Home FAQ Is Amsterdam Airport Big?

Is Amsterdam Airport Big?

by Rafal Sulowski

Amsterdam Airport called Schiphol is one of the biggest airports in the world, definitely one of the biggest in Europe. It’s a very important European airport located 20 minutes from the city of Amsterdam. It isn’t the only airport in the Netherlands. There are also airports in Eindhoven, Lelystad, and Maastricht. But is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol big?

Amsterdam Airport is the biggest airport in the Netherlands. It’s the 3rd biggest airport in Europe and 11th in the world. The entire Schiphol cover area of 2,787 hectares. Schiphol is bigger than many Dutch cities. It is an airport for 104 different airlines which flies to 98 countries and 327 destinations

In this article, I will talk some more about Schiphol Airport. I will share with you some statistics and I will try to give you a general overview of how big this airport is. I’ll answer some frequently asked questions and share some fun facts. For those worrying about safety, I have also some good information. If you have any question please write them in the comment section below.

Is Amsterdam Airport Big?

As I already mentioned Schiphol is one of the biggest airports in the world. Schiphol manages 104 different airlines and among them, there are such big companies like Martinair, Transavia, KLM, Arkefly and Amsterdam Airlines. Can you imagine that Schiphol airport hires 64.000 people? It’s only on the airport because through its activities Schiphol hires all together over 200 000 people from the whole Netherlands. Ok, you know already that Schiphol is big but can you imagine that in some cases getting from the entrance to the terminal may take even up to half an hour? There are also fast lines, however, it takes some time to get from one place to another.

Schiphol airport is a very busy airport. In fact, it’s the 5th airport in the world when it comes to international traffic. It’s also 6th in the world in the amount of cargo transport. Although Schiphol manages so much traffic you won’t feel that it’s so busy. Logistics of the airport is organized very well so each and every process runs smoothly. You don’t have to wait. Of course, you’ll see crowds there, but you would expect more busyness from that big airport.

You can compare Schiphol to airports such as Frankfurt, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Istanbul or London Heathrow. With an average of 70 million passengers a year, it keeps being one of the busiest airports in Europe.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is built as one large terminal split in 3 departure halls. Now they are busy with 4th departure hall, but it’s not that easy because of limited space.

Amsterdam Schiphol Cargo

A big part of Schiphol traffic is cargo – transportation of goods. 855,000 tonnes of cargo leave Amsterdam airport every year. That’s pretty a lot. Airplanes are most often used for transportation of good that must get to its destination very quickly. For example fruits or vegetables, electronics or medical stuff.

Did you know that Holland is the biggest importer of Avocado in the world? Every year 2.500.000 avocados reach Amsterdam by air. A few minutes away from Schiphol there is the biggest flower auction in the world and you may be surprised but Holland, a massive producer of flowers also import them from abroad. They arrive most often to this airport.

Railway Station and Bus Station

The part of Schiphol airport is railway Schiphol Station and Schiphol Bus Station. The railway station is situated just under the passenger terminal so if you worry how to get to Amsterdam from the airport that’s not a problem at all. There is a connection with Amsterdam and other big cities 24/7. Amsterdam is also easily accessible by the bus. A bus station is situated in front of the airport.

Is Amsterdam Airport Safe?

Schiphol airport has a very advanced notifications system. Thanks to that, not even a small accident goes unmentioned. You don’t have to worry. Schiphol is a very safe airport and they focus on the safety day in, day out. There is a special team responsible for airport safety. You are in good hands. Schiphol does its job according to international and national security laws.

Photo courtesy of Roberto C|| Flickr

Safety on airports in general and in the aviation business is the most important thing ever. When we think about aircraft traffic we have a feeling that’s a little bit dangerous. But, it’s totally opposite. Airplanes are one of the safest means of transportation in the world.

Is Amsterdam Airport open 24 hours?

Schiphol Plaza (before security) it’s open till the late hours. Most spots are open until 22, but there are shops such as Albert Heijn opened until midnight. Between midnight and 4 am Schiphol airport is open only for travelers. When you get through the security control there are more options. There are many bars and restaurants open 24/7.

Probably you would like to know if it is allowed to sleep in Amsterdam Aiport in the night? If you are a traveler and you have an ID and a boarding card then it’s fine, but if you aren’t a traveler, then it’s not allowed. After security control there is plenty of space, so you won’t have a problem finding some cozy sleeping spot. There are some benches without armrest and they are just perfect for sleeping.

If you would like to take a shower you should visit one of the hotels located in Schiphol Airport. Mercure Hotel or Yotel will let you take a shower for 20 euros. You’ll get a towel, shower gel, and shampoo. There are also some free showers available in Lounge 2 next to Mac Store, but there you won’t get any towel.

Schiphol The Easiest Airport For Changing Planes

If you plan to change planes while traveling, Schiphol is a great place to do so. You may want to know how long transfer takes. Of course, it depends on the arrival and departure time. If you have some spare time you may be sure that in this airport there is plenty to do, and transfers go smoothly. If you need help, Schiphol assistant will be there to make transfer easy and unstressful.

Can I Smoke at Schiphol?

In Holland, smoking is forbidden in all enclosed areas, but in Schiphol airport, there are some places designated for smoking. You will find many smoking rooms, and most often they are next to bars and restaurants. Follow signs and you can enjoy a little break with your cigarette. Outside the airport, there are some public smoking areas. Don’t smoke outside of them because you can get a fine.

Fun Facts About Schiphol Aiport

  • Schiphol Airport is located in the place of former Harlemmer lake. It was drained in the 19th century
  • Amsterdam Airport is 4 meters below sea level.
  • First landing on Schiphol was in 1916. At first, it was a military airport but in 1920 it became a civilian airport.
  • There is an airplane which is used by the fire department for airplane fire training. If you see an airplane in a fire close to the Schiphol airport, don’t be afraid. It’s most probably training.
  • Until the end of 2020, there won’t be budget airlines at Schiphol airport. There are going to be only intercontinental flights.
  • Dutch KLM is the oldest airline in the world.
  • Fokker – Dutch aircraft manufacturer started production in 1912. There is a real Fokker airplane at the airport and you can visit it.
  • There are two hotels at a Schiphol airport after security control. One of them is Yotelair and another one is Hotel Mercure
  • Chewing gum is banned on the airport. If you are a chewing gum addict, I am sorry to say but you won’t get it anywhere in Schiphol. It’s because in the past airport floor was full of chewing gum.

Wrap Up

Amsterdam Schiphol is a very big airport and because of that it’s fees are high. Because of that many budget airlines land in another airports in Netherlands. When I travel I often choose Eindhoven. It’s a budget airport with wide choice of destinations. If you want to save some money it’s a way to go.

Amsterdam airport is a gem for fans of aviation. It’s huge and there are many possibilities to learn about airplanes. It’s also very comfortable for those who needs transfer. It’s big and one of the most advanced technologically airport. I was living for some time very close to the airport and I enjoyed a lot watching these big airplanes landing. On Schiphol airport land the biggest airplanes in the world.


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