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Which side trip from Amsterdam would you suggest?

Which side trip from Amsterdam would you suggest?

Old Sep 19th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Which side trip from Amsterdam would you suggest?

I've been reading the boards for suggestions and there are so many that I need help narrowing it down. We will be in Amsterdam over Thanksgiving weekend (November 23 to 27), and we plan to stay for two nights in Amsterdam, and take some side trips in the next couple of days. I really liked the idea of Bruges but the long train ride of 3.5 hours is not being well received by my spouse, even when I suggested we stay overnight. He suggests that we do Bruges when we are in the area for more days. Being in late November, can you please offer suggestions as to great side-day trips? Or should I try to convince my spouse that Bruges is really worth the trip? Thank you.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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I agree with your husband that Brugge is too far for a side trip from Amsterdam. Why not visit Delft? Lots of info on this forum on Delft. Or maybe Haarlem?
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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I agree that a day trip to Brugges is too long. What do you like to do? Den Haag has great museums, Delft is beautiful, and so is Haarlem. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, go to Hindeloopen for their famous painted furniture, or go to quaint towns like Muiden or Naarden. If you have a car and like palaces, you could check out the Palace Het Loo, or drive to the Kroller Muller Museum in the Hoge Veluwe Park. There's also Maastricht. Very different from other Dutch cities, and the food is very good. If you decide to go to Brugges, stay overnight and then visit Ghent.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 11:11 AM
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Or you can do a day 'trip' inside Amsterdam without leaving town - the Cannabis Cup, which attracts a few thousand mainly American tokers, takes place during the week of Thanksgiving I believe! More seriously Tulip's two recommendations of Delft and Haarlem can't be topped.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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I had no problem filling 5 days seeing Amsterdam proper. Unless you want to do an overnight there, I'd save Bruges for another time as you mentioned.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for all your responses. Tulips, Haarlem and Delft look like they would be the day trips for will work for us. Drempel, thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately, we would not have a car. Would doing Delft and Den Haag be too much? PalenqueBob, I'll have to pass on the Cannabis Cup, especially with a teenager in tow! Suze, based on what I have read, I don't think I would any problems spending a week in Amsterdam proper, either, but we also love the countryside. Again, thank you. You have all been very kind and helpful.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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hello - we spent a long weekend in AMS at the end of april. my trip report is still on the board I think. The only thing I would caution you on is taking a 'guided tour' - we did one and it was so rushed. The trains are very good in and around AMS - you should be able to navigate well on your own to any outlying village and avoid the cattle cars. If the weather is decent, consider a bike tour. DH did one when he visited solo the first time and really enjoyed it.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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cmeyer54 - Thank you for your suggestions. A bike tour sounds great and we would definitely consider it, if the weather cooperates.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 02:52 PM
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Nena, you could definitely do Delft and Den Haag in one day, if you are short on time. Concentrate on one area in the Hague, depending on your interests. If you like museums, the gementemuseum area is nice, and there are good places to eat nearby. Also, the Panorama Mesdag is really unusual. You can take the train and tram everywhere, and you could do the morning in the Hague and the afternoon in Delft (or the other way around of course.) Delft is a lot smaller than the Hague. Whatever you decide, try to make it to at least one outdoor market while you're in the Netherlands. Have a great time!
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 03:22 PM
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Delft & Den Haag can be done in 1 day - if you're not going to spend hours at the museums.

Delft is worthy of at least half a day, and in Den Haag, definitely visit Mauritshuis and +/- Gemeentemuseum. There's also a MC Escher museum in Den Haag which other posters like, but I didn't find it as great.

Take Tram #1 to travel between Delft & Den Haag, it takes the scenic route - nicer than the regular train.

Another day trip suggestion is Rotterdam.

I went to all the above back in May 05, if you're interested, you can read my trip report here:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34626323
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Nena
If you like touristy go to Delft or Volendam. If you want the real everyday feeling of Holland and you like the scenic country, take a 45 minute train ride to Hoorne or go further to Enkhuizen and (Medemblik with its yatch port and medival castle). These are small port towns that are good representation of Holland. Similar to Volendam but Volendam is geared for tourist.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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Drempel, thanks for the reply on Delft and Den Haag. Yk, thanks for the suggestions on the key sights in these places & sharing your report. I'll be reading it right after posting this reply. Parisnow - you've just given me more towns to look into! Now I wish we had a lot more time in the Netherlands.
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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 06:49 PM
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Nena-

In case you haven't started reading my trip report yet, you'll have to scroll down about 1/2 way to Day 6 - which is when I went to Delft and Den Haag, and Day 7 when I went to Rotterdam. It was a very long and verbose trip report...
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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Rotterdam is an industrial city. Rotterdam and Amsterdam are the two main shipping cities in Holland. I don't know if this is your first trip to Europe but keep in mind most flights are night flights. If you are leaving the 23rd you will not arrive until 24th, and your last day is mainly spent at the airport so plan accordingly.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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Another option might be Utrecht - again mentioned several times on these boards - with the museum of mechanical musical instruments and street organs. But Delft and the Hague have more in the way of history and art galleries.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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yk - I read your report in its entirety. I'm no art expert, but we love art museums (including our teenaged son). It was fascinating to read about London since we were there last year. I absolutely loved your report; I wish I still had the energy to do what you did. parisnow - we will be arriving on 11/23 at 7:20 a.m. & plan to walk off jet lag; that is, if we can. Our age is beginning to get the better of us, so a nap might be in order! Our son may not like it, but parents rule. gt; patrick - I have read so much about Utrecht on this board, I'll look more into this town. Thanks, everyone. The fodors boards have been invaluable in all our trips.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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If you decide to go to Delft, and if you will have a car, I would suggest considering the possibility of visiting the famous windmills of Kinderdijk. They are located only 30 min or so from Delft. Kinderdijk is a Unesco World Heritage site that offers a glimpse of rural Holland in the pre-Industrial age. I spent nearly three weeks in Holland during the spring and the best photos I got were from Kinderdijk.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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smueller - Unfortunately, we do not have a car. Are there other options - like maybe a tour to Kinderdijk if you don't have a car? This option may also be limited since we will be there end of November.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 07:44 AM
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I woul also vote for Delft!! A lovely town and Haarlem. Leiden is a nice town and only 25 mins from Amsterdam. They have a market every Weds and sat. The Pieterskerk church in Leiden is also an area where some of the pilgrims came from. Last Thanksgiving when we were living in Leiden I attended a special Thanksgiving mass for expats at the church.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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If you want to go to Kinderdijk take the train to Rotterdam Lombardijen station (not Rotterdam Central Station)and then take bus(should be #154?) to Kinderdijk. (According to my relatives in Netherlands).
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