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Amsterdam: A gateway to Europe, Middle East and Africa

The iconic destination is ready to welcome visitors this summer, and there’s so much more to Amsterdam than clogs and canals.

From its roots as a small fishing village to becoming a major port in the Golden Age, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most vibrant capital cities. With its intricate network of canals, the city has become a model for modern urban living with its extensive bike paths, vibrant café culture, city parks and relaxed, open society. It’s a popular destination for travelers, and its well-connected airport at Schiphol serves as an excellent gateway to the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Brenda Nugent, a native of Dublin, is Delta’s station manager at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, has been living in Amsterdam for the last 28 years. “I love spending time in such an authentic city. Amsterdam is a very welcoming and cosmopolitan place with English spoken by pretty much everyone. It's a beautiful place with winding narrow passageways, cobblestone streets and 17th century homes spread along its canals. It comprises 90 islands joined by 1,200 bridges, making it a great place to explore by foot, bike, tram or boat. Even so, the city center is small and very manageable by foot.”

Step back in time - old Amsterdam with cobbled streets and plentiful art galleries 

One of the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods is the De Jordaan. Once a working-class area, these days the cobbled streets and traditional houses make it among the most desirable places to live. It boasts galleries, antique shops, cafes and restaurants, and it is worth getting lost in for a couple of hours to explore the maze of narrow lanes offering a rewarding shopping experience.

“Westergas is the city’s former gasworks, and while it might not sound too promising, the site is home to a bustling array of exciting bars, restaurants and breweries, Nugent said. "As well as providing a home for a bunch of creative industries, it’s a must-visit for coffee-lovers too with a number of cafes roasting their own special blends."

“Another particular favorite place to visit is one of the many of the independent craft breweries," Nugent added. "Among the most intriguing is the Brouwerij ’t IJ – an award-winning hop-house sited under the picture-postcard De Gooyer windmill. It has a large outdoor terrace and a 30-minute guided tour which gives visitors a chance to sample the goods. It has a great vibe on a sunny day.”

Wind down on the Canals and pedal along on a bike

A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a tour of the city’s canals. Originally dug in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay, the watery thoroughfares now have UNESCO protected status, and it’s easy to see why. One of the best times to visit is after sunset, when the bridges are lit up with fairy lights, giving the canal belt a magical feel. There are many different ways to sail the canals, from daytime hop on, hop off circuits to nighttime candle-lit cruises.

Boats and houses line one of Amsterdam's many canals.

The city is also famous for its bicycling culture, and it sometimes feels there are more bikes than people. It’s a way of life, and the relatively flat geography makes it easy to root out some hidden gems further away from the center, such as Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a 12th century village crammed full of history.

Amsterdam Schiphol – Taking you on to see Europe and beyond

Amsterdam is also a great starting point to explore the rest of Europe and beyond. Delta operates some 19 daily flights and partner KLM offers an extensive network from Schiphol Airport. It provides convenient connections to numerous destinations throughout Europe and beyond. The joint venture between Delta and KLM offers seamless travel and SkyMiles members earn and use miles when flying with KLM, and Delta Medallion Members enjoy benefits like priority services, lounge access and more.

The airport itself is a single terminal building which means it is easy for customers to transfer between flights.

The airport has recruited more than 850 new security officers and has invested in additional measures to support smooth customer transit. It is now handling customers at the same rate it was before the pandemic, with security wait times generally under 10 minutes. Delta and KLM have been working with Schiphol to further improve the customer experience ready for the summer.  

Customers at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam with Delta and KLM aircraft in the background.

Passengers on flights from Amsterdam to other international destinations in the Schengen area can now cut the time it takes to clear security by booking their time slot in advance, helping them get to their gate in plenty of time.

In co-operation with our partners Air France and KLM we offer more than 250 daily departures to over 100 cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India including popular destinations such as Prague, Rome, Barcelona and Dubrovnik, or Casablanca, Durban and Nairobi in Africa. 

It's easy to see why Amsterdam, a great destination in its own right, can rightly be labelled The Gateway to Europe and beyond.

Delta flies to the Dutch city from several U.S. locations including Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Detroit (DTW), Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO), Portland (PDX), Salt Lake City (SLC) and Seattle/Tacoma (SEA). Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) is a significant international hub and Delta’s most-served airport in Europe.

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