I am going to Amsterdam on Vueling. On the boarding pass it is written AMS as destination, but I don't know which airport that is. I was planning some trips using http://www.ns.nl/en and that website is giving me two options when writing airport

enter image description here

I thought that Schiphol is the only airport in Amsterdam.

2 Answers 2


AMS is Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. It's called Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Search engines usually let you search either by the airport name directly, or by the city.
The airport name is sometimes given as one, sometimes as the other, most of the time as a combination.
Rail planners make this a mess more often than air search sites, as those mostly give the three letters AMS, with the name.

This is to make things easier for people when searching, since some airport names are quite complicated, for example "Bandaranaike International Airport" in Colombo, Sri Lanka. People can search by that, or by "Colombo". Note, when searching by the city name, and if the city has more than one airport, the search engine will list all flights available for any of the airports in that city.

  • 1
    thanks, please do you know how to pronounce Schiphol? (is it shifoul) ? Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 16:20
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    @user2059935 Skipol, check this to listen to the pronunciation. Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 16:21
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    For those who do not like to follow links, if you pronounce it as the English words Ship Hole you come near enough that all Dutch will not mind and you get close to the most used English pronounciation, And you also get very close to the meaning of the word(s) making up the name of the airport.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 16:57
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    @Willeke in my opinion "skip hole" is better than "ship hole" (think school).
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 17:04
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    @Willeke but I doubt that "ski pole" means something in Swedish as it does in English. I really thought they were talking about a place named after ski poles. As to whether "ship" or "skip" is closer to "schip," I suppose it depends on where the Dutch speaker is from. Largely my preference for "skip" may be related to my allergy to British sportscasters pronouncing Dutch or Flemish names as if they were German (recently, De Bruyne -> De Bräune). But it's also easier to teach people how to pronounce "schip" correctly if you start from "skip" and then change the k into a fricative.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 18:43

The two items you see in the selection list are alternate names for the same station. Try asking for the schedule for trips from Amsterdam Airport to Schiphol Airport and you'll see what I mean. The site is unable to provide them.

Alternately, compare the schedules for trips between one airport and another station to those for trips between the other airport and the same station. You will see that they are identical.

The airport is listed twice so people who don't know the name "Schiphol" will also be able to find it.

  • I recognise NS website colours and I wonder, why they didn't combine them. Probably because space is limited and that would a too long name "Amsterdam airport Schiphol" Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 5:08
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    @EugenMartynov I rather suspect that they did it so the hordes of clueless tourists who don't know that the airport's name is Schiphol can nonetheless find their train schedules when they search for Amsterdam airport. The image shows a list that is more than twice as wide as it needs to be to fit the longer of the two names.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 8:57

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