If you have ever traveled with children, you know that the time in the airport can actually be the hardest part of the journey. Even on trans-Atlantic flights with my kids, I dread not the hours on-end in the plane, but all of the time spent in the airports going through security and customs, waiting on transfers, etc. However, our last trip was an absolute inspiration because we traveled through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. This is hands-down the best airport for families that I have ever been in.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have had to change diapers on the floor or on counters by the sink because there were no facilities for babies. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport completely reverses this trend. There are as many baby rooms as there are public restrooms. These small facilities are tucked into convenient spots around the airport, and are easy to find thanks to their signs and easy to navigate layout.
It gets far better than that for babies though. They have an absolutely incredible baby lounge. This area is quiet and has dimmed lighting. When you walk into the specific baby lounge, it’s almost like being surrounded by a small and very tranquil village. There are little circle areas that are curtained off. Each area has a comfortable circular sofa with a built in crib. There are also blankets and pillows available for you to use. This is a great quiet, calm, and private area that is perfect for feeding or calming little travelers, or letting them have a nap during layovers or delays. To the side there is also a really good changing area. I could not plan a better airport baby lounge.
While my youngest was happily having her diaper changed in the baby lounge, my older daughter was having a great time in the children’s play forest. That’s right, they have an indoor playground designed to look like a forest (complete with treehouses!). Kids were having a great time playing on this playground, and it is a perfect way to let them run around before being cooped up in a plane. As a parent, I really liked that there is only one entrance to the playground so that it’s easy to keep track of your kids. There are also comfortable chairs near the entrance to the playground so that the parents can sit down if they want to.
Even if you don’t have young children, Schiphol accommodates your needs. Teens will love the comfortable lounges where there are chairs with headrests with built-in speakers (they have a large library of music you can choose from). Amsterdam also has an airport library so that can pick out reading material (they have plenty of choices in languages other than Dutch if you’re just traveling through). There’s also a wide variety of shopping choices.
As a whole family, you can enjoy Amsterdam’s airport. There are plenty of side areas with comfortable lounge areas (including some with beds!), a variety of restaurants and shopping and other activities. The Rijksmuseum also has a branch in the airport so that (for free) you can view original works by Dutch masters.