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Amsterdam Planner for the Clueless & Clued

Amsterdam Planner for the Clueless & Clued

Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 08:58 AM
  #21  
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Oops forgot the Rembrandt House as a near-must sight. And walking along the canals as an absolute must!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:30 AM
  #22  
 
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The Begijnhof is worth a detour, along with it's churches.
http://www.begijnhofamsterdam.nl/index_engels.html

You will need help with transport passes - Strippenkaarten are on their way out. http://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/?taal=en explains the new OV chipcards.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 09:49 AM
  #23  
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Danu u very wel, hetismij - i was posting off the top of my head so knew i would miss a gem like the Begijnhof - a quiet oasis right in the heart of Amsterdam - i also enjoy the City of Amsterdam Museum, housed in the complex i believe.

Well good riddance to the Strippen Kaarts IMO - any type Oyster Card (London) that would be easy to use and reload would be a big improvement - tourists used to be perplexed with say how many zones to self-cancel when entering trams.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 10:00 AM
  #24  
 
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Yes, now you just have to remember to check out when you leave the tram/bus/train.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 04:51 AM
  #25  
 
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I still find the new OV chipkaart sort of confusing. I know it's new, and I've read all the options. Which would be the best choice for a first-time visitor?

Thanks for the thread!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 05:51 AM
  #26  
 
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My husband and I just got back from Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago. We bought the 96 hour ov-chipkaart and loved it. We were staying far enough from the main part of the city, that we knew that we would be taking the metro at least twice a day, and as it turned out more than that. You have to do the research before going so you know what is best for you. The card covers all transportation and is so easy to use. You just pass it over the sensor coming and going and you are good to go. We did not end up taking any trams or buses, but I would think it would be just as easy to use. We arrived in Amsterdam at Central Station and walked across the street to the information center to buy the cards. It was a little overwhelming to find about 40 people ahead of us (you take a number and wait your turn), but a lot of sales windows were open and it only took about twenty minutes. Later we found you could go downstairs to the ticket office in the metro itself and buy them there. It was very nice to just hop on and hop off transportation, quickly coming and going to where we wanted to be. We found the people at the GVB Ticket and Information Center, where we bought our chipkaarts, to be very nice, efficient, and willing to help with any questions.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:05 AM
  #27  
 
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Unless you are planning on being a regular visitor to Amsterdam there is little point in investing in an OV chipcard that you can reload, better to use the disposable ones, valid for a set length of time, as grace44 suggests. You need one card per person, unlike with the strippenkaart.
And until fully implemented by NS it is better as a tourist to just buy regular train tickets.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 08:42 AM
  #28  
 
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I wish I could be a regular visitor to Amsterdam!

In the meantime, is it possible to buy the disposable OV card at the airport, before we take the train from Schipol to Centraal Station? Or is that the train you're referring to?

We also plan to take the train to Haarlem for a day trip.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Buy a train ticket at Schiphol - you will have to go to a ticket window unless you have coins. Same for the train to Haarlem, as I don't hink disposables ov Chipcards can be used on the train (yet).
On arrival at Centraal Station go over the road to the GVB building and buy your disposable OV chipcards there. They will advise you on which one to buy. You can always ask them if you can use it on the train too.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 11:40 AM
  #30  
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Yup the GVB (Public Transports of Amsterdam) kiosk just opposite the front main exit of Centraal Station is always one of my first stops - if not to buy Strippenkaarts, which now seem to being phased out - then just to get the map of the tram and bus lines - a detailed transit map showing each tram line, etc. And like most places in Amsterdam dealing with tourists English is very well spoken.

Off-hand, without analyzing the new OV card scheme but by listening to Hetismij, who lives in Holland, and others it seems the best way for most is to eschew any OV card or day ticket, etc and buy regular tickets - simply because most folks do stay in the city centre and Amsterdam is eminently walkable and very compact. Tourist sights are gathered together in a very few clusters not more than a mile or so it seems apart. I rarely take the tram in the city centre as walking here is so so enjoyable - as long as you stay out of the bike paths, which are solely the realm of Fiets and Fietsers, as the Dutch call their bikes. We'll deal with the subject of cycles, cycling and the potentially lethal bike paths in the future, hopefully. And though other European cities like Copenhagen have zillions of bikes on their streets i have never ever seen anything like in Dutch towns, where everyone it seems from toddlers to grannies rides what i call those heavy Dutch Tanks - the sturdy Dutch bikes.

Q - hetismij and others - before with a Strip Card for transit the more strips you bought the cheaper each trip became - i assume this will not only be possible on the permanent and re-chargeable OV card so when buying single tickets they is only one price and no multiple tickets at a cheaper price available?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #31  
 
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It is still cheaper to buy say a 24 hour card than a series of one hour or 2 hour cards.
A one hour card costs €2.60, a 2x1 hour card €5, a 24 hour card €7 and so on.
http://tinyurl.com/lzleyq is the GVB page, in English with the prices.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 01:04 PM
  #32  
 
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Palenque, don't stop! Awaiting the whole report eagerly since I haven't been there for 25 years and will return next August.
I'm particularly interested in the best locations for hotels (am looking at the Eden Rembrandt Square, as one example) and the ones to avoid because they are too noisy, sleazy, or other reasons.
Thanks.
Leslie
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:17 AM
  #33  
 
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Could we also include a list of free activities here? I found a Paris thread of the same and thought it might work here as well. Plus, our upcoming trip budget is limited, so free is good. Thanks!
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:25 AM
  #34  
 
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LAleslie, I've stayed in the Rembrandt Square area several times, and I really liked it. However, I did read on another thread that there is construction going on at Rembrandtsplein now, so you might want to look into that issue.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #35  
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BEST LOCATION FOR HOTELS?
(LAleslie's Q)
I am very partial to the hotel ghetto in and around Vondel Park and the Museum Plein - well out of the hubbub closer in but still a short enough walk from most sights. Folks will feel safe at night in this area (and would be in even dicier areas in fact but not in perception). I am not knowledgeable about individual hotels but anything in this area seems nice at least from walking by them. And there are a raft of hotels in that area. I'll have to track down some street names that are lined with hotels.
By all means avoid anything in or near the Redlight District and along the Dam to the Damrak (square) - to to the southeast of Centraal Station - this is a sleazy many will not feel comfy in at night.
But any hotel outside of this area on say one of the ring of canals, Prinsengraacht, etc. would be delightful.
I'll be back with more after some research - and as always anyone is welcome to give their ideas.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Melissa have a look at http://tinyurl.com/yl2zqwg
or
http://tinyurl.com/yh8zxhn

Not much to do for free I'm afraid, but it is free to walk around and enjoy the city, it's architecture and ambience.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:33 AM
  #37  
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http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/explore...ood=&x=15&y=13

Amsterdam Map - over view.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:46 AM
  #38  
 
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In theory the reconstruction of the Rembrandtplein will be completed mid December 2009.
There is a lot of construction work throughout the city at the moment due to the disastrous noord-zuid metro line.

LAleslie have a look at DeborahAnn's trip report for where she stayed recently.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:53 AM
  #39  
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FOR FREE? HOP THE TRANS-HARBOR FERRIES FROM BEHIND CENTRAAL STATION

One of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam is to go out the reach entrance of the Centraal Train Station and then hop the free pedestrian/cyclist commuter ferries that scoot across the harbor - they go very frequently and once on the other side you get a nifty view of Amsterdam's silhoutte.
These ferries carry hundreds of cyclists and foot passengers - i enjoy watching all the hudnrreds of bikes (and mopeds) gather by the front impatiently waiting for the gates to drop down and then you have a cyclists rush hour getting off. A great place to watch cyclists and their often unique bikes!
Some smaller boats, also free, go east over the harbor to a new area of town - a really neat development that i will talk about later when i describe a ride on the Ij Tram to a really neat area of a new town along the Ij (harbor) featuring nice avant-garde architecture intertwined with rehabbed old warehouses, etc.
But for a free activity you can't beat taking the free ferries across the Ij IMO
And hopefully with the completeion of the metro crossing the Ij to Centraal Train Station and Amsterdam proper these boats will not be scrapped - but that will not be for a few years out at least.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:25 AM
  #40  
 
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Yes, I'd read about the free ferry... one goes to some kind of artist space called NDSM(?). Also, I enjoy getting a sense of how the land connects to the sea.
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