Amsterdam and Antwerp?

Old Jul 27th, 2017, 09:07 AM
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Amsterdam and Antwerp?

Hello we are traveling to Amsterdam with our two year old early October and debating if we should split our time. Thinking about staying in Amsterdam for six days and Antwerp for three. Or stay in Amsterdam and take a few day trips? Any suggestions?
Also we are looking at an apt located in Nord-Holland near somerlust park, is this a good location?
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 09:20 AM
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I have been in both cities many times.

I adore Amsterdam.

I don't understand why people love Antwerp.

There are several locals on the board that can advise you how best to spend you time.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 09:25 AM
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Yes perfect IMO - Antwerp is a neat historic city and a good base for day trips by train to Bruges, Gent or say Brussels.

6 days in a long time in Amsterdam - take some easy day trips like to Zandvoort -primo beach resort a short train ride away or ancient cities like Haarlem, Leiden or Delft amongst many others.

Trains - Antwerp -both Thalys (www.thalys.com) and slower IC trains run Amsterdam to Antwerp - ICs just show up and hop on train with ticket bought that day - Thalys book ahead for cheaper fares but then stuck in cement with that specific train.

For lots on trains: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 09:29 AM
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We were in this area a couple of years ago. If it were my first trip, I'd not stay in Amsterdam for six days and I would want to see some of Antwerp.

There is a recent thread discussing this (European Sampler, 4 weeks, 6 countries). It's a long thread, but you can scroll through to see the discussion of relative merits of various Netherlands cities.

If I were you, I'd expand your search for places to stay into all of western Netherlands and north and central Belgium. There are all kinds of charming smaller cities with good train connections between Amsterdam and Brussels.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 10:15 AM
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No Antwerp ain't the most gorgeous city in Europe but it has some of the neatest architecture- especially Art Nouveau with whole streets full of it - many would prefer staying in a Bruges - to me the most old-worldish city north of Alps (but also super touristy).

Gent, in between Bruges and Antwerp makes a nice base and is itself a neat city.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Six days in Amsterdam these days, which has become a fair madhouse IMO of tourism and expense, would be too much. I was there last fall for 5 days and was very eager to get away to Den Bosch and Het Loo and Rotterdam and finally Antwerp, which we loved.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 12:52 PM
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I really enjoy Antwerp but will confess most of the reasons I enjoy about it are not things I would with a toddler -- whom I'm sure will be welcome, but you might get the most useful advice if you talked more about what you hope to be doing as a family on your trip.

I've never taken a toddler with me on my trips to Amsterdam but I have been struck by how many indoor activities there are for kids, and just how it is generally a kid-friendly pace. Since the likelihood of rain in October in that part of the world is pretty high, knowing what kind of kid-friendly indoor activities a destination offers would be a big consideration for me. I don't know the answer for Antwerp or other towns in the area, and maybe you've already scoped that out, but thought it worth mentioning.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 02:25 PM
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Like OReilly, I didn't like Antwerp and don't get the appeal. I spent two nights and wished I had visited as a day trip instead. Although there are a few pretty squares and the huge train station is beautiful, I found Antwerp otherwise fairly charmless. There are a few interesting museums (I went to one), so it's certainly worth at day trip if you want to see them.

I'd go elsewhere in Belgium instead: Bruges or (if you are afraid of the stories about Bruges being too touristy) Ghent. I also liked the town of Leuven near Brussels.

Lots of towns to visit near Amsterdam such as Delft - lovely place.
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 02:42 PM
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Folks often pass right thru Saint-Niklaas Belgium between Antwerp and Gent and fail to see one of Europe's largest and most unique if not all that pretty IMO town squares:

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the...-27501114.html

By train or car to see a largely untouristed by foreigners town stop for lunch or coffee in Saint-Niklaas!
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 11:09 PM
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Antwerpen has a great zoo next to the lovely train station.
We nearly had our 4 years old run over by bikes in Amsterdam by locals. So 2 days in amst was enough for me. And i didn't like the coffee shops and the dope. The city is gorgeous yet.
Abtwerpen has an incredible mix of architecture - old and new.
And if course being in Belgium you'll get service and meet super nice people and enjoy good food and beer.
Not good beer.
Beer. Like int THE beer. No Heineken. Beer.
I have heard that Netherlands has nice places too so you could also stay about 4 days ago in Amsterdam and see some of their other cities. I like Utrecht I nearly saw Eindhoven and got lost in some smaller cities that had some appeal.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 05:57 AM
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>
Sint-Niklaas? I really don't see why anyone would want to spend more than half an hour there. Small provincial town with a town square. Yes. But there are much nicer town squares to be found in Belgium.

Amsterdam: six days? No, thank you. Two days would be enough for me. Haarlem, Leiden, (touristy) Delft are pretty towns not far from Amsterdam. Or Zaanse Schans, if you want to see windmills.

Zomerlust Park: I suppose you mean the bungalow park in Zevenhoven? It's around 45 kms from Amsterdam city centre. You will need a car to get around.

Antwerpen: what can I say? It's 'my' city and I love it. So many hip and trendy neighbourhoods ('t Eilandje, Het Zuid, Sint-Andries, Zurenborg, ...). Enough museums to keep you busy on a rainy October day, the Zoo mentioned by Whathello, excellent restaurants, great shops (international fashion city).
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 06:12 AM
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Somerlust Park: I was probably wrong supposing it was the bungalow park in Zevenhoven.
It must be one of the new complexes near the Amstel river, which would be an excellent location. No car needed!
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 03:33 AM
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Antwerpen is great. If you based yourself in Rotterdam you could do it in a day trip, or vice versa, from Antwerpen you could do Rotterdam, Delft and/or The Hague and possibly Leiden as day trips.

Gent and Brugge are also easy from Antwerp, so it would be a pretty good base.
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 06:56 AM
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I loved Middleheim Statue Park on outskirts of Antwerp -one of premier such outdoor statue parks in Europe:

https://www.google.com/search?q=midd...w=1920&bih=950

Short tram ride from Antwerp Centrum. And in the neighborhood is the famous Art-Nouveau Street Coogls Osylei:

https://www.google.com/search?q=antw...w=1920&bih=950
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 07:13 AM
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A contrarian view: public transportation is so efficient in the Netherlands that Amsterdam can be used to visit a variety of other cities or locations: Gouda, the Hague, Utrecht, Alkmaar, Haarlem. Enkhuizen, etc. The travel time is no longer than a long subway ride in NYC and the trains are frequent enough that for the most part no scheduling is needed.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...082534450/show

With the exception of the Kroller-Muller museum, all the places shown in the pictures are conveniently reachable by train.

And Amsterdam is worth quite a few days, in spite of the bicycle traffic

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...079053043/show
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 10:52 AM
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I appreciate everyone's feedback! We chose Amsterdam because as massimop mentioned plenty of kid-friendly indoor activities; found a nice kid friendly city guide here https://babyccinokids.com/blog/categ...ide-amsterdam/ . We are also considering a few day trips from Amsterdam - Utrecht, Leiden, Haarlem, Delft. Then Antwerp for 4 nights as our base and take a day trip to Ghent and Bruge. Is this doable? Now I'm wondering if we should split our time equally.

We just love to meander all day and look at architecture. I'm more of the romantic, picturesque, quaint towns and my husband likes cool city vibes so I hope this will be a good mix for us. My toddler is really good with traveling so that's not an issue for us. We've traveled with him since he was 4 months old and loves to explore

Again thanks for enlightening me!
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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it's totally doable, don't worry.

Amsterdam also has great outdoors play spaces. Even in early october, the weather will probably be good enough to go there. Many have a kiosk where you can buy coffee for you and a hot chocolate for the two year old. Vondelpark would do, but my tip for this is to head out to Sarphatipark in De Pijp.
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Old Jul 30th, 2017, 12:44 PM
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Many have a kiosk where you can buy coffee for you and a hot chocolate for the two year old>

or a wine or a beer or a jenever...
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 03:38 AM
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Only in Vondelpark at Groot Melkhuis or Blauwe Theehuis, because they're pubs, not kiosks. Other places: nope. No booze.
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