I had 3 hours and 6 hours layover from and to KUL respectively. That left me ample times to discover some of the facilities that I make use and came across at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
Before exploring further, I went to get Internet connection at KPN Internet Centre & Zones. There are signs everywhere and I could locate the centre easily. The KPN Internet Zones are located at Departure Lounge 1, Pier C (near C10), Departure Lounge 3 (Pier G), Pier D and Departure Lounge 4 (Pier M). Schiphol, in collaboration with KPN, offers wireless Internet throughout the airport. I could even access the Internet right up to the gates. Options available:
15 minutes – Euro 3
30 minutes – Euro 6
90 minutes – Euro 12
24 hours – Euro 16
I chose to pay Euro 16 and after that, I happily posted some photos on my Instagram account. Alternatively, free WiFi is available at Amsterdam Schiphol airport for one hour. Connect to the “KPN Network” for a maximum two sessions at 30 minutes each.
Internet pay machine. We can use cash or credit card to buy.
I had great experience passing through both securities; one to get to E Pier where gate 20 for KUL flight were located and another one to get to the arrival hall. The latter security officer even spoke to me in Malay. I asked him how did he learned the language and he told me that he picked it up from tourists. I, however, had to apologise to him because I do not know a single Dutch word; only some Deutsch words. He laughed, stamped my passport and let me through while saying ‘Selamat Jalan’!
Shops before the passport control area.
Food / Dining
While there are many food and drink options at Schiphol airport, I will just have to name the ones that I passed by. I did not have anything because I was still full from breakfast at Guegliemo Airport in Bologna and snack during the flight which covered my lunch. Here are some of the food outlets/cafes that I saw: Mc Donald’s, Food Village, Segafredo, Cupcakechic, GrabandFly, JuicyDetails, Starbucks and many more. You just got to be there to see all the food outlets the airport has; abundance!
The Airport Library is the first library in the world to be located at an airport. Inside, it features the first iPads in the Netherlands, creating a spectacular space with a wealth of digital stations where passengers can read books, listen to music and get acquainted with Dutch culture and literature. Entry is free of charge. I picked up The Virtuoso and got to read many pages. Very interesting read Will buy the book at local bookstore. I also got the chance to charge my mobile phone and update about the book that I read.
One can find many interesting books to read here. There’s also Ipad at the desk to learn more about Amsterdam. Power port can be found on the desk as well.
The Rijksmuseum houses a permanent exhibition of ten works by Dutch masters of the Golden Age from the Rijksmuseum’s collection showcasing typical Dutch scenes: the Dutch countryside, Dutch waters, Dutch towns, Dutch royalty, Dutch people and their families painted by famous old masters. My most favourite painting is Het stadhuis op de Dam te Amsterdam by Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde, 1693. You can google the title and name if you want to see the painting.
The exhibition here changes a number of times a year. It is located on Holland Boulevard, in the area behind the passport control between the E and F Pier. The museum is open every day from 7:00 until 20:00 and admission is free.
This museum also consists of a shop that offers souvenirs specially crafted for the museum. I bought some Van Gogh’s postcards for myself as I am a big fan of his.
From gifts to souveniers to clothings; so many things can be found here. There’s H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Ako, Aviflora, Fleurtiek, World of Delights, Crocs and Body Shop, to name a few.
Luggage Storage / Lockers
I saw some luggage storage/lockers located at most of the lounges. Bags can be stored up to 7 days and the rates depend on the size of the locker – from EUR 5.00 per 24 hours to EUR 10.00 per 24 hours.
Children’s Play Areas
Kids Forest is a forest-like play area where your kids can run around and burn off some steam before getting on the flight. Hours: Holland Boulevard.
Currency exchange booths can be found at various spots throughout the airport (before and after passport control).
There is a Meditation Centre is that is open to all religions located at the airside area (that’s before passport control if you are on a layover). The facility includes a library with text books of various religions in different languages.
Smoking is not permitted inside the terminal except in designated smoking rooms near the food concessions.
I actually took a train to Amsterdam Centraal. Train service within the Netherlands and abroad are available from the airport’s train station. Schiphol train station is located directly below the airport. I bought my ticket at the big yellow machines for 4 Euro per one way. The travel time to Amsterdam is 15 minutes.
I did get to Amsterdam Centraal for few hours. Will blog about it in another blog post.
Last but not least, my overlay transit was smooth. I went back in through the passport control by showing my passport and boarding pass. With the sign posted everywhere, I got to E Pier then to gate 20 without any problem. Like any other security check at the custom area, I just had to take out electronic gadgets from my bag, coins from my pockets and take out my jacket and belt. This is normal procedure and I know that security is very important. I still see people mumbling about the bottled drinks that they had to leave behind but I think maybe that was their first time flying. I just smile and put on my jacket and belt at the end of the custom check while walking to the waiting area to board the plane.
KLM flies from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to destinations worldwide. The airport has one terminal. The ground floor houses four arrival halls, the NS (Dutch Railways) train station and Schiphol Plaza. The first floor houses three departure halls, check-in desks, passport control, departure lounges 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the See Buy Fly shops.