Stopover Adventures: 12 Hours in Amsterdam
Updated: Feb 24
updated: February 2023
Some airports are more expensive to fly in/out. Non-stop long-distance flights are becoming increasingly rare and expensive. Budget travellers learn to look for flights to nearby airports and consider creative routing options. I have been lured by fares that included multiple stopovers! I even (foolishly) ONCE convinced myself that one of those 2 stopover flights with two teenagers was a fine plan (it wasn't). After turning what could have been a 2-hour journey into a day-long hellish odyssey, I had a much better understanding of what routings I can tolerate and which are absolute deal-breakers.
I now look at the routing carefully. I either want a connection within 2-3 hours or I want enough time to turn it into a sampler stopover. The ideal stopover is a major airline hub that permits passengers to disembark and leave the airport; has an interesting city that is close and easily accessible from the airport, and allows enough time to travel into the city to enjoy some activity or sightseeing. It's also important that secure luggage storage will be available upon your arrival and return to the airport. Schipol Airport in Amsterdam checks all those boxes.
Schipol offers both luggage lockers and several storage areas very conveniently located throughout the airport. The baggage storage areas do close overnight, so lockers may be a better choice for some travellers. Trains to Amsterdam Centraal Station leave every 5 - 10 minutes arriving approximately 15 minutes later.
Centraal Station is huge and right in the centre of things. If you are craving some chocolate after your flight and train ride, check out the Chocolate Company located in the center of the station. If you prefer something healthier, just across from the Chocolate Company is the Yoghurt Barn with delicious homemade yoghurt and fresh toppings. Walk out of the station and meander around to check out all the bikes and the bike parking lots. Watch out as you cross the streets, there are different signals for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists!