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Amsterdam Trip Report

Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 09:26 AM
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Amsterdam Trip Report

I just returned from Amsterdam and want to share our fantastic time in this wonderful city. We flew Delta into Schipol on April 11. Outbound and inbound service on Delta was flawless. Did not fly economy so maybe that is why the experience was positive.

Reserved a pick up at the airport with Dutch Limousine for 53 Euros. We arrived early so had to wait about 10 mins for the driver to arrive.

Stayed at the Ambassade Hotel on the Heinrenstacht canal. Small boutique hotel, right on the canal and centrally located. Our room was off premise, 3 doors down and totally private. It was large with a big sitting area. The bathroom was also large with separate bathtub and shower and two sinks. The cost was 300 E/night including all taxes.
The staff was attentive and helpful. I would return in a heartbeat and recommend it to all.

We walked all over the city, never taking public transportation. However, we did use Uber when it was convienent and necessitated private transportation.

We used Uber to go back and forth to the Keukenhof gardens. The gardens were enjoyable even with lots of visitors. Not all flowers had bloomed so in the upcoming weeks it should be spectacular. We rented bikes right outstide the main gate. The cost was 10E and we rode in a large circle checking out the flower fields. Again, not alot of the fields were in full bloom but the ride was enjoyable and excerise was needed.

We toured Anne Frank's house using the reserved ticket system. This trip was booked only 6 weeks out so by the time I went on line to reserve tickets, our options were limited. Without the tickets we would have stood in a very very long line. Everytime we walked past the house, there was always a line no matter the time of day. So glad we went and worth it.

Visited the Van Gough museum. Again, had timed tickets which made the experience pleasant, otherwise would have stood in line for hours. The museum was crowded but we were able to view the pictures without much hassle. The museum has personal headsets to assist you in viewing his pictures. I think they were free. Without them we would have lost a lot of the backstory.

Stopped in the Dutch Resistance Museum. This museum highlighted the Dutch effort in thwarting the Nazis during WWII. Some the exhibits were difficult to read because the light was dim and placards were very small. 10E.

Took a free ferry from behind the Central Station to I think was North Amsterdam. We walked around the residential area and after an hour returned to the city.

We did a canal tour during the day. 9E. Enjoyed going through the canals. After we were done we rented a boat for ourselves and motored around for another 2 hours. It was fun taking our time and watching others on the canals. Lots of people having picnics, drinking and just having a good time on the canals. The weather was sunny but for us it was cold. We are used to So Cal weather not 55F. The cost of the boat was 80E for less than 2 hours.

We had a car because we had to go to Germany for about three days. On our way back to Amsterdam for our second act, we stopped in Gouda and Kinderdijk. Kinderdijk is 16 km from Rotterdam and is an old village with 19 windmills. We toured one of the working windmills and took lots of pictures. 7.5E

Gouda's city center appeared to be depressed with a number of store fronts empty. We tried some cheese, walked around and then went back to Amsterdam.

We had not planned to come back to Amsterdam but because we did not like the area of Germany we were in, we decided to high tail it back to Amsterdam. We had no reservations and trying to find a place on a Friday night was not easy. We ended up at the Hotel Amsterdam on Dam Square. Not my ideal location but good enough for one night. The room was small but adequate. 360E indcluding all taxes.

The last night we stayed at the Sheraton at Schipol Airport because we had an early flight home. The room was typical of an american hotel but I think the Sheraton at the Frankfurt Airport is nicer. 137E including all taxes.

We drank lots of beer...yummm. Breakfasts were all good. Wish I could get something similar where I live. We don't eat lunch but the two outstanding restaurants for dinner were Cafe de Reiger in the Jordaan area and De Kas. De Kas is a greenhouse where the chef grows his own produce. They offer a price fixed meal with 3-4 courses. It was a fun experience in a beautiful setting.

The other restaurants we ate in are not worth mentioning. We were fortunate to have good weather. The day we arrived it drizzled and all the other days were sunny and windy. I wore layers but was still cold because the wind goes right through you.

We found the people to be friendly and helpful, everyone speaks English, easy city to get around and the food and beer were above our expectations. Well not the beer, I knew it would be good.

This is our new favorite city and we can't wait to go back.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 09:41 AM
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Your description of the room in the Hotel Amsterdam sounds completely on target to me. I am curious as to why you decided not to use any public transport in the city or was this out of some desire to walk everywhere?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 09:56 AM
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Walking gives us the exercise we need daily. We also discover alot more on foot than on a tram or subway. It is the way we like to travel regardless of the city.

Of course if the distances are large and the time it takes to get from one place to another is long, we will use public transportation.

We have nothing against using public transportation, we just like to walk.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 10:00 AM
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always like to read about Amsterdam - sounds like a great trip!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2015, 11:23 AM
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PalenQ, Thanks for your Amsterdam guide. It provided me with alot of suggestions except we didn't have enough time to all that we had planned.

Amsterdam doesn't appear to get enough attention on this board.
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Old Apr 25th, 2015, 06:23 PM
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Thanks for the report; I had a lovely few days in Amsterdam last Sept. on the way to a conference up north. Loved the canals and museums in particular. Stayed at the well-located Amphora b&b which I can recommend for return visits.

So true about advanced reservations and the Anne Frank house; walked right in past the 3 hour line.
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Old Apr 27th, 2015, 09:03 AM
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We visited Keukenhof today, April 27, and 90% of the beds are in perfect bloom. I suggest you arrive at 8 a.m. If possible. The light was outstanding and gardens were almost empty for the first hour.
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Old Feb 19th, 2017, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for your report! We will be in Amsterdam in early May, also staying at the Ambassade, so great to hear you were happy with that choice. Also appreciate the restaurant recos.
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Old Feb 19th, 2017, 09:12 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ite-things.cfm

PalenQ, Thanks for your Amsterdam guide. It provided me with alot of suggestions except we didn't have enough time to all that we had planned.>

carmen - it talks a lot about restaurants with valuable inputs from locals- especially about the famed rijstaffels (rice tables) which are a real adventure in Chinese-Indonesia food popular with the Dutch.

Cheers!
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Old Feb 19th, 2017, 07:48 PM
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For people visiting until may 21: Stedelijk Museum (museum of modern art) is getting its mojo back, after almost a decade of closure and has a major exhibition of photographer Ed van der Elsken.

His main subject matter was Amsterdam, and he shot the majority of his work on Amsterdam in the late fifties and early sixties.

http://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitio...camera-in-love
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