Trip Report - 5 Autumn Days in Amsterdam

Nov 22nd, 2019, 12:56 PM
  #1  
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Trip Report - 5 Autumn Days in Amsterdam

We stayed at Hotel Sint Nicholas for 5 nights October 13-18, 2019. The weather was in the 50s, cloudy then rainy then a bit sunny. Bring a folding umbrella. We arrived Schiphol Airport (huge! Lots of walking) and found a yellow ticket machine (to buy a train ticket to downtown Amsterdam) in the baggage pickup area. You will need a PIN number to use a credit card in these machines. Lots more of them outside of the baggage area. We found our train, rode to Amsterdam Centrale then found our hotel with the help of a tourist office just outside the station. I really liked our hotel; first; it was easy to find and a very short walk from the station, then, it was a charming hotel with about 30 rooms and a nice dark wood lobby staffed by very friendly people. The breakfast buffet was in the lobby and there were lots of choices both hot and cold and of course; pancakes.

We ate lunch and dinner in restaurants all around our hotel and didn’t have a single bad meal. Our best dinner was at Van Speyk (Spuistraat 3A – practically next door to the hotel). I would have happily ordered everything on the menu at Pancakes Amsterdam (Prins Hendrikkade 48).

I had booked the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum ahead of time as recommended. Both were crazy crowded. I bought a Rikesmuseum ticket ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to wait in any lines and while parts of the museum were very crowded, it’s so huge, you can find interesting nooks and crannies without people in them – like the nifty lantern slide exhibit. In the same museum area I went to the Moco because they had a Banksy exhibit. Both days of museum going ended with very good lunches at Small Talk (Van Baerlestraat 52); a cute little bistro on a corner across from all the museums.

One day we took a daytrip to The Hague to go to the Mauritius Museum to see “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “The Goldfinch”. That was our best museum going experience because there was hardly anyone at this wonderful mansion/museum. We ate lunch (and later cake and coffee) at Cloos (Plein 12A) where our server regaled us with his movie-learned American accent and let us borrow an umbrella. Even with the rain and cool weather, we could sit outside and eat thanks to heaters.

Museums aside, the best thing to do in Amsterdam is walk around. I booked a free walking tour with FreeDam Tours and it was EXCELLENT. We got the lay of the land and learned about WWII, prostitutes, Napoleon, Stroopwaffles, etc.

We rode trolleys – easy - just jump on and buy a ticket from the person sitting behind a desk on the train.

One afternoon I went to Museum Van Loon, a house museum. One morning we went to the Sky Bar at the Hilton to see a panoramic view of the city (opens at 11am). Another afternoon I wandered through cute streets in the Jordaan.

I wish we had more time – we never got around to doing a canal boat tour (the weather interfered and I figured we’d do it when we went to Bruges – no – too crowded there). I would have liked to go in and out of some churches. Before we went, I kept hearing that Amsterdam is over-touristed, but apart from a few times we were able to wander pretty canals away from the crowds. It was a very nice trip.
lbecker24 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lbecker24 View Post

I had booked the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum ahead of time as recommended. Both were crazy crowded. I bought a Rikesmuseum ticket ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to wait in any lines...

One afternoon I went to Museum Van Loon, a house museum. One morning we went to the Sky Bar at the Hilton to see a panoramic view of the city (opens at 11am).
Great trip report!

I bought the skip the line ticket in April, but the line outside was simply too long to wait. The Van Loon museum was at the top of my list (thanks to Fodorite Cimbrone) but it was closed when I went - although everything indicated it would be open. King's Day closure.

I stayed at the Hilton Doubletree and LOVED being there. Glad you enjoyed the views. Me too!

I needed more time too!
starrs is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2019, 08:31 PM
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A good alternative to Van Loon is Museum Willet-Holthuysen.

In The Hague, please also consider Panorama Mesdag, an overwhelming and somewhat surreal experience in one of the few surviving panorama paintings, housed in a dedicated building. Mesdag had his studio and apartments at Laan van Meerdervoort: also worth a visit.
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