What do you do when booking a trip with a layover somewhere? Do you try to minimize the time spent waiting or do you look for some to explore a new place? Of course, it really depends on where you are going and how much time you have. At least that is the case for us. We do, however, love the possibility to include a proper stop once in a while and were really happy to get the time to visit Amsterdam. Thanks to a 6-hour layover at Schiphol Airport we had enough time to go for a long walk through Amsterdam.
Begining Our Trip from Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Our day started early at 3 AM with my brother driving us to Stockholm Arlanda Airport and our flight to Amsterdam was due at 6:40 AM. We were more than happy to get on our KLM flight and continue sleeping for the around two hours to Amsterdam. There is always a feeling of excitement when knowing that big adventures are on the horizon.
Amsterdam was, of course, not our final destination. We are actually not quite sure what our final destination is for this trip as we are visiting several places. Do we need to have one?
The first stop of our trip is Montreal, Canada, where we will stay for a few days before continuing by bus to Boston, Massachusetts. Just a few nights later we will leave for the American west coast and San Francisco. Actually Livermore to be more precise. In total, we will spend a week on each of the two coasts.
Our 6-hour Layover in Amsterdam
Our flight from Stockholm arrived a few minutes earlier than expected and our flight to Montreal would leave first at 3:20 PM. In other words, we had a bit more than six hours at Schiphol. Wanting to be back two hours before departure, we had around four hours to explore Amsterdam.
Taking the train to the central station in Amsterdam was really easy and we were soon walking along the canals. That was what we actually did the most: walking along the canals, enjoying the sunshine and trying to grasp our thoughts about the city. Would we like to return for a proper visit?
The streets were filled with litter at this time in the morning and except for a few tourist groups, there were not many people up and about. A few lost souls living in their cloud of smoke was what showed us what the city is most famous for. But it didn’t take many hours in the morning for the city to get cleaned up.
Our predefined area for exploration was between the central train station and the Rijksmuseum. The low rise buildings, the architecture and the many bikers reminded us of Copenhagen. Amsterdam really is a peaceful city to explore on foot. It is easy to walk to the Rijksmuseum, to the house of Anne Frank, to the royal castle. Everything is within easy reach if you just have a few hours.
Recommendations for a Layover at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
If you have five or more hours at Schipol, then we would really recommend you to take a short visit to Amsterdam. Here are our recommendations for such a trip:
- Take the train to Amsterdam Centraal. It takes less than 20 minutes and the trains are frequent. A return ticket will set you back only around 10 Euros. Remember to activate the ticket before going down to the platform by blipping it at one of the sensors next to the ticket machines.
- Pick an activity depending on your available time and the weather. Either walk along the canals and enjoy the city or choose a museum to visit. Our choice is almost always to explore the city from its streets.
- Make sure that you have enough time when heading back to Schiphol. The airport is quite big and with the construction work at the airport you might have to walk further than you first thought to find first the security and later the gate.
We will continue our trip, read more about our adventure in North America here >>