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Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

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Houston, Texas
posts: 8,433
reviews: 298
Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

I saw this on the London forum originally and now there is one on the Berlin board as well. I thought this was a good idea for all of us that go to Amsterdam or who are thinking of going to read thru the reports to have an idea of what to do and how people viewed there trips and thus we can come back and write up a report on how our trip went.

"""For everyone's convenience and reading pleasure, please post links to all your trip reports (past, present, and future) here on this thread. If you also have pictures posted somewhere on the Net, include those links as well.

Without further adieu, on with the show!"""

If possible can we get this stickied as well?

63 replies to this topic
31. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

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Holland, Ohio
posts: 3
reviews: 15
32. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

Just a couple of valuable (cash-wise) tips that may help. Arriving in Amsterdam we had no Euro's and several in our party did not have a credit / debit card that would work in the ticket kiosks to get a train to the city. Check with your bank before you leave USA to make sure your card will work.

I went to and "ATM" at the airport to get cash and thought I got a really good exchange rate. What the machine failed to tell me was that is t is really and exchange machine and my card was charged $58 in fees to exchange and retrieve Euro's ($270 for 200 euros). You are much better off getting a lesser exchange rate at your local bank. Most US bank can convert for you if you give them 3 -4 days notice.

The best deal for inter-city transportation is a pas that can be purchased by the day, week, etc. The metro and trams are easy to use if you have the local tourist map showing the routes.

Per info on the internet, we took bus #172 from Central Station to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction (worth the visit for 6 euro each). What the internet didn't note was that it cost 5 euro per person each way for the bus.

Amsterdam is a fabulous city. Don't carry anything you don't need (cards, cash, purses, etc.) as pickpockets are rampant, and, yes, Americans do stand out whether you think you do or not. Explore, have fun,be aware of your surroundings at all times.

posts: 1
33. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

warning the yulia and landlord julia p

hello to all that are reading this, I booked the yulia for the 27,28th of July this year, I booked and paid for it 5 weeks in advance to be sure me and my friends had somewhere nice to stay for my stag do. I will state now that julia p ruined my weekend in Amsterdam , we arrived in Amsterdam on Friday morning to be told that they had double booked the yulia , we were offered the top floor of what looked like someones house that people were living in, the sheets were used there was no toilet paper no doors to separate us from the other 6-8 people that were living there, there were only 2 beds and a sofa for 6 of us, there was also a party in the making on the floor below and were told to expect over 100 people that night I could go on but I won't, we ended up having to stay in a rough old hostel as you can imagine we were all very upset and all of our spending money had to be used to pay for new accommodation. luckily we did get our money back as I paid through trip adviser and contacted them within the 24 hour deadline from your arranged book in time , but make no mistake it was over a week before I got my money back.

so my advice is avoid the yulia and julia p if you don't want to waste 8 hours of your weekend looking for somewhere else to stay .

also only pay through trip adviser and I think its got to be worth the 3% charge to pay by credit card just for added security

Edited: 2:41 pm, August 17, 2014
Arlington, Texas
posts: 1
reviews: 7
34. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

Recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam and Bruges. This was my first trip there and I'd definitely go back to Amsterdam. Not so much Bruges but, it was lovely and worth seeing once. Amsterdam was wonderful. Loved everything about the city. We stayed at the Park Plaza Victoria which is conveniently located across from the central train station, very easy walk from the station. Travel dates were August 1-4. The time we were there was the only blemish on the visit. It was so crowded. There was a festival and it's the start of their school vacation so the crowds were huge. But, even that was a plus in a way because we got to meet so many people from all over. We visited the Anne Frank Museum and The Van Gogh. They were both fantastic. Didn't really go with an advance plan so we just took what opportunities came our way and couldn't be happier with the results. We happened on the Heineken Museum and my adult kids wanted to do it and it was great. As weird as it might sound, it was a tour well worth the money. The kids loved it and the beer was great.

We just took the restaurants as they came and every choice was very acceptable. Had no problems with a language barrier, even at the small restaurants. Everyone there was friendly and very helpful. I didn't keep track of where we ate so no particular suggestions there.

Amsterdam is small enough that you can walk almost anywhere. We never used a cab. I would suggest the Hop On Hop Off Bus as a great way to get around. There is a similar boat ticket that takes you around the city. Both are worth the cost. I definitely want to go back.

The Carolinas
posts: 1
reviews: 34
35. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

Amsterdam Trip Report August 2014

We stayed near the central station, we found the museum district more to our liking. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam, we saw all the highlights; red light district, coffee shops, canals. We found a pub called De Bederij, in the red light district, the bartender Gaby was very helpful and gave us a couple of good travel tips.

1. Visit the red light district both during the day, and at night - what a big difference.

2. Take the canal cruises, both day and night. That was wonderful - the night canal cruise we did the wine and cheese tour - very romantic, very nice host, very inexpensive. They were generous with the wine and cheese.

3. We found that if we got up early in the mornings we could see a lot more sights without all the crowds, by noon the Damrak, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein, are all filled with tourist.

4. The Homomonument was interesting, be sure to look down as you walk there is more to it than we had realized. The flower market and Anne Frank's house is in the same area. Buy you tickets to Anne Franks house online, the line can be as long as three hours. Buying your tickets online gets you in front of the line.

5. Lines into venues: Do not buy your tickets at the venue, buy them at a ticket distributor, by doing that you will be able to get into the short line when you get there.

6. The museum district was nice, we went to the Van Gogh museum, it took us about 2 hours to do. We did not do the Rijksmuseum just because I didn't want to spend all day at a museum.

7. Food - is very expensive in the tourist areas. The Argentinian Steakhouses (there are lots of them), they have pretty much the same menu and prices, very expensive. The best deal for food is Breakfast - it's the cheapest, and the meals are the same no matter where you go. An English Breakfast, An American Breakfast, or a Dutch Breakfast . For $10 you should be able to get a really good breakfast, and then eat light the rest of the day. We never found a true Dutch restaurant which is what I wanted. Lots of pizza and sandwich places, and of course McDonalds and Burger King.

8. Transportation: Except for our canal tours, we walked the entire time to every part of Amsterdam. I used the tram system on my first trip, and was fine. We just saw more by walking. We clocked 10 - 15 miles per day during our stay. Where sensible shoes.

9. Most people in Amsterdam speak very good English. Remember Dutch and German are not the same language, do not insult the Dutch by assuming they speak German.

10. The shopping areas were nice and had unique items that we don't see at home. The price of some of there clothing stores were surprisingly reasonable.

11. Outside Amsterdam - there are tours leaving from Amsterdam, we did the Delft and Den Haag. They are only about an hour or so away from the city. If I was going to do it differently, I would have just gotten a train to those cities and spent more time there, and followed my own plan.

Mumbai
posts: 906
reviews: 34
36. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

Myself and wife were in Amsterdam briefly earlier this month, this is our trip report:

Sep 01: full day & Sep 06: full day

Sep 01: Our flight from New York landed around 700am and first thing we did was to store one of our larger bags in the lockers - at Euro 7 / night. We then took the free shuttle to Ibis Budget Hotel, reaching there around 900am.

Check in time is 12pm - but the hotel allows early check in on payment of 15 Euros. We took this option - worth it! After a brief rest we walked over to the bus stop close to the hotel and took the bus 197 direct to Rijksmuseum area. Fare is Euro 4 / person - but the driver took Euro 5 total for both of us. May be there is a "couple" or "family" ticket?

At the museum area we walked around, checked out the museum gardens, though we did not go inside as we are not really interested in visiting museums. Weather was great, may be 20's C and sunny.

We spend the rest of the day generally exploring the city and the canals etc and finally took a tram to Centraal station. Here, as suggested by TA, we took the free ferry across (a 5min ride) and came back by evening. We were amazed by the numbers of cycles everywhere!

Since we were still a bit jet lagged, we decided to go back to the hotel. We took the train to Schiphol from Centraal and then once again the free shuttle to the hotel. Dinner was some of our own food, heated in the hotel lobby microwave. Later we walked across to the Ibis Hotel nearby and had some drinks / ice cream at their Grand Cafe.

Next day we took the early morning flight to Prague, returning to Amsterdam on Sat Sep 06 and staying at the same Ibis Budget hotel.

Sep 06: Once again, we checked in early by paying Euro 15 and later took the shuttle bus to Schiphol to take the train to Centraal. However, all trains were off for the weekend - due to some railway work. But buses were arranged and it was easy to reach Centraal.

We took the 6 hour long 230pm tour to the windmills, Volendam and Marken thru:

www.citysightseeingamsterdam.com

and it was excellent ! It cost Euro 40 / person and we managed to get seats at the upper level. The tour of windmills, scenery at Volendam and Marken visit was the highlight of our trip to the city.

We were back in the city around 800pm, had dinner at Gandhi Restaurant on Damrak and were back in the hotel by midnight and ready for our morning flight next day to Mumbai - home after a 25 day vacation !

Thx TA forum for all tips for our visit to this great city. Hoping to come again during the tulip season next year.

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 37
reviews: 1
37. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

Returned a few weeks ago from 6 days in Amsterdam...first chance I've had. Won't belabor this with all the details , just a few bullet points that others might find helpful or enjoyable.

1) If you are history or architecture buff, don't miss the Portuguese Synagogue. It was my favorite spot...huge, quiet, peaceful, beautiful and untouched by time. Still lit solely by candlelight and unheated. Plus the stuff in the "treasure house" is amazing...more so because it's all still regularly used.

2) Do book your Anne Frank house tour ahead online. Well worth giving up flexibility of when you want to visit to escape the blocks-long (and hours-long) lines. You can, btw, book your tour and not pay for it online, if you plan to buy a Museumkaart once you get to Amsterdam.

3) Do the same for the Van Gogh museum, especially if you don't get a Museumkaart, which will get you in a special, much shorter line for admission.

4) The chocolates from Puccini Bomboni (several locations around town, including near the Nieuw Kerk) are fabulous, though very pricey.

5) The apple cake at Winkel 43 (near the Noordemarkt flea market, which is held on Mondays) is THE best...and I tried many! The Noordemarkt flea market is not especially interesting or worthwhile, by the way, UNLESS you are in the market for some linen fabric...for drapes, upholstery or clothing. Great prices on it.

6) A quick stop at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky (on Dam Square) &\ to peek at the Winter Garden is worth it. I regretted that I didn't find out if one could have lunch or tea there, but the room was not in use when I stopped by.

7) Don't bother with the flower market unless flowers are in season. It was just shop after shop of Tulip bulbs, when I saw it late Aug. Bulbs I couldn't even buy, because they weren't certified for export and would have gotten me in trouble with US Customs.

8) Please don't take pictures at the Begjinhof. There's only one sign at one entrance that says cameras are forbidden and everyone seems to be snapping away. But really...would you like hordes of tourists taking pictures of your house?

All in all...a fabulous trip, despite the unseasonably cold, rainy August weather!

New York City
posts: 2,164
reviews: 39
38. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

A bit late but here is my trip report

Day 1 Arrive at airport and take train to Hampton Inn Bijilmeer. We arrived at hotel at like 9am so we took metro to city central and took free Walking tour of city from Dam Square (Helps you get acclimated to city and shows you a few sites you might miss) Not too much more as still Jet Lagged

Day 2 : Take train to Zanse Schannse and see the museum village there with Windmills and clog museum. Went in a Windmill and took boat ride in River. Return to City central and go to Anne Frank House. (Long line to get in) but got to see Anne Frank..Cross off Bucket List

Day 3 : Its Pouring and we go to Jewish Museum of Amsterdam, Visit the 2 Synangouges and the Museum. We then take Metro to Museumplein and Riksmuseum. Got some people free pictures of the Iamsterdam sign since it was pouring

Day 4 : Go to Diamond Museum and Van Gogh Museum. I was a little tired so went back to Hotel and rested. Went out at tour for Red Light District Tour

Day 5 : Take Canal Tour and then take tram to VondelPark. See a concert there and then head back to hotel as we have tickets to Ajax Amsterdam / EInhoven Soccer game . I have wanted to see a soccer game in Europe for a while and it was definatly a Highlight. The fans are crazy much more than US

Day 6 : Got a late start then went to Heineken Experience, Maybe Overpriced, but it was fun. Then went Souviener Shopping and return to hotel

Day 7: Leave for Brussels , Belgium . Brussels not so hot, but Bruges and Ghent were highligts too

We did not visit any coffee houses as we are not really into drug culture although I did try some Canabis Ice Cream. You can have alot of fun in Amsterdam even if you are not into drugs

New York
posts: 1
reviews: 3
39. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

On my last day in Amsterdam before heading back to NYC. I have spent the last 8 days here on business with some fun thrown in as well.

Some notes before I start. I have had a long time friend who has lived in Amsterdam for 45 years and he got me onto TripAdvisor. The information I gathered from him or from the forum or reviews of TripAdvisor. So this is my way of giving back.

Where did I stay: Groenburgwal in the city centre at a friends apartment who was away on holiday. If not for this fantastic location and opportunity I would have gone with an apartment rental via an airbnb or similar website.

Location was perfect, central yet not busy. Close to everything I needed, tram 4 metro, central train station. Waterloopleinmarkt was two minutes walk away and so was the supermarket of Albert Hein.

I got the Museum card from the Rembrandt House Museum around the corner. This museum was one of my favorites and I popped in three times as it was around the corner.

Other Museum:

Rijksmuseum: make a plan it is a big museum, download the app, free wifi. I got a lot of useful information on this blog I found call When in Amsterdam.

This entry on the Rijksmuseum gave great tips on how and when to go.

…blogspot.nl/search…

Anne Frank: from my friend recommended me purchase online a number of weeks before my arrival. This was a great tip. Also I was recommended buying a 50cent ticket because I would have a museum card. BIG TIP; I did not need the museum card when I booked only when I entered the museum.

Van Gogh Museum. I liked it but not as much as the other museums. Happy to have had the museum card to have gone express lane and not forked out extra money. I guess you can't enjoy every museum experience

Tours:

Eating Amsterdam Tour: not the best. I had seen a write up of them in the NYTimes. I booked out of excitement. Once I got here and my Amsterdam friend showed me a few other options I realized they were twice the price of everyone else and large groups. It was about $100 and the group was big at 12 people and the girl spoke in a degrading english like we in school.

OMY Amsterdam tour: in Short Fantastic. group limit was 4 people and there were three on the tour. I went on the afternoon beer tour that then connected to the red light tour. We were in an out of the weather meeting locals and chatting along the way.

Sandman's Free Tour: Bad choice, good for budget travellers, college kids. Lots of bad jokes and up selling. You get what you pay for or don't.

Restaurants:

Krua Thai: Very, very good. More expensive than others I went to in town but you payed for the quality. Added bonus it was 50 feet from where I was staying.

Van Dobben: old dutch diner. Had the raw meat sandwich with a cup of "normal" black coffee. I felt dutch for a while.

Thai Bird Snackbar: Large portions that kept me going for a couple of days but not as good as

krua.

Transport. I had a GVB recharge card which a friend gave me. I spent 20 euro on it and have not used all the credit during my stay. I used public transport everyday.

Alright Amsterdam it has been great. Thank you to Tripadvisor and Koen. One last beer in the sun before going tot he train station.

Doi!

40. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here (Amsterdam)

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