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7h40m layover in AMS in January - what to do?

7h40m layover in AMS in January - what to do?

Old Nov 6, 2023, 1:01 pm
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7h40m layover in AMS in January - what to do?

I'm fairly AMS-savvy, having been there no fewer than a dozen times, but never on a layover like this. Assuming we land on time from TLL, that puts us airside at around 9 a.m.; our flight to the U.S. departs at 16:55. I assume our checked luggage bags will be tagged through to the final destination, but we'll have the usual carry-ons with us. Options, as I see them, are:

1. Hang out at the airside lounge (forget what it's called, but I believe Amex Platinum will allow us entry).
2. Book a room at the Yotel for about 130 Euro.
3. Venture out into the city.

If we do go with (3), the questions are (1) where do we leave our carry-ons, (2) what's a reasonable time to set aside for going back through security, (2a) will we even be allowed to do it and (3) what's an activity you'd recommend (doesn't have to be Amsterdam proper - can be anywhere you can get to on a train).

Thanks!
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 3:44 pm
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Option 3, definitely! There are very few lounges that are worth spending seven hours in and none of them are in Schiphol. This is your last opportunity to stretch your legs before being enclosed in a metal tube for at least the same amount of time and Amsterdam is a fun city to visit, even in January and especially if youve never been.

Theres no problem going landside and coming back through security later. You can leave your carry-ons airside in a locker or landside at arrivals.
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 4:36 pm
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I'd take a train to Amsterdam Zuid, walk north into the city, and come back either the same way or from Central station. Done that several times to buy cheese, German housewares, etc.
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by waffle
Option 3, definitely! There are very few lounges that are worth spending seven hours in and none of them are in Schiphol. This is your last opportunity to stretch your legs before being enclosed in a metal tube for at least the same amount of time and Amsterdam is a fun city to visit, even in January and especially if you’ve never been.

There’s no problem going landside and coming back through security later. You can leave your carry-ons airside in a locker or landside at arrivals.
As mentioned, I've been about a dozen times, but I'm always open to seeing more of the city. Thanks for the lockers link!

Are there things to do that are easy to get to and aren't in the center?
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 5:23 pm
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What about Utrecht? There seem to be direct trains from Schiphol and only a bit further than Amsterdam Centraal. If you have not been there, maybe a good place to stroll and explore. Train station is close to the old center.
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by LostInAmerica
What about Utrecht? There seem to be direct trains from Schiphol and only a bit further than Amsterdam Centraal. If you have not been there, maybe a good place to stroll and explore. Train station is close to the old center.
Utrecht is nice. I've been there once, but it's a bit farther away, isn't it?

Anyways, I've been informed by my nervous wife that we're going with option #2, unless I can switch us to an earlier flight. Still, y'all's advice might benefit someone else at some point

Taking opinions on Yotel vs. Mercure now. Those are the only two airside hotels, yeah?

Last edited by highlanderfil; Nov 6, 2023 at 10:00 pm
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 11:36 pm
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Yes those are the only two.

But honestly it’s really no big hassle to go landside.

There are 3 hotels within walking distance of the terminal (not checked if they offer day rooms though) which will be more comfortable than the airside ones and you’ll see daylight - the airside one don’t have external windows.
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil
Anyways, I've been informed by my nervous wife that we're going with option #2, unless I can switch us to an earlier flight. Still, y'all's advice might benefit someone else at some point
So your wife doesn't want to go into the city on an 8-hour layover?

I'd pose the question, is she asking you to arrive at a TLL hotel 8-hours before departure? Just hoping that reframing it this way might help you both enjoy the city for a few hours. If 8-hours prior isn't required at the originating airport, not sure why it is required at the connecting point. Especially at an international airport with such strong local transit options.
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Old Nov 7, 2023, 5:40 am
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The 8 hrs is only required at AMS due to the early arrival from TLL
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Old Nov 7, 2023, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear
Yes those are the only two.

But honestly it’s really no big hassle to go landside.

There are 3 hotels within walking distance of the terminal (not checked if they offer day rooms though) which will be more comfortable than the airside ones and you’ll see daylight - the airside one don’t have external windows.
The lack of windows doesn't really bother us, to be honest. I'm more concerned with minimizing our time at check-in upon arrival. Just thinking out loud, it actually might make more sense to go landside and do our check-in in the afternoon as there won't be as many transatlantic flights then, so hopefully fewer people? Dunno how sound this logic is. Opens up an award stay as well (at the Sheraton). Bit of a waste to burn a day, but it's not like Yotel's hourly rates come up to significantly less. On the flip side, fewer food options airside.
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Old Nov 7, 2023, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear
The 8 hrs is only required at AMS due to the early arrival from TLL
Correct. And since both of us have seen the city before, I'm not really sure it's worth the anxiety in cold weather. Were it summer, it might have been different.

As for the rest, since I generally tend to refrain from giving spousal advice myself, I'll abstain from commenting on it being given to me.
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Old Nov 7, 2023, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil
As mentioned, I've been about a dozen times, but I'm always open to seeing more of the city. Thanks for the lockers link!
Ah, sorry, I misread your post. I thought youd only been to the airport, not the city.

Originally Posted by highlanderfil
I'm more concerned with minimizing our time at check-in upon arrival. Just thinking out loud, it actually might make more sense to go landside and do our check-in in the afternoon as there won't be as many transatlantic flights then, so hopefully fewer people?
Im not sure I follow you here. You wrote that your bags will be checked all the way through from TLL to the US, so Im assuming all your flights are on the same ticket? In that case youll only check in in TLL and receive boarding passes for both TLLAMS and the connecting flight out of AMS. The only formality in AMS will be passport control and if you go landside security.
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Old Nov 7, 2023, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by waffle
The only formality in AMS will be passport control and – if you go landside – security.
Correct. I wasn't talking about checked bags. Depending on time of day and passenger load, passport control and security times can vary fairly dramatically. Basically, everything is pointing towards staying airside, lack of windows be damned.

Last edited by highlanderfil; Nov 7, 2023 at 4:15 pm
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Old Nov 10, 2023, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil
Correct. I wasn't talking about checked bags. Depending on time of day and passenger load, passport control and security times can vary fairly dramatically. Basically, everything is pointing towards staying airside, lack of windows be damned.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport now offers the option to book a time slot for security. You book a time slot, get yourself to the dedicated security line at your chosen time and you walk right up to security without having to wait in line.

You have plenty of time to venture out of the airport. If you dont want to go the Amsterdam, you can go to Leiden which is a lovely historical city only a direct 16 minute train ride away from Schiphol Airport.
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Old Nov 10, 2023, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by Breda_travelgirl
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport now offers the option to book a time slot for security.
I'll be traveling to Amsterdam later this month, will give this a shot. Thanks for this reminder!
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