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10 Days For the Netherlands

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New York
Level Contributor
351 posts
6 reviews
10 Days For the Netherlands

The more we read about the Netherlands, the more we are intrigued. We are experienced independent travelers who have made numerous trips to Europe but have never stopped in The Netherlands except to change planes. We are inveterate museum goers who always look froward to trying local dishes, seeing the architecture and trying to understand the culture and history. We try to learn a little about the history, art, literature, and language of a country before we visit. Fortunately we have a runnimg head start for history and art. In fact, we just added to our things to do with our lives, is to see all known Vermeers which are measly 34 plus some disputed works.

We will fly into Brussels stay a couple of days, go to Bruges for a couple of days and then head to Amsterdam. What would be the most efficient way in 10 days (we could add a few more, if necessary) Amsterdam, Delft, Delta Project, Haarlem, and The Hague? Would a second base location be advisable? We will either go May or September.

We can rent a car but know that a car in many European locations is a greater burden than a help and no, we cannot bicycle as a means of locomotion. It seems the trains, as is the wont in most European countries, is the most effective and cheapest mode to get around. But we are open to suggestions.

Also can you also recommend writers of better fiction from The Netherlands and Belgium besides Georges Simenon?

Thank you for repsonses in advance.

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
7,359 posts
2 reviews
11. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

Small towns north of Amsterdam would include Bergen and Egmond (both on the North Sea). On the other side of the peninsula you have Hoorn on the Makermeer. Coming back down toward Amsterdam you would have Edam (of cheese fame) and the fishing towns of Volendam and Marken. All of these towns are closely associated with the sea.

Central to the towns in the north is Alkmaar, a town of 100,000. It has the popular cheese market every Friday morning throughout most of the year.

I understand Brian's point, but unless you are traveling as far as Maastrict, it wouldn't be necessary from a "time savings" point of view. If you want the vibe and feel of staying in a different town, then that is different.

I am very much a slow traveler. My primary purpose while on vacation is to relax while taking as much in as possible at a leisurely pace. Ten days in and of itself is not overly long for me to stay in a town like Amsterdam. Day trips are easily arranged from Amsterdam and most of the destinations listed here are not far. Staying all 10 days will making lodging easier to arrange (check VRBO or AirB&B if interested in booking a flat) and will allow you to come back to the same bed every night without schlepping around luggage.

There are positives and negatives for both arrangements.

Edited: 8:10 am, September 03, 2013
New York
Level Contributor
351 posts
6 reviews
12. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

Thanks Cecile

Groningen, The...
Level Contributor
147 posts
419 reviews
13. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

I'm surprised than nobody has mentioned Enkhuizen and Hoorn yet. Two old harbour towns, which were centres of the VOC (The Dutch East Indies company). In my opinion the prettiest small tones on the Ijsselmeer. Marken and Vollendam by contrast are fishing ports so don't have the same level of beautiful buildings (and have too many tourists).

inveterate museum goers should definitely visit Haarlem for the Frans Hals Museum and have a look at some of the Hofjes (Almshouses) at the same time.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,595 posts
82 reviews
14. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

TravelingCelt, I recommended Enkhuizen in that other very similar thread. Sometimes I don't whether it's best to copy and paste the entire answer into this new thread, or just post a link. Every time I just only the link, people repeat my answers (because they had not seen them)...

New York
Level Contributor
351 posts
6 reviews
15. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

Thanks Cecile for sharing that.

New York
Level Contributor
351 posts
6 reviews
16. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

Thanks Cecile.

Stuttgart, Germany
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
6,748 posts
84 reviews
17. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

If you do get a car then Wijk bij Duurstede is a lovely old walled town to wander around. Nearby is Doorn with the last home of the German Kaiser, it is a lovely tranquil location and not that large so an hour or so is enough.

New York
Level Contributor
351 posts
6 reviews
18. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

Thank you all for your thoughts.

One of the reasons we wanted to go to Haarlem is to see the Frans Hals Museum.

We have rented apartments elsewhere but have not used AirBnb yet. And maybe we will stretch the trip a bit. We travel with the idea that we woudl rather see a few places well, than many poorly. We live in downtown Manhattan which still has many Dutch names but for the most part, the Dutch influence has waned after 500 years. The city flag is orange, white, and blue and the pro basketball team is the Knickerbockers, but compared to many of the cultures and ethnic groups that have passed through, it is not as strong.

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
7,359 posts
2 reviews
19. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

TravelingCelt -

Read the post two up from yours.

20. Re: 10 Days For the Netherlands

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