You most likely travel to, via, or from Holland via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. It's the main airport in the country. It serves many destinations around the world. People tend to think it's the only airport in Holland, but that's not true.
Did you know there are four alternative airports in Holland other than Amsterdam Airport? All four, and especially Rotterdam and Eindhoven, can be convenient for travel within Europe.
Just knowing about these four alternative airports to use in Holland will open up many more possibilities for you.
Below are quick links to each airport, transportation options, and hotels (in order of importance):
What you'll learn in this post:
- What other airports in Holland are useful
- Where these airports are
- Which airlines use them
- What destinations they serve
- Transportation options from each airport
- Airport hotels near the airports
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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Schiphol is the main airport in this country. You'll be using this airport for sure if you come in from outside of Europe. Even within Europe, most flights arrive in and depart from Schiphol.
This airport has major benefits, and some drawbacks:
How to get to the airport?
As you expect from a major airport, there are many ground transportation options available to get to or from the airport. We have written a post, especially around that topic: How to get from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Amsterdam.
Major airlines from Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is home to KLM/Delta who has its hub in Amsterdam. However, also most other major carriers from around the world have services to Amsterdam.
The three largest carriers at Schiphol are KLM (the national airline), easyJet, and Transavia.
As the home carrier, there are significant benefits for flying KLM or Delta:
- Most flights out of Amsterdam are with KLM or Delta
- They offer the most non-stop destinations
- You can offset your CO2 emissions if you book directly on the KLM website
- If you have lounge access, the KLM crown lounge is terrific and just renovated
Visit KLM here for flight options and prices.
easyJet is the 2nd largest operator out of Schiphol. All flights depart from the low-cost H gates, which have barely any facilities. It's well worth to pay extra for Speedy Boarding when you book your ticket. You'll be on board first (avoiding a lengthy time standing, waiting to board your flight), and you won't have any issues with overhead luggage bin space.
Cabin Crew is very professional. We always enjoy flying easyJet, and they fly to three London airports that are not served by KLM. Personally we love flying in and out of Gatwick for London because it's so easy to get to the city from there.
easyJet is considered a low budget airline (but one of the nicer ones). Still you'll have to pay for extra's including food and beverages. Compared to other low cost carriers personally we think their prices are quite reasonable.
Transavia offers many "low-cost" flights out of Amsterdam to destinations all around Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
They're not always that cheap but can be an excellent choice due to the number of destinations they serve that most other airlines do not out of Amsterdam. Or because of their more convenient departure times.
For example the departure and arrival times to Tel Aviv from Amsterdam are much better on Transavia and easyJet than those of the main carriers KLM and ElAl. Learn more about Transavia in the Eindhoven Airport section below.
Spend the night at a Airport hotel?
Sometimes when you fly late, early or you have a long layover, you just want to spend the night at the airport. Read our separate post: "Spend the night at a Schiphol transit hotel" to learn more about the different hotel options available to you at Schiphol. From transit hotels in the terminal building to surrounding airport hotels in the area with a shuttle.
TIP: If you have a flight departing from Schiphol or you transfer at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol than make sure to download this €5 off coupon from the Tax-Free shops. When you spend € 25 or more on perfumes, cosmetics, sunglasses, liquor or chocolate (after security) you get €5 off your purchase.
Eindhoven Airport (North-Brabant province)
The IATA code for Eindhoven Airport is: EIN
Airport website: https://www.eindhovenairport.nl/
Distance from airport to city center: 5 miles / 7 kilometers
Distance from airport to Amsterdam: 80 miles / 130 kilometers
Eindhoven Airport grew from a small regional and military airport to the most significant low-cost hub in Holland. It's now the second airport in the Netherlands in terms of passenger numbers.
Eindhoven Airport is ideally situated to visit cities like Den Bosch, Eindhoven itself, and Maastricht. Or the beloved Efteling Theme Park Resort or the Designers Outlets in Roermond. Amsterdam is about 90 minutes away.
How to get to the airport?
Bus 400 and 401 connect the airport with the city center. These buses have low-entry access and enough space for luggage. From the Eindhoven central train station, you can take a direct train to Amsterdam, which takes 90 minutes.
You can also travel non-stop by coach to Utrecht and Amsterdam with Flixbus or the Air Express Bus. Travel time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Prices for all modes of transport are similar. It's a matter of personal preference which mode of transportation you like best.
Major airlines at Eindhoven airport:
The major airlines at Eindhoven are Transavia, Ryanair, and Wizzair. You can choose to fly to many destinations in Europe and just outside, even as far as Tel Aviv, Israel.
Actually, I (Gerjo) am on a Transavia flight right now from Tel Aviv to Eindhoven writing this post.
Transavia is a great airline to fly. They are a daughter company of KLM, the national carrier of Holland. Since Transavia is considered a low-cost carrier, expect to pay for extra's like your seat reservation, a checked bag, and your food and drinks during the flight.
Transavia flies with modern 737 aircraft in an all-economy configuration. If you want to have more legroom, make sure to book a seat on row one or an emergency exit row.
The cabin crew on Transavia is outstanding. You can tell their training emphasizes on customer service. If you're lucky enough to catch our friend Sylke on your Transavia flight, please say hi to her. She is the friendliest flight attendant we know!
Ryanair also flies an all Boeing 737 fleet with Economy seats only. Seats are infamously tight compared to any other airline. If you're familiar with Spirit Airlines in the US, you know what we're talking about. It's well worth the extra money to spend on seats with extra legroom, like row one and the exit row seats.
Also, check very carefully what airport you're flying into with Ryanair since Ryanair takes city names quite liberal. Sometimes it's the main airport in a city. Still, more often then not, it's an alternative airport, usually hours away from the city you intend to travel to.
Why we normally don't fly Ryanair
Ryanair can offer amazingly low fares. Still, changes are near zero; you'll find Herman or me any time soon flying Ryanair.
Why? These low prices very quickly become not so little when all the extra fees they charge and transportation costs from these "alternate" airports are added to your base fare.
Before you know it, you can fly a major carrier, easyJet or Transavia (both nicer) for almost the same price.
Also, note they have exotic charges for things like the use of the overhead bin luggage space and exorbitant fees to check-in at the airport (make sure to check-in online!). Also their luggage size and weight requirements are much stricter and different than on most other airlines.
They will make you pay if you don't confirm to their rules and limits. Charisma won't get you anywhere with Ryanair. But they'll love your credit card.
If you're from the US: You can compare Ryanair to Spirit Airlines.
Wizz Air is a Hungarian based low-cost airline with a base in Eindhoven. It's an attractive airline because they fly to many destinations in Eastern Europe that not many other airlines fly to. Like North Macedonia, Georgia, the Baltic States. But also to more well-known destinations in Poland, Hungary (like Budapest) and Vienna in Austria.
This is a low-cost carrier, thus be prepared to pay for extras like a seat reservation, luggage, and food and drinks on board.
Hotels Eindhoven Airport:
There are a few hotels near Eindhoven airport, two we can recommend:
Tulip Inn Eindhoven Airport: this hotel is above the terminal building. It's hard to beat its location. The rooms are comfortable and colorful. Click here for more information and to check availability for the Tulip Inn Eindhoven Airport hotel.
Holiday Inn Eindhoven Airport: this is our personal favorite. It's our hotel of choice when we fly out of Eindhoven early or arrive late at night. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the terminal, which is a drawback compared to the Tulip Inn, which is right at the terminal, but the hotel is new and modern. Rooms are just that comfortable; you don't want to leave. Click here for more information and to check availability for the Holiday Inn Eindhoven Airport hotel.
If you don't want to walk you can catch bus 20 or 401, the first stop is Flight Forum right opposite the hotel.
Sometimes the Novotel Eindhoven hotel gets recommended by other websites. We don't recommend this hotel. Yes, it's a comfortable 4-star hotel. But it's much further out from the airport than the Holiday Inn and has no airport shuttle. It will be a 20-25 minute walk from the terminal building.
Rotterdam / The Hague Airport (province of South Holland)
The IATA code for Rotterdam The Hague Airport is: RTM
Airport website: https://www.rotterdamthehagueairport.nl/
Distance from airport to Rotterdam: 4 miles / 6 kilometers
Distance from airport to Delft: 7 miles / 10 kilometers
Distance from airport to The Hague: 12 miles / 18 kilometers
Distance from airport to Amsterdam: 46 miles / 75 kilometers
Rotterdam The Hague Airport is an airport used by many business travelers. With more than 40 destinations, including London City airport and easy access, it's easy to see why business travelers like this airport.
It's also convenient for visitors to Rotterdam, The Hague, or Delft. You're in and out of the terminal and at your final destination within minutes.
We wrote separate posts for things to do in these great cities:
Rotterdam: Things to See in Rotterdam in One Day
Delft: One Day in Delft and Be Enchanted by this Beautiful Small City
How to get to Rotterdam airport:
From Rotterdam Central Station you can travel on bus 22 to the airport. Travel time: 20 minutes.
From The Hague Central Station: Take Metro E towards Slinge and change at Meijersplein / Airport to bus 22 for a quick 2-minute ride to the airport. Total travel time: 40 minutes.
From Delft train station: Take bus 37 to Rotterdam airport. Travel time: 30 minutes.
Airlines at Rotterdam Airport:
The two major airlines are British Airways to London City airport and Transavia, who flies to many European destinations, in particular to sunny destinations in Southern Europe.
Hotels Rotterdam Airport:
Three hotels are located either directly adjusted to the terminal building or within walking distance. We can recommend all three.
The Wings Hotel Rotterdam The Hague airport is literally part of the terminal building. The hotel features modern luxury looking rooms. They get the highest rating on Booking.com of all three airport hotels. Click here for more information and to check availability for the Wings Hotel Rotterdam The Hague airport.
Another good hotel option, more budget, but almost as close to the terminal building is the Ibis budget Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Rooms are small but modern, colorful, clean and more than adequate. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom. Click here for more information and to check availability for the Ibis Budget Rotterdam The Hague Airport hotel.
The Best Western Plus Rotterdam Airport Hotel is located just 700 meters (765 yards) from the terminal building, still within walking distance. And another good choice if you want to stay at the airport. Click here for more information and to check availability for the Best Western Plus Rotterdam Airport hotel.
However, depending on your plans, staying in Delft could just be the better choice for you. This beautiful city is only 7 miles / 10 kilometers from the airport. And it has a direct bus connection.
See our post about "One Day in Delft" for inspiration for things to do in Delft.
PS: Delft is just 10 minutes by train from either Rotterdam or The Hague, another reason to make it your base.
Maastricht Airport (province of Limburg)
The IATA code for Maastricht Airport is: MST
Airport website: https://www.maa.nl/
Distance from airport to Maastricht: 10 miles / 15 kilometers
Distance from airport to Aachen (Germany): 25 miles / 40 kilometers
Distance from airport to Liège (Belgium): 25 miles / 40 kilometers
Distance from airport to Amsterdam: 125 miles / 200 kilometers
Maastricht Aachen airport is a very, very small airport for commercial flights in the South of the Netherlands. It's used mainly for cargo flights due to its location on the border of three countries. It's the 2nd largest airport in Holland for cargo flights. But it also has some commercial flights, mostly operated by Ryanair and Corendon.
This airport is convenient if you want to visit Maastricht in Holland, Aachen in Germany, or Liège in Belgium. The major benefit of this airport is that there is never a line anywhere.
How to get to Maastricht Airport:
From Maastricht station: Take bus 30 to the airport. Travel time 20 minutes.
From Aachen (Germany): Take the train to Meerssen (in the Netherlands), then switch to bus 30 to the airport: Total travel time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From Liège (Belgium): Take the train to Maastricht Station in the Netherlands, then take bus 30 to the airport. Total travel time: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
From Amsterdam: Take the train to Maastricht Station, then take bus 30 to the airport. Total travel time: 3 hours.
Hotels near Maastricht Airport:
Maastricht Airport is that small there aren't any airport hotels near the airport. The best thing to do is look for accommodation at your final destination like Maastricht, Valkenburg, Aachen, or Liège.
Groningen Airport Eelde
The IATA code for Groningen Airport is: GRQ
Airport website: https://www.groningenairport.nl/
Distance from airport to Groningen: 6 miles / 9 kilometers
Distance from airport to Amsterdam: 125 miles / 200 kilometers
Groningen Airport is the smallest airport in the Netherlands and is in the North. It offers a few scheduled services to Guernsey, The Canary Island, Mallorca, Crete in Greece, and a few holiday destinations in Turkey. Changes are slim you'll use this airport.
The main airlines at Groningen airport are Corendon and Transavia.
How to get to Groningen Airport Eelde:
From Groningen: Bus 100 takes you directly to the airport (and connects with the London flights). Bus 9 is a good alternative if bus 100 is not operating. Travel time is 30 minutes.
From Amsterdam: Take an intercity train to Groningen and then connect to bus 9 or 100. It's a 3 hour trip in total. We advise you to travel 1st class on this journey. The journey will be quieter and more comfortable than in standard 2nd class.
Hotels near Groningen Airport Eelde:
Groningen Airport, just like Maastricht Airport, is that small there aren't any airport hotels near the airport. The best thing to do is look for accommodation at your final destination like Groningen.
Did this post about alternate airports in Holland help you?
We hope this post opened up ideas and more possibilities for you to use alternative airports in Holland for travel within Europe.
Whether to save money on your ticket price, for being closer to your destination, or because it's a smaller airport making going through the process a breeze.
Join the conversation and let us know in the comments below if this post helped you with your European trip planning. We would love to hear about your experience!
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