Amsterdam Warnings Or Dangers Tips by leics
Amsterdam Warnings and Dangers: 495 reviews and 311 photos
2pm late March 2015
You may have heard that queues can be very long indeed.
It is absolutely true. This is a very major 'attraction' indeed, a must-see for most people who visit Amsterdam and an absolute certainty for the many tour groups and school groups.
I've been to Amsterdam 3 times over the past few years. On my first visit, in mid-February, I was in the queue by 8:40, in temperatures well below freezing (about -6). I was about tenth and there was also a tour group of 20+ people in front of me.
By midday...still well below freezing....the queue stretched a long way (see photo).
Don't think that visiting later in the day will mean a shorter queue. On my 2013, early April visit, passing by at 7pm (the house closes at 9 or 10pm) the queue was just as long as in the photo above. I saw exactly the same thing this time round, in late March 2015: long queues every time I walked past and still a hugely long queue at 7pm in the evening.
The best option by far is to book your tickets in advance online, using the official website below. Otherwise, I suggest you make a very early start indeed and get into the queue long before opening time.
Flying into Schipol
Schipol is a lovely airport, no doubt of that. But it has some oddities of organisation which may well cause you problems.
Gates H are where some budget airlines from the UK arrive and depart. I nearly missed my flight because of the way Schipol organises access to these gates, so beware.
You are told (by the screens) to wait in departure lounge 3 until your gate is posted (around 40 minutes before departure). Fair enough.
But when the gate is posted, you then have to pass through security.....and there were long queues, because several flights were departing H gates at much the same time. And then the furthest gate is another 5-10 minutes away.
By the time I got through security my flight was closing. I had to run (and the people who were behind me in the security queue had to run even faster). I did not like that at all. The businessman I sat next to on the plane had learned his lesson previously, when he had actually missed his flight simply because of the security queues.
So this is my tip: either go to the small cafe area right next to security and get smartly into the queue when the gate is announced or go through security and hover around the other side (no facilities).
Whatever you do, do not do as you are told! Do *not* wait in departure lounge 3 (unless you actually want to a) panic and b) have to run.
And, from my most recent visit to Schiphol:
If you are changing planes (even with the same airline) allow plenty of time to do so. The changeover time for my flights was 40 minutes but, as I am not a citizen of a Schengen country, I suspected that would be much too tight. I chose a longer layover and I was right to do so: in order to make my second flight within 40 minutes I'd have had to run fast, not least because the security access to the second gate had pretty long queues.
On my return, security processing was at the gate itself. That took a good chunk of time as well, though at least the airline staff *know* you are on time for your flight if you are in a queue at their gate!
Schiphol is a lovely airport with lots to see and do on a layover. But the way it organises its security processing is not, imo, the best way.
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