Planespotting: Always front row at Schiphol
Whether you are a dedicated spotter or just want to watch planes with your children: our spotter zones guarantee you a great view of the action in the air and out on the apron. Every day there are more than enough planes to see from every location. And with a little luck – or good planning! – you’ll be there to spot the most remarkable aircraft.
So much to see
With over half a million flights annually and almost 110 airlines, you can be sure there’s plenty to see at Schiphol on a daily basis. No matter what time you visit, you never have to wait long to see a plane take off or land. And by keeping an eye on the latest spotters news, you will know when an exceptional aircraft is due to arrive or a special flight – perhaps even a maiden flight – is about to take off.
The best places for plane spotting
At Schiphol, you can be sure of a front-row seat. Our Panorama Terrace gives you a wonderful view of the apron and the planes. Or take a closer look at countless take-offs and landings from the spotter zones along Polderbaan and Buitenveldertbaan. You can use all these locations free of charge, and they are easily accessible by car or bicycle. To avoid disappointment, check in advance to see when which runway is being used.
Spotter zone at Polderbaan
Polderbaan (18R-36L) is Schiphol’s most frequently-used runway. From here, planes take off in a northerly direction (depending on where the wind is coming from) and land in a southerly direction. This zone also gives you a view of Schiphol’s fire station. Hungry? There is a regular fast food truck at this spotter zone, in addition to mobile toilets.
You can find the zone at the end of IJweg. It’s easily accessible by bike. Coming by car? Enter the postcode 2141 CN into your satnav.
Spotter zone at Buitenveldertbaan
From the McDonald’s car park (near the bus station and P3) you can watch aircraft take off and land on and around the Buitenveldertbaan runway (09-27). Through the binoculars provided, you can get a great view of take-offs in an easterly direction and landings in a westerly direction. This zone also gives you a clear view of two more runways: Schiphol-Oostbaan (04-22) and Aalsmeerbaan (18L-36R). In addition, you look out over Schiphol-East and Schiphol-Centre, and you can see the hangars where aircraft maintenance takes place.
The spotter zone at Buitenveldertbaan is situated in Schiphol-East. Take the Schipholdijk turnoff on the N231. Enter the postcode 1118 EL into your satnav.
Plane spotting on the Panorama Terrace
From the Panorama Terrace you can keep track of take-offs and landings on Aalsmeerbaan, Kaagbaan and Schiphol-Oostbaan. The Terrace is located on top of the terminal and gives you a fantastic view over Piers C, D and E. It’s also the perfect vantage point for taking in all the action on and around the aprons. This is where planes wait for new passengers, flights head for the runway and baggage trolleys, buses and refuelling vehicles whizz around to keep everything running smoothly.
The Panorama Terrace is also home to a Fokker 100, which you can admire free of charge both outside and inside.
You can reach the Panorama Terrace from the ground floor by taking the stairs, escalator or elevator at Café Rembrandt. On the next floor (in Departure Hall 1) you then take the stairs or escalator at desk row 1 to the second floor, where a footbridge leads you to the Panorama Terrace