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Help with Amterdam Itinerary over Easter Weekend

Help with Amterdam Itinerary over Easter Weekend

Old Mar 9th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Help with Amterdam Itinerary over Easter Weekend

Hello fellow fodorites,

Hubby and I (early 30's) are heading to Amsterdam Mar 21-24. We arrive at noon on Friday Mar 21 and leave around 6pm on MOnday Mar 24. We like to drink, walk, and take in the atmosphere. We arent into museums (sorry!)

So far I have planned this:

Friday March 21
Arrive – 11:20 check in
Canal Cruise
Wander Oude Zijde
Red Light District

Saturday March 22
Bloemenmarket
Begijnhof and wander Nieuwe Zijde
7:30 – dinner at Restaurant de Kas
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
+ 31 (0) 20 462 45 62

Sunday March 23
9:30 – Anne Frank’s House
Wander Western Canal Ring
8:00 – dinner at Blue Pepper (Central Canal Ring)
Nassaukade 366
1054 AB Amsterdam
+31 20 4897039

Monday March 24
Wander Central Canal Ring
Flight at 6:50 – leave Amsterdam at 4:30

We plan to see the cathedrals and squares in the areas where we wander, have a few drinks along the way and soak up the atmosphere.

My questions are:

1. Is this a reasonable itinerary...we certainly dont want to be rushed

2. With this short of time...is it worth it to go to Keukenhof Gardens for 1/2 a day at this time of year?

Thanks so much for any input!
Jamie
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Topping for help...
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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I've been to Amsterdam 5 times in two years, so i know the city pretty well. Its a very casual city so I wouldn't stick to an agenda to much. You can walk everywhere and you will find a lot of great pubs.

I would skip the gardens. and beware of the lines at the Anne Frank house.

Watch out for the bikes!
Lostmymind is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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Surf both Amsterdam and Haarlam tourist info for jazz clubs and pubs. The dutch take jazz in the afternoon very seriously so what a great way to soak up the atmosphere.

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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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If you are certain about the day and time you want to visit the Anne Frank house, I strongly advise you to purchase the entrance tickets online before you leave: 8 euro.

When we were at the A.F. House in October, 2007 at 10:30 a.m., the line to get in was already wrapping around the block.

There wasn't anyone at the reserved ticket door and we were buzzed in immediately.

FYI, the entrance door for people holding reserved tickets is to the left of the general ticket door. Also, there is a doorbell to the right of the reservation door, which you must press. Stupidly, we were knocking on the glass door for a couple of minutes to get someone's attention.

Once inside, we gave our online reservation print-off to the cashier, who had no one else at the counter.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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Thanks so much, we have already purchased our tickets for the Anne Frank Huis....

Do you think its worth it to go to the gardens??
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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I can't offer an opinion on the gardens, since they weren't open in October (I think). I never bothered to check on it.

We spent our time in Amsterdam seeing as much as we could and also visited Haarlem, Madurodam, Delft.

If you love flowers and gardens, it seems like a sure bet to me.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 02:41 AM
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Thanks everyone...

Does anyone else have thoughts on the garden...will they be in bloom this early...its the first weekend hte park is open...
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 05:06 AM
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Keukenhof Gardens

We live very near to the gardens. The season opens on 20 March and traditionally Easter weekend is one of the busiest times. The daffodil fields are just coming into bloom, the earliest of the spring flowers. At this time of year it will be mainly daffodils, crocuses and very early tulips on display.
There is a direct bus from Schiphol airport to the Keukenhof. Best time of day to visit is after 16:00. Last entrance is 18:00, but the gardens stay open until 20:00. We have often gone in around 17:00 and I have many pictures with only my selected subjects in view.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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awong, thank you so much for the info!!! Now I just need to decide if its worth 1/2 day with only 3 days there!
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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You will need to leave Amsterdam earlier for a 6.50 flight. Check in time within Europe is minimum 2 hours, transcontinental is 3 hours.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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I should probably add that Easter is early this year and the time has not changed in the Netherlands. Currently, it is just after 18:00 and the sun is still in the sky, but low and sets around 18:30 - each day is longer, however!

The official Keukenhof website http://www.keukenhof.nl/nm/english.html

For a weather report, the official Dutch site is http://www.knmi.nl/ . On the right, under WEER, click on verwachtingen and there will be a table with the 5 day forecast. Sunshine, % chance precipitation, min & max temperatures, etc.

Winter in NL means wind and wet, but we can also have warm sunny days - best to be prepared.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Awong,

Thankyou for the garden link. We had planned on going to Keukenhof Friday morning, 25 April and then spend the afternoon in Haarlem.

Now I find at the Keukenhof site information about the flower parade on Saturday which we would like to see.

I have the parade schedule and am wondering which town would be best to watch the parade from. We will be staying in Leiden, and our schedule is flexable.

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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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The flower Parade is beautiful!
http://www.bloemencorso-bollenstreek...dex.asp?lan=en

There is a direct bus from Leiden to the Keukenhof - #54, I believe. From Leiden it is about 20 minutes travel time.

I watch it in Lisse, where the Keukenhof garden is situated. Generally I would say that the parade route that goes through a town is generally very thick with people. If you go just to the edge of a town, the crowds are much less.

You might be interested to know that the flower floats arrive in Haarlem in the evening and they are parked there overnight and the next day. If you go in the morning, there are generally fewer people about and you can take photos from many different angles. There is a direct train from Leiden to Haarlem.

A little known WWII fact about Haarlem:
The surrender of the Germans to the Canadians took place in the main square of this city. There is a plaque to commemorate the event.

Haarlem is one of my favourite cities - lovely buildings, beautiful church, the Frans Hals Museum, clean & well lit parking garages, about 30 shoe shops on the main street ...

Leiden has a walking tour, the Leidse Loper, that leads people through interesting areas of the city - lots to do with Rembrandt. There are signposts to point walkers in the right direction. The Pilgrims left from Leiden for 'the new world'.

Off topic - if you are staying in Leiden and like Thai food - the BEST Thai restaurant is Sabai, Sabai. We take all our guests there. We always deliberately order too much so that we can take home the left-overs.

For lunch try Bagels and Beans. There are 2 locations in Leiden & 1 in Haarlem. The chocolate chai is delightful - hot and just a touch spicy.

Hope this is helpful to you.

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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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A delightful way to see Amsterdam is on foot with a guide. The Mee in Mokum group are retired Amsterdammers who lead small groups through one area of the city. The tours leave from The Amsterdam Historisch Museum. The real deal is that they can be organised with an English speaking guide for less than e5.00 / person.

The gentleman that guided my pre-booked group of 5, met us at 11:00 and dropped us at the train station at 15:00. It was almost like he didn't want us to leave. He took us to hidden gardens, rooftop viewing points, a small place for lunch, pointed out 'gentlemen's clubs', spoke about the war years, etc. The official length of time, however is closer to 2 hours.

http://www.gildeamsterdam.nl/MIMEngels.htm

The Chinese area - exit the Central Train Station, cross the water as though heading to Dam Sq, and go left before the huge construction project - has some delicious restaurants & the Buddhist Temple. It is also the boundary of the Red Light District.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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jamikins, have a wonderful time! We were in Amsterdam last month and loved it. I would also suggest leaving earlier for the airport. The airport is huge and the lines can be very long.
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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HI; If you want fine dinning for a night, try 'reasaurant d'theeboom on 210 Singel. Web site theeboom.com My wife and I had 25 people there on our 40th anniversary trip . FOOD WAS GREAT. ENJOY Iris
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Old Mar 13th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Thanks guys...we'll aim earlier for the airport
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