When I travelled to Amsterdam for my birthday last year, I remember looking up any information I could online about how to get to Centraal Station. Looking back, I did not need to do this as both buying tickets and finding the correct train really was so simple and straightforward.
If you do not believe me when I say how easy it was, then here are the photos I took to show you…
After arriving at Schiphol Airport and leaving baggage reclaim and customs, simply follow the signs for “Trains” which will lead you through to Schiphol Plaza which is located above the railway station. Here is where you will find the yellow machines to buy train tickets as well as a ticket desk.
You can use the ticket machines in both Dutch and English and remember when I said that it could not be any easier to buy tickets? All you need to do to select the option on the screen that says “I want to go to Amsterdam”.
You then need to select 1st or 2nd Class
Then select “Valid today”
Then select how many tickets you would like to purchase
The total to pay is then displayed on the right hand side of the screen. There is a €0.50 surcharge to pay by credit card and there is also a €1 charge for each paper ticket issued if you do not have an OV-chipkaart public transportation card.
As of March 2018, the 2nd class fare from Amsterdam Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal is €5.30 including the €1 surcharge for a paper ticket. The machines accept coins, Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and V Pay. If you only have Euro notes, you will need to buy your tickets at the desk.
Once you have your tickets, simply check the information screens as they list all the next trains departing to Amsterdam Centraal / Amsterdam CS – you will see both names displayed. During the day, there are up to nine trains an hour and during the night (from 1:00am to 6:00am) there is usually only one train an hour. You can check train timetables online in advance here. Most trains to Amsterdam Centraal depart from platforms 1 and 2.
Before making your way down to the platform, you will need to activate your ticket by tapping it against one of the card readers at the top of the escalator. The screen above the platform will display the information about the next train – again just make it sure it says Amsterdam Centraal or Amsterdam CS.
The journey time from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station takes between fifteen and twenty minutes. Make sure to keep your ticket handy as you will need to tap it again at the ticket barriers when leaving Centraal Station.
When leaving Centraal Station to go back to Schiphol Airport, the process to buy tickets is just as simple as there is an option on the screen that says “I want to go to Schiphol Airport”.
There are also information signs to show which platforms each of the trains to Schiphol depart from. The screens above the platforms will also display Schiphol Airport.
So as you can see, it really is that simple – there really is nothing to worry or even think about. Enjoy yourselves and have a great time in Amsterdam!
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