Wheel chair in Amsterdam

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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:21 AM
  #1
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Wheel chair in Amsterdam

One of us may require occasional use of a wheel chair on our upcoming trip to amsterdam in sept. Person can get up and walk, so access through doors, over curbs, etc. is not an issue.

We were wondering how easy it is to get in a cab if able to fold it up?

also able to take on a train?

how "large" is central station, for example if you come in, need to buy a ticket and then get to your train to delft or hague - is there a lot of walking? (know difficult to define what a lot is).

Any other info would be helpful. Will not need to use it all the time.

Also know that they are available at museums, etc.

thanks
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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Not exactly what you asked about, but be careful with your hotel reservations. Many of the 3-star local places in Amdsterdam have no elevator and flights & flights of narrow, steep stairs! You'll want a ground floor or a hotel with an elevator, I'm thinking.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Amsterdam is a flat city, but I cannot remember if the bridges have slopes each side or steps. If steps, as in Venice, you have a potential problem. Maybe someone else can advise you on this point.

Wheelchairs fold in from side to side, and I would not think you should have any problems with putting it in the boot of a cab. On trains you will fold the chair and lift it in and put it in the luggage space near the doors.

Delft also has canals, but as I recall The Hague doesn't.

You should also take on board Suze's post about hotels and elevators, etc.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 11:18 AM
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can get up and walk a bit when need to, so steps, bridges, hotels not a problem.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Just to impress the point, stairs in Amsterdam hotels are not nice, broad staircases, but tiny, STEEP, and circular, where each step is very narrow in the center and wider on the outer edge. It's like climbing up a church tower or something.

Pictoral explanations:
http://www.thetravelzine.com/images2000/stairs.jpg
http://www.adriancrook.com/gallery/a...4237.thumb.jpg

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Aug 7th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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ttt
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Aug 7th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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Some information w/links for you, Joanel:


http://www.amsterdamby.com/transpor/trans11.htm

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Aug 9th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Thanks for the link. 2 of the e-mails in the link bounced, but I did call one phone number and they referred me to the Red Cross. Will post what I turn up in a few weeks. (going away right now for 2 weeks).
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:39 AM
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I made similar enquiries myself some years ago and one of the main short break operators in the UK told me they usually booked disabled clients into the Swissotel Ascot on Damrak near the Dam Square. It certainly has level street access and lifts, but I would assume that's true of any of the larger and major chain hotels. It's also very close to tram stops, though only some of the most recent models of tram may be suitable.

Canal bridges have slopes rather than steps, but can be quite steep. One potential difficulty is that a lot of the canalside roadways have very narrow sidewalks, and almost all are of bricks laid on sand, which can subside in patches, so you would need to keep an eye out in these areas.

Central Station is large, but has sloped and level access from the street through the main concourses and ticket hall, with escalators up to the platforms. I would allow 30-50 yards from the main entrance to the ticket halls (beware queues - perhaps the able-bodied person should buy the tickets), and 50-100 yards from there to the escalators up to the platforms.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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Agree w/ other posts. Make sure you go for a modern hotel - some smaller boutique hotels can be a challenge even for the athletic. Otherwise, your fellow traveler will be fine.

Central Station is not that large, much smaller than Penn station or Grand Central for example. A wheelchair on trains is fine, but not so sure about the local trams (probably not). For local travel stick with taxis.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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One other point worth mentioning - there is an entirely pedestrianised shopping street, Kalverstraat, running from near the Central Station all the way down to Muntplein by the flower market (and passing the Begijnhof and the City history museum), with the exception that you have to cross Dam Square (where the cobbles might be a bit of a pain for a wheelchair, but you can go round the outside of the square). There are a number of major hotels very close by.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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The few trams I used had wide open areas big enough for a wheel chair wherever the doors opened (in the middle of the car).
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Aug 10th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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I think Travelnut is thinking of the latest models, and I'm not sure they're running on all routes (I haven't been for about a year). Older models have three or more steps up and not a lot of room to manoeuvre even a folded wheelchair into the tram. The newer models would probably have enough room and only one step into the tram (but IIRC another one or two steps to get into a seat). The Amsterdam public transport website says only that foldable buggies are allowed on the trams at the conductor's discretion, depending on how crowded it is. There is a special Stadsmobiel or dial-a-ride system for the disabled, but this is only described in the Dutch version of their website (www.gvb.nl).
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Aug 10th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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I mostly ride on lines 1,2 and 5 that run between Centraal and Leidseplein...
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Aug 10th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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while all these replies are helpful and informative, I only need the wheelchair as a back up, for when tired or longer distances. Can walk. can get up out of wheel chair to cross street, bridges, etc. etc. so hotels, steps, cobblestones are not an issue.

still having difficulty locating a wheelchair to rent. was easier in venice of all places, where it is more difficult to use actually.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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Lots of steps getting on and off trains and sometimes more steps once you get on train. We were warned not to leave our suitcases near the door or they would be stolen. Reserved seats would make it easier to use trains.
Also, we stayed at a local hotel near Dam Square. Daytime was fine but by dusk a lot of scarey people were hanging around and we went into our hotel room early.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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Re renting a wheelchair, have you tried the Red Cross?
www.rodekruis.nl/english/
I have borrowed from them in the UK.

Also try www.europeforvisitors.com - They had an advice page for using wheelchairs in Venice, and might do the same for Amsterdam.

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Aug 10th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. We have decided to postpone our trip for the time being, till health issues improve. will maybe try again in the spring.
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Aug 11th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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I am sorry that you are discouraged about your travel plans, but if it is possible to do it later with more mobility, it would be wise (and much less exhausting) to do so.
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