What's to see around Amsterdam
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Oct 23, 2012 3:53 AM Last Post By: ritsd
Oct 3, 2012 3:31 AM
What's to see around AmsterdamHi everybody,
I am planning to travel to Amsterdam in Christmas 2012. I have 4 full days and was wondering what else I could see around Amsterdam. I thought about modern Rotterdam but I am open to any other suggestions.
I understood that moving by train is quite easy and therefore I should be able to reach any place.
One more thing: do you think it will be very cold, rainy and windy?
Oct 3, 2012 3:59 AM
1This thread will make you ask yourself why you only stay 4 full days: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2087780
I understood that moving by train is quite easy and therefore I should be able to reach any place
Well, almost any place, strictly speaking - the tourist town of Volendam, de windmills of Kinderdijk and the storm surge barrier at Neeltje Jans are a few attractions that involve bus travel. But generally speaking, the Netherlands has a dense rail network that connects almost every major town; surrounding towns off the railway line are connected to the nearest station by buses.
See http://www.ns.nl for train timetables and fares and http://www.9292ov.nl is a journey planner for every mode of transport, local as well as intercity.
do you think it will be very cold, rainy and windy?
If there's one thing I wouldn't dare to guess in this country, it's the weather. Not for August, but definitely not for the end of December.
Recently we've had a few years with quite heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures in late December - that looks wonderful on a sunny day and when there's little wind it doesn't actually feel that cold, but snow also frequently causes train and flight delays, and pavements get slippery when they've been walked on for a few days.
OTOH if my memory doesn't fail me, I've experienced "Grey Christmas" far more often than "White Christmas" and it's just as likely to be grey and windy, with periods of rain, drizzle and - worst of all - a nasty windchill (which makes it feel 10 degrees colder than it actually is).
Oct 3, 2012 4:10 AM
2I agree: you make it soundlike 4 days are a lot while they're not! Amsterdam has a lot to see and to experience.
Anyway, very worth a visit in the neighbor area might be Utrecht, one of the most beautiful towns in the country.
Den Haag is the administrative capital and hosts government buildings, royal palace and much more. Delft is a small pretty town just outside of Den Haag.
And the old fashion Holland towns such as Marken, Volendam, Edam, Alkmaar are those where you can see windmills and wooden shoes.
You'd need way more than just 4 days to enjoy the area though.
Oct 3, 2012 4:50 AM
This is another textbook case of.... It all depends on your personal likes and dislikes.
I mean Amsterdam has so much going on.
Do you like 'Smoking' in coffee shops, museums, cheese factories, day trips, city/countryside walking etc.?
How is a bus ride out of town, good - or not your thing?
My guess (sorry *Aribo) is that it's more likely to be cold, than warm ! !
Do you have a limited budget, or a bottomless pit of wedge?
Personally, I wouldn't bother with Rotterdam if I only have four days. It's a great place, but I prefer Amsterdam.
Back to you.
Oct 3, 2012 5:19 AM
4Hi Everybody, thanx for the support.
BattyBilly, I was tempted by Rotterdam for the modern architecture and somebody mentioned Harlem (a little north west of Ams).
I don't mind the bus ride and I was looking for city walks rather than museums. Coffe shops would be a new experience for me but not cheese factories.
Aribo, you got it! The wind is just what worries me 'cause as you say it makes you feel even colder.
Flapic, Utrecht seems another nice place to go. I'll look into it.
Oct 3, 2012 7:13 AM
Oct 3, 2012 7:54 AM
6Rotterdam has its redeeming features if you like modern architecture and the no-nonsense atmosphere of a big port city, but other than that it's not everyone's cup of tea. If you're looking for more traditional Dutch towns, Haarlem (with "aa" in Dutch), Leiden, Utrecht and Delft are a few obvious choices near Amsterdam.
Oct 3, 2012 8:36 AM
A classic day out of Amsterdam is Voldendam, Marken and Edam, for a nice taste of the coast, impresive house architecture, calm living and good cheese. Another good choice for windmills is Zaanse Schans, even you can do it in half day without problems and in public transport. I would choose this places or other mention in this post before Rotterdam personally.
Oct 8, 2012 2:52 PM
8Do searches in the Thorn Tree search box using terms such as 'Netherlands outside Amsterdam' / 'Holland outside Amsterdam' / 'days in the Netherlands' / 'what to see outside Amsterdam' / 'Netherlands highlights' etc etc etc... you will find hundreds of suggestions because this question gets asked almost every week.
If you do go to Rotterdam don't miss lunch-or-cake-or-dinner at Hotel New York; a visit to the Fotomuseum next door; a ride on the watertaxi to get there; a walk across Erasmus bridge to get back to the centre; wandering through Witte de Withstraat with all its cool shops and cafes; breakfast at Bazar (including the 1000 hole pancake!); a ride on a Spido boat through one of the world's biggest harbours; a cheap visit to the cool cubic houses; a drink at Oude Haven (Old Harbour); maybe some REAL Chinese food at Tai Wu frequented mostly by Chinese...
There is a good iPhone app about Rotterdam and the tourist office also has plenty of free information.
It's a city I have a love/hate relationship with; it's ugly, grey, big, rough, cool, arty, modern, funky, no-nonsense, mainstream (centre), musical, international...
Most people need at least 3 days for Amsterdam (and we don't even know if the first and last days will be travelling days, getting from/to airports and such?).
Rotterdam is only an hour away by train (or faster if you take the Fyra train at an extra charge). You could combine it with a visit to Delft.
Veel plezier, have fun,
Amsterdam (Amsterdam Tips on my website )
Oct 18, 2012 2:25 AM
9Thanks so much Cecilia! And by the way, your website is great!!
I will go through the Ams tips during the next few days.
I got my airplane tickets to Ams yesterday and already have a few questions:
1. We will arrive to Ams schipol quite late (landing around midnight). Do you know what are my options to reach Ams center/my hotel at that time of the night with pubblic transportation.
2. I am looking already for a place to stay. Of course, as you might imagine, I am looking for a budjet solution in center city but not too too budget becasue I will be going there with my fiance. Do you have any suggestions?
3. I heard that the pubblic transportation is quite expensive in Ams. Infact I was suggested to rent bikes if possible but I am not sure my fiance will be up to cicling in that cold. Do you know if there are any pubblic transportation 4 days cards I can buy? Anyway, what is your suggestion for this issue? Some cities can be easlily walked through by feet but I am not sure you can do this with Ams.
Oct 21, 2012 6:34 AM
10If you are thinking about Utrecht (which I can recommend) and you are interested in modern architecture, you might want to consider visiting the World Heritage Rietveld Schröder House: http://centraalmuseum.nl/en/visit/locations/rietveld-schroder-house/ (reservations are nessecary, especially around Christmas. When you enter the city by train it's quite ugly, but as soon as you hit the canals it's beautiful! Climbing up the Dom tower is also recommended
Oct 22, 2012 3:14 AM
11Once again thank you so much for the info! I found an hotel (www.theconcerthotel.com/).. it seems to be the best compromise in terms of price/quality I could find.
I think I will visit Haarlem for sure and I may go also to Delft or Leiden. Utrect may be another option.
I read that the Van Gogh museum has been moved into the Hermitage. Do you knw if I can visit both collections with the same ticket?
Oct 22, 2012 3:20 AM
12Yes, you can: http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?page=279602&lang=en
Oct 23, 2012 3:53 AM
13If you want to travel longer distances:
-go by train to Alkmaar. Take the bus to Leeuwarden; this will bring you across the Afsluitdijk (dike or waterdam between salt-sea and inner-lake. Stop at the middle of the dike at the closure Monument and take the next bus back to Alkmaar or proceed with the next bus to Leeuwarden. There you take the train back to Amsterdam
If you want to stay in direct surroundings of Amsterdam: rent a bike and go SOUTH along the river Amstel to the village Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (O on Amstel). Have lunch or a beer at the Cafe Vrije Handel (Cafe of Free Trade) and return on the other bank of the river to Amsterdam again. One hour each way.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$186.91 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$491.87 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$246.24 per night