You just won’t be able to believe your senses at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. With its constant stream of visitors, Plaza buzzes with international glamour and allure. Sip a cup of coffee while watching shoppers making their last minute purchases before returning home. Visitors can shop before or after passing through passport control. Whether you’re looking for designer clothing, shoes, purses or other fashion accessories – Schiphol’s got it all. And because of the constant flow of air traffic, shops here have extended opening hours. Schiphol Plaza is open daily from 7 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Schiphol Plaza has something for everyone. With plenty of eateries in the public shopping area, you’ll find Starbucks, Délifrance, Burger King, Café Rembrandt, Grand Café Plaza, Pronto IJssalon and La Place Expresse. But many popular fashion retailers also have a branch at Schiphol Plaza, such as: America-Today, H&M, Mexx, Nike and SuitSupply. Looking to pick up that last item for your flight? You’ll find the biggest international newspapers and latest bestsellers at AKO, great Amsterdam souvenirs at Expo and your favourite last-minute food items at AH To Go. And don’t forget, once past passport control, passengers can take advantage of duty free shopping; your boarding pass gives you access to tax free shopping at all See Buy Fly shops located on Schiphol World Avenue. Or why not take the time to relax? Unwind in the Massage-O-Matic: an ultra-luxurious massage chair. Or pamper yourself with a massage at ‘Back to Life’ Massage Centre. Transfer passengers can enjoy the special shower facilities, and will also find the Mercure and Yotel hotels located here.
Visitors looking to try their luck can take their chances at Holland Casino. Take in a game of Roulette or Black Jack, and don’t forget the wide variety of slot machines. Located between Gates E and F, Holland Casino is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Visitors must be at least 18 years of age to enter and show a valid form of identification and a boarding pass.
As of 2010, the entire airport has been equipped with Wi-Fi, something its business travellers really appreciate. Visitors receive one hour of free internet. And – last but not least – there’s even a library located past passport control.
There's always a hustle and bustle here, whether you find yourself in the public areas or the concourse. Just observing people from all corners of the globe is an experience in itself. Those interested in the logistics processes on the aprons can look on from the panoramic terrace.
Schiphol is known for its extensive art collection. In the central hall, you’ll see the red-and-white checked piece entitled ‘meetingpoint´ by artist Dennis Adams. Another striking piece is the Sitting Man by Tom Claassen, showing two giants sitting back to back. What’s even more extraordinary is that you’ll find art dating from the 1970s to the present in a single public space. You’ll also find a real museum located between Gates E and F, where the Rijksmuseum has its own branch. It’s the first museum in the world to have a branch in an airport.The museum offers a regularly rotating exhibition of masterpieces from the museum’s world-famous collection in Amsterdam.
Previously, aerospace museum Aviodrome Museum was located at Schiphol Airport, but was moved to Lelystad Airport in 2002 due to lack of space. Providing a good overview of how aviation has developed over the last hundred years, Aviodrome is a great place to visit.
Once, there was a lake where Schiphol is now located. The site was created between 1848 and 1852, when three pumping stations drained Haarlemmermeer Lake. In 1916, the War Minister at the time approved the construction of a military airport near the site of present-day Schiphol. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, and the first scheduled service between Schiphol and London opened just a year later. Schiphol expanded rapidly after that. On April 1, 1926 the city of Amsterdam purchased Schiphol. The airport was repeatedly bombed during the Second World War and almost entirely destroyed. But the war had hardly been declared over, and Schiphol was already backing in business. It grew rapidly during the 50s and 60s. If the airport served around 350,000 passengers in 1950, that figure had risen to 5 million by 1970. Today, Schiphol serves around 50 million passengers a year. In addition, it’s an important freight transport hub, making it one of Europe's largest airports. It has its own train station (opened in 1978), an indoor shopping centre, several hotels and many other facilities for the millions of travellers who annually choose Schiphol as their port of call.
Although it's not generally something you think of when you're walking through the airport, Schiphol plays an important economic role in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Amsterdam has Schiphol partly to thank for its excellent reputation as an international business centre. Amsterdam's Zuidas business area has especially benefited from being easily accessible from the airport. In just a short time, it’s become home to large accounting firms and international banks as well as legal consultancy and law firms. Big draws in this area also include the World Trade Centre and RAI
International Conference Centre. Schiphol is easily accessible from Amsterdam's Zuidas business area via the A4 and A10 motorways. But because the airport has its own train station, the Zuidas area is also accessible within 10 minutes by train. This rail connection makes air travel an attractive option for visitors. Trains heading for Amsterdam Central Station and The Hague - Rotterdam depart from Schiphol every 15 minutes. And international train connections Thalys and Fyra also stop at the airport.
You'll find a Holland Tourist Information Office (VVV) located across from Arrivals Hall 2. The office provides visitors with information, as well as allowing them to purchase gift items, the 'I amsterdam City Card', or make last minute hotel reservations.
Public Information: tel. (020) 201 8800 and www.iamsterdam.com/metropolitanarea
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