Getting Around Outside of Amsterdam

Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Getting Around Outside of Amsterdam

We are a group of 4 that would be interested in hiring a guide to take us around the countryside. Is this feasible and would they have their own car to take us in? Would we set a price before we went or is there set prices depending on where we want to go. We are from Ontario so we think it takes along time to get anywhere but know that is not the case in Holland. Is a tour of the countryside feasible with a 1/2 day say to go to the coast? Where would be the best place to get a guide...would our hotel supply a name to us? Any answers would be really appreciated. Thanks so much in advance.

Corinne, ON, Canada
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:06 PM
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The train system is very good in the Netherlands - you can visit numerous small towns, see the rural areas, even take yourselves to the coast. Is it a consideration for you?

www.ns.nl

Also, there are coach tours, usually 1/2 day, from Lindbergh Excursions, office and departure point on Damrak.

http://www.lindbergh.nl/
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 11:38 PM
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What do you mean by countryside - the immediate area around Amsterdam or Groningen/Friesland, Noord brabant/Limburg? ie further away from Amsterdam.
The coast is accessible from Amsterdam by public transport.
I am assuming you will be based in Amsterdam?
As Travelnut says the train system is pretty good in the Netherlands, particularly around the "Randstad". Buses are also frequent and tend to link up with trains.
I have no experience of private guides here, but I think it would be a very expensive option, especially as they would need a vehicle to hold 5 adults comfortably, which would almost certainly mean they had to hire something, plus the coat of fuel and their time. My car will hold 5 adults, but not comfortably for any length of time for instance.
Why not hire a car yourselves for a couple of days and go off and explore if you want to go somewhere not so well served by trains?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:39 AM
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I just found this link for you . Hope it helps.
http://tinyurl.com/2v55qq
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:09 AM
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Like Hetismij, I'd be curious to know what you want to see. If you simply want to see rural Dutch, you might consider taking a one day or half-day bike tour that gets you out of a city.

As a former Ontarian who's lived in Holland for a few years, I am still astonished that the cities "thin out" so quickly, meaning that you can bike ride from the center of Amsterdam to quaint villages in relatively little time.

For the most part, I would think that if there's something specific you want to see bad enough to hire a private guide, that "something" will be accessible by public transit.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:27 AM
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Thanks to everyone who replied. It sounds like the train/bus system is very good. We were thinking of going to rotterdam, or around that area. Just to go out and about instead of staying in the close vicinity of Amsterdam and surrounding areas. Sounds like we can use the bus/train system for the most part so thank you all for your suggestions. Will post our trip report when we return.

Corinne
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:10 AM
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You might enjoy the Zuiderzee outdoor folk museum in Enkhuizen.

http://www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl/?language=en

It's a short train ride to Enkhuizen; the tourist office is just beyond the train station and you buy the museum tickets there. Then you go to the boat dock and take a boat to the museum location (quick, maybe 10-15 minutes?). We thought it was very interesting. While on the train to and from, you will pass thru polder lands, see a windmill, farm houses, etc.

Enkhuizen is pleasant for a wander also.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Global guy - or anyone else - what are the logistics of biking out from a city to experience the countryside?
I will be with two fit kids (9and11) who love to bike.
We will be based in Eindhoven but will do an overnight in Amsterdam and day trips to, well, not sure yet!
We'd love an easy ( halfday?) outing by bike in the country. Even if we take a train part way and then rent bikes somewhere and take a picnic.

thanks!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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I can't speak for Eindhoven, but for Utrecht and Amsterdam and most other cities and towns I've visited in nearly 5 years in the country, you hit the country surprisingly quickly. From Utrecht's city center you need only ride a half an hour to be amongst sheep and cattle and quaint little farm houses. Head south from Amsterdam and you can get the same effect, though it maybe a slightly longer jaunt.

If you want to find a bike rental shop in a city, google "fiets huren + the city or town name" and you ought to get results. Similarly, once you narrow down your options to a specific city or town, google "VVV + the town name" to get a link to the town's tourist bureau; most towns will have 'themed' cycling routes planned out and you can buy a map for a Euro or two.

In Eindhoven you can rent a bike at Rijwielshop, Stationsplein 22. 040-2436617 € 6,50 per hour, € 50 per day.

Finally, while I haven't been on this tour and I don't know if you'd consider joining it, I know that it does leave from Amsterdam's city center to wind through a very picturesque and charming part of the country. The price seems good for the length of time and the benefit of a guide.

http://www.yellowbike.nl/en/biketour...tour-amsterdam

http://us.holland.com/
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Oops, I forgot....Visiting the Kroller-Muller museum and Park Hoge Veluwe could be fun too. The museum is located in the middle of a nature park. When you get to the entrance of the nature park, you'll find free to use bikes to explore the place on. As for the museum; it's second only to the Van Gogh museum for the size of it's collection of that artist's work and there is a very nice outdoor sculpture garden too

www.kmm.nl

www.hogeveluwe.nl
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:54 AM
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My dad was from Holland, and he claimed that you could bike across the entire country in two days. He also said that he used to do that for fun, along, when he was a kid. True, those were different days, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to bike anywhere in the country.

But you should know, if you plan on renting bikes there, they won't be the fancy schmancy American road bikes painted bright red, they'll probably be older and with only a few gears (not that you'll need them, the whole place is flat!).

You can take bikes on the train until you get to the "suburbs", and then bike from there too!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Thanks Happy Train...I totally forgot about taking them on the train...duh. Yes, of course you can take bikes on the train anywhere in Holland. The bikes have to stay in a designated area on the train (near the doors) and you'd certainly want to keep your eye on them. Unless you have a folding bike and it's folded while riding the train, you do pay an extra surcharge.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:36 AM
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kpie, your friends in Eindhoven will know the area better, but if you are going to cycle to see the countryside, might as well do it from there. If you go south, the village of Valkenswaard has a nice square, where you can have lunch (about 10 km from Eindhoven). Or cycle to Nuenen, where Vincent van Gogh has lived (there was a post here a while back, if you search Nuenen you will find it).
You get into the countryside quickly from Eindhoven, as it's not so big. Lots of villages around the city.

Another very nice area to see on bicycle is near the Vecht river, north of Utrecht. Take the train to a place like Breukelen, rent bikes there and cycle along the river to see the houses that were build by rich Amsterdam merchants in the 17th and 18th century. And go and see Kasteel de Haar; www.kasteeldehaar.nl/
(you could do this from Utrecht, but then you have to get out of the city first; easier to start from one of the villages).
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Old Jun 1st, 2008, 10:39 PM
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These are great ideas! thank-you so much. I will put my friend to work organizing things for us. The tricky part might be finding kids bikes. 50 Euro a day seems quite a lot for rental - perhaps my friend can shop around and we could get bikes for a few days and take them on the train.
We are looking into one overnight in Amsterdam and a day trip to the Hague.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 02:46 AM
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Having lived in Eindhoven for several years, now in Galicia Spain, can I add some thoughts.
The local VVV sell bike route maps for just under €6, which I personally think is quite expensive. But once out of the city local bike routes are well marked. There are also canal paths to follow too.
The cost of bike hire could be quite high as the insurance against theft should be included and bike thefts are quite common. Every Dutch bike has a small lock, but it seems that these can easily be broken.
Here is a good route planner for bikes in South Brabant.
http://www.zobrabant.nl/fietsrouteplanner/
Enjoy Eindhoven, I did.
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