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JoeTro Feb 27th, 2018 10:31 AM

2 days in Amsterdam, 2nd visit

I have two days in Amsterdam May 4-6. Was there for nearly a week a few years ago, including nearly all of the major sites and day trips to Hague and Delft and Rotterdam and Leiden and the Beach.

I definitely want to visit Keukenhof and Anne Frank House. I'm staying at the Citizen M nearly attached to Schipol. I arrive about 9:30 am on Friday and leave Sunday morning. I believe 5/4 is a national holiday with a moment of silence.

My thought: 5/4 visit Keukenhof in morning/afternoon. I will plan to buy Keukenhof ticket in advance. Do I need one that includes transport or not, and do I need to pick an exact time? Is there more I should do tulip-wise besides Keukenhof that day?

The full Saturday 5/5L I was thinking either Kroller-Muller museum (but seems like quite a trek to get to) or Zaanse Schans and something else, ending with Anne Frank House late at night since is open until 10.

PalenQ Feb 27th, 2018 11:11 AM

Combine a visit to Haarlem perhaps with Keukenhof. Take train to Leiden - catch shuttle bus to Keukenhof - then bus thru flower fields to Haarlem and enjoy that lovely old town that is just a 15-minute train ride back to Haarlem.

Most Dutch here call Saanse Chanse an artificial tourist trap but I like it - still a large grouping of windmills though all moved here from around the Zaanse. Rather for a wonderful day take train to Rotterdam tour that interesting city - some great museums - and catch boat or tram/bus/ferry to Kinderdijk - an authentic grouping of behemoth windmills there for ages. Bit cumbersome to get to but great.

For train info check - Dutch railways; BETS-European Rail Experts and Just buy train tickets at station unless can download onto a phone.

PalenQ Feb 27th, 2018 11:35 AM


vs Zaanse Schanse:

But ZS is so easy to get to from Amsterdam- trains right to a short walk of them.

Kinderdijk cumbersome to get to (but by boat thru Rotterdam is neat!)

Fodors resident Rotterdam/everything Dutch expert hopefully will elaborate.

hetismij2 Feb 27th, 2018 12:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Zaansche Schans is a tourist trap. With only two days don't waste your time.
Try and get into the centre for the remembrance ceremony at the Dam on the evening of the 4th if you can.
You can get a bus from Schiphol to Keukenhof.
Buying a combiticket is probably the most convenient.
Here's the timetable for the bus: Attachment 250
You could rent a bike at Keukenhof for a ride through the fields.
Kroller Muller is a trek, but preferable to Zaanse Schans, which will be overrun. Or visit Utrecht, and the museums there, enjoy a beer at one of the microbreweries and enjoy the city.

PalenQ Feb 27th, 2018 12:41 PM

Kroller-Muller is yes a long trek by train and bus and nice but many just as nice places a lot closer.

menachem Feb 27th, 2018 12:47 PM

Utrecht is a great tip by hetismij. It's about 25 minutes by train from Amsterdam CS.

From Schiphol and that CitizenM where you're staying, the bus to Haarlem is much easier than going by train. Take the #300 to Haarlem from Schiphol Plaza. It's a fast service. If you want to delve deeply into the Dutch WW2 trauma, take the bus to Haarlem, and from there to Overveen Erebegraafplaats (#81 bus). In the dunes surrounding this war cemetery about 370 bodies were buried in mass graves, or executed on the spot. Hannie Schaft, communist resistance fighter, was executed there and buried. Right after the war they found the bodies (by chance, because they arrested the undertaker who had performed most of the burials and he had made extensive notes, with rough maps) and re-buried them with military honours. The remembrance ceremony there is very moving. The ceremony in Dam square is our national ceremony, with heavy security. But ceremonies like the one in Overveen, where you'll see many families of resistance fighters, often 3rd and 4th generation, really keep history alive. As long as you are respectful and don't feel the urge to photograph you'll be welcome. 8 PM is the moment when silence is observed. Ceremonies start before that, and usually there's a gathering afterwards.

Eerebegraafplaats, Kennemer dunes (English)

menachem Feb 27th, 2018 12:52 PM

And as for art in idyllic surroundings, maybe Museum Voorlinden is something you might like.

Home - Museum Voorlinden

PalenQ Feb 27th, 2018 01:15 PM

Yes from Schiphol the super bus way -I rode it - is unusual in that it's a bus running a lot on an elevated road only for buses. A German S-Bahn sans rails.

Utrecht has an interesting musical clock and

instrument museum.

Museum Speelklok in Utrecht - Netherlands Tourism

If you want to ride bikes a bit and see Kinderdijk you could take a train to Gouda (sweet regional town) and rent bikes and cycle to Kinderdijk - I did it once and if in reasonable shape not hard. There are tours also available from Gouda:

menachem Feb 27th, 2018 04:08 PM

Gouda - Kinderdijk can be beautiful, through the polders via Lekkerkerk. Then the ferry across the River Lek and along the river to Kinderdijk. And back via the ferry to Krimpen a/d Lek, then Ouderkerk a/d IJssel, across by the little ferry with the grumpy captain and back to Gouda along the Hollandse IJssel. Simply wonderful if the weather's good. And with transport to Gouda (no direct connection from Amsterdam), it will take an entire day.

Dayle Feb 27th, 2018 04:47 PM

I visited just last May. I Went from Delft to Kjinderdik by train and boat . I liked the glimpse of Rotterdam. If I had more time I would have like to stay there for a visit. The boat ride on the river was nice since I hit a good weather day! Kjinderdik was not crowded at all since it is very spread out.

i also did the Kroller Mueller. Yes, it did take two hours each way. Great museum for a Van Gogh lover, but many other modern artists also. I did enjoy it, but wished I had stuck to my original plan which was to drive there enroute to the Mosel River valley which was my next destination. It would have saved an entire day and a half on my i tinerary.

Saraho Feb 28th, 2018 04:26 AM


PalenQ Feb 28th, 2018 05:15 AM

Gouda itself is really nice and I wonder why no one ever mentions going there or wanting to here?

menachem Feb 28th, 2018 07:37 AM

I think that is because there is no direct train connection from Amsterdam. And possibly because people think it's a cheese.

HappyTrvlr Feb 28th, 2018 07:45 AM

There is no comparison between Zaanse Shans and Kinderdijk! Zaanse Shans has buildings that were moved to a site for tourists while Kindersijk is a UNESCO site, 19 windmills in original sites. It is easy to get to: train to Rotterdam, tram next to station to last stop at waterfront, waterbus to Kinderdijk, not cumbersome at all.

ribeirasacra Feb 28th, 2018 09:07 AM

The Netherlands only seem to receive visitors in and around the area known as Randstad.

Take a trip to Eindhoven. Article in the New York Times. Another NY times article on this city.
Leeuwarden, City of Culture

PalenQ Feb 28th, 2018 09:09 AM

Well there is an obvious comparison between Z S and Kindedijk - a collection of behemoth wooden windmills - one always working and you can go in. If you can't go to Kinderdijk Zaanse Schanse is the next best - no not authentifc, etc. but at least I enjoyed walking around Zaanse Schanse mills - especially one January day when folks were skating on the water.

That Z S is ersatz does not mean that it is worthless as many locals alway imply - it is what it is - yes stop for every tour bus going to or leaving Amsterdam and a large souvenir store where all the cliched Dutch souvenirs- ceramic windmills (probably made in China) - wooden shoes (actually can see being made), lace, tulip bulbs, etc. But that is apart from the grouping of windmills that though brought here are the real deal.

And the Zaanse Museum is just as nice as any Zuider Zee area museum IMO including the one at Enkhuizen - whose open-air park of old buildings brought there from around the Zuider Zee are nice too though no doubt condemned like Z S windmills are procbably.

Anyway that's my two euro sense!

Z Sis about a 45-minute train and walk journey from Amsterdam- Rotterdam-the tram- the ferry (all great) takes most of a day and should as Rotterdam though not your old-world looking city is one of the most fascinating in Holland and The Netherlands too.

menachem Feb 28th, 2018 10:15 AM

Zuiderzee Museum cannot be compared to Zaanse Schans (lose the E, Pal).

ZS was built for tourists and only for them by a supermarket chain that wanted to celebrate its roots in Zaandam.

Zuiderzee Museum from its inception was founded to showcase a way of life and a culture that was irrevocably lost when the Afsluitdijk was built. The reason why those buildings are there is that together they comprehensively show what that material culture was like. And remember, we're talking about a way of life that existed for almost a millennium and then lost its meaning and coherence in a few decades.

If people want to visit Kinderdijk from Rotterdam, yes take a day and include Dordrecht, the city where the Dutch republic, the Dutch language and Dutch calvinism were born. Then travel back by train from Dordrecht to Amsterdam. Changing to the IC Direct at Rotterdam Central shaves about 30 minutes off that journey.

PalenQ Feb 28th, 2018 10:38 AM

We went thru Dordrecht on our bike trips and yes that is a neat old city on the Mass (?) that no one ever seems to mention. Breda too.

hetismij2 Feb 28th, 2018 10:48 AM

Pal, I think it is many many years since you were at Z.S. It is now chock full of tour buses. Many of those are from cruises, but many are Chines tourists who are in large groups, and, to put it mildly, are not the calmest, politest tourist you could wish to share a windmill (or a cheese shop) with. Even my Chinese SIL was embarrassed (and disgusted) by them when she visited.

There are a huge number of interesting towns and cities that most tourists never venture out to. They read in the guide book about the usual suspects and never bother to research other place which are less crowded, and more pleasant, and at least as interesting.

PalenQ Feb 28th, 2018 11:14 AM

I was there in 2012 but in January- the ill-mannered Chinese tourists would probably only made it more fun for me as people-watching has always been a top lure for me in traveling. Makes me want to go there in high-season! But, yes those looking for windmills in a serene setting (not that Zaanse Schans is that but rather in an industrial one) may not be fulfilled as they certainly would be at Kinderdijk (which I assume has escaped the Chinese group inundation - anway a much larger area to spread out in in any case.

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