Family vacation near Amsterdam

May 2nd, 2016, 08:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2016
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Family vacation near Amsterdam

I am traveling this summer with 3 teenagers. We are taking a week long cruise up the Rhine. It starts in Basel and finishes in Amsterdam. We will have a day and a half in the Basel area before we get on the cruise and a week after Amsterdam. Any suggestions for the day and half before the cruise begins? I was thinking of touring the Black Forest in Germany but am not sure if that is too far to go. Also, I was thinking we would spend an extra day in Amsterdam (the river cruise only allows for one day) and then we could either go into other parts of the Netherlands, Belgium (bit concerned with safety there), or Germany. We would have about 5 days to do that. Any suggestions?

Proo is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 12:15 PM
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You don't want to waste a lot of those 5 days on travelling to another destination.
You can go for a few days to Belgium. Gent is a good base. A lively city with its own attractions, and close to the usual suspects (Brugge, Brussel, Antwerpen) and depending on the type train only 2,5 to 3,5 hrs from Amsterdam.
An alternative is to base yourself in Haarlem. A nice, historical and somewhat quiet provincial city with excellent train connections to about everywhere in this part of the world. Amsterdam is 20 mins away and it's only 10 mins from the beach at Zandvoort.
tonfromleiden is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 01:11 PM
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Perhaps you could just spend time in Amsterdam and do day trips.
What do you teenagers enjoy doing? What do you enjoy doing? We could give more advice if we know a bit more about you. Young teens or older teens?
hetismij2 is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 01:15 PM
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Thank you for your input. I was originally considering Belgium but was a bit nervous with our state department issuing us warnings, so I need to think about that one. I was thinking instead of spending a few extra days in Amsterdam - there is a lot to see and do there and then doing a few day trips to maybe: Utrecht, The Hague, or Rotterdam, and then spending a few days on the northern coast of Holland (the Nordwijsk area). You are correct that I don't want to spend a lot of time traveling, as our time is limited. Thanks again.
Proo is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 03:10 PM
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Thanks, hetismij2. My teens are 18, 18 and 14. They enjoy outdoor activities.
Proo is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 10:08 PM
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Apart from Noordwijk (boring, for old, rich people), consider Wijk aan Zee: alternative, folksy, ugly as hell if you look south but the gorgeous Kennemerduinen if you go north. And there's surfing culture to be had, and surfing and kiteboarding courses that last a day.

Rotterdam is the epitome of cool these days, and there's a lot going on, because we're commemorating 75 years of Reconstruction.

Also: the island of Texel, or a small scale multi-day bike tour with hotels or B&B's, for instance, cycling up to Enkhuizen in a few days by the IJsselmeer, then going back on the train. 2 days, maybe 3.

Or the other way: Arnhem, with the Openluchtmuseum, Market Garden museum and the Pegasus trail, access to Hoge Veluwe and Kröller-Müller Museum. Or Nijmegen. Bike rental is everywhere.

A favorite summer tour is taking the sailing ferry to Urk from Enkhuizen and back. From Urk, Schokland can be visited, a Unesco heritage site.
menachem is offline  
May 2nd, 2016, 10:40 PM
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If your state dept says to avoid Belgium, avoid Belgium.
Enough to see in NL.
Whathello is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 12:33 AM
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I wouldn't hesitate one moment going to Belgium. It's safe or unsafe as anywhere else. (Didn't Stockholm have a security alert last week?)
But Texel is a nice place to relax for a few days. Excellent connection to Amsterdam (train to Den Helder; ferry to the island). Rent a bicycle or do some walking.
tonfromleiden is offline  
May 3rd, 2016, 05:07 AM
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If the State Department had any sense, they'd be warning you to stay away from Chicago. But since you find Belgium off-putting, I'd head to Rotterdam, by far the coolest place I've been in a very long time, and not far from Amsterdam.
StCirq is online now  
May 3rd, 2016, 08:32 AM
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As part of the Rotterdam festivities this summer there will be gigantic squares up the Groothandelsgebouw, next to Central Station, so you can climb up to the roof and to the secret Kriterion cinema there, where you can watch films about the Reconstruction
menachem is offline  
May 15th, 2016, 02:47 PM
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Thank you for all the comments. I am in the process of planning now.
Proo is offline  
May 15th, 2016, 07:09 PM
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Family vacation near Amsterdam
Posted by: Proo on May 2, 16 at 12:29pm

Five days around Amsterdam is barely enough. For active teens you could hit the beach at Zandvoort or Bloemendaal. Rent bikes and pedal to the coast from Haarlem. Hang out in Haarlem for a day. See Madurodam in the Hague. Visit the Duinrell water park in Wassenaar.
spaarne is offline  
May 15th, 2016, 10:37 PM
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Of course, Haarlem is a fantastic base to explore the coast and the beautiful dune parks: the Amsterdamse Waterleiding Duinen and Duinpark Zuid Kennemerland. There's bike rental in Zandvoort.
menachem is offline  

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