Amsterdam questions

Old Jan 13th, 2020, 11:13 AM
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Amsterdam questions

I am planning a trip to Amsterdam with a friend. I saw some discussion on an older thread about problems with AirBnB. I am wondering if apartment rentals (i.e. VRBO) are all a problem or just AirBnB? If so does anyone have suggestions for hotels which might have twin rooms?

Also I am planning for an April trip because I want to see the tulip fields. I have read that April mid-month is the best time. How difficult is it to get from the city out to the fields? TIA.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 11:51 AM
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When the tulips are in full bloom will depend on the weather and even then, they'll be on the fields for 2 weeks and will then be removed from the plants. So, if we have a warm spring, mid april may be late. Or early, if we have a cold spell in february or march.

Of course, Keukenhof is also there. Both fields and Keukenhof can be reached by bus from Haarlem and there's now even a direct busservice from Schiphol to Keukenhof.

All apartment rental, vacation rentals, but also short stay lets for expats.

I always point to Pension Homeland's serviced apartments and to Zoku

https://livezoku.com/amsterdam-apart...d%20protection

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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 12:22 PM
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I took the "This is Holland" bus trip to Kuekenhof Gardens. The departure point is near the Centraal Station and it was an easy way to get out to the gardens that was low stress. I enjoyed it a lot. I have no comparison as to cost, ease with other options. I booked via Viator but this is their direct link -
https://tickets.holland.com/en/tours...thisisholland/
'"This is Holland' is situated opposite Amsterdam Central station along the IJ river. Please take the free ferry from Central station to the opposite side, direction: 'Buikslotermeer'. This is only a 3 minute boat trip. From here, it is just a 2 minute walk to 'This is Holland'."

The location was very convenient for me because I was staying at the Doubletree next to the station. My room had incredible views of the harbor. I absolutely loved it. They have twin rooms. *As I type this, I know I am going to get followup posts, criticizing my choice of hotel and location. So be it. I stayed on points and that was my primary reason for choosing the hotel, but I would definitely return. In fact, I liked it so much I totally relaxed and missed an entire day of my vacation. I skipped out of a walking tour that I didn't love, to return for the afternoon wine and cheese. My key card did not work. I was irritated about having to walk all the way to the front desk. Imagine my surprise to learn thta I wasn't supposed to be there that day. I missed my train to Delft and that night's hotel reservation was in Delft. In a bit of a panic, I asked if they had rooms for the night (the rate was in the low 200s) but the kind desk agent suggested I step away to see if I could book a room on points. It worked. I need to return to Delft.

After my trip to Paris, I returned and stayed at a Hampon Inn - Arena Boulevard (gasp!). They also have twin rooms. So, no, I did not stay on a canal (although there's a Hilton on a canal) and neither hotel was "charming". But both were very nice with good breakfasts (the one at the Doubletree was GREAT!) and I had access to the lounge at the Doubletree.

I just checked rates for 2 nights in mid-April and they are much higher than the rates for my dates in April 2019.

I went a bit later and barely got to the tulips in time. A lady on the plane who was at K three days later had photos of the surrounding fields mostly green (cut). K is going to be gorgeous anytime. On the second part of the trip, I rented a car and drove up north to visit with heti and her husband and those fields were lovely too. If you are at all interested in driving in the countryside, I highly recommend heading north. It was a great day trip.

Best advice = set an alarm on phone / computer/ calendar to remind you to buy your Anne Frank House tickets, 2 months prior.
DO NOT be in Amsterdam on Kings Day (the 27th this year). I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was wrong. Hated it.

Both of my Hilton properties had easy access to the public transportation and it's easy to move around Amsterdam. Having said that, I did opt for Ubers most of the time.

Once again, I know full well that I "saw" Amsterdam differently than many choose. Having said that, I loved my hotel choices and liked the day trip to K from the departure point near the Centraal Station.


Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 12:41 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 02:44 PM
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Night

Day
I loved the views from my room and the location of the hotel.

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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 04:20 PM
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AGM, you might find this useful. We've used it in the past to calculate when to visit, and where:

https://tulipsinholland.com/calendar/
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 05:15 PM
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Something else to consider - Amsterdam was very crowded during Easter week. Paris was not.
Lines for the museums were extremely long and the "skip the line" line was longer than the line to buy tickets at the Rijksmuseum. I skipped it completely.
I had to buy a semi-private tour to get entrance to the Van Gogh museum. It was great though.
Easter 2019 was April 21.
Easter 2020 will be April 12.
Something to consider.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 05:17 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:26 PM
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"Easter 2020 will be April 12." UGH! Thanks. Jewish kid here so not taking into account Easter.

StCirq thanks for the link.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:45 PM
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I was shocked difficult it was to get into the museums during Easter week. If museums aren't on your list, no problem. The house museum I wanted to visit was closed, but that was due to King's Day. It was very strange to be experiencing Anne Frank's house with the partying going on just outside the walls. But Koningsdag is at the end of the month so should not impact your trip. The tulips were gorgeous and I am so glad I went to see them, even with the museum crowds.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 06:48 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:56 PM
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Do you mean single rooms or twin-bedded rooms? What is your budget (if that's a concern)?

I once stayed in a compact and jewel-like single room at the Toren. Had a great stay there. My room was small, even for a single, but comfortable. Good bar, good breakfast, nice staff.

https://www.thetoren.nl/

ETA: I have also stayed at a less expensive hotel near Vondelpark but I don't remember the bed situation.

Last edited by Leely2; Jan 13th, 2020 at 07:04 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 08:11 PM
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It was Hotel Aalders that I stayed at and liked that was less expensive and more homey than the Toren. However, I stayed at the Toren prior to my stay at the Aalders and the Toren is the hotel I remember when I think of Amsterdam. It was more plush/luxe. Liked both hotels, though.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 05:04 AM
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Since the primary reason for the trip is the Caravaggio & Bernini exhibit at the Rijksmuseum we will have to rework the time frame. I have jury duty on the 9th and my friend needs to be home on the 20th. I am unsure if she can change her dates. Which would be better for seeing tulips understanding that climate makes that difficult to be definitive.

I am looking for a twin bedded room in the $300-400 range.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 05:37 AM
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I think it is impossible to know about the tulips. If that is when you can go, go then. Just be prepared for long lines. I was not willing to wait because of my limited time there but those in line got in. I would not go later in the month based on last year's blooms but no on knows when peak will be this year.

You can find Hilton properties in that range but I know many people prefer smaller, more quaint and on canals.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 14th, 2020 at 05:41 AM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by AGM_Cape_Cod View Post
Since the primary reason for the trip is the Caravaggio & Bernini exhibit at the Rijksmuseum we will have to rework the time frame. I have jury duty on the 9th and my friend needs to be home on the 20th. I am unsure if she can change her dates. Which would be better for seeing tulips understanding that climate makes that difficult to be definitive.

I am looking for a twin bedded room in the $300-400 range.
Keukenhof will definitely be open and gorgeous. Fields are there for production, not for show, but Keukenhof can be quite spectacular. Go there. And you might be in luck. In that case, the fields are there too. Also you'll see that all cities, everywhere, there are bulb flowers.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 09:14 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Residence le Coin, and had one room with twin beds connected to our room with a King bed.
Each room had a small kitchenette, was large and very clean. Great location.
https://www.lecoin.nl/en

P.S. I would not suggest staying next to the central train station. When we were there, it was hectic and unpleasant. Definitely stay elsewhere.

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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MoBro View Post
We stayed at the Hotel Residence le Coin, and had one room with twin beds connected to our room with a King bed.
Each room had a small kitchenette, was large and very clean. Great location.
https://www.lecoin.nl/en

P.S. I would not suggest staying next to the central train station. When we were there, it was hectic and unpleasant. Definitely stay elsewhere.
Yep LeCoin is a good one. Stayed there 2 times, the kitchenette is great and it's well stocked. Also, the connecting rooms are at the back of the hotel and very quiet. (Doelenstraat is not without traffic and revellers at night)
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 06:56 AM
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I was just reading that Keukenhof has planted 30% more bulbs than usual to try an ensure a good display throughout the opening period. However they also say the first crocuses and daffodils are already in bloom.
Let's hope we get a good cold February.
The director admits that they may have to start openng earlier in the year, but are reluctant to do so as so many people plan their trips up to two years ahead based on Keukenhf opening times. They already close earlier than they used to it seems to me.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by menachem View Post
Keukenhof will definitely be open and gorgeous. Fields are there for production, not for show, but Keukenhof can be quite spectacular. Go there.
Yes, definitely!

To clarify what I was saying. The flowers in K will be gorgeous, no matter when you go. But if you go later than your original dates, the surrounding fields may already be cut. That was the case for the lady on the plane who was there three days after me. Within the gardens, beautiful plantings, that are staggered to have blooms throughout. But there are vantage points at the edges of the garden so you can take photos of the surrounding fields. They are spectacular in full bloom, and green when they've been cut. I'll post some examples. But no matter your dates, you'll see gorgeous blooms in K. Later in the season, it's more likely the fields will have been cut.

(There's an issue with uploading photos. It won't go past 10%. I'll try again later.
The photos were to be the fields with people waiting for the boats. The windmill vantage point. A planting within K. A smaller version under the exhibition pavilion with one section being cut.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 09:25 AM
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I have to agree about Keukenhof. When we were there this past April it was spectacular and not just for the tulips, either. We went out via the bus from the airport and back but if you could get there from the Centraal Station area it would be even better IMO. The place had a lot of visitors but because the space is enormous it didn't seem "crowded."
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 11:57 AM
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View of the fields from the windmill viewing terrace

View of the windmill viewing location, from the ground. There's a line of people to enter and climb up. The line was too long (for me to wait) at the viewing platform on the other side of the garden. The fields were gorgeous as we drove in (and out) on the bus.

One of the beautiful plantings

Underneath the exhibition pavilion. Dozens of varieties on display. Here the worker is cutting off the blooms. Imagine this on a much larger scale with the surrounding fields. When I was there in late April, the fields from the viewing platform had lots of tulips (see photo). The lady next to me on the plane visited three days later and the fields were almost all green (cut).
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:04 PM
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We have decide to go the first week of April. I am relieved that there will be flowers while we are there. Starrs the photos are beautiful.
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