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AMSTERDAM - FIRST TIME

Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:18 AM
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AMSTERDAM - FIRST TIME

4 adults hoping to travel 6/29-7/08/2006. What's the cheapest way to get to Amsterdam from Boston? We'd be willing to fly in to London or Paris if we could significantly save on transportation costs. First trip anywhere overseas. Hoping to rent an apartment for entire duration of stay in Amsterdam. Any suggestions, or what to look out for with respect to areas to not rent in? Also, good day trips or overnights from Amsterdam? Thanks.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:25 AM
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I always source flights thru Orbitz, expedia and travelocity. We are heading to Amsterdam this weekend I found the cheapest flight (not including "discount" airlines) on KLM. Which is the same airline we used last time. I found that it was cheaper to fly in and out of Amsterdam than Paris.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:11 AM
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I would get the Northwest airlines non-stop from Boston to Amsterdam. It's not much more than flying into London and you can't beat the convenience factor.

For an apartment, I think the best area by far would be the Canal district (the area between the Singel and Prinsengracht canels). The Canal district is charming and convenient to to sightseeing, restaurants, etc. Buy a map (or look online mappy.com) to help with your apt. search.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:53 AM
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I would look at the following BESIDES Orbitz, Sidestep, Expedia, CheapTickets, etc., for possible flights:

www.onetravel.com

www.mobitz.com

www.itasoftware.com

www.kayak.com

If you are going to fly to Londo and take a cheap flight form there to AMS be aware of which budegt carriers fly and from which airport (www.whichbudget.com) and more importantly, the checked luggage restrictions for flights within Europe.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
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In general, the smaller the European airport, the more costly to fly to from the US.

Schiphol, 10 km south of Amsterdam, is the fourth largest in Europe, which should make it economically competitive with Paris, Frankfurt, etc. If you find a great deal to Paris or London, you may have to do some fast math to decide if it more than compensates for the additional expenses (Thalys or Eurostar tickets, extra time, etc.).

The best deals don't last. There are thousands of people like you watching for them and if they are truly great they will be snatched up.

For this reason, you need a plan so you can react quickly. Do a little research so that you already know what a ticket from Paris or London to Amsterdam will cost. Think of any other expenses that might be associated with arriving in Europe at an airport other than Schiphol and come up with some estimates.

My guess is that, unless you find an outstanding bargain, you will quickly learn that flying directly into Schiphol (probably via Northwest) will be the least expensive way to get to Amsterdam.

By the way, since your trip is several months out, it might also be wise to factor labor and financial uncertainty of the airlines into your decision about which carrier to use. I seem to recall hearing on the radio that Northwest is vulnerable to labor instabilities in the upcoming months. This may have been resolved, but I would do a little research. The period right before your trip should be a time of excited anticipation, not chronic worry because your holding tickets on an airline that has just gone on strike.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:24 AM
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When I was searching months ago, I discovered that if I found the lowest fare on travelocity, then went directly to that airline's site, that is where the best deals came in. Also, try to be flexible by 3 days on either end of your trip. That could help an awful lot too. Good luck. I hope you find a great deal. I ended up with a flight from Newark non stop to Amsterdam for a total (all taxes and fees included) of $430. But, I am also leaving tomorrow which is end of the lower priced season.

HAVE A BLAST!
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Old Mar 28th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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avoid the area around the Old Church & Redlight districts in amsterdam. too many unsavory characters about the place and particularly at night. it's a bit unsettling to say the least!!
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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OK, we've booked direct Northwest to Amsterdam at end of June-first week July, and reserved what looks like a great apartment on the Prinsengracht Canal. Also reserved tickets to special Rembrandt exhibit ending on 07/02. We're willing be spontaneous day-to-day, but don't want to miss out on anything special if I should book/reserve it now in advance. Any suggestions?

Also, we are considering Brussels/Belguim/Brugge from Amsterdam, or possibly another overnight. Any suggestions based on personal experience? We will be based in Amsterdam for 8 nights total.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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HI, I just got back from Amsterdam, Bruges, Antwerp, Brussels. If you type my screen name as the search, you can find my full trip report, and a link to a bunch of Amsterdam and Bruges pics. Personally, I think Antwerp and Brussels are definitely skippable. The Mannekin Pis is a let down. Just a small goofy statue on the street corner. Their Grand Place is lovely, but Bruges has two that are comparable. Amsterdam is amazing! There is a neverending amount of things to do, so much more than I did my days there. They have some great restaurants, amazing public transport, and the Dutch people are warm as ever!

I wasn't clear how many days you have for this trip. But if you have about a week, I'd do 2 nights/3 days in Bruges and the rest in Amsterdam. You can of course take day trips outside the city, but trust me, Amsterdam has much to offer.

In Bruges I highly recommend Bell's B&B. I stayed there based on a Fodor's suggestion actually. She is a sweet woman, the building is from the (I think) 1700's. I had a twin room, which was two full beds side by side. Had my own shower, nice size, and sink. The decor was nice and very clean. THe toilet was just outside my door, shared with the other bedroom on that level. No big deal sharing it. There are only 3 rooms so it's not like the facilities are full or anything like that. I never even saw the neighbors the 3 nights I was there, except at breakfast, which she gives a great one. My room was 45EU a night. Had I been two people it would be 55, still a good price.

If you have questions, feel free to write
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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whoops, just saw the 8 nights thing. I'd do 5 nights in Amsterdam, and 2 or 3 in Bruges. You can do a day trip from Amsterdam to the tulips or The Hague even. Or from Bruges you can day trip to Ghent, another medieval town (though I didn't go to it).
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