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Are day trips out of Amsterdam recommended during a first time visit?

Are day trips out of Amsterdam recommended during a first time visit?

Old Sep 19th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Are day trips out of Amsterdam recommended during a first time visit?

We will be in Amsterdam this October for the first time at the beginning and the end of a two week trip to Northern France; 5 full days on the front end and 1 1/2 days again before flying home. We will purchase the museum card rather than the iamsterdam card because of our split visit and its acceptance at other museums outside of Amsterdam.

We arrive early on a Sunday morning. I have timed tickets for 9:30-10:30 am on Tuesday for the Anne Frank house and then the remainder of that day to tour Haarlem. On Wed. I thought to go by train to visit Den Haag and Delft. My husband thinks this might be too many day trips for a first visit.

Does 4 full days plus 1/2 day in Amsterdam and 2 days of day trips seem a good division of our time? There are several museums that interest us in Amsterdam, Haarlem and the Hague but we also like to savor the neighborhoods, markets and people watching.

There are many Amsterdam companies that offer day trips but posters here at Fodors have been very helpful about recommending going on our own. Thank you for your comments and suggestions. Deborah
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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Well, I don't see any reason you can't play it by ear. To many people, Amsterdam feels quite small and easily "conquered" in a couple of days or even less. (Maybe especially while the Rijksmuseum is under renovation, with only a fraction of its collection on display). A lot of the so-called "must-sees" of Amsterdam of are absolutely no interest to half the people who go there -- for instance, I've been there more than once, and am headed back shortly, and I've never seen the red light district, the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank House and have no plans to do so -- and yet I feel I discover something new everytime I go to Amsterdam, even when I walk the same streets.

My first visit to Amsterdam I included a visit to Den Haag to see two major museums plus the Panorama Mesdag -- and I treasure those experiences. I am sorry I've yet to see Delft since the Delftware I saw in Amsterdam is so compelling.

Amsterdam is such a user-friendly city with such a user-friendly airport I don't see why you can't have a very loose plan, filled with variety, with the idea you can visit Amsterdam again and again if you also opt for day trips.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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I don't see why not. Many main cities in the Netherlands are so close together, in terms of highly-efficient train services, that it's almost the same as travelling within a larger metropolis anyway.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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That sounds like a good division of time to me. You may find doing Den Haag and Delft in one day a bit much, especially if you are going to the Mauritshuis. Go to Den Haag first and see how you feel about going on to Delft.
Do visit the Panorama Mesdag while in Den Haag.
We can hear all about it on Thursday then, if I can make it of course!

It takes 50 minutes on the direct train to Den Haag, nearly an hour to Delft btw.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Oh, I wanted to add:

If you have any time on your hands in Amsterdam, see a movie at the Tuschinski theater in Amsterdam. It seems like an odd thing to do while traveling -- go to a movie -- but the Tuschinksi movie palace is a world class treasure.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/arti...omments_page=1

http://www.fest21.com/en/blog/intldo...plush_red_seat
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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thanks for the comments. In the Rick Steves' book he states that The Hague and Delft are linked by a simple tram ride--that led me to think it would be possible to combine the two in a single day. My plan was to go to Den Haag first.

Hetismij, would you recommend the Panorama over the Madurodam if we also want to visit Delft?

It would be such a pleasure to meet you on the 8th if you can make it.

zeppole, I always appreciate your comments knowing travel is so subjective. For a first visit I do want to see the musuems Van Gogh, Hermitage, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank plus the Historisch and others as time allows.

thanks again for the comments. Deborah
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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I second a trip to the Tuschinski (the main building and the big screen if you can stand whichever film it is) - I like the way they have an interval for coffee and ice cream!
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:47 PM
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The theatre looks so beautiful. Thanks for the link, zeppole

Deborah
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Old Sep 20th, 2009, 12:40 AM
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I think you will enjoy the Panorama more than Madurodam - it is an amazing thing to see. Madurodam is fun, but more fun with young kids. Don't set anything in stone for the day and see how you feel - you may be able to do both or decide on the day that one or other appeals more. If it is raining for instance the Panorama wins because it is indoors!
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Old Sep 20th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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Hi; We did Den Hagg and Gouda in the same day. Leave early and return late. But just ten miles south of Amsterdam is a fairy tale castle in Muiden. A fun place to visit. www.castles.nl/muid/muid.html Richard
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Old Sep 20th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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thank you hetismij, I'll let the weather help with our planning once we arrive

Richard, I've visited that site several times while planning our trip to Northern France. Ron and I always try to find castles in the area to visit and Mot's Castle site is a wealth of information, including beautiful photos of the castles.

Deborah
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 05:54 PM
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Den Haag and Delft are doable in one day from Amsterdam by train and, yes, the No. 1 tram from Den Haag to Delft. Inquire at the railway station in AMS about any special day passes. This past spring they had a 2-person all day pass for unlimited first class rail travel throughout the country (except you could not start b/4 9 am) that was quite reasonable and barely more than the cost of a round trip to Delft. The train service is amazing --- you hardly need wait more than 20 or 30 minutes for the next train to anywhere between AMS and Rotterdam. We did Den Haag, Delft and a trip to Rotterdam for dinner, all in one day, and didn't rush!
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Deborah: Pardon me for cutting in again.

From AMS airport to Den Haag, is the train direct or need to transfer in Leiden? Is it true Den Haag has 6 stops? Which one do you recommended to get off at? Thanks for the help.
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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http://www.ns.nl/cs/Satellite/travellers

Looks like there's a direct train from Schiphol to Den Haag (Centraal) every half hour, plus other stopping trains that require a change at Leiden.

Richard's post above reminded me about Muiden and the Muiderslot (accessible by ordinary service bus from Amsterdam): when I went, there was a party of children being taken around by a very enthusiastic costumed guide talking about 17th century life. I learnt some Dutch: she waved a chamberpot at the children and obviously asked what it was, because she went on to say, to lots of giggles, "Ja goed! Dat is een piss-pot!"

Apart from that I remember Muiden, and Naarden nearby, as good examples of quieter, smaller towns that make a good contrast to the tourist-heavy places in Amsterdam.
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