Amsterdam itinerary

Old Apr 26th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Amsterdam itinerary

We're going to Amsterdam next week and while I've already found many wonderful suggestions on these boards, I'm having a hard time finalizing on our itinerary. We have 8 days, and our favorite sightseeing strategy is to wander a neighborhood with one or two destinations in mind.

We're planning on taking the train from the airport to Central Station, then a taxi to our rental in De Pijp. As we'll be tired and unsure exactly where we're going, thought a taxi would be easier than trying the tram.

We know that we want to visit the Rijksmuseum, take a canal cruise, visit Keukenhof Gardens, and take a daytrip to The Hague. Those are our must-sees, but it's the B-List that's causing problems. For instance, should we combine The Hague with a visit to Delft or the seashore, or won't there be time? And as we're not really into museums, should we even consider the Van Gogh Museum? Is the Heineken Experience as cheesy as I've heard? How about the Willet-Holthuysen Canal House Museum? What would you consider a must-see?

I'm looking forward to trying Indonesian food for the first time, and my husband can't wait to try the local beers! Any suggestions for good, inexpensive restaurants in the De Pijp area? And this may sound strange, but I love visiting supermarkets! I know I want to look for Siroopwafelen cookies, but any other goodies I should try? Thanks for all the help I've already found here, and any new suggestions as well!
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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We rented bicycles and biked around the surrounding country side, next to the dikes. You can get a bike at the train station. Its very flat and everyone rides bikes everywhere. They have these wonderful, old fashioned, sit upright bikes and you feel you're sailing down a canal.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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I wouldn't rent bikes in Amsterdam - apparently Cycling tourists are one of the most dangerous road users in Amsterdam, responsible for far more accidents than is proportinate to their numbers. When you hire a bike in AMsterdam now you get a leaflet with instructions.
Outside Amsterdam it is a great thing to do though for a day. Get the train out and hire a bike.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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I agree. Biking within the city of Amsterdam is not for rookies. You'll see what we mean
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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It has been a while since I went but I liked the Van Gogh Museum, Delft though small is a cute town ( and I could care less about the china). My favorite food were the Fries with toppings. The Anne Frank house though empty was fascinating as well. Lastly...Brown Pubs!!!
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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I just really enjoyed walking around. It's an outstanding city for that. One of the best, IMO.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Alexia;

We were in Amsterdam in early May last year. We were only there for 3 days, but here are the highlights from our trip:

We took the train from Amsterdam to Haarlem, rented bikes in Haarlem and rode from there to and from Keukenhof. There is a bike rental very near the train station in Haarlem, but you must have your passport to rent bikes there. We didn't, and so we were directed to a rental shop in town that only required some official form of ID (we had our driver's licenses). We did have to leave a cash deposit there as well. The ride was pleasant, and Keukenhof was beautiful!
One of my favorite memories from the trip is having drinks outside a cafe on the square in Haarlem after we returned from Keukenhof. The weather was perfect, we were sore and tired, the cathedral in the center of the square was spectacular, and we enjoyed just resting and people-watching.

The main building of the Rijksmuseum is closed for renovation, so the only exhibit open is the Masterpieces exhibition in the Phillips wing. We spent a couple of hours there.

We loved the Van Gogh museum, and we're not huge art afficianados! The brush strokes visible in much of his work really give the pieces a lot of emotion that is lost in prints or reproductions, I think. There was a huge line to get in when we went (late one morning). If there is a way to buy advance tickets, I would do it.

I think the Anne Frank House is a must see. I understand the lines there can get pretty long, so we went late in the afternoon one day, and the crowds were not too bad. I thought the house was very moving.

We did not go to the Canal House Museum you mention, but we did go to the Amstelkring Museum ("Our Lord in the Attic") which is a 17th Century Canal House, with a "secret" Catholic Church in the attic. I enjoy seeing how people have lived through the years, and enjoyed this very much.

We also took a canal cruise, which wasn't the highlight of the trip, but was fun enough. There is a jail cell underneath one of the bridges that was fun to see.

Have a great trip! We loved Amsterdam, and would like to go back sometime...

Annette

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