Day trips from Amsterdam

May 18th, 2019, 02:28 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,157
Leiden is so close to Amsterdam one could base there and day trip into Amsterdam if aloof to staying in large cities and saving perhaps a ton of money - pretty short train trip.
PalenQ is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 02:57 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,851
OK, I will chime in here about our experience. A few years ago we decided to visit Utrecht on our biannual pilgrimage to Europe. We found accommodation in Utrecht to be unacceptably expensive so stayed in nearby Maarssen, which was small and picturesque, and drove to Utrecht. I get now from talking to my relatives that people don't really stay in Maarssen ("You went to Maarssen? Really?") but for us it was a good solution. We spent New Years' Day (after all of us had been sick) poking around Utrecht. There were fortunately cafés and some churches open, but we didn't linger long because of the cold and our health. But Utrecht is not really like Amsterdam. It is pretty, and not as 'organised' in terms of concentric canals. There are just two meandering canals running through the Binnenstad and they are in a sort of straight-ish line, and interesting sights are all clustered along the canals. Unfortunately because of the date I can't comment more, we didn't find much else open. I think though it is a worthy day trip. I have seen quite a lot of the Netherlands as I have been a number of times and Utrecht is a good destination. Had we been able to, we would have visited DOMUnder, which is an archaeological site under the city: https://www.domunder.nl/en/dom-under .

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 03:00 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,607
<<if aloof to staying in large cities ...>>

What does that mean? Perhaps the OP would be averse to staying in large cities, but aloof? That's quite a slight.
StCirq is online now  
May 18th, 2019, 03:11 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,157
Gouda is a really cute historic cheese town with a fine fine old town square - old time cheese market - rarely mentioned here I suggest it for an alternative for Utrecht and one that has excellent rail links:

https://www.google.com/search?q=edam...w=1008&bih=613

And you can rent a bike and easily cycle from Gouda to Kinderdijk and the largest collection of behemoth windmills in NL and authentically all have been here in place for eons I believe. (Unlike Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam where most of the mills have been moved there from around the old Zuider Zee.)

Gouda is for nature lovers as just out of town is a large area of ponds with narrow paths going between them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=goud...hrome&ie=UTF-8
PalenQ is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 09:54 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Gouda is a really cute historic cheese town with a fine fine old town square - old time cheese market - rarely mentioned here I suggest it for an alternative for Utrecht and one that has excellent rail links:

https://www.google.com/search?q=edam...w=1008&bih=613

And you can rent a bike and easily cycle from Gouda to Kinderdijk and the largest collection of behemoth windmills in NL and authentically all have been here in place for eons I believe. (Unlike Zaanse Schans near Amsterdam where most of the mills have been moved there from around the old Zuider Zee.)

Gouda is for nature lovers as just out of town is a large area of ponds with narrow paths going between them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=goud...hrome&ie=UTF-8
Gouda - Kinderdijk is not an "easy" bike trip. Just saying.

menachem is offline  
May 18th, 2019, 09:56 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Leiden is so close to Amsterdam one could base there and day trip into Amsterdam if aloof to staying in large cities and saving perhaps a ton of money - pretty short train trip.

Leiden and The Hague is a good combination. Far better than The Hague and Delft. Amsterdam - Leiden: 30 minutes by train. Amsterdam - The Hague is 40 minutes, Amsterdam - Rotterdam: 40 minutes by ICD.
menachem is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 02:58 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 75
My vote would be for Leiden. Was there a few weeks back, used it as a base for Keukenhof.

Great place, very enjoyable, energy with the college kids as someone above stated, boat tour of canals, Botanic garden started in the 1550's. Only 16 minutes by train from Schipol and so much different than A-dam.

I also love Arnhem, if you want to see some WW2 history, along with a very large open air museum and impressive zoo.

Rotterdam does feel like a city, whether that is good or bad, but it sounded like you wanted something different from A-dam
bdokeefe is offline  
Jun 9th, 2019, 06:04 PM
  #28  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,039
Menachem,

How about Delft and Leiden?

Why does The Hague feel like too much politics?
Myer is online now  
Jun 9th, 2019, 07:25 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,851
The Hague is the seat of government and the administrative capital. It is an elegant city and a little aloof. A totally different vibe to the other cities on the North Sea. It also has the International Court of Justice. It feels a lot more businesslike, and not 'gezellig' like Amsterdam.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 02:29 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by lavandula View Post
The Hague is the seat of government and the administrative capital. It is an elegant city and a little aloof. A totally different vibe to the other cities on the North Sea. It also has the International Court of Justice. It feels a lot more businesslike, and not 'gezellig' like Amsterdam.

Lavandula

The Hague is, in fact, the most decadent city in the Netherlands, but that is all under the surface. One of the things you could do is book a guided walking tour. The Hague also has a rich literary past. So it takes a bit of prodding to tease out its thoroughly perverted character: all respectability and understated wealth on the outside, , perversity and excess on the inside.
menachem is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 02:32 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by Myer View Post
Menachem,

How about Delft and Leiden?

Why does The Hague feel like too much politics?
Leiden is my alma mater, so YES! And Delft is gorgeous too. Leiden, Delft and The Hague are all on the same trainline, and nights are long, so all three are great for an extended daytrip.

And please, please, please, if you go to The Hague, please visit Panorama Mesdag. For Leiden the unmissables are: the Royal Anitquities Museum (RMO, on beautiful Rapenburg) and the Ethnological Museum. Also, Humboldt House.
menachem is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 02:58 AM
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,039
I thought I replied yesterday but it's not here.

Unless we end up spending very little time in both Delft and Leiden (which I doubt) The Hague might be a problem time-wise. I'm an early riser but my wife, though she gets up earlier than normal when on a trip, will not be up at the crack of dawn. So unless we're looking at an early train when no other is available, I don't see us taking a train before 10:00 or 10:30 at the earliest.

And since The Hague would probably be the third on my list of Delft, Leiden and The Hague, we'd be visiting slightly out of sequence. But, you never know.
Myer is online now  
Jun 11th, 2019, 02:47 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
If it were me, my order would be: Amsterdam - Delft, Delft - Den Haag, Den Haag - Leiden, Leiden Amsterdam

Amsterdam - Delft is your longest stretch, but still only a bit over an hour, Delft - Den Haag: 10 minutes, Den Haag - Leiden: 15 and Leiden - Amsterdam 30. That's how close everything is together by train.
menachem is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 01:35 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,039
Menachem,

I agree with you that the logical sequence would be Amsterdam - Delft - Den Haag - Leiden - Amsterdam.

But if we have to omit one place, to me it would be Den Haag. So it might make more sense for us to go a bit out of sequence by putting Den Haag after Leiden.
Myer is online now  
Jun 12th, 2019, 09:07 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by Myer View Post
Menachem,

I agree with you that the logical sequence would be Amsterdam - Delft - Den Haag - Leiden - Amsterdam.

But if we have to omit one place, to me it would be Den Haag. So it might make more sense for us to go a bit out of sequence by putting Den Haag after Leiden.
I can't fathom why. It (again) has a very different flavour than Amsterdam, or Leiden, or Delft. Why go for the cookie cutter cities?
menachem is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 12:38 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,157
Dutch cookie-cutter cities like Leiden, Delft and many other s with old-town centers are what many Americans are looking for - again judging by thousands of folks my tour company led thru all those towns - that neat old-world towns like Haarlem were so neat and though they also liked Rotterdam and The Hague they more liked the old cookie-cutter towns. I'd do one of each - Utrecht to me is both a cookie-cutter town in its historic centre around the cathedral and also has modern parts of town, including the much despised by locals a once-modern shopping mall connected to the main train station.

And for one day in a city it is much easier to leisurely see everything - The Hague you got the Peace Palace, Madurodam, and the Mauritshuis (ep?), a world-class Museum and the nice square in front of it with a Royal Something in the middle - then you have Scheveningen (sp?), a whole nother city - a modern hopping seafront beach city - with the famous Mesdag circular panorama (not exactly clear on this as never visited it).
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 03:35 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Dutch cookie-cutter cities like Leiden, Delft and many other s with old-town centers are what many Americans are looking for - again judging by thousands of folks my tour company led thru all those towns - that neat old-world towns like Haarlem were so neat and though they also liked Rotterdam and The Hague they more liked the old cookie-cutter towns. I'd do one of each - Utrecht to me is both a cookie-cutter town in its historic centre around the cathedral and also has modern parts of town, including the much despised by locals a once-modern shopping mall connected to the main train station.

And for one day in a city it is much easier to leisurely see everything - The Hague you got the Peace Palace, Madurodam, and the Mauritshuis (ep?), a world-class Museum and the nice square in front of it with a Royal Something in the middle - then you have Scheveningen (sp?), a whole nother city - a modern hopping seafront beach city - with the famous Mesdag circular panorama (not exactly clear on this as never visited it).
The mall in Utrecht is now fully renovated and pretty impressive.

The Hague to me is the gorgeous area around Lange Voorhout, Vijverberg and Plein. It is also the Netherlands' most colonial city. Do have tea at Des Indes and experience the sumptuous The Hague, always behind a secret door.... And The Hague got great museums, not only Mauritshuis, but also the Gemeentemuseum/GEM in a building by Berlage. But most of all it has Panorama Mesdag. Don't miss it.
If you want to experience the largest South Asian city in The Netherlands, head to Transvaal and Regentessekwartier.

PS PalenQ, if you want to inform people about Dutch destinations, make sure you've got your facts right and check your memories against google.
menachem is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 03:43 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,157
Besides the Utrecht mall being renovated (I said dilapidated because I clearly remember not long ago a Dutch resident saying that after I said it was a nice mall) - what else is wrong?
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 09:24 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted by PalenQ View Post
Besides the Utrecht mall being renovated (I said dilapidated because I clearly remember not long ago a Dutch resident saying that after I said it was a nice mall) - what else is wrong?
Euromast/Maastoren (other thread)

and nice, the walkback, because "not long ago" Hoog Catharijne was also "recently renovated". That and the total rebuild of Utrecht Central: massive projects, and a beautiful result.

Apart from that, it always amazes me that tourists are so stuck to their image of the Netherlands that they want to keep it intact. So cities need to be Amsterdam or mini-Amsterdams like Delft and Leiden (less so Utrecht) and certainly Haarlem. When we, Dutch people, point out cities that are not like the tourist fantasy and interesting and beautiful in their own right, non-Dutch (once or prospective) tourists on this board will actually say that we don't know what we're talking about. I realize that tourist travel is about fantasies, but it feels really weird that if I know that what in a city is worth visiting, someone who's never in their life been there will actually deny this, saying a city seems boring. How do they know?

For me the value of a forum such as this is to give (and receive) information you don't normally get about destinations, opening up new possibilties.

menachem is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 09:38 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,551
And then people complain that the same places everyone visits are too crowded.

Just today in the NYT
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...uU9__cX_WCDaNk

On The Hague:
But for serious museum goers, The Hague cannot be beat.

Mauritshuis, the city’s best-known museum (it houses the original “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” Fabritius’s “Goldfinch,” and an impressive collection of Rembrandt paintings), is right next to the Binnenhof, the medieval royal court that is now the site of the country’s government, and partially open to visitors on guided tours. The Gemeentemuseum is known for its works by Piet Mondrian — the biggest in the world, as well as works by Degas, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh, among others. The museum Escher in Het Paleis, right next to the American Embassy, offers a tour of the graphic artist’s life and works.

Looking for night life? Between Easter and October, 75 beach bars are set up on a seven-mile stretch of wild north beach in the neighborhood of Scheveningen. (Those who want to see the Wild Dutch Sea side, nearby Oostduinpark is a perfect place for a hike).

And if you want to taste the flavors of the many immigrants who have come to the Netherlands since the middle of the last century, the city has a sprawling market where you can sample olives from Greece, fruit from Turkey and bakabana from Suriname, and, of course, fresh fish from the Dutch fishing fleet whose port is just a few miles away.
Tulips is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:26 AM.