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Best area to stay in Amsterdam for a first time visitor

Best area to stay in Amsterdam for a first time visitor

Dec 11th, 2017, 11:34 PM
  #21  
 
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yes, the #2 and #5 are the most useful tram lines, I agree. A hotel near for instance Willemsparkweg would have the advantage of the nicer end of Vondelpark nearby, easy access to the Big Two (museums) and a good connection with the canals area. And it's not tourist central, so it's quieter.
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Dec 11th, 2017, 11:37 PM
  #22  
 
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Also, Zuid WTC station often is nearer to where a lot of people stay and has a great connection to Schiphol. And is smaller and much more user friendly than Central Station often is. The #5 tram connects Zuid WTC to the city centre.

(For instance, Sue's tip of the Delphi on Apollolaan is closer to Zuid WTC than it is to Central Station)
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Dec 12th, 2017, 06:54 AM
  #23  
 
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Yes it would be easier for some to reach their Amsterdam hotels from Zuid-WTC station by tram or taxi than from Centraal station. Anything south of Leidesplein or so.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 11:03 AM
  #24  
 
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Exactly. About 7 minutes from Schiphol, compared to 20 to CS.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 11:12 AM
  #25  
 
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And a few euros cheaper too! Plus navigating small Zuid station (or RAI bit further along) is much easier than Centraal Station and its perpetual mobs.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 11:28 AM
  #26  
 
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Also, transferring to the #5 tram, or the #51 light rail is easier. More trains stop at Zuid WTC than at Rai, so Zuid has always been a no-brainer for me, in terms of ease of use.
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Dec 12th, 2017, 04:10 PM
  #27  
 
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Wherever you stay, rent a bike! We had a great time riding around like the locals...and it saved the feet!
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Dec 12th, 2017, 09:59 PM
  #28  
 
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can I, as a Dutch native and bikerider, also in Amsterdam, advise strongly against the notion of renting a bike?

1. you don't ride around "like the locals" and the locals will curse you for it
2. bike traffic in Amsterdam is dense, and most tourists do not have the skills for it.

I'm spending too much time in Amsterdam evading tourists on bikes, who often put themselves in danger of which they are unaware. Fortunately, other bikers and drivers will look out for them, but those are dangerous situations nonetheless.

I'll illustrate the nature of riding a bike with a youtube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcKoyeX46s8
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Dec 12th, 2017, 10:32 PM
  #29  
 
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Count my children who live in Amsterdam among those cursing the tourists on bikes. Just walk, it's an easy city to see on foot.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 03:58 AM
  #30  
 
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I agree with the two previous posts. I'm a cyclist and have visited Amsterdam many times, but I would never consider renting a bike there. Walking and the tram are far better ways for a tourist to get around.

A note for first or even second-time visitors: never stand in a bike lane. It could be bad for your health.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 05:44 AM
  #31  
 
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Once, on the Central Station - PH Kade route I had to dismount to gently guide 4 elderly American tourists off a very busy bike path.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 08:10 AM
  #32  
 
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I definitely agree-- do not rent a bike! Biking in Amsterdam is for the experts, not the tourists.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 08:17 AM
  #33  
 
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I'd suggest if you want to bike, you can train to Haarlem and get a bike there. You can bike out to the coast - Rick Steves calls it an easy breezy ride. Well we got a bit lost and it can be quite breezy, but it was a great afternoon. But even on these roads less traveled, you need to acquaint yourself with the proper etiquette and ride purposefully, not in sightseeing mode.

I did rent a bike in Amsterdam - once. That was the only time in my life I had the experience of my life flashing in front of me and thought I was about to die!
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Dec 13th, 2017, 12:30 PM
  #34  
 
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Having biked in Amsterdam a lot in past yes it is not for casual biking.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 06:57 PM
  #35  
 
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I've stayed central at a great hotel called Canal House within easy walk of the palace and "centre" of town and also further out at the Hilton which has a lovely stepped outdoor terrace leading down to a canal. The Hilton was surprisingly nice and close to a pleasant high street in an upscale neighborhood with good dining choices and an easy tram into town...I love walking and didn't find it a stretch walking into the centre from here either
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Dec 14th, 2017, 08:48 AM
  #36  
 
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Incidenteally, the Hilton is also on Apollolaan, same avenue where the Delphi hotel is located, although the Hilton is more expensive.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono did one of their famous bed peace performances there, and the bar, on the canal, is nice indeed.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 08:49 AM
  #37  
 
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If you want to experience Amsterdam on bike and be safe check out the several companies doing escorted bike tours like MacBike:

https://www.macbike.nl/

For your own casual bike ride rent a bike at theirn Vondel Park shop and use miles of paths thru the park without any traffic.
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Dec 14th, 2017, 11:47 PM
  #38  
 
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Lots of cycle traffic in Vondelpark, PalenQ. And what is the attraction of just cycling through a park? Vondelpark is not that big.

When was the last time you were in Amsterdam, Pal?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 07:52 AM
  #39  
 
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You're right - though I was in Amsterdam last time 4 yrs ago and every year before that since the 1800s I know Vondel Park well and doubt it has changed a bit unless cows are gone. And yes in retrospect cycling in Vondel Park would be limited and rather boring and the main north-south bike 'freeway' on eastern side is yes often super crowded.

There is really no place in Amsterdam I would encourage novice bikers to bike unless with a group tour like MacBike and others offer that lead you out of the city.
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Dec 16th, 2017, 04:27 AM
  #40  
 
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OP, can I entice you to do a day trip to Alkmaar?(about 1 hour by train from Amsterdam CS). It's a gorgeous small city, and its museum has a stunning exhibition of paintings by Emmanuel Witte, a 17th century painter who specialised in church interiors and domestic scenes. Boring you might think, but his control of light and lighting surpasses even Vermeer's.

https://stedelijkmuseumalkmaar.nl/nu...anuel-de-witte
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