Amsterdam travel ideas

Aug 16th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Amsterdam travel ideas

My husband and I are thinking of going to Amsterdam in September. We have never been to Amsterdam before. Any suggestions for a week's worth of fun?
lkwilliams is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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When in September? there is a big conference/trade exhibition held every September which fills up most hotels. It is on this year from 10-15 September.

If you so a search on the forum you will find plenty of suggestions for places to visit, things to see, and so on.
If you have a specific question I'll do my best (as will others here) to answer it.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Go to and find the Netherlands forum. Find the thread on Priceline hotels for Amsterdam... it's usually in the first couple of screens.

You'll save a fortune and get a 4 star hotel for under $100. That's where I'd start...

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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I would spend most of my time in smaller towns around Holland. Amsterdam has some nice sites but if you aren't into illicit drugs or sex, there are better places.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 09:10 AM
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Amsterdam is lovely. I don't understand or agree with bdjtbenson's point of view.
zoecat is online now  
Aug 16th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Most visitors to AMS seem to like certain activities non of which are illicit in The Netherlands.
I too would suggest you see a bit more of other locations too.
So go on tell us what you think is fun and we will suggest more things to do.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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What can I say?

The museums in A'dam wouldn't make my top twenty list. It's easily the dirtiest city in Northern Europe. Even in what are considered to be family friendly suburbs, we found it all but impossible to escape the drug culture (watch your step to avoid stepping on a used needle).

The big draws seem to be coffee houses that sell drugs and the red light district. If you're into that, A'dam is the place to be. If not, there are much better places.

I know many think A'dam is wonderful but that wasn't my opinion. I think someone should make a quick visit, then go to better places.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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bdjtbenson, when did you visit Amsterdam?
hetismij is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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The last time I slept in Amsterdam was three years ago.

I've been through since but can't say I really visited.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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During the course of four month stay in the Netherlands about fifteen years ago, we spent many weekends in Amsterdam. We liked the museums, the street with all the antiques stores between the museum quarter and Centraal Station, the Jordaan, and just walking along the canals. Unless the Rijksmuseum and the van Gogh museum have really gone downhill, I can't conceivably think of more than a handful of European cities with better museums.

One of the nice things about the Netherlands is the combination of a really good train system and short distances between cities. If you stay in Amerstdam you're ten miles from Haarlem, twenty miles from Utrech and Leiden, and thirty from The Hague, so going to any of these cities makes a good day trip.
sjj is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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DH and I have just spent a year living in Amsterdam for his work (we're from the States). I don't even recognize the place bjdbenson describes.

In fact our DD was at school in Paris this past year, and after many trips - at least once a month - between the two cities, I have to say in my experience Paris is noisier, dirtier, filled with traffic, more touristy and tacky in places, and less pleasant to visit. DD just spent the last two months with us in Amsterdam after her year in Paris, and she has mentioned how beautiful and enjoyable she finds Amsterdam after how hectic Paris is. And she has always been a real Francophile, so she has been surprised by her own reaction.

This of course is not meant to start a war between Amsterdam-lovers and Paris-lovers (I actually love both places) - it's just meant to show how different people's experiences and opinions can be. I certainly wouldn't advise you to not go to Paris because I find parts of it noisy and dirty, and I wouldn't advise you to avoid Amsterdam because another poster says critical things about it.

The heavily touristed (by British stag parties) Amsterdam redlight district can be tacky, but it's a VERY small part of the city. It would be like hating all of San Francisco because you think Fisherman's Wharf is touristy and tacky. BTW, in my entire year here I've never SEEN a drug needle - anywhere. And I've covered almost every part of Amsterdam on foot. Bjdbenson, just where do you hang out when in Amsterdam? Hmm ...

Believe me, quite a few of the expats in Amsterdam - many of whom have had tours of duty in London, Paris, Munich, etc. too - talk about how they think Amsterdam is the best place to live of the major cities in Europe and how glad they were to get posted there. A fair number of them even claim it's the most beautiful city (including people who have spent years in Paris). Oh well - we'd be glad to keep Amsterdam as our little secret, but I think it's too late. And does talking about how great it is on Fodor's mean even more people will ... never mind. Forget everything I've said. It really IS awful ...
NorCalif is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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I love Amsterdam! It is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I traveled there last year for 4 days after getting off a cruise ship. It was phenomenal. I was traveling solo and female. I did some tours outside of Amsterdam in the country side. Did another tour to Brussels as well. I was so busy that on the last day before I was supposed to leave on my flight home, I was too tired to get out of bed because I had done so much and experienced so much in Amsterdam. Wow, what a trip to remember. I did lots of research before my trip just to get an idea of what i wanted to do. I did the Anne Frank museum, brought the two day pass for the boat taxi's, went to the Riks museum and Van Gogh museum, did the country side tour (lovely!), did the day tour to Belgium, Antwerp, did a jazz boat ride, did the sex museum (very interesting), enjoy the music at the Leidesplien (sp) square, enjoyed tapas, etc. I stayed at a hotel rights across the street from the Riks. The bathroom was very small but I am only there to sleep and bathe. People were very friendly in the hotel. I had so much luggage, they didn't believe I had just off a cruise ship. LOLOL.
But, please do your research. There is too much to do in Amsterdam that you might miss what you really want to experience if you don't plan.
Take care and safe travels!!
TRVLNLITE516 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:41 PM
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I am going to Amsterdam the last 2 weeks of Sept, 3 days Bruges. We are going to day trips to Harlemm, Delft, the Hague. I think it will be lovely.
Judyrem is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions. We're not really into the red light district. Would like to see the Anne Frank museum and a few others. Would like to take a canal cruise. We enjoy exploring on foot. Day trips (by train) would also be great. THank you in advance for any suggestions.
lkwilliams is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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TDudette is online now  
Aug 17th, 2009, 12:08 AM
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Hi there,

I'd like to ask bdjtbenson, about smaller towns around A'dam you suggest to visit during the second week of October, for a person who is not into illicit drugs or sex, as you said.

Best regards
AKTAKT is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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Haarlem makes an excellent day trip from Amsterdam. It is less than 20 minutes by train from Centraal Station. The Grote Markt (town square), Grote Kerk (big church), Frans Hals Museum, Tyler's Museum, Cruquis, and De Adriaan windmill are all interesting. Good food and beverages at the Brinkman and reasonably priced. Good nightlife around the Grote Kerk.
spaarne is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 05:13 AM
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Another Amsterdam lover here! So much to see and do, lots of quiet corners for a moment of peace in a tourist's busy life. Wonderful towns and cities within an easy day or even half day trip. Second the Haarlem suggestion. I spent one of my Netherlands trips there (a week and not nearly enough time) Went into Amsterdam several days, explored Haarlem, and took a couple of day trips to other cities.

Have fun!
irishface is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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bdjtbenson, I used to think Amstrdam was the armpit of the world, but that was many years ago.

To say there are no top rate museums in Amsterdam is nonsense. The Rijksmuseum? Ok not much to see at the moment but normally a top notch museum. Likewise the Van Gogh, the Stedelijk, not to mention the amazing new Hermitage museum. Were you not moved by the Anne Frank huis?

I have not come across any needles, or that many serious drug users for many years now in Amsterdam. The redlight district is always tacky, but improving. I have never seen the point in it.
As others have pointed out things which may be illicit where you are are not illicit in Amsterdam. That is sadly one reason it attracts so many foreigners - for what they are forbidden from doing at home. The locals are far more relaxed about it all, and rarely make use of the facilities.
It is perfectly possible to visit Amsterdam and not see a redlight (other than a traffic light), or to have anything to do with coffeeshops and their clientèle.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 06:29 AM
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lkwilliams buy your tickets for the Anne Frankhuis online to save having to queue for hours. You can do the same for the Van Gogh museum too.
hetismij is offline  

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