Old Dec 31st, 2013, 06:59 AM
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We are planning a trip for 4-5 nights in June. Please advise;

First 2 days wandering about the canals of Amsterdam and the historic highlights (Ann Franks house)
Day 3 rent bikes and do the countryside ( would love some interesting route ideas)
Day 4 take the train to Delft and perhaps rent bikes there also
Day 5 flight out to Norway.

Could I condense this to 4 days?

Also - I am hoping for some hotel suggestions ( 4*) .
danen5 is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2013, 08:30 AM
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IMO it is better to take the train out of the city and then rent bikes. We took the train out, rented bikes a the train station and then rode out to the coast - a bit breezy but pleasant (altho we got a bit lost even with a bike trail map!). If no one else posts better info, I'll look for the name of the towns.

A price point might be better than *'s. I'd suggest a hotel on one of the canals, not far from the Jordaan. We liked the Canal House, the Toren is nearby and I think there is The Pulitzer that is even more upscale.

I would not shorten your stay - there is plenty to do for a week or so in Amsterdam! IMO but I am a bit of a slow traveler. My favorite activity in Amsterdam is sitting canal side watching the boats and bikers go past.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 08:57 AM
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Check out Hotel Fita...clean, great breakfast (scrambled eggs and wonderful crepes included) free laundry service, a stones throw from the two blockbuster museums, easy tram line access, friendly and helpful hosts.

Consider the Van Gogh museum and the Rijks museum while you are in Amsterdam. Have a great trip!
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 09:28 AM
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been going to Amsterdam dozens and dozens of times on business for decades - here's mine and others takes on this amazing town!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Dec 31st, 2013, 03:54 PM
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Wow, PalenQ - those are some great blogs. We WON'T shorten our trip after reading these and the above replies. I am still hoping for a bike trip suggestion. We could easily cover 30 to 40 miles. Would it be a good ride to go to Haarlem and take the train back? Would this take us through the countryside with flowers and windmills? The Canal House our Toren both look great and I like being near the Jordaan. Or - is the 'Brewers Canal' a better location? Where is the Jewish section as I read it is quite lovely.
thanks --this trip will be great (from there we go to Norway
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 04:10 PM
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a new wrinkle --the flight from Amsterdam to Bergen seems to take 5-8 hours since there is a stop in Oslo or Copenhagen. Any suggestions on a carrier in the Netherlands --or , should we take the train to Copenhagen and depart from there?
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 04:46 PM
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Just a few things: The train from Amsterdam to Copenhagen takes 15 hours...'nuff said.

KLM flies nonstop AMS-Bergen, but it'll cost you!

While you walk around Amsterdam (which you should do a lot, it's the best way to let the city's character sink in), as you follow a canal on an overcast day you may not realize how it curves gradually around, and your sense of east and west etc. may get skewed. Remedy: A small compass. Beats the fancy electronic gizmos, and it's a lot cheaper.

Have some Indonesian food - it's very common due to the colonial history. But beware that the Rijstafel - if done right - is a festive multi-course affair, at least twelve courses, so don't order it unless you know what you want to get yourself into. But do try a dish, then another, then another!

You'll love Amsterdam, and not only for the obvious well-kown biggies, but the more time you spend, the more discoveries you make - chance events like seeing a piano being heaved up through a window into a top-floor apartment (that's what the winches are for that you see on the outside of buildings - the stairways are typically very narrow), picking a local's brain about the native cheeses in a small corner shop (there is more to Dutch cheese than Gouda...), being taught the finer points about various types of Genever by a friendly waiter in a small pub, and on and on.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 09:13 PM
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Rijsttafel has lots of dishes, but mostly served all at the same time, so you can try lots of things. Try Kantjil on Spuistraat.

Get a Museum card in Amsterdam - it covers nearly every museum, and often lets you bypass the queues for the ticket office. Don't miss the Rijksmuseum.

Another area that's nice for cycling is the Vecht, between Utrecht and Amsterdam. Cycle past this small river, where wealthy merchants had their country houses, past towns like Breukelen, ending up in Muiden to see Muiderslot.
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Old Dec 31st, 2013, 10:49 PM
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Not sure if anyone already said this, but buy tickets to Ann Frank's house online as early as possible. When we were there the lines were incredibly long. Amsterdam is great.
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 01:58 AM
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KLM fly non stop to Bergen. Book it early and it won't cost a packet. It is a small part of your budget, given your plans in Norway.
You can get the flybussen into Bergen from the airport.
If you are a member of Flying Blue, or I believe the Delta equivalent you don't pay for checked bags. You could always join FB just to get that privilege.
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 05:04 AM
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Another good destination for an afternoon's bike ride is to rent bikes at Central Station, then take the ferry across to North (ferries are free) and bike along Nieuwendammerdijk (make a stop at Het Sluisje for a drink and a snack), on to Durgerdam. According to your stamina you can either go back via Ransdorp or via Holysloot or even Uitdam or Marken. Cycling along the IJsselmeer coast is great.
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Old Jan 1st, 2014, 07:38 AM
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I am still hoping for a bike trip suggestion>

I led bike trips around Holland for years and a classic bike trip would be IMO to rent a bike in Amsterdam and bike a Fiets ticket for the bike to put it on the train to Haarlem and gthen do a fantastic bike ride south from Haarlem right thru the heart of the largest flower fields - via the Keukenhof (closed them probably) to Lisse and onto Leiden - bike or walk around that neat old city and then put the bike on train to go back to Amsterdam.

This is a great bike trip IMO - get a good map at the VVV (Tourist Office) in Amsterdam opposite Centraal Station. There are plenty of other great bike trips I have taken and will report on them bit by bit.

I would eschew biking right in Amsterdam itself - lots of pitfalls - literally - like riding in rush hours when the bike paths can be mobbed - watching out for tram tracks - easy to get a bike tire caught in and just not that much fun - but just outside Amsterdam are many great rides - like the one south along the Amstel to Oudekerke, Abcoude and onto Breukelen.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 08:45 AM
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another great bike trip IME goes from Amsterdam's southern edge along the Amstel River to Oudekerk and then inland via Abcoude to Breukelen - passing castles and small farms and villages until you follow one of the most major canals in Holland to Breukelen - who gave its name to our Brooklyn - you can follow the canal to Utrecht, a really nice city and put your bike on a train to return to Amsterdam if not wanting to cycle back - about 20-25 miles each way.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:41 PM
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Awesome bike trip suggestions - thx. Since we have 5 days in the area, would we be wise to do 3 in AMS and 2 in Delft?
danen5 is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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What are some thoughts on going to Delft for 2 nights? We don't leave fly out of AMS until mid afternoon. And, if this does look like a good idea, does anyone have any hotel suggestions there?
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 08:38 AM
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I'd spend all five days in Amsterdam - especially if into night life - Delft is a nice town but you may find it too quiet - day trip out of Amsterdam and come back to some of the most eclectic and popular nightlife in Europe at night.

Relocating hotels inevitably takes a half day - basing in one place thus saves a half day.

Delft is a university town however so there probably is a bit of night life come to think of it!
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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We are not into night life but rather enjoy architecture and interesting walks or bike rides. We also tend to like small towns rather than the bigger cities. Has anyone stayed there?

Also --we are checking into The Canal House in Amsterdam. It looks lovely but the room for 285 Euro is small. Any other suggestions? I like the idea of staying in that area of town.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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sorry - I got this mixed up with a current thread from folks asking about night life - Delft is not a small town but part of the Den Hague urban area - for a more really small town look at Gouda, from which you can also easily bike thru farmlands to Kinderdijk, the awesome group of windmills - the finest in Holland and a bike path goes right thru them.

Gouda is a sweet really regional town with a sweet town square and a bit smaller feeling than Delft. I've been to Delft many times and with its canals it is a beautiful place. You can't go wrong.

Anyway a super fine bike trip goes to Kinderdijk no matter from which direction you come.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, Palen. The pictures of Delft look amazing and I really love the bike trip you suggested. Do you have suggestions for lodging in Delft? And, is it easy to catch a train back to Amsterdam to fly out early afternoon? Thanks.
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Old Jan 5th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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Know nothing about hotels but trains from Delft to Schiphol go all the time - twice an hour direct trains taking 35 minutes right to the airport train station. About as quick as coming out from Amsterdam given that in Amsterdam it would take likely longer to get to the train station for airport trains than in smaller Delft.
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