Trains run 24 hours a day between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central Station. Get a ticket at one of the yellow machines. €4,20 one way. The train ride takes about 15 minutes. If you want to travel on the cheap, taking the train is the way to go.
Obviously, it really sucks to arrive in a city in the middle of the night. It means you have to skip a night’s sleep. Probably have to wait until je can check in at your accommodation. And, sometimes pay for a taxi from the airport, simply because there are no other options.
Transportation wise, getting to and from Schiphol Airport isn’t a problem at all. Up until 12.44 am, trains run at least every 15 minutes from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal. Then between 2 and 5 am on the our, every hour. And from 5.44 am every 15 minutes again. Not bad at all when arriving in Amsterdam in the middle of the night.
Amsterdam Central Station
Getting to Amsterdam Central Station, check. Be that as it may, Amsterdam likes to sleep in. Trams and metros take you anywhere you want to go – from around 6 am on weekdays, 7 am on weekends. Breakfast places mostly start serving breakfast from 8 am.
But, don’t worry, Starbucks at central station opens at 5 am. Kill a couple of hours – drink coffee and write emails about how awesome Amsterdam is at 5.30 am. Then, go for brekkie somewhere near central station. Check out Latei on Zeedijk or Vinnies on Nieuwezijds Kolk, they start cooking at 8 am. Hang out here for a little while before heading to your lodging for the weekend.
What You Should Do
You know, sometimes deals on flights are just so amazing that you will have to put up with the ungodly arrival times. Though, I’d like to pay a little more just to make sure I arrive at a decent hour. I particularly like it when I arrive at a destination a couple of hours before lunch time. That way, you can make your way to your accommodation by normal public transport. If you cannot check in yet, you can usually drop your bags. Grab some lunch somewhere and then get settled in.
Another option that worked for me in the past: personally contact the place you’re staying. You’ll be surprised at how flexibel most of them are. Sometimes they even pick you up from the airport or railway station. If you never ask, you’ll never know!