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If we plan a lot of Netherlands day trips, should we consider staying somewhere other than Amsterdam?

If we plan a lot of Netherlands day trips, should we consider staying somewhere other than Amsterdam?

Feb 26th, 2007, 01:50 PM
  #1  
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If we plan a lot of Netherlands day trips, should we consider staying somewhere other than Amsterdam?

I'm thinking of flying into Brussels, spending 2 nights there (one day to see Brussels and another for a day trip to Antwerp), then 2 nights in Brugges, then going on to the Netherlands. I'd like to see Amsterdam (I spent about a half hour there in 1985; hated it; want to give it a second chance), but am also interested in day trips to Delft, Harlem, wherever windmills are, and Makkum and possible other parts north (it's an ancestor thing.)

Considering a lot of possible day trips, should we still base ourselves in Amsterdam, for convenience of easy train travel, or are there other possibilities?
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Feb 26th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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I can't comment on other possibilities but when we went to Amsterdam we did daytrips to Haarlem, Delft, the Hague and the Kroller-Muller museum--and found it easy and convenient.
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Feb 26th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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I would stay two nights in Delft, spending a day taking the tram into den Hague and exploring some of their museums, etc.. While you can easily day trip to Delft from Amsterdam, I think you would enjoy the feel of sleeping in a smaller Dutch city, where you feel like you stepped out of a Vermeer painting.

Another day trip that you can do from Amsterdam is Utrecht & Gouda. Or take the train & bus to Muiden, to see Muiderslot, a 12th century castle complete with a moat!

Are you aware that if you train from Brugges to Amsterdam (or Delft), you make a train change in Antwerp? Instead of doing a day trip to Antwerp from Brussels, I would leave Brugge early in the morning, train to Antwerp, stash my luggage in a locker, and spend the day visiting the city. From there I would train to Delft and stay for two nights.

You can get train schedules at http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Hope this helps with your planning. Peace, Robyn >-

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Feb 26th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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nbujic
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I would stay in Amsterdam and do day trips.
 
Feb 26th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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If it is within your budget the Hotel Lion d'Or in Haarlem is convenient for day tripping around Holland. It is across the street from the Haarlem train station. Amsterdam is 18 minutes and there are 6 trains an hour.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 07:40 AM
  #6  
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Thanks everyone. We are a family of 5 and I'm not finding very many possibilities of places to stay in any of the cities I'm considering. I'm tempted to skip the trip until next year and do a US East coast trip this year. (Our eldest child is 16, so there aren't a lot of "family vacations" left...hard to fit it all in.) Slow Travel, which was of lots of assistance in Italy and some in Spain is of little assistance for the Netherlands and Belgium.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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If you intend to go to Makkum then I would consider staying somewhere i up there - especially if you want to see more of your "ancestral home". How long do you have in Holland? Where else were you considering up north?
If you hated Amsterdam consider staying in Haarlem and making Ams a day trip from there.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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I just stayed in Haarlem some days and day tripped to other towns from there.

Not only was my hotel in Haarlem twice as cheap and twice as nice as corresponding hotels, the Haarlem station is much more subdued. I usually ended up in Amsterdam for the rest of the day and took the 15-min train ride back to my Haarlem abode for the night.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  #9  
MaureenB
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Missypie, our family loved Amsterdam when we spent 5 nights there in June. We loved walking its lovely canal streets at all hours and felt it was very safe. Very good restaurants there, too. I'd stay in Amsterdam again in a heartbeat.

We stayed at the Hotel Residence le Coin, which I highly recommend. We had two rooms connected, which was perfect for us. The rooms are actually large, and each has a kitchenette, too.

Did you read my trip report of our visit there? If not, I can paste it here for you if you're still interested in Amsterdam.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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My only prior trip to Amsterdam was a post-bar exam trip on a very limited budget. It was 1985 and US dollar was very strong, but Amsterdam was much more expensive than anywhere else we went. We were traveling without hotel reservations, and the places we saw within our price range were downright scary....so we got back in the car and drove to the last town in Belgium (didn't have any French money), spent the night, and drove to Paris in the morning. Thus, I know that I haven't given Amsterdam a fair chance. I do, however, remember loving Brugge and Antwerp.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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MaureenB, I just re-read your trip report and looked up Le Coin. It looks nice, but even with two rooms, would be a tight fit for 5 people (I hate having rollaway beds.)
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Feb 27th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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I would stay in Amsterdam and take the train to various places. Most of the train rides are no longer than a long NY subway ride.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 09:06 AM
  #13  
MaureenB
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I think le Coin also has triples and family apartments. And, there's a lot of floor space in each room-- we had a TV with a sitting area and two chairs in front of it in each room. If your third child is young, I'd think he or she could fit easily into a twin. They were very helpful at the front desk, if you e-mail them.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Thanks. The kids are 16, 14 and 11, so we all take up a lot of room these days!
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Feb 27th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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I have to agree with PalenQ - staying outside Amsterdam will save you a packet. Haarlem is very central to most of the towns/cities you want to visit. Only Makkum is off the beaten track. Whilst you can do that in a day trip it might be more relaxed to stay somewher up in Friesland. Don't forget to visit the Makkumer ceramics factory - it is the oldest company in the Netherlands. http://www.tichelaar.nl/ gives details of the tour. You can always let the kids loose on the dike while you go round. Hindelopen is also worth a visit. Further up at Franeker there is an old wooden planetarium which is fascinating. And Harlingen is a busy port which is full of the "bruine vloot"-classic Dutch sailing barges. They are really only there on Fridays and Sundays as they are off sailing the rest of the time. But they are lovely to see. (My son owns one of them!)
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Feb 27th, 2007, 02:06 PM
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This may be a repeat since my conrfuter just went whacky.

Try Joops Hotel in the center of Haarlem. It's got apartments. Joop is negotiable. Know the guy, but I can never remember his last name. Many beers at the Proef years ago. I hear he lives in Thailand now. Never stayed there but I have inspected the rooms. Clean. Also perfect location. His place is on a lot of web sites. The top one on Google tonight is http://tinyurl.com/2jbcza.

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