After my two flights from Boston to Iceland and then to Amsterdam, I was so ready to get into town and meet up with Danielle. For this trip, taking the train from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Centraal Station was the easiest choice since the train is conveniently located beneath the airport itself. Schiphol Airport is just over 5 miles from the city of Amsterdam with a variety of modes of transportation available including taxi, car, airport shuttle, or bus.
Yes, I was tired as overnight flights often leave you feeling wiped, but all I needed to do was collect my bag and buy a ticket. Simple enough right? While I love not having to stand in a line, I knew I couldn’t use the self service machines because I was paying in cash and these machines only accept credit cards and debit cards with Dutch pins. While some of the machines do accept coins, I had primarily bills and not enough coins, so I was forced to go fight the crowds at the ticket counter.
I had to first determine the right window and from there I only needed to wait. Of course, I picked a queue that didn’t move because people don’t seem to know what they want or need before they travel. When it was my turn, I was in and out in under 30 seconds because a) I knew what I wanted and b) I had the exact amount needed to buy my ticket, which was €5,10 (ticket price plus €1 surcharge because I purchased a disposable ticket instead of an OV-chip card). Easy peasy!
TSG Tip: Make your life and those of people around you easier by researching your destination and what you’ll need to do BEFORE you stand in a line to purchase tickets.
From here all I needed to do was make sure to scan my card before I got on the train, which I did before getting on the moving walkway down to the platform where I was lucky enough to find a train waiting. Total time from the airport to Centraal Station? About 15 minutes. Even if you’re slightly worried about taking the train because you haven’t before, I promise you that it is super easy and definitely an economical option. A taxi from the airport can cost around €45 or more. Choose where you want to spend your money and you’ll probably find better places to spend it than on a cab.
TSG Tip: Be sure to get on the correct train at Schiphol Airport as there are many trains and not all go to Centraal Station.
When my time in Amsterdam was over, I needed to once again take the train back to Schiphol Airport. Since checkout time at my hotel was earlier than my late afternoon flight and since Danielle wasn’t leaving til about 2:30 pm, we decided to put our luggage in the lockers at Centraal Station.
To gain access to the locker area inside the station, you’ll need to pass through turnstiles in the East wing of the station, but don’t worry as you won’t need to swipe a card. These self-service lockers are available from 7 am – 11 pm and take credit cards only.
Choose from the two sizes available, either large (35″x23″x15″) for €10 for the first 24 hours or €7 for 24 hours for the small (35″x18″x16″) locker. Additional fees apply past the first 24 hours, but as we only needed the lockers for a few hours, we didn’t really worry. Open the locker, put your stuff inside, follow the instructions on the machine with your credit card, and you’re good to go. It might help to take a picture of your locker number so you don’t forget which one is yours and don’t lose the ticket!
After grabbing lunch and saying our goodbyes, I collected my bags and went up to the platform to wait for my train back to Schiphol Airport. I felt like I was in a postcard with the backdrop and those brightly colored red seats.
As I sat feeling the warmth of the sun on my face from the sunlight peeking in through the windows at the top of the train station, I reflected back on my enjoyable, but short stay in Amsterdam with Danielle. More of what we did, well at least what I can say here, and the fun we had coming up next!