Amsterdam - My Favorite Things!

Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:38 PM
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Hi PalenQ (and all others),

Your trip report is fantastic and well worth a guide for any new visitor to Netherlands. I will be visiting Netherlands in August this year for 5 days. Besides Amsterdam city, the following places are also on my agenda:

LEIDEN
THE HAGUE
HAARLEM
ALKMAAR AND ITS CHEESE MARKET
ROTTERDAM
DELFT

Based on your vast experience, please let me know how to cover these places (i.e., in which order and how to get there). Can I cover these places in 2 days ? Also, since the time is limited, any must see places in Amsterdam ?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 09:58 AM
  #182  
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Dennis - thanks for the kind words - much appreciated.

I think 3 full days in Amsterdam is enough for the average tourist and 2 days on day trips to see the real Holland is nice - very different from cosmopolitan Amsterdam.

Alkmaar Cheese Market is only on Friday mornings - best to get there by 10 am or so as it winds down then - Alkmaar is a fascinating town itself - not on many tourists' radars for some reason.

Alkmaar could be easily twinned with Haarlem - a half day or so in each - Alkmaar first of course then Haarlem, which is only about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam.

Are you going by train - makes the most sense as parking on Cheese Day in Alkmaar can be hard to find... ditto for any sizable Dutch town IME (I've driven and biked all over Holland but now always take the train).

for the other day you'd have to chose these easy combos:

The Hague and Rotterdam and Delft are close together but doing more than two would be counter productive IMO - so chose two.

Leiden could be combined with The Hague, Delft or Rotterdam as you have to pass thru it on the train to get to those places but though Leiden is a neat old town, I'd put it at the bottom of your list.

Rotterdam I love but not everyone will - it is a new city, a Phoenix rising from WW2 ashes and has striking modern architecture but not much old-world charm, except for a few vest-pocket-sized areas.

I think most folks would like best:

Delft
Haarlem
Alkmaar - but only on Cheese Market Days
The Hague
Ledien
Rotterdam

But these are all a close call - all are neat but you can't do them all and give Amsterdam justice IMO and it would depend on special interests - world-famous art museums like the Mauritshuis puts the Hage higher - Delft porcelain factory tours adds onto Delft - modern avant-garde architecture? - then Rotterdam rises, etc.

I love Haarlem and it is an easy short train ride from Amsterdam so not so much time traveling.

anyway you can't go wrong.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2014, 10:20 PM
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Thanks PalenQ. I may skip Alkmaar, as we are reaching Amsterdam on a Saturday. We (4 adults) will be using public transport only, mostly trains.
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Old Jul 6th, 2014, 05:07 AM
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Bookmarking for my imminent visit in ~ a week's time! PalenQ, what a knowlegeable thread you have created, thanks!
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Old Jul 11th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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I love Amsterdam! This city is just perfect for me! I have been there three times and I am seriously considering moving there if the right opportunity presents itsself.

It's funny how obsessed I became with everything produced in Netherlands. I loved the interior there, so I started buying Dutch furniture, decoration, floor lamps and so on. But once I saw http://www.interior-deluxe.com/palm-...ght-p8949.html at a hotel in Amsterdam, I just couldn't get it out of my mind! I wanted to purchase it so much. Thanks God, I managed to do that finally, or I would be depressed.

I already booked a Trip there in August with the family. We are so excited. My son is soon to be a bachelor Student and he even considers this lovely country for studying. I guess, one more reason to visit more often this wonderful place.
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Old Jul 17th, 2014, 08:19 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ike-v-tram.cfm

Thinking of renting a bike in Amsterdam to pedal around town - think twice - joining a group tour is safe but on your own without lots of experience in rush-hour type biking on crowded bike paths, etc can be a harrowing experience IME.

Anyway the thread I link to above is a recent one covering the subject.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 03:29 PM
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I love amsterdam and have been several times but always get funny looks when i say where im going. I try to justify my trip but people still think i go for the red lights and coffeeshops. maybe they are right
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 09:14 AM
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This is a fantastic post! Any hotel suggestions???? Maybe I just scrolled too fast....
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 10:43 AM
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booking.com or similar. make sure to read the reviews
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...magnifique.cfm

A wonderfully well written trip report on a trip to Amsterdam, Holland.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ;-)
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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http://www.boomchicago.nl/

Boom Chicago has become a really popular place for locals and tourists to enjoy live comedy - started by Americans it's a take off of Chicago's famous Second City I believe - it's been featured on Comedy Central and has gained great repute.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio..._Province.html
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m-the-food.cfm

a current thread on Amsterdam food offerings - I am clueless on A'dam foods other than supermarket fare and FEBO-type snacks but others are more in the know about proper restaurants.
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Old Sep 14th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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Hello ~~
PalenQ and all others, your reviews are GREAT, and have been so helpful in our trip planning to an area that we have not traveled to before!

I have posted here before, and have been extensively researching all reviews regarding a trip that we are planning to visit our son who is studying abroad in Luxembourg.

He has one full week off to travel with us. We are arriving on a Thursday into Brussels and have 8 days to travel with him. We are planning to train directly to Lux to see the University's Chateau where he is studying. We are spending only one night in Lux City.

We have considered traveling from Lux to Cologne, but are unsure as to what to do/see here. I have read many reviews and would love some must-sees. We would also like to take the River Cruise, if possible. It sounds like Trier is a place not to miss.

We will then head to Amsterdam, and are also considering a trip to see the real Holland.

We would also like to see Bruges, and possibly some of the cities nearby.

We leave on Saturday morning from Brussels, and are considering spending part of Thursday and Friday in Brussels. Is this too much time here.

I would appreciate any help in planning this itinerary. As previously mentioned, we are not familiar with this area at all!

Thanks!
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Old Sep 14th, 2014, 05:55 AM
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I think you would be better off starting a new thread with your questions, since only a small part of it relates to Amsterdam and this thread.
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Old Sep 15th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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A thread discussing Amsterdam restaurants:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m-the-food.cfm
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 02:49 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/amsterdam-my-favorite-things.cfm#last-comment>

Here's my and others two cents worth...
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 05:09 PM
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How did I miss this! Thanks for a wealth of information!
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Old Oct 9th, 2014, 11:18 AM
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kelsey - dank u wel as they say in Amsterdam and when you return please contribute to things you liked (or disliked) about Amsterdam on this thread!

Tot Ziens (good-bye or good-day in Dutch).
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Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
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Friends just got back from Amsterdam the other day and said the hi temp for that November day in A'dam was 29 F and it was cold - much colder than normal when I've been there in winter even.

They were amazed at how crowded the main shopping street was on a Saturday night - they had not been there in so long last time was when Saturday shopping had to be law cease around 5 pm. No more - even Sundays now mainstream chops and stores are wide open where they all at one time had to close.

They said the famous Flower Market is now all enclosed like a shopping center - even they the stalls are still on barges but it doesn't seem that way. The flower selling - bulbs too - goes on all year and come with a requisite certificate for export/import - having to be certified pest free, etc. You just cannot take any old bulbs and import them to most U.S. states.
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