Cycle around Schiphol
Cycling might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Schiphol, but there's a great bike route around the airport. It takes you past the runways, spotter areas and the old control tower. So, pump up your tyres and jump onto the saddle – it's time for a tour around Schiphol!
The cycle route starts at Schiphol-Oost. Here, you'll find the old Schiphol control tower and a sign showing where Schiphol originated. The Schiphol Fort was on this spot before the airport was founded but nothing remains to be seen of it. As you follow the cycle path at Schiphol-Oost towards the Bosrandbrug bridge, you'll cycle past the Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) headquarters. Before the bridge, turn right onto the cycle path along the Haarlemmermeer ring canal.
Hangars and Aalsmeerbaan
You're now cycling past KLM's hangars, where planes go for maintenance. Behind the hangars is the Aalsmeerbaan Runway – one of Schiphol's six runways. Our runways face different wind directions so that aircraft are always able to land and take off. Watch the video below to find out more about the runway system at Schiphol. The Aalsmeerbaan is undergoing major maintenance until mid-July, so you won't see any planes, but you will see maintenance materials and vehicles. Follow the cycle path along the Aalsmeerbaan's runway lights and you'll see Schiphol-Rijk on the right.
Keep following the cycle route along the ring canal until you reach the Fort at Aalsmeer. Along with Fort Schiphol, this forms part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. The fort is home to the CRASH Air War and Resistance Museum ’40 -’45 that you can visit on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays. From CRASH, turn right and follow the cycle path towards Aalsmeerderweg. Turn right here to Rozenburg. Cross the N196 by lift to arrive at Kruisweg. Here, turn left towards Hoofddorp.
New aircraft bridge
The runway lights along Kruisweg belong to the Kaagbaan Runway. Through the fences, you can often see planes taking off and landing. After the petrol station, keep right and head in the direction of Schiphol-Centrum. Follow the cycle path along the A4 motorway and you'll soon see the Zwanenburgbaan Runway. You're now heading towards the newly constructed aircraft bridge where planes taxi on. It's part of the dual taxiway system that goes around Schiphol.
Have you ever noticed that you only see small birch trees near Schiphol? This is no coincidence. First of all, their roots don't go very deep, which means that they are less likely to get stuck in pipes, sewers and wiring. Secondly, birds don't like to make nests in these trees.
Once you have cycled under the dual aircraft bridge, you arrive on Handelskade. After the traffic lights, turn left onto Westelijke Randweg. You'll cycle close to the Pier-M platform, where easyJet planes are often parked. Follow the cycle path through the Buitenvelderttunnel (you guessed it: you're now under the Buitenveldertbaan Runway). When you come out of the tunnel, you'll see the aircraft again and you'll head towards the P3 car park. The roof of this enormous car park is covered in 6,000 solar panels. The lighting, barriers, ticket machines – all the electricity in this car park comes straight from the sun!
After the car park, the Buitenveldertbaan Runway comes into view again and the planes really roar past you at this point. You also cycle past the head of the Aalsmeerbaan Runway. At the moment (June 2022), you'll see a lot of maintenance materials as the runway are undergoing major maintenance works until mid-July. If you want to spot planes on the Buitenveldertbaan, go to the McDonald's car park and use the binoculars there. In addition to this one, there's also a spotter area close to the Polderbaan along IJweg.
Bus station in historic hangar
When you leave the spotter area, go straight ahead at the traffic lights. You are now cycling towards the bus station. The roof of the bus station is made from a Second World War airplane hangar. This hangar was built in Great Britain in the early 1940s and has been in storage at Schiphol for a number of years. Now, the historic building has a nice new home. After the bus station, turn right towards Schiphol-Oost. You are now cycling past the Buitenveldertbaan runway lights, and on your right you will see the Schiphol-Oostbaan. You then go through a tunnel and return to where you started.
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