Transferring At Schiphol; Not Just A Regular Airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the biggest airport in the Netherlands. It’s situated some 10 kilometres from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Last year, more than 63 million passengers departed from, passed through or arrived at Schiphol. But did you know that transferring at this huge airport is just as convenient as it is at smaller, regional airports? In recent years, I’ve travelled across the globe on several flights from Amsterdam. Although some flights were direct, others required a transfer at a different airport. And as a proud Dutchman, I must admit, Amsterdam is still my favourite airport by far. I bet you’re thinking, “Why?”

A single terminal

Well, to begin with, all aircraft arrive and depart from a single terminal building. This makes transferring not only a whole lot easier, but it’s also much quicker than catching trains or buses between multiple buildings. As soon as you arrive at the airport, yellow signs and monitors show you the way to the exit or gate. And by giving the walking distance to your gate, your transfer will be smooth. This way, you know exactly how much time you can spend at one of the nearly 30 restaurants or bars enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of fresh juice.

Schiphol Terminal Tower

Minimum connecting time: 50 minutes

Everything works so smoothly that the minimum time between the arrival and departure of a flight is just 50 minutes. If you ask me, that’s pretty impressive for an airport of this size. You don’t even need to worry about your checked baggage. If you’ve booked your flights on a single ticket, and the transfer time is less than 12 hours and on the same day, you don’t need to pick up your bags. You can head straight to your connecting gate, picking up a delicious caffè latte on your way.

Schiphol Terminal

Flying Business Class or an Elite Plus member? Visit our lounge!

Of course there are also lounges at the airport for passengers travelling in Business Class, and for SkyTeam Elite Plus members. There are two lounges. If your flight departs from a Schengen country, simply follow the signs to Lounge 25. When transferring or departing on an intercontinental flight, simply head for Gate F and check out Lounge 52. There’s even a smaller version of the famous Rijksmuseum at Schiphol. Although it’s under construction at the moment, it will be reopening soon for all passengers travelling on international flights.

Do you speak English? Yes we do!

Big yellow signs are not the only way to find your gate. Since Dutch is quite a difficult language to learn and a 12-hour flight may not be enough to master the language, all KLM and Schiphol employees speak English and Dutch fluently. You’ll probably notice this when buying yourself a snack or a drink. You’ll be assisted in English. It happens to me all the time. Only after saying “bedankt” (Dutch for “thank you”), will the employee switch to Dutch. So if you have a question about where to go or where to find a restroom or the best restaurants, don’t be afraid to ask a staff member. And if you’re interested in practicing a typically Dutch habit, start talking about the weather. You can’t go wrong with that one!

Dutch snacks and souvenirs

On the same note, think about Holland and name a few typically Dutch things. We’ll try to name some too. How about stroopwafels? Because you can buy them all over the place at the airport. Two waffles filled with delicious syrup. They’re definitely worth a try! Another one has to be the tulip. These are for sale at the Houses of Tulips (near Gate F) in multiple colours, varying from blue, white and red (the colours of our flag) to ORANGE, of course. That brings us to yet another Dutch tradition. We’re the only country in the world with orange as its national colour. Why? It’s to honour the Royal family: the House of Orange. And last but not least, wooden shoes or clogs. Seriously, give them a try and, as you can imagine, we don’t wear them to work every day.

Store Tulips Wooden Shoes

Hurry up, your gate is closing

With so much to see and try out, time truly flies when transferring at the airport. That’s why you should always double check the screens to see if your actual departure time and gate are still accurate. Our gates close 15 minutes before departure and we don’t want you to miss your flight. So don’t spend too much time enjoying Dutch pancakes or choosing between red or blue tulips. You can always book another trip and take time to visit Amsterdam and Schiphol.

Schiphol Airport Terminal

Posted by:   Niels Hager  | 
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Transferring from international flight to a EU flight and having to go through security again is a painful execise… Especially when you have a 15 _ 20 minute wait…security areas are unmanned and the security staff are miserable….


Are you mixing up security and border control?
When entering Schengen your passport will always be checked. The performance of the Egates has improved this year. The checks do take time, I guess it’s about safety first.


Looking to book flights which only have 1 hour stop over at Amsterdam. Is this too short a time to get through border control?


Schiphol is my preferred international Airport.
Far better than any of the UK’s monstrosities, although London City used to be acceptable but I haven’t used that for many years.


Schiphol is my preferred international Airport.

Far better than any of the UK’s monstrosities, although London City used to be acceptable but I haven’t used that for many years.


I don’t know when the last time was Niels transferred at Schiphol but no, it is not as rosy and well organised as described. Getting from one gate to another can be a bit of a horror trip. Yes, you never have to leave the building but neither do 100,000 other passengers who are rushing through the place. Walking from one gate to the next can take ages as it is miles apart. And indeed, if you have to transfer from international to EU be prepared for a long wait at security which are totally understaffed and overworked it seems. No, Schiphol is not a great airport for transfers, it is a pain in the backside!


As an experienced travel agent and a regular passenger to Schiphol Airport, let me briefly describe its top features:

1-Its unique single-terminal layout(all facilities under one roof)
2-The vast and seamless connections, both European and Intercontinental
3-Comfort and facilities for travellers and visitors alike
4-Finally, at last but not least, the world-famous “SEE/BUY/FLY” Shops-duty free


@KLM – you guys are great, very much like your approach to customer service and I have to say I’ve had some very pleasant flights – even today when the stewardess dropped her pen – when I picked it up and handed it to her she said “finders-keepers” with a smile – not that I kept the pen but small touches and friendliness is much appreciated because flying can be boring. With that said I think you’re perhaps pushing the bounds of possibility with the ever shortening connection times that seem to have evolved in the last couple of years. Connection times that use to be 1:15h are now 0:45h – which can make it stressful if you’re passing from Schengen to non-Schengen sides of the airport. Passport control at Schiphol is getting worse in my opinion. Take this week for example. On Monday morning I approached security from the Schengen side and only 6 of 12 E-gates were open with long queues at the 6 that were open and of course at the “manual” desks. When I got through the queue in the opposite direction was so long it stretched from the passport area all the way past pier E!!!! I flew back this morning and luckily the E-gates were open because the queue appeared the same crazy length. There have been many occasions where the E-gates are completely closed and yet there’s only 1-2 border control guards on the manual desks which seems crazy. I fly weekly so it’s not just an anomaly – this is a regular occurrence and often at peak hours. While you’re a glowing example of how customer service can be delivered I find the border security function almost the opposite…! Something to look at improving together with Schiphol?


To be honest Schipol Airport it the best Airport I’ve ever been to! Staff are amazing and the airport is definitely one of the most beautiful looking!

Susan Julien

The first time I passed through Schipol on my way to England, I was truly impressed! The second time I passed through on the way to Madrid and I was still impressed. At that point I thought next time instead of passing through The Netherlands, I’ll actually go outside which I did on my third trip through Schipol. I shall return.




Where can you get poffertjes at the airport?

Niels Hager

Hi Tobi, your best chance to get poffertjes is at the restaurant between gates F and G ;-)

Claudia Buijtendijk

Hi Tobi!
You can get poffertjes and pannenkoeken and other dutch dishes near to E1. There is a dutch restaurant overthere. Ask staff they will know it! It is oposite the asian restaurant Kebaya.


Very true. A convenient, accessible airport.


Schiphol is verschrikkelijk, de ambities zijn onmogelijk, te veel activiteiten op een te kleine plek. De luchthaven is slecht bereikbaar over de weg en spoor vertoont veel vertragingen. Lange taxi tijden zijn na een lange intercontinentale vlucht erg vervelend. Parkeren onbetaalbaar. Te veel glamour en glitter alsmede ruimtebeslag door zgn tax free shops, waar je meestal niet goedkoper uit bent. Douane en Security afhandeling duurt eindeloos. Nee Schiphol managers het moet allemaal wel een stuk beter…


Typische Nederlander! Blijf lekker thuis, zeurpiet.

Leon 123

Het is maar hoe je er tegenaan kijkt. Schiphol is constant bezig dingen aan te passen en te verbeteren. Daar kunnen een hoop luchthavens een voorbeeld aan nemen. En de bereikbaarheid? geen problemen mee. Laat je anders weg brengen door een kennis of buur. Heb je al die problemen niet. Maar mijn advies aan u is het zelfde als “Koekje”, blijf dan lekker thuis en inderdaad, weer zo’n typische Nederlander, zeuren!

Peter zahn

Without Privium I could not make a connection from D to B within 50 min due to the Passport queues.


Great blog post!

Félix Maltchinski

I like this airport.

That Canadian Guy

This airport is awesome. Duty free shops always have sales, and there is a couple smoking areas. See ya in November 2017

Torgeir K Strandberg

50 minutes transfer time at Schiphol is no problem. I’ve experienced this before, and actually it’s possible to walk from one end to the other in 30 min. Great place!


I still dislike schipol for not offering a priority lane for elite passengers at the passport control.

Gary Hanton

Schiphol is the BEST for transferring from to an Inter-continental flight. The journey I normally take from Aberdeen to Sao Paulo has a 1hr15min connection time…… stress-free and at my departure gate within 30 minutes of landing from Scotland !

Andrew Dawson

The best word for me to describe Schiphol is; “Nirvana”.

Luis Faustino

I have transited at Schipol Airport from Kuala Lumpur to Madrid and vice versa. The transiting time was very smooth for me. From Schipol Airport to Barajaas Airport. And it took less time to get to my new gate.
On my return from Madrid to Amsterdam, we had a delay. Upon our arrival at Schipol Airport, there was a ground staff to assist us to get to our Gate on time to Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta.


Certainly agree Schiphol Airport is one of the most efficient and maybe the best ‘signaged’ airports in the world in my eyes. However I’m always wondering why KLM does not already provide more information about the transfer at Schiphol Airport during the the flight already. For example:
– Which gate will the plane arrive.
– Do you have to pass customs for your transfer (EU – Non-EU members).
– Show a map of Schiphol Airport at the screen in the plane already, now only the flight path and details are shown (I know you can find the airport map in KLM’s Holland Herald Magazine).
-Provide this kind of information at least half an hour before arrival, so in case of a transfer flight people can prepare themselves.

In this way the transfer at Schiphol Airport can maybe be more easy as it already is and people flying with KLM will certainly appreciated it.


My preferred international airport. It is spacious, not scattered around so no need for shuttle transfers. Lots of restaurants, shops, resting places. And even a casino, relaxing spots and a museum. What else !

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