What to Do at the in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

If you’re stuck on a layover in Amsterdam, there are far worse places to be than Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). With so many nearby attractions to keep you distracted, your only problem will be remembering to get back to your flight before it departs.

To help you make the most of your time, here are some ideas and business travel tips for what to do during your Amsterdam layover.

At the Airport

Food and Dining

Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar Champagne and caviar really hit the spot, especially when you have a few hours until your flight. Sample bubbly by the glass and fill up on gourmet seafood while you wait. Further explanation of why this place is fantastic should not be necessary.

Grand Café Het Paleis Some of the finest dining and atmosphere in the airport is at Grand Café Het Paleis (The Palace). The name is appropriate because the staff will treat you like royalty. Go for classic bar food. Stay and sample all the great beers they have on tap.

Business and Pleasure

When you’re a business traveler, free WiFi is clutch. Take advantage of it during your layover at Schiphol. Once you sign in, you get four hours of access. After that, just refresh your connection to continue enjoying for another four hours.

If you need to rejuvenate, enjoy a hot shower and catnap in one of the private suites at Hotel Mercure or Yotel. Both are located after security and open 24 hours a day. If you don’t have much time but still want to be pampered, try XpresSpa. They offer intensive, full-body massages starting in 15-minute increments—giving you just enough time for relaxation before your flight. No appointments necessary.

Points of Interest

Centraal Amersterdam

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If your layover is longer than a few hours, get out of the airport! Just grab a taxi or do what most people do—get on the train that runs underneath the airport and drops you at Central Station in the heart of Amsterdam. It only costs a few euros and takes less than a half hour each way. Buses and shuttles also make frequent trips downtown. Whatever you do, watch the clock to ensure you get back to AMS on time.

Binlerce tbt var🇳🇱 #amsterdamdiaries #throwback #amsterdam #tbt #throwbackamsterdam #amsterdamcanals #netherlands

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If you find yourself with a less than a half-day to yourself, informal sightseeing is your best option. One fun idea is to act like a local. Rent a bike—they are the mainstay of the roads in this fair city. Then, ride up and down the canals that snake their way throughout the city. You’ll be afforded gorgeous views and photo opportunities at every turn. If you’d prefer to be a passenger instead, there are canal boat tours for $20 that start and end near the train station, making a convenient jaunt possible and relaxing at the same time.

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Just because you’re away on business travel doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, too. If you have more time and are looking for what to do in Amsterdam, you could easily explore some incredible museums. The Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum are all worthwhile attractions that will inspire you to look at the world a little differently.


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If you have never been to Amsterdam, you have to at least set foot in one of their famous “coffee shops.” As you know, these cafés serve more than just caffeine but that doesn’t mean you have to partake in their herbal offerings. There are dozens of these shops within steps of Central Station, so you won’t have trouble finding one. If you’re feeling a little naughtier, you could always peek in the crimson-lit windows of the world-famous Red Light District. We won’t snitch on you.

Finer Dining


High prices, but worth every penny. Eat a la carte and sample the foie gras or Dover sole. If you’re hungrier for more, opt in to the tasting menu which consists of eight perfectly-curated courses, each better than the last.


When supper is also club. 🎈

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Way more than a restaurant. Artists, DJs and culinary aficionados convene under one roof to shape an exciting experience you’ll remember forever. Be prepared to kick off your shoes and lay on white linen beds as you are entertained while dining. If you or your palette are shy, this might not be the right spot for you.


Modern European menu with vegan-friendly options. Pulled pork, baked potatoes, hummus stewed beef Thai curry—this place has enough variety to make anyone’s tongue sing and dance. The food is delicious, the service is great and the prices are very reasonable. Don’t skip this spot.

Book your next Amsterdam work trip on Upside.com.