Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – Virtual Tour and Review

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Unfortunately, my status as an in-transit passenger has left one attraction partially out of reach: the Panoramaterras, a rooftop viewing area, is perfect for aviation enthusiasts, but one has to exit the airport to access it.

The airport itself offers amenities that rival those of a small town and these are particularly evident on the Boulevard.  In creating the boulevard, Schiphol Group, the airport’s owner, said it planned to devote 10% of space at the airport to non-revenue generating activities that entertain passengers.

An annex of the Rijksmuseum may very well be unique in world airports.  The mini Rijksmuseum, which opened in 2002, was the world’s first airport museum, according to Schiphol Group.  It offers two exhibits, one permanent and one rotating.  Nine floral paintings from the Netherlands’ Golden Age of painting in the 17th century display still lifes that Dutch burghers commissioned at a time when actual flower bulbs were more expensive than the paintings.  Admission is free.

A model of the Rijksmuseum is on display in the airport's Rijksmuseum

A model of the Rijksmuseum is on display in the airport’s Rijksmuseum

Listen to music or read a book in the Schiphol Airport Library, the world’s first ever airport library. It’s next to the museum and gives passengers access to roughly 1,200 books in 29 languages. It is supported by the country’s public libraries. The collection contains a variety of works by Dutch authors and others covering the country’s history and culture.  Visitors are provided with a large table equipped with iPads, and comfortable chairs as well as seats with integrated listening devices.  It offers Dutch eBooks and music for download, also at no charge.  It also has a sleeping area on its upper level.

Other features along the boulevard include a grand piano for anyone to play (and of course, I played it), a yodel hotel, numerous establishments to enjoy drinks at (including Café Chocolat and the Bubbles wine bar), an indoor park with an adjoining terrace, and giant tulips.  The Rijksmuseum has a store, there’s a Kids’ Forest play area, a Baby Care Lounge, and a shop offering chocolates and flowers including wooden tulips (one of my favorite gifts to bring home, since they never need water).  A manned kiosk offers passengers, whose layovers are on the long side, tours of Amsterdam.

When it comes to dining, avoid the mistake I’ve made in the past of just having a snack or breakfast in the Crown Lounge and go to the Dutch Bar & Dutch Kitchen, where a variety of Dutch delicacies including stroopwafel (very flat thin waffles), and poffertjes (small puffy pancakes), await.

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