Help with Amsterdam trip please

Old Jan 5th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Help with Amsterdam trip please

We are planning a 5 day 6 night trip. I was wondering if you it would be too much to try to do one day trip to Maastricht or Delft or Haarlem (still not sure which other town we want to visit) and another day trip to Brussels? Would we miss too much of the city doing two day trips?

Also, we're 'walkers' is Amsterdam a very accessible city to walk about in?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/assistance.
karussell is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I'd stick with one day trip only; and give Brussels a pass. Delft is lovely; haven't been to Maastricht or Haarlem. Do consider The Hague and visit the Mauritshaus (where 3 Vermeers reside). It's a gem.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Central Amsterdam is eminently walkable - quite compact about two miles by two miles has everything of interest. Haarlem is a wondrous city and it's only a few minutes from Amsterdam by train. Delft is fab too. Maastricht is must farther and to me not nearly as capitvating as Delft or Haarlem.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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And if you like windmills go to Zaanse Schans, just 15 min. by train to Koog-Zaandijk.
Amsterdam is a very good city for walkers, also Delft.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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I also found Amsterdam to be very walkable. It was also fun to rent bikes and then you can explore a little further out. (Or do a Mike's bike tours-humorous and informative-geared toward younger Americans but suitable as long as you can bike ride)

Delft was an easy day trip. We went with the intention of having lunch and wandering. The town is mostly just a small cute town, and all the shops sell Delft products. Otherwise it's not overly noteable. We took the train. From the Delft station, it's only a couple blocks over to the main part of town. It's small, so we were back to our Amsterdam hotel by 3:00, which was fine for us. We could've stopped at the Hague on the train ride back but decided to go for happy hour in Amsterdam instead

The other side trip I would highly recommend is to Volendam and Markem. These two areas are really cute and the scenery in between is very pretty. We did a 1/2 day bus tour-I hate hate hate bus tours but it was the only way we could easily get to these two areas. It actually turned out fine. It wasn't too rushed and we had a decent amount of time to wander the two villages on our own.

Have fun!
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Amsterdam is a fanstastic walking city!! Can't advise about day trips, as I spent 5 days there and felt I was barely scratching the surface.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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agree !
there is so much in Amsterdam to see ( museums, canals,the harbour ..)
We took a train ( an hour) to Hague (a grat little museum, nice lunch in the main sq,) and in the afternoon, we took a tram to the coast about 20 min.( cannot remember the place, something with S..).
Nice beaches, a zillion restaurants, hotels e.t.c.
We were back in Amsterdam in the early evening.
Old Jan 5th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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I wouldn't go out to Brussels during that visit - the train takes about 3 hours each way. But Delft and Haarlem are very easy train trips and small centers - 1/2 day each one (or more if you like).
Zaanse Schans is touristy but fun and a good outing...
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Maastricht would be a nice overnight stop on the way to, say, Luxembourg or similar. It's about a 2 1/2 hour train ride - I don't 5 hours total on a train is a great idea for a day trip - you may as well be on your way somewhere else. I liked Maastricht for the good restaurants and the hilly Limburg countryside.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Try Delft, the town square is magnificent and the view from the New Church (14th century) is fantastic and worth the climb. You could possibly do delft in the morning and then spend a few hours in the Hague in the arvo as you pass through the Hague on the way to Delft.
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Old Jan 5th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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I was in Amsterdam last year and took the day train ride to Delft. For me it was definitely worth it - bought lots of Delft pottery at the factory store and if you go into the back room it is very affordable. The stuff as you walk in is pricey. I had it shipped back to me in the US and it arrived 3 weeks later and was in perfect condition. I was walking along the canal in Amsterdam to my hotel about 8PM one night by myself after getting a piece of pizza and two males on a scooter rode by and one of the males tried to grab my purse off my shoulder. Like any other city, just be careful of your belongings. There were some strange people walking around, especially around the cafes where marijuana is sold. I was not impressed with Amsterdam and wish I would have seen more of Holland.
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Old Jan 6th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Zaanse Schans is a cute little town and only about 20 minutes by train from Central Station in AMS. My family really enjoyed our time there. The windmills are really neat and were able to tour one of them. The village has several shops that sell touristy things, a cheese shop and shoe maker store that makes wooden shoes while you watch. It was a great 1/2 day trip.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:44 AM
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I do agree: do visit the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, it is just beau-ti-ful! If you do the Hague do include the unknown but fascinating small museum called Panorama Mesdag: this is one of the very rare remaining painted panoramas in Europe and just amazing.
Website (in English:
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Also nearby The Hague would be Madurodam the miniature exhibit.

Haarlem from A-Dam only takes about 15 minutes by train and that town is also walkable.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Amsterdam is very walkable. Just don't get run over by a tram.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:19 AM
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My DD and i took the train to Brussels during our week stay in Amsterdam. It was one of the highlights of the trip. Very glad we went.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:31 AM
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The train from Amsterdam passes through Haarlem, Leiden, and The Hague
enroute to Delft so you can add another city or town to your day trip. Make sure you tour Neiuwe Kirk on Delft's main square as the Royal Family, including William of Orange, are buried there.I preferred Leiden to Delft as it is a university town and has all of Pilgrim history as well.The Pilgrims lived there for ten years prior to leaving for North America.
I would do any and /or all of the above named towns over Zanase Shanse or Brussels. Amsterdam is a wonderful and very walkable city.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Amsterdam is a great city for walking. We felt very safe there, too. People were out walking around very late at night. We loved our 5 nights there. Also, great, contemporary and trendy restaurants there. I posted a trip report with recommendations, if you're interested.
Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Amsterdam is a great walking city, just watch out for the bicycles. We nearly got run over a few times!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 05:57 PM
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UTRECHT - A 30 minute train ride from Centraal Station, Utrecht has an interesting old town center, and a unique canal system that runs at cellar level instead of street level. There are several places where you can take steps down to the canal and walk along a footpath.

If you're not afraid of winding staircases, you can climb the 465 steps of the Domtoren (bell tower) for a great view of the surrounding area. The very gothic Domkerk stands across the Domplein from the toren. On the Domplein you can trace the layout, in stone, of the nave that use to connect the church to the tower. It was blown away in a hurricane during the 1600's.

We really enjoyed our time at The National Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement, which is a mechanical musical instrument museum. The tour guide spoke English as well as Dutch. We got to take our tour with a small group of Dutch school children, which made the experience that much more charming.

If you like to shop, Utrecht's train station is located at the Hoog Catharijne, which is a large mall. You actually have to walk through the mall to get to the exit to the old town center.

After spending a half day in Utrecht, you can travel about 20 minutes on train to...

GOUDA - Although known for their cheese, Gouda has a Gothic Stadhuis (town hall) which looks like it was plucked right out of a fairy tale. It sits on the old town square, with the St. Janskerk right next door.

For just a few Euros, you can wander through the church and view their magnificent collection of 70 stained-glass windows, some dating to the 1500's. While most tell Bible stories, there are several dealing with the history of the region and the Netherlands.

Gouda is also known for their pipes. There is a pipe museum in town, although we have never visited. We have done some shopping at a little pottery shop called Adrie Moerings Pottenbakkerij.

Of course, you could easily do Delft and den Hague in a day (take Tram #1 between Delft and den Hague, instead of the train), and maybe even a quick trip to Sheveningen to stick your toe in the North Sea.

Enjoy your time in the Netherlands. Peace, Robyn >-

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