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4-hour layover in AMS. What to do?

4-hour layover in AMS. What to do?

Old Sep 6, 22, 8:53 pm
  #1  
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4-hour layover in AMS. What to do?

Coming into AMS from DTW, landing at 6:00 a.m. Connection to OSL departs at 10:05 a.m. So, if (if) everything goes according to schedule, a 4-hour layover.

This will be my first trip connecting through AMS (and my first trip to Europe in a very long time). Iíve poked around, and there seems to be an abundance of things to do inside the airport.

My poking around has also suggested that four hours from landing to takeoff is probably not enough time to take a trip into the city and enjoy yourself for any meaningful amount of time. Even if nothing goes wrong, youíll still probably have to turn around not long after reaching the city center to give yourself enough time to get back to the airport, get through security, and get to your connecting gate in a timely manner. White-knuckling it all the way.

All true?

If so, is there anything worthwhile to do near the airport that is open that early in the morning? Anything close by thatís worth the hassle of leaving the airport and then having to go through security again?

Please and thank you.
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Old Sep 6, 22, 10:46 pm
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Do yourself a favor and stay in the airport. If you want to leave the airport, you would need to go thru immigration/passport control on your way out the airport and security on your way back in. On a bad day it can take several hours to go thru security, but you wonít know if itís a bad day until you arrive at the end of the line for security. And by that time itís too late.
Your flight will arrive in the non-Schengen part of the airport and your ongoing flight will depart from the Schengen zone. These 2 zones are seperated from each other by immigration/passport control. You have some time to check out the Non-Schengen part of the airport, where the small Rijksmuseum is located, but I wouldnít wait too long before going thru to the Schengen Zone of the airport.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 2:44 am
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Please stay in the airport. The ongoing situation at AMS, while improved since summer, is still unpredictable for people starting/entering at AMS. Security contrŰle is the main chokepoint, something you'll have to go through if you go landside.

On the other hand, correspondances have generally had no/few issues.

So just poke around the non-Schengen side of the airport an hour so, then go thru passport contrŰle and get over to the Schengen side; boarding starts 30mn before dťpart anyway so you have less than 4h correspondance time to begin with.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 2:50 am
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Definitely do not leave. Even in the "before times'", 6 hours was really what you needed to venture into the city. There is enough to do, and lots of good seating areas.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 5:50 am
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You don’t have 4 hours. You haven’t allowed for the doors close time on your AMS-OSL flight for starters and possibly - depending on airline - an even earlier “be at the gate by” time.

And even if you did take the train into Amsterdam there would be very little open other than a few shops selling coffee and snacks at the station. No museums would be open until at least 9.00. Ditto any canal boat tours. Public transport would just be ramping up at that time but you still run into the time block of needing to return to the airport and doing security and immigration.

Even when AMS is running normally I’d want to be in the security queue at least an hour before departure just to allow for any issues.

Unfortunately your timeline really does indicate you having to stay airside and filling in your time grabbing food there and perhaps a shower and just wandering around. The mini Rijksmuseum will fill in 10 mins of your time.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 5:53 am
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Thanks, all. Thatís where my gut was taking me - just stay in the airport.

But since you all seem to know AMS so well, I may beg some additional info from you.

I fly quite a bit, but almost exclusively U.S. domestic. As such, I have very little experience with customs and passport control, and even less with moving into/out of Schengen.

1.) As a U.S. citizen traveling for 10 days on tourism, arriving in AMS from a U.S.-based departure, my understanding is that I donít need to worry about visas when entering AMS and transferring to OSL. Correct?

2.) When going through passport control when I switch from non-Schengen to Schengen, do I really need to prove that I have the financial resources to support myself while in Schengen as well as have the means to fly myself out within the 90 days? If so, what do I need to show the officer? A recent U.S. bank statement? My return-trip ticket?

3.) I am traveling with my 13-y.o. son. Given that he is under 16, that means we canít use the expedited passport control options, correct?

4.) Do I need to collect my baggage in AMS and recheck it and/or go through customs before moving on to OSL? Or do I need to worry about collecting baggage and then customs only when landing in OSL?

Please and thank you!
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Old Sep 7, 22, 6:15 am
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Originally Posted by squirk
Thanks, all. Thatís where my gut was taking me - just stay in the airport.

But since you all seem to know AMS so well, I may beg some additional info from you.

I fly quite a bit, but almost exclusively U.S. domestic. As such, I have very little experience with customs and passport control, and even less with moving into/out of Schengen.

1.) As a U.S. citizen traveling for 10 days on tourism, arriving in AMS from a U.S.-based departure, my understanding is that I donít need to worry about visas when entering AMS and transferring to OSL. Correct?

2.) When going through passport control when I switch from non-Schengen to Schengen, do I really need to prove that I have the financial resources to support myself while in Schengen as well as have the means to fly myself out within the 90 days? If so, what do I need to show the officer? A recent U.S. bank statement? My return-trip ticket?

3.) I am traveling with my 13-y.o. son. Given that he is under 16, that means we canít use the expedited passport control options, correct?

4.) Do I need to collect my baggage in AMS and recheck it and/or go through customs before moving on to OSL? Or do I need to worry about collecting baggage and then customs only when landing in OSL?

Please and thank you!
1. No visa required for trips <90 days in a 180 day period.
2. The KMar will just ask where you are going and stamp your passport.
3. There are no expedited passport queues available for US citizens upon entry at Schiphol ; only on exit can adults use the automated passport control gates (citizens of Canada/HK/US and certain others).
4. Your bags will be tagged to your final destination at your first departure point in the US.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by squirk
1.) As a U.S. citizen traveling for 10 days on tourism, arriving in AMS from a U.S.-based departure, my understanding is that I donít need to worry about visas when entering AMS and transferring to OSL. Correct?

2.) When going through passport control when I switch from non-Schengen to Schengen, do I really need to prove that I have the financial resources to support myself while in Schengen as well as have the means to fly myself out within the 90 days? If so, what do I need to show the officer? A recent U.S. bank statement? My return-trip ticket?
Currently you don't need to do anything, but from late 2023 (or maybe 2024) you will need to apply for an online travel authorization called ETIAS.

In theory you do need to prove your financial resources, in practice if you are coming for a short trip, you won't be asked unless you say something really stupid. You should have your return ticket available to show, I've been asked for it on all my recent Schengen entries and I showed it on my phone.
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