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8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

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Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

Hello! It looks like my husband and I might find ourselves with a week or so to spend in the Netherlands, including a 3 day conference in mid-March in Amsterdam. We are just beginning to plan the trip... and plan to stay at least 4 nights in Amsterdam while attending the conference (1-2 short sessions a day, which will give us plenty of time to see a few other sights that we are interested in like the Van Gogh museum, the Anne Frank house, a chilly canal ride, check out a few pubs, etc.).

My question is, would you recommend that we find another area in the Netherlands (or perhaps Belgium) to spend our remaining 3-4 nights, or stay put for the entire week and take a few day trips? We are not really "big city" people and would enjoy getting out and seeing the countryside. I would also love to tour a castle, but it appears that the Muiderslot castle does not open for the season until the end of March :-(. Maybe there is an equally spectacular one that you can recommend that we might be able to see if we spend a few days in another area?

We travel a lot but mostly to more wild, remote places, so we have very little experience with navigating on our own with trains and public transportation in non-English speaking countries, if that makes a difference in terms of your advice. This might be our one and only trip to this entire region, so we want to make the best of our 8 days! p.s. we realize that the weather will likely be cold and rainy.. but that never stops us from enjoying ourselves.

Also, we are not necessarily on a really tight budget, but we would not really consider flying to another country for part of this trip.....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
5,202 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

I will start this off short and sweet as I am sure you will get much more detailed replies. Stay the whole time in Amsterdam and take day trips.

Language will NOT be an issue.

Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

Thanks! That's a great start! I admit the thought of staying put in a nice B & B for a week sounds appealing :-)

Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
Level Contributor
6,545 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

If it helps any, my wife and I live in a remote town of 8,000 in Washington state. We also are not big city people. We spend as much time ias we possibly can in Amsterdam. Three months at a time at this point.

Edited: 6:23 pm, October 11, 2013
Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

Thanks, Pala32. That helps! From everything I've read so far, it looks like such a charming city to wander around in. We *almost* made it up your way this past spring.. couldn't go at the last minute, but it's on our list! My aunt and uncle live on Kodiak Island but have a place in Sequim for summer months. I already have my Olympic NP itinerary all planned out.... I will keep your contact info for when we get up there :-). p.s. if at some point you have any suggestions for specific day trips out of Amsterdam, I would love to hear them. I have, of course, already read a lot of posts about day trips.... but so far I don't see any that involve seeing a castle, for example, other than Muiderslot....also, no place for short hikes....(?)

5. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

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Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

ha ha -- good question, MrOther. I should have been more specific. Been to Vic Falls. Been to other areas of Europe and Africa... but this might be our only trip to the Netherlands -- and possibly Northern Europe (although of course I hope not). We tend to gravitate toward the more wild, still natural, uninhabited (by humans) areas though so you never know... we have a lot of other places in the world still on our list! :-)

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
5,202 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

If you are considering staying in Amsterdam for eight days in March, have you considered renting a flat? Lots of positives versus staying in a B & B or a hotel. If so, let us know and we can help get you pointed in the right direction.

Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
8. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

No, we hadn't even considered that option. So I assume it would be easy to find a nice one that is within walking distance of a neighborhood food market? If so we are definitely interested in looking into that idea.....the conference is at Beurs van Berlage... so we'd want to be within roughly a mile of there to be able to walk. Is there a website where I might be able to search for what we are interested in?

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
27,956 posts
74 reviews
9. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

Muiderslot castle is open at the weekends all winter as I only found out to my cost one winters weekday

http://www.muiderslot.nl/english

Why don't you jump on a plane for an hour and go to Scotland. More castles than you can shake a cannon at and proper castles too. Ones that have been under siege not some namby pamby one ;-)

Lots of wild open space within easy reach also.

Language might be an issue there though as although the natives speak English you won't be able to understand them LOL

Edited: 9:28 pm, October 11, 2013
Georgia
Level Contributor
623 posts
10 reviews
10. Re: 8 days -Amsterdam + day trips or split between another area?

ha ha-- I even had checked out that website and didn't even notice it was open on weekends in the winter. Thanks! OK... now you've got me intrigued about the idea of taking a little side trip to Scotland. I didn't realize it was only an hour flight from Amsterdam... guess I need to do a little more homework! Always wanted to see a castle or two there. Namby Pamby, eh? Something tells me other folks aren't going to "take kindly" to your comments ;-)