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Netherlands -- seven days in west, not Amsterdam?

Netherlands -- seven days in west, not Amsterdam?

Jun 4th, 2012, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Netherlands -- seven days in west, not Amsterdam?

Hello:

On very short notice, I will have seven days in NL, arriving by train from Cologne on Saturday 16 June and departing one week later from Schiphol. With this short notice, booking is a bit challenging -- and there's not much time to research.

I have had several 2-day layovers at AMS before so I do not want to visit Amsterdam.

I wish to go to smaller towns, etc. just to putter around and enjoy being in NL. I will be on public transport as well as water and bicycle when possible. Traveling light with a 40L backpack.

Three areas I have targeted to visit are (perhaps two nights in each):
1. Rotterdam/ Kinderdijk
2. Haarlem/Delft/Leiden(?)
3. Alkmaar/Edam/Hoorn and the rest of the peninsula.

Does this sound reasonable? If so, can you please suggest favorite accomodations (single, middle aged, budget is about 60 Eu/night, don't care about breakfast or "en suite").

Also suggestions about favorites activities or interesting transportation very welcome.

Many thanks -- I don't have much time to research!
Meredydd is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,715
hi meredydd,

i can strongly recommend Delft - we spent 3 nights there about a month ago and loved it.

we stayed here:

http://www.bridges-house.nl/

we also did a day trip to the alkmaar region and especially liked Edam; you might also like Vollendam and entkuitsen, where there is what looks like a terrific outdoor museum that I'd have loved to see if we'd had the time.

the lonely planet guide has some great suggestions for trips by bike and public transport and it is downloadable onto a kindle which might be useful .

have a great trip, and good luck!
annhig is offline  
Jun 4th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Rotterdam is a large industrial city - I would not recommend to go there.

Instead, I suggest Utrecht - IMO the most beautiful city in the Netherlands.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 06:27 AM
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, Utrecht looks much better than Rotterdam -- and as good or better a base for visiting Kinderdijk.

(my biggest challenge is grasping how short the distances are -- I think on a Texas scale.)
Meredydd is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 06:37 AM
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Haarlam is a 20 minute bus from Schipol, great old centre and some friendly pubs, a wonderful railway station (art Deco Ocean Liner) hire a bike and follow some bike trails, eat apple cake (so much better than US version)

We used these guys to find B&B places who as well as low cost accommodation let you know what is happening, best meals etc
http://www.bb-holland.nl/
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 5th, 2012, 07:07 AM
  #6  
 
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We spent one night in Rotterdam in March and really enjoyed it—it has interesting modern architecture and a nice fine arts museum. The Sonneveld House (a completely intact modernist house) was one of our favorite museums on our two week trip. Of course it depends on what you're interested in, but I wouldn't dismiss spending some time there.
outwest is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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Before anyone can give advice. What activities do you like? Museums? Art?

I loved Rotterdam and it's modern architecture, we spent 2 nights there. The museum was excellent.

We skipped the Anne Frank house because both my husband and I have seen small rooms. Seemed a lot of hype. Just an example of why it helps to be specific.
LSky is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 07:43 AM
  #8  
 
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(my biggest challenge is grasping how short the distances are -- I think on a Texas scale.)>>

yes, but the traffic is definitely european. our first visit to Holland was about 7 years ago, and when we were there in April, we felt that the traffic was a lot worse especially around Schipol where they seem to be competing with themselves to build the most motorways in the smallest area.

especially in the Amsterdam area, don't expect to get anywhere fast by car.
annhig is offline  
Jun 5th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Rotterdam is a pretty interesting city.
I was there on our long Whitsunday weekend from Saturday till Monday and the city was much more than I expected. It's definetely not industrial, but obviously you have the huge harbor. The mix of old and new, and also many very "quaint" areas is very interested. Also the museums, as it had been mentioned.
And you don't get the big crowds as in Amsterdam so the sightseeing is much more relaxed IMO.
But it's also a great base to explore the region: Delft is just 15 minutes by train, Den Haag a few minutes more by metro. Kinderdijk can be explored with a boat trip from Rotterdam. Or rent a bike and cycle there.
And even if you should be fed up and needed to see Amsterdam again it would be just a 30 min train ride.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Jun 5th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for standing up for Rotterdam Cowboy - it is a much maligned city.
hetismij2 is offline  
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