) or the better value GVB multi-day tickets.

GVB multi-day tickets are valid on a full 24 hour basis ranging from 1 day (€9) to 7 days (€41); children’s 1 day ticket (€4.50). Book GVB multi-day tickets online here for pick-up at GVB service points at Amsterdam Zuid or Amsterdam Central stations.

Hopefully the metro will be extended to the airport in the coming years meaning passengers can use GVB tickets without having to buy a separate rail ticket.

3. Amsterdam Airport Express Bus 397

The Amsterdam Airport Express 397 bus service (operated by Connexion/R-NET) runs from bus stop B15 at Schiphol Plaza, just outside the main station hall.

amsterdam airport express bus 397
Amsterdam Airport Express bus 397

These red buses depart up to 8x hourly to Amsterdam city centre – with various stops including Olympic Stadium, Museumplein and Leidseplein – finally terminating at Amsterdam Elandsgracht bus station. This bus option is convenient for visitors staying around the Museum quarter or Leidseplein. Please note, the bus does not go to Amsterdam Central station.

The journey takes just over 30 minutes and buses operate from 0500 to 0030. Screens at the airport bus stop will show the next departure. A single Bus Tram Metro (BTM) ticket costs €6.50, an open return which can be used within 14 days costs €11.75. A children’s ticket (aged 4-11) is just €1.

amsterdam airport express ticketYou can pre-purchase a single or return trip on bus 397 online here

Tickets can also be purchased (with card only) either from the driver or at the Public Transport Service & Tickets minibus tucked away near the hotel shuttle bus stops A5-A7.

schiphol transport tickets minivan
Public transport service & tickets minivan at Schiphol Airport outside near bus stops

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket and Amsterdam & Region Ticket are also both valid for the 397 bus. Note, GVB tickets are NOT valid for the 397 service.

The standard distance fare for this trip is around €4.21 if using a personal or anonymous OV-chip card or OVPay.

There is a small space for luggage on board the bus.

Night bus service N97 Niteliner runs hourly during the night (0100 to 0500) between Schiphol Plaza and Amsterdam Elandsgracht. Ticket prices are as above.

Alternative GVB airport bus to Sloterdijk: GVB is the main transport company for Amsterdam including trams, metro and buses. Unfortunately GVB only has 1 service connecting to Schiphol – GVB bus 369 (R-NET-branded) Schiphol Plaza to Amsterdam Sloterdijk station which runs 2-4x per hour. This bus does not go to Amsterdam Central station. This journey takes 40 minutes compared to 11 minutes with the train.

gvb bus 369 schiphol airport to amsterdam sloterdijk
GVB bus 369 Amsterdam Sloterdijk – Schiphol Airport

Cheapskate’s tip: The cheapest way to get from Schiphol to Amsterdam is to buy a 1 hour GVB ticket (€3.40) and take GVB bus 369 to Sloterdijk then immediately connect onto GVB bus 22 to Amsterdam Central; or tram 12 to the Museumplein area. Bus 369 could also be of use to those with a GVB multi-day tickets. However we still recommend taking the much faster train!

4. Amsterdam Travel Ticket

This 1, 2 or 3 day ticket combines the airport train or bus journey with an unlimited GVB travel around Amsterdam. If you are on a short visit and also plan to use public transport in Amsterdam this ticket could be useful. You can purchase the Amsterdam Travel Ticket here.

It offers unlimited travel for NS train journeys between Schiphol Airport and any station in Amsterdam (Central, Amstel, Bijlmer-ArenA, Duivendrecht, Holendrecht, Lelylaan, Muiderpoort, RAI, Sciencepark, Sloterdijk or Zuid). This also includes any train journeys between the mentioned Amsterdam stations.

intercity direct train seats
Intercity Direct train – comfortable seats and good luggage racks

You also get unlimited travel on the Amsterdam Airport Express bus 397 and unlimited GVB transport travel which can be used on all GVB trams, buses, metro and night buses in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.

Ticket costs are €18 (1 day), €24 (2 days) and €30 (3 days).

Note that validity of the card is on a ‘day’ basis, not ’24 hours’ and cards expire at 0400 the following morning of the last valid day. You must make the return journey back to the airport before expiry! This means the card is best suited to those who activate it earlier in the day and who will return to the airport during the late afternoon/evening.

For example, if you activate the 1 day card anytime on a Wednesday (0000-2359) the card will expire on Thursday morning at 0400. Likewise, a 2/3 day card activated on a Wednesday would expire on Friday/Saturday at 0400, respectively.

So those activating in the morning could make good use of the card; those activating in the evening would get limited hours so it’s frankly not worth it in that case – buy separate train and transport tickets instead. For more see our detailed article on public transport tickets in Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Travel Ticket works using the OV-chip system so you must check-in and check-out for every journey taken.

amsterdam travel ticketYou can buy the Amsterdam Travel Ticket online here. Paying in advance is really convenient and whether you are travelling alone or in a large group, you can purchase anything from 1 to 99 tickets in one transaction. Most payment methods are accepted.

You receive a voucher and simply pick up your pre-purchased tickets at the following points: NS ticket & service desks at at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Central Station or Amsterdam Sloterdijk; at the GVB service points at Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena or Amsterdam Noord.

You can also purchase this ticket at the following points at Schiphol: NS Tickets & Service desk, Iamsterdam Visitor Centre (Schiphol Plaza Arrivals 2), Public Transport Service & Tickets minibus (stops A5-A7), AKO newsagents or the “Public Transport tickets” machine (cards only) near the escalator to platform 1/2. You can also buy this ticket at NS Tickets & Service (Amsterdam Central) and GVB Tickets & Info points.

This ticket could be useful for those staying at Schiphol airport hotels wanting to visit the city each day. It could also be handy if you are staying at Amsterdam Sloterdijk or Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena.

If staying longer than 3 days you could always consider buying 2 sets of tickets and using them consecutively.

travel tickets amsterdam

5. Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket

This is a (multi)day ticket which is valid on all public transport in the greater Amsterdam region. This includes NS trains, all regional buses (Connexxion, EBS and Arriva 858 Schiphol-Keukenhof service) and all GVB Amsterdam buses, metro and trams. It is valid for the airport train trip and the 397 bus.

Ticket costs are €21.00 (1 day), €31.50 (2 days) and €40.50 (3 days).

As with the Amsterdam Travel Ticket, it is valid on a “calendar day basis” only rather than 24 hours. The card is activated on first check-in and expires at 0400 in the morning after the last valid day. You must check-in and check-out for each journey taken.

Once again, you could consider buying more than 1 ticket if you are staying longer than 3 days/2 nights – or mix and match with the Amsterdam Travel Ticket or GVB multi-day tickets, depending on your itinerary.

This ticket is good if you are planning to take side trips outside of Amsterdam. The ticket region includes the Waterland fishing villages area, Zaanse Schans/Industrial Heritage area, Amsterdam beaches, Keukenhof flowers area, Castles/Garden area and the New Land area.

amsterdam and region travel ticketYou can buy the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket online here. As above, paying in advance is convenient and gives peace-of-mind on arrival and you can purchase anything from 1 to 99 tickets in one transaction. Most payment methods are accepted.

You receive a voucher and simply pick up your pre-purchased tickets at the following points: NS ticket & service desks at at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, Amsterdam Central Station or Amsterdam Sloterdijk; at the GVB service points at Amsterdam Zuid, Amsterdam Bijlmer-Arena or Amsterdam Noord.

The ticket is available at Iamsterdam Visitor Centres plus Connexxion, EBS, GVB and NS ticket offices. It can also be purchased at the “Public Transport tickets” machine near the escalator to platform 1/2 or the ‘Public Transport Service & Tickets’ minibus (stops A5-A7).

transport ticket machines amsterdam schiphol airport
Dutch Railways and public transport ticket machines at Schiphol Airport

6. Holland Travel Ticket

This ticket was introduced to make it easier for visitors to navigate the Netherlands on one single ticket. It is valid for 1 day on all Dutch public transport in the country including trains (2nd class), buses, trams and metro. It can be bought at the desk or ticket machines at the train station and is a disposable OV-chip card. You must check-in and check-out for each journey leg.

The standard Holland Travel Ticket costs €70 and can be used anytime during the day. The off-peak Holland Travel Ticket costs €48 and is not valid for travel during the 0630-0900 rush hour Mon-Fri – but can be used anytime at weekends.

If you plan to do a lot of travelling in the Netherlands on a single day (either in terms of distance or using different forms of transport) then this ticket could offer good value and saves you having to buy separate tickets each time. Don’t buy it if you just need to go to Amsterdam from Schiphol!

7. Taxi Schiphol-Amsterdam

Private taxi cabs in the Netherlands are not particularly cheap – the trip to the centre of Amsterdam will cost around €45 to €60. That said, the cars are usually very comfortable (Mercedes sedan or similar) so this may be a good choice for business travellers, older visitors and small groups. For more detailed info, see Amsterdam taxis

amsterdam schiphol airport taxi stand
Official taxi stand at Schiphol Airport

The official taxi stand at Amsterdam Schiphol is located just outside the main station hall slightly to the left. You can choose whichever taxi you want – you are not obliged to take the first car. The fare is calculated by meter and the journey should take between 25 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Please be aware that illegal taxi touts are known to operate around the Schiphol Plaza area, often holding official-looking taxi signs and calling out “taxi”. Stick with the official taxi stand or use a pre-booked vehicle.

There are a number of private firms which can offer fixed rates to travel to/from Amsterdam Schiphol. The largest taxi firm in Amsterdam is TCA taxi (+31(0)20 7777777).

Sneleentaxi offers fixed fares to/from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam or any destination in the Netherlands. Book a taxi at fixed rate with Sneleentaxi

8. Uber Amsterdam Schiphol

Uber, the ride-hailing service app (uber.com) is available in Amsterdam in the form of UberBlack (original service with VIP taxis), UberVan (minivan) and UberX (lower cost version). Users can order a car through the mobile app and payment is automatically handled. Expect to pay €62 for UberBlack from airport to city centre; €39 for UberX.

RENTAL CARS: If you need to hire a car from Schiphol or Amsterdam, you can book with Discover Cars here which checks all the main sites.

Last updated 7 December 2023. This article was first published in 2008 and has been updated continuously since then. In 2008 a Schiphol-Amsterdam train ticket cost €3.80!

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