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We have an 8h layover in Amsterdam starting at about 1am this Monday (Sunday night). We want to explore, but we're not sure if anything will be open, or if we'll just end up wandering the streets with a bunch of drunks. From a small amount of research, it looks like most coffee shops close around 1am.

I'd also take any advice on traveling from the airport to the city. I heard there is a train that runs from the city to the airport. Is that the best bet?

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    I don't think you'll even find drunk people at that time on a Sunday night. Maybe a private bordello or an all-night bistro? – Gayot Fow Oct 31 '15 at 17:05
  • Thanks for the info Gayot. I take it you don't have any recommendations off the top of your head? – Rip Leeb Oct 31 '15 at 18:00
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The buildings will be as beautiful in the night as during the day, maybe even better if still having the lights on them, and you can find some activity still in the red light district, but it will be the last little bit and depending on the weather it might have stopped before you make it to the city.

I would not bother getting into Amsterdam city, so little is open and what is open is likely not going to be geared to tourists around for a few hours only.

The one exception is that there might be clubs open, allowing you to dance (and modestly drink if you have a flight at the end of those hours) and get the athmosphere of the city: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/whats-on/clubbing-nightlife-amsterdam or http://amsterdam.info/entertainment/ for places that might suit you and might be open. There will not be many on a Monday night.

About transportation, that time of night the train is down to one per hour, (1:14, 2:00, 3:00 and so on,) and if you have just missed it you will lose about all the time you have to visit the city. So check the time and whether you can just catch a train, if not, taxi might be the best option. Shared taxi or prebooked ride will be cheaper but might not quick enough in the short time you have. Most prebooked rides will combine different people to fill taxis or 9 people vans. There might be a night bus, which is likely to run at different times to the train. The route planner OV9292 will help you find the best times for you.

  • It takes 15 minutes to go from Schipol to Amsterdam Centraal (according to the railway time table). So even if they miss a train, they can still make it back well in time since its an 8 hour stop over. – Burhan Khalid Nov 1 '15 at 11:28
  • @BurhanKhalid You need to wait (most of) an hour, have time to see something in Amsterdam and the later you arrive the less there will be open, and you need to start the return to the airport before the day schedule of the trains starts, which may mean up to an hour wait as well. For most flights there is a recomended two hours for security and passport control. That means that waiting an hour for a next train takes a lot of the left over time. During the day it would not matter, early in the night it does. – Willeke Nov 1 '15 at 18:21

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