Lucky to get stranded in Amsterdam

Surely you heard about the biggest snowfall in England in 18 years on Monday (news stories here and here). Coincidently I traveled that day from Tanzania back to London through Amsterdam. Not surprising that our connecting KLM flight to London Heathrow therefore received a lengthy delay of almost 6 hours (kudos to KLM though who were quick to organize a Boeing 747 bundling several London flights into one). This was time enough to have a really good look at what Amsterdam Schiphol (IATA: AMS) has to offer.

In summary, Schiphol offers a lot. Of course, you find the usual things like Duty Free Shops, Cafés, Burger joints and bars. But Schiphol goes further, a lot further actually: You can find everything from a full Casino in the main terminal, a branch of the famous Rijksmuseum with a drawing from Rembrandt among the display to one of the Yotel chains that offer affordable, modern rooms for as short as 4 hours.

But even if you are just looking for a quick refreshment, Schiphol has it: you will find shower cabins in the toilets in front of the First Aid on the first floor of the main hall, between the airport lounges 41 and 42. There, you also find comfort seats for you to rest from your busy travelling life. And if you need refreshment for your stomach, try the noodle soup (€15) at “Noodles” next to the T5 transfer desks.

Finally, even the usually from airports banned smokers will like the Dutch version as there is a smokers cell room on the first floor next to the airport lounge 42. However, if you are looking for a typical Amsterdam coffee shop you are out of luck unless you book one of the Holland Tours directly from the airport and make it into the city (disclaimer: I am not suggesting anything here! ;-)).

Now to the tricky part, the Top-5: I really had to think about it hard this time as there are so many things you can do – here are my favourite five:

  1. Visit the Rijksmuseum branch and find the Rembrandt drawing
  2. Eat a pot of pork noodle soup at “Noodles”
  3. Buy some Dutch cheese from the Delikatessen shop (alternatively, buy some famous Dutch liquorish)
  4. Count how many Dutch, blond ladies you see that are over 1.90m tall (6’3″) – trust me you need more than one hand to count them!
  5. Try to find Starbucks (remember, the Berlin task?) – it’s not that tricky here, but you may need some time depending on your destination (this is already a hint)…


Airport Facts and Ratings

Airport Name Amsterdam Schiphol
Design Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Shopping Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Toilets Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Overall Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum, 100ml at the Duty Free Shop €84.50 (£75.10)
Bottle of Veuve Cliquot at the Duty Free Shop €32.95 outside the EU (£29.30)