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Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Cardiff, United...
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Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Hi all - My first posting, so please bear with me!

Me and my gf are travelling to Nederlands' capital on 2 May for a 5 day break. As my girlfriends had some mobility problems (MS), we're taking the wheelchair with us for emergencies, so will the city's cobbled streets prove troublesome? By the way, our hotel is in Prinsengracht 444 nr. tram 1, so should be convenient to go out an about...

Any tips welcomed.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Hi there,

On the main streets crossing the canals, and on almost all streets outside the canal ring, should be no major problems. But for some canal bridges on the main streets, some could be a bit steep to walk.

On the canal streets, and especially the cobbled bridges, I'd not recommend going with any disability for any longer stretch. So if you just use tram 1 to reach the city centre instead of walking along Leidsestraat, all should be fine; the shopping streets like Kalverstraat are flat.

Have a nice stay,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

London
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2. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Was in Amsterdam only last Saturday for the day with wheelchair. It was pretty easy getting around although we had some problems using the train from the airport to Central Station - two steps up into the carriage meant my wife had to get out and luckily she can walk a little. However, access to the platform at Schipol is by lift (make sure you go down to the right platform as each one has its own lift and it can be confusing) and the platforms at Central are served by lifts as well.

Our plan was to go to the Van Gogh Museum and fortunately I'd bought tickets in advance on their website because the queue to get in was huge - pre purchase is recommended saves queuing.You print the tickets out at home and the bar code on them is read at the museum when you arrive. Entry at the front of the building is by an external lift (self operated) which takes you straight into the foyer - the Caravaggio + Rembrandt exhibition will still be running when you are there - well recommended - access to the rear section of the museum is by a glass lift dropping down from the cafe area on the right hand side of the foyer at the back of the building. Lifts within the rear building take you between floors and there are loos in the rear building - probably better than the ones just inside the main entrance to the museum. So far as the main building is concerned, two lifts serve the upper floors which are well worth visiting for general C19th works in addition to the fine displays of van Goghs. Cafe gets crammed at busy times, so eat early or late.

On balance, an easy place to get around - watch out for cyclists who give warning of their arrival. We'll be going back for longer later in the year.

Cardiff, United...
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3. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Much appreciated! DANK U WEL.

Seaside Heights...
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4. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

I am wondering, would the bicycles yield to a wheelchair?

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

The problem you are going to come across is shopping - my two year old is only recently out of her buggy , the past two years have been a nightmare dealing with narrow doors, tiny shop spaces and preservation laws which mean 4 storey shops don't have to install lifts in old buildings.

Taking the trams might also prove a problem because there is only one space for a wheelchair and it's often taken up with one of the many buggys that they didn't make space for on the stupid things. My advice there is to travel outside of peak hours and if you're going far get on the tram as early into it's route as possible.

Stuttgart, Germany
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6. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

Muzebiz, the answer is no, the bikes tried to ride over my 84 year old mother in her wheelchair,they give way to no one. Even in the shops people seemed to expect the wheelchair to get out of thier way. I was quite shocked by it

London
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7. Re: Wheelchairing in Amsterdam

I checked the situation on trams with the transport authority: the response is below

With reference to your email, we inform you of the following

You will not have any problems with the trams in Amsterdam. The best thing is to get in at the door before the last one. Inmiddiatly at your rigth site we have a place reservd for the weelchair. If there is a buggy for kids standing there, he must leave the place for you.

We trust we have informed you to your satisfaction.

Kind regards,

Customer Service GVB

Decided not to try our luck in this area as unsure other users were aware of this rule!

Actually I found that people got out of our way, encouraged us to the head of queues and were only too willing to offer help.

If you want to try a real fun place to get around with a wheelchair, I can strongly recommend Venice (but it is possible!)