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Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

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Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
60 posts
12 reviews
Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

We plan to visit The Netherlands in late March, April, or early May. We would love to see the tulips in bloom and my understanding is Feb-April.

Question 1: Will they still be full in early to mid May?

Having rented apartments in Israel a few years ago for a two week stay, I fully enjoyed the freedom. Had great success and a great feeling of security. However, we will be in Holland for a shorter stay. Probably 6-7 days.

Question 2: Hotel, Apartment, or Boathouse?

I am a little concerned about the security on a boathouse compared to a hotel. Am I overthinking this?

We would like to see more than just Amsterdam, from what I am reading renting a vehicle is not that great of an idea. Any opinions on this?

This is my 1st phase of research for this trip. BTW, we will be visiting Obdam where my better half was born 57 years ago. Hoping to find some of his relatives.

Any and all information will be helpful....Thank you!

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
12,808 posts
1. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

late april, early may best chance to catch tulips in bloom in the fields..by mid may they may be topped. but so much depends on the severity of the previous winter. yes, renting a vehicle not recommended. parking is expensive and driving within amsterdam is not to be done by a rookie. public transportation in the NL is the best and you can go anywhere..day trip towns most mentioned on here are Haarlem, Delft, leiden, utrecht, Den Haag ( The Hague )..even brussels or antwerp if you are so inclined. i aint gonna lie to you security in a hotel probably better than a houseboat. i dont have any data on the frequency of houseboat break ins.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
13,902 posts
76 reviews
2. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

Good advice above.

I haven't heard first-hand reports of houseboat break-ins in Amsterdam but it's a gut feeling that tells me they're probably more vulnerable to break-ins. Especially once it's known they are often occupied by tourists who might carry various expensive gadgets and more cash.

Friends of mine in London had their houseboat broken into but they have quite a simple door, some of the boats over here are more like floating full-on apartments on concrete blocks (never moving) and some may have excellent security.

But an apartment on a higher floor with multiple doors to pass probably has less break-ins. So you could still go for an apartment if you want the freedom.

www.9292.nl/en will help you plan public transport from door to door within the Netherlands. Indeed, renting a car is not recommendable, especially in cities. Expensive and chaotic, and on the highways we get a lot of traffic jams. Trains go from city center to city center.

What other daytrips you want to do apart from Obdam depends on what you're looking for. Other cities, small villages, windmills, water works (storm breakers), heatland national parks, dunes?

As mentioned above, it's also easy to combine the Netherlands with Belgium. I'd recommend Ghent and Bruges.

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Wake Forest, North...
Level Contributor
185 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

Shimmy;

No need to rent a vehicle. We have made day trips without issue with public transportation, no problems. I agree with Steve that there may be no data, but I have stayed in 3 different houseboats and 3 different apartments in Amsterdam. The only break-in was on a house boat. Though, 1.we were warned, 2. In a high traffic area, in front of Mulligans on the Amstel, 3. We left valuables out that could be seen by others. We are planning next Spring's trip and have found a nice boat that we are very close on renting. We are smarter now, and I'm not worried. Even if you decide the boat is not for you, I think I would be hard pressed to be in a Hotel when there are so many wonderful apartments around town.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
2,249 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

i wouldnt worry about peopel breaking into the and apartment of houseboat,, Amsterdam is like any other city it can happen, ive rented many places in Amsterdam never had one worry

enjoy your trip

Peace Matty

Longview, Texas
Level Contributor
4 posts
53 reviews
5. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

I'v been to the Netherlands on numerous occasions I am going in December 2013 to go to the museums and see the light show on the canal putting this at the back end of a trip to London first then take the train to Amsterdam ... Twice I have been to see the Tulips the first time was late March and it was great but the Tulips are best the 2-3 wk of April May is late for tulips ere on the side of caution and go a bit early rather than late. Lots of bulbs were blooming in March and the fragrance was super! I'm taking my Grandaughter this time for her College graduation present she is an artist (painter and scuptor) The museums should not be too busy as so many people have other things on their mind the weeks before Christmas. The Light Show is expected to be really good. Have not seen that before . Also London will be decorated for Christmas as well There too the Museums are out main focus. Best of Luck

Fort Worth, Texas
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
12,808 posts
6. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

stating may is late for tulips is incorrect..perhaps mid may on..yes

Illinois
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13,010 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

It really seems to depend on the weather. Unfortunately that makes it hard to plan. This year we were there in early April and none of the tulips were blooming yet.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
13,902 posts
76 reviews
8. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

I's say late April, early May is your best bet for tulips in bloom.

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Hamburg, Hamburg...
Level Contributor
16 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

I also agree with Cecilia April last and May starting are the safest bet to view Tulips.

Amsterdam public ransport is really fine and they offer passes which are valid on all means of Public Transport and are valide for 24 HR, 48 HR , 72 HR , 96 HR which are valid to travel anywhere within Amsterdam.

Dont miss to visit the famous windmill village of Zanse Schans ...it is really scenic and beautiful ....biking not to be missed here. Above pass is not valid to visit Zanse Schans ..you need to buy a separate one..but the return ticket is quite cheap ..I think its around 5-6 Euros from Amsterdam.

Go to Rotterdam and also see the legendary dykes...an engineering marvel ..

You can also plan to see Brussels and Bruges. High Speed Train runs from Amsterdam Central to Belgium very frequently ( I think every hour ).

Enjoy Your Trip. Netherlands is really beautiful.

Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
60 posts
12 reviews
10. Re: Beginning plans of first trip to The Netherlands!

Thanks to all of you!!! We will go with either hotel or boathouse...just need to find the "one". We will be taking day trips other than Obdam. He has cousins in The Hague too. So we will have to get all of that coordinated. Would like to go to Haarlem, and into Belgium, possibly Germany if there is time.

More questions:

Is there any issues getting into either of these via train? (Belgium/Germany)

We also like live music (as he is a musician), is there an area that is best for this? Blues/Jazz?

I have looked at the site for the train, however, I can't locate a map of the system...is there one out there?

It also looks like it will still be a bit chilly April/May. So I assume jackets/rainjackets, etc. are in order!?

Additional thought...KLM or Lufthansa?

Thanks again for any info!!!