Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe, while Amsterdam itself is certainly one of the most popular cities for travelers. However, staying in Amsterdam can be pricey, especially during the peak summer travel months, or over a prime holiday like King’s Day. Extending your layover in Amsterdam by a couple of days is a great way to see a bit of the city, and the best way to save money on your trip is by staying in a hotel near the Amsterdam Airport.
The first time I stayed in Amsterdam, it was over New Year’s Eve and hotels were pretty much sold out and the remaining rooms in town were all very expensive. Navigating the city streets that were already closed to taxis and trams was frustrating, and we had to wait over two hours for a cab to reach the pier where we spent the evening on a chartered boat. My friends who stayed outside of Amsterdam hopped on the train and were in their beds while I was still freezing out on the pier.
The next time I went to Amsterdam was for what was then Queen’s Day, now King’s Day — easily one of the busiest days in Amsterdam. On this trip, I stayed near Schiphol Airport and took the train into town, and it was a completely different experience!
Fast forward several years and now I am living in The Netherlands, about two hours outside of Amsterdam. I fly in to and out of Schiphol for all my international flights, which sometimes means battling several hours of rush hour morning traffic to make an early morning flight. Even living in the country, I often book a hotel near Amsterdam, like the Dorint in Badhoevedorp, or at the airport, like the Citizen M, on the night before I am flying.
Many of the hotels surrounding the airport cater to business travelers visiting the business park or transiting passengers looking to spend the night near both the city and the airport. As such, at these hotels, you’ll find added benefits like transportation shuttles to and from the airport. Some hotels will offer special packages as well, ones that may include parking, breakfast, and/or tour options in Amsterdam.
If your hotel doesn’t provide the tours, you can book a variety of day tour options with companies like Viator. The easiest way to get into town is to catch the free shuttle (if applicable) to the airport and then take the train right into Amsterdam. The trains run regularly, and you’ll usually be traveling against most of the traffic, which is ideal on the high volume days. Schiphol’s train station is also one of the major hubs in the Netherlands, and you can also catch trains to other cities such as Rotterdam, The Hague, or Utrecht from the airport.
While staying directly at the airport may be ideal, the rates at the on-property hotels are still pretty pricey in most cases. It might make more financial sense to stay near the airport and take the shuttles and train back and forth into town.
This post is in collaboration for Hipmunk’s #CityLove project, but as always, views and opinions are my own.