Did you know that when you arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, you are 4.5 meters (almost 15 feet) below sea level? Finding yourself ‘in the sea’ upon arrival isn't the only unique experience awaiting you at Schiphol.

Amsterdam Airport: an introduction

The Netherlands is an easy place to reach, considering the wide range of flights that arrive and depart from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (a.k.a. AMS Airport).

Located 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) outside Amsterdam, Schiphol opened in 1916 as a military base. By 1940, it had four asphalt runways, and in 1949 became the primary airport of the Netherlands. That makes it the oldest international airport in the world that is still located where its first aircraft landed.

AMS airport serves well over 50 million passengers a year. They are on their way to 322 direct worldwide destinations (amongst more local trips) via 108 different airlines. With so many passengers, six runways and 90 gates, Amsterdam Airport is one of the biggest airports in Europe.

Plenty to do at AMS Airport

Normally, waiting for a flight isn’t the most exciting activity. But if you do so at Schiphol, you’re in for a treat.

Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Partake in a relaxing massage. Freshen up with a shower or visit the Meditation Center. And if you really can't keep your eyes open, grab a nap at one of the hotels located behind the passport control.

The first airport library in the world opened at Schiphol in 2010, so feel free to borrow a book. Or if you’re into art, you could admire one of the Old Dutch Masters' paintings, which have been on display at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol since 2002.

And, of course, there are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. You could visit Grand Café Het Paleis, for instance. 

Continuing your Journey from Amsterdam Airport

Are you one of the lucky ones who are arriving at Schiphol instead of departing? Then, continuing your journey is also easy. The Schiphol Airport train station is located directly below the airport, taking you to Amsterdam Central Station in less than 20 minutes.