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Amersterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, etc. in mid May

Amersterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, etc. in mid May

Mar 9th, 2003, 02:46 AM
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Amersterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, etc. in mid May

My wife and I are first time visitors spending 7 nights in the Netherlands in mid May flying into Schiphol about 8:30AM. We are considering the first 3 nights in either Haarlem or Leiden and final 4 in Amsterdam. It looks like Schiphol airport by train is 20 to 30 mintues to either city in varying directions. If we stayed in Haarlem the 3 nights it appears we could easily visit the bulb fields by joining a tour group or bicycle, and visit Leiden by a 20 minute train ride. Or stay in Leiden the 3 nights and take the train to Haarlem for a day trip. The final 4 nights are in Amsterdam.
Is there any preference to staying in Haarlem versus Leiden? We are fine with 3 star hotels near the train station for all 7 nights in the Netherlands.
Mar 9th, 2003, 03:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,473
It is easy to visit bulb fields or Keukenhof(sp?) either from Haalem or Leiden, both with convenient buses.

Leiden is an university town, much bigger and livelier. Haalem is quiter with more interesting architecture and museums. It all depends on your preferrance.

However, since you are going to stay in the Netherlands for 7 nights, perhaps you could considering staying somewhere a little further from Amsterdam for some nights. I always enjoy staying in The Hague. There are many good musueums.
JudyC is offline  
Mar 10th, 2003, 01:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The Keukenhof gardens will be closed after May 18 so be sure to get there as soon as possible. The tulips, alas, will probably be gone by then, but the gardens will still be spectacular. Try to plan your biking for a dry day if you can choose. You can also rent a bike in Sassenheim or Lisse - closer to the fields and gardens.
Do consider staying in Delft (for instance, Bridges House, Leeuwenbrug Hotel, Hotel Jan Vermeer or the Museumhotel) - while not as large as Leiden or Haarlem, Delft has a wonderfully well-preserved historical center, and you can walk (or bike!)everywhere. It's 55 minutes by train to Amsterdam and 12 minutes to Rotterdam (great museums and a fabulous harbor tour by "Spido") and The Hague. Combine a stay in Delft with a visit to the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague and a reading of Anthony Bailey's "Vermeer", Vreeland's "Girl in Hyacinth Blue" or Chevalier's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" for a real Vermeer experience!
jenviolin is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2003, 10:53 AM
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When will the tulips be gone?
quebec is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2003, 12:49 PM
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I'll second the Delft suggestion & suggest Antwerp as well.
Apr 3rd, 2003, 03:48 PM
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Quebec -

Regarding your question about tulips, no one can predict how long they will last. The latest-blooming tulips usually open round the first of May; they can hold a bloom for two-three weeks, depending on how sunny and hot it gets. If the spring is unusually warm, bulbs may peak up to two weeks before schedule.
patg is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Patg: tulips bloom much earlier than that. A week from now there will already be tulips, the best time is second part of April, and after the first week of May they are all gone.
Sjoerd is offline  
Apr 4th, 2003, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We saw very nice tulips at the Floriade 2002 in the last week of April. We visited Keukenhoff 10 days prior and it was amazing! This is the time to visit Netherlands!
Danna is offline  

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