Is this day trip too ambitious?

Apr 5th, 2015, 03:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 133
Is this day trip too ambitious?

Hi -- My family (parents and two girls, ages 15 and 18) will be in the Netherlands this coming June. The younger girl has done some research and decided that on our day trip out from Amsterdam we must visit both the biodiversity center in Leiden and take a Segway tour of Rotterdam at 6:30 pm. (She is in charge of this day out, but I do have veto power .

Do you think its possible to visit Leiden and Rotterdam in one day if we get an early start from Amsterdam? I have looked at the train schedules and it certainly seems possible, but I can't figure out how much time to allow for logistics -- i.e. getting from the train stations to the museum in Leiden or to the Euromast in Rotterdam (where the Segway tour begins). However, I'd like to have some time to walk around and visit the windmill in Leiden and perhaps even take a harbor tour in Rotterdam. Is this just too ambitious, or should we do these on separate days? (keeping in mind that two separate days out of Amsterdam takes away precious time in Amsterdam). We like to be busy on our trips, don't mind a long day, and we don't mind eating fast-food on the run.

Any opinions? Thanks In advance!
Lauratg is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 06:53 PM
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The answer is yes and now I will read your post. Any time anyone asks are they doing too much, they answer is in the question.

Rotterdam is a very interesting city in that much of it was destroyed during WWII and that it gave modern city planners an opportunity to rebuild an older town. We also went to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
IMDonehere is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 12:09 AM
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Another yes.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 03:46 AM
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It would be a long day, but I can't see why you shouldn't do it. It will be light until after 10pm in June.
Aim to get to Natuuralis for opening at 10, then you have plenty of time for the museum, a look around Leiden and on to Rotterdam.
Have a look at to work out routes and times of trains and buses.

Note that a multi day chipcard for Amsterdam public transport can't be used for the train or buses outside Amsterdam.
There is talk of a tourist chipcard covering all Dutch public transport, but I very much doubt it will be available in June.
hetismij2 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Thanks Hetismij2 -- Planning this trip is fun but also frustrating. Every time I settle on what I want to do in a place, four more interesting things pop up. I wasn't aware of the website. Will bookmark that one as it seems helpful for both directions and estimations of time. Wish I had something like that to carry around with me.

I didn't know that the chipcard worked only in Amsterdam. However, we were planning on getting a one-day transport pass in Rotterdam or maybe the Rottterdam welcom card -- haven't really worked out the details on that yet. I must admit that I am a little intimidated by the public transport ticket situation in The Netherlands. I don't have the correct credit card for the machines (chip and pin) and worried that we'll get stuck somewhere with no way to purchase tickets.

Thanks again!
Lauratg is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 02:19 PM
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If you get a National Museum Pass for museums in Amsterdam - just the big three should make it pay - rijksmuseum, van Gogh and Anne Frank House, all of which are covered - then you can use it in Rotterdam to boot or Leiden - maybe at the biodiversity place if they charge - would not see need for Rotterdam Pass in that case and rotterdam has some superb museums and you will have time - Leiden to Rotterdam is a very short train trip - get an early start and have fun on a long but uniquely interesting day!
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 03:12 PM
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Rotterdam is 30 minutes by train from Leiden, so it's perfectly doable: morning Leiden, afternoon Rotterdam, back to Amsterdam by Intercity Direct (surcharge, but takes 40 minutes and is a fast connection)

Naturalis is great and it's not far from the station, though Leiden is exceedingly nice as a city too.

There's a lot to see and do in Rotterdam and the Segway tour is nice, but why so late?

You run the risk of "waiting it out" and that can be a challenge in a city where you don't know your bearings. Rotterdam is not an obvious tourist city.
menachem is online now  
Apr 6th, 2015, 04:16 PM
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Yes, I think it's doable, but have a back-up plan in case the weather decides not to cooperate with a Segway tour. We like Leiden but haven't been to the biodiversity center, so look forward to reading about your experience.

Also, give yourself an easy start to the day the next morning. Sleep in a bit or just relax.
WeisserTee is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 04:53 PM
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Thanks! PalenQ -- I do plan to get the Museum Pass on our arrival day -- mostly based on info you gave to another poster. It does work at the Leiden museums in which we are interested and also at an open air museum we are looking at. Since we will be in The Netherlands for the better part of six days, I can't imagine how the pass wouldn't be a deal! Even if only break even, I like the idea of being able to pop into a museum for only a half hour or so without worrying about the admission price.

Menachem, I can't exactly remember why we chose the 1830 time (I'm planning with a fifteen year old who has strong opinions) -- I believe it may have been that the other English language tour was too much earlier and I didn't want to feel rushed from Leiden. The Segway meet up point is near the Euromast, so maybe if we have to wait it out we will go up to the top there? The Euromast doesn't get a lot of love on the forums, but I like the idea of viewing Rotterdam's harbor from a high point.

Thanks again!
Lauratg is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Euromast is a bit out of the way, and it's always a brisk walk from Metro Dijkzicht. BUT, if you cut through the Park from Euromast towards the Scheepvaartkwartier, there's a beautiful part of the city awaiting you with Loos Cafe at the far end for a drink and a rest.
menachem is online now  
Apr 7th, 2015, 02:43 PM
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WeisserTee -- will definitely post back here after the trip. I get so many ideas and tips from others that its only fair. And the museumkaart and the Markthal are our back up plans!

Menachem --so should we cut through the park heading in the direction of the Erasmus bridge? I can't find the Scheepvaartkwartier on the google map. I did "walk around" the waterfront near the bridge with google and it looks really nice! I so hope we have good weather. However, we're from Florida, so not particularly afraid of a little rain.

The more I research the more I conclude that my husband is going to love Rotterdam. He gets tired of "adorable" (Switzerland got on his nerves, it was so cute) but loves cool modern architecture.

Thanks everybody!
Lauratg is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 08:48 PM
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It's the area between Park and Westplein, bordered by Westzeedijk in the north and the Maas in the south. Also, just across the Park entrance, off Westzeedijk, there is a romantic garden not well known. Even a lot of Rotterdammers don't know it exists: the Muizenpolder, or Schoonoord

the entire area:

and: you won't be able to do the whole walk, but do look down and see if you can spot the Brandgrens markers in the pavement
menachem is online now  
Apr 7th, 2015, 09:03 PM
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Oh and I nearly forgot: the quintessential Rotterdam cafe experience is to be had in De Ballentent, which is also a great spot for lunch or for coffee and appelcake.

It's a wooden shed, enlarged over the years, where shipping magnates rub shoulders with bricklayers. And that's the essence of Rotterdam. Especially in former years it was a typical harbour city: immense riches and abject poverty side by side, but all with the harbour at the fore of everyone's mind. Everyone speaks the same dialect, everyone is of a "can do" mentality that still shines forth. To this day it's a city in two parts: the area above the Maas, and South, or the Farmer's Side, where new migrants would arrive in waves: first farmers from Zeeland and Brabant, then, after the war, migrants from Spain, Morocco, Turkey. It's a city not without ethnic tension, but also, in many ways, the city in The Netherlands where things happen first. And now we're at the forefront of a new wave of small urban enterprises, many concentrating on sustainability and food. In Rotterdam we notice first hand the shift in global economics. The exciting thing is that this translates to a feverish activity in and by the city itself.
menachem is online now  
Apr 7th, 2015, 09:04 PM
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menachem is online now  

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