Touring - Schiphol airport, Netherlands and Belgium ?s
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07-30-09, 10:02 AM
I'm leaving in about a month to do some touring in The Netherlands and Belgium. I'd like to assemble my bike at the airport instead of manhandling it around in its disposable box.
Can anyone offer hints to a good place around Schiphol airport to do this? I'd hate to have the bike half assembled and suddenly have a machine gun toting airport security guard run me from the premises.
I'm planning to take a train to Amsterdam from the airport. What is the correct procedure for taking the bike? Is it supposed to go in a baggage car, or can I take it into the baggage area of the passenger car? Is there an additional fee for the bike, or is it considered personal luggage?
Lastly, I am going to be touring through Suid Holland and Zeeland in The Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium. If anyone is in that area and would like to have a chat over a beer or something, let me know by private message and we'll try to work out the details. (I've pretty much made all of my arrangements, so that's not a subtle attempt to get a free place to stay.)
I've done this twice. Once I assembled the bike once I got past customs, put the panniers in place and cycled off. The second time, I was met by the partner I cycled across Russia with and we took bike in box and all on the local train. Lugging the box was a bit of a pain, so ended up assembling things on the street on way to her place.
1. where do you want to put the bike back together, at the luggage pick up, or past customs? if it's the former, then you won't have a problem, and it'll be easy enough to find a place to do it.
2. technically you have to get a ticket for the bike. half the time they don't even check to see if you have a ticket for the train, so you could risk it (the bike ticket is a flat fare of €6, and a one way ticket from schiphol to amsterdam centraal is €3.80).
there are no baggage cars on the NS, but there are a few cars on the train where there's a larger entrance area for bikes.
here'sa link to the english language site for the NS (http://ns.nl/cs/Satellite/travellers).
07-31-09, 08:31 AM
Depending on what time of day you arrive, you could unpack the bikes and ride right from the airport (http://www.schiphol.nl/Transport/AccessibilityTransport/SchipholAirportByBike.htm). Schiphol is the first airport I've seen where I'd recommended this.
Otherwise I'd leave them in the box for the rail trip and find a quiet end of a platform at Amsterdam Centraal to unpack. I'm fairly sure you don't need to pay the €6/bike if the bike is diassambled, in a bag, folded, or packed up. There's an NS Rail Info booth and a ticket office on the arrivals level to ask about this. But still bring them onto the train through the doors with the bike symbol over them.
08-02-09, 08:46 AM
No problem to assemble your bike at Schiphol. As soon as you collect your bike off the oversized luggage belt, find a spot on the side of the hall to fix your bike. No guns, this is HOLLAND!!!!! Then continue through customs and you end up in the arrival hall. Wheel your bike through the "plaza" folowing signs to the trains. Just a 2 minute walk. The train station is downstairs. A ticket for the train is €6 euro for a whole day!!! Don't forget to buy a ticket for yourself. Tickets on the train have a €35 fine!!! Look for the bike stickers next to the doors of the train. This is the place to park your bike. As long as you don't block any exits you'll be fine.
You can buy your train tickets from the NS Machine/ATM in the luggage arrivel hall, next to the exit to custums/exit. So you don't have to do this in the plaza.
08-02-09, 08:58 PM
Great info, everyone. I truly appreciate your responses.
in big airports I assemble my bike near the bulky baggage belt and roll it fully loaded through the customs. Never ever had problems. It's even more quiet than in the arrival hall.
05-28-13, 05:40 PM
Hi, just found the forum with your question from a few years ago. I'll be arriving in September and would love to benefit from your experience!
Can you tell me how you got on on arrival and where you put your bike together? Also did you cycle away or catch a train??
Hope to hear from you
05-28-13, 10:03 PM
SFO,or Seatac -> AMS gets me there in the afternoon , I ride to Zandvoort on the coast, put my tent up
and next morning , go from there..
there is nice path right along the Coast to Rotterdam, then the Delta works , and a Ferry crossing
from Vlissingen, across the mouth of the Schelde, [sea access for Antwerp]. then to Brugges.
Hostel in Kortrijk has a nice Pub In it.
A Veteran, I spend a Day in the WW1 War Graves @ Tyne Cot. Passendaele,
town of Ypres .
Made friend there , He was on the crew that kept up the square miles of graveyards, groundskeeper...
There is an area in the basement of Schiphol Airport where the bike boxes are sold. There is plenty of room there to assemble your bike. There are two relatively inexpensive hotels (Ibis) about 3 km from the airport right on a bike path.
We found it easier and safer for the bikes to stay at the hotel and catch the hotel shuttle back to the airport (train station is just below airport), Then we took the train into Amsterdaam, and didn't have to worry obout the bikes or gear. Amsterdam has a bad reputaion for bike theft. The hotel shuttle will pick you up at the airport on return. It is a good place to start or end your trip. We ended our tour at Schiphol, but every thing would work just as well to start it there. We stayed there for 3 days and used the train daily to go into Amsterdam.
Don't forget your rain gear:)
There is a bike path right up to the front door of the terminal. A short ride, but a 33 km/hr headwind.
Wheel the bike to the elevator and go down to the basement. Just ask the folks at the Information booth where the bike boxes are sold. There are a couple of information booths in the main terminal.
Downstairs, where the bike boxes are sold, has space to assemble or pack your bike.
Change into or out of bike clothes in the restroom, and grab a handy cart for you bike and gear. Just reverse the order for starting a tour here.
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