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6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

Hong Kong
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6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

Dear all friends and knowledgable DE,

I am visiting Amsterdam from March 28 to April 3 and will stay on a boat at Eastern Dockland. I have draft up a 6 full days plan, pls advise me if it is too tiring or if I have missed out something or not.

According to the plan, should I better purchase a Holland pass and an add value OV travel card than getting the I Amsterdam card?

Would Easter week be crowded of visitors and shops be closed for holiday?

Thank you in advance for your input.

March 29th (Fri)

Canal Boat hopon/off (morning)

Walking Tour Oude Zijde:

1. St Nicholaaskerk

2. Zeedijk

3. Oude Kerk

4. Red Light District

5. Nieuwmarkt

6. Hemp Museum

7. Rembrandthuis

8. Stadhuis-Muziektheater

9. Waterlooplein

Canal Boat hopon/off (evening)

March 3oth (Sat)

1. Keukenhof

2. Haarlem

March 31st (Sun)

1. Zaanse Schan (morning)

2. Volendam (afternoon)

3. Monnickendam

April 1st (Mon)

Walking tour: (Central Canal Wing)

1. Leidesplain (street performance, night life, American Hotel, Metz & Co,Palace of Justice)

(Eastern Canal Wing)

2. Munttoren (Mint Tower)

3. Bloemenarkt (floating market)

4. Rembrandtplein

4a Museum of Bags & Purses

4b Bridge of 15 bridges

5. Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge)

6. Magere Brug (middle open bridge)

7. Albert Cuypmarkt (flea market)

8. Heineken Experience

April 2nd (Tue)

1. Hermitage Museum

2. Delft (noon)

3. Hague (late afternoon)

April 3rd (Wed)

Walking tour:

(Western Canal Ring)

1. Ann Frank Museum

2. Homomonument

3. Westerkerk

4. Bloemgracht

5. Noordermarkt

(Nieuwe Zijde)

6. Torensluis

7. Begijnhof

8. Nieuw Kerk

9. Koninklijk Paleis

10. Dam square

Amersfoort, The...
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1. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

Easter weekend is the busiest of the year. Things in general will be very crowded.

In particular I'd avoid the hop on/off (hoho) canal bus any day over the Easter weekend. Down the years we have had consistent complaints about long waits, full boats passing stops, etc.

For first time visitors a canal trip, ideally earlier in your stay than later, is a must. I suggest you just take one of the regular one hour tours rather than the hoho service.

As for cards, I can't say for sure without research the admission price of each paid venue you propose to visit. My gut feeling is that a Holland Pass may be worthwhile. As you have two days out of the city the travel addendum to the IAmsterdam card would be wasted on those days.

Overall, I think you are trying to do too much. Particularly in April 2nd. Delft and Den Haag will take a full day on their own. Amsterdam is a city best enjoyed at leisure. Frankly, I don't see much of that time in your whole plan.

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

Hi -

I agree with brian - too busy! I need a nap after reading your agenda.

What can you save for your next trip?

Best of luck - MMK

Warsaw
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3. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

OK, so you will take A DAY to walk Ann Frank Museum to Dam Square but you want to do Delft and Den Haag in a third of a day each? Talk about changing tempo....

When I am in Amsterdam I generally breeze through most of the stops you mentioned within an afternoon, including a (compulsory) lunch at La Place, not entering the museums though. Everything that's within the canal ring is within stone's throw from each other, and you can also use the trams or go by bike. If you spend 6 days in Amsterdam within that area, you will be a blast in any memory-based Canal house games. You will probably even recognize which Gracht it is by the colour of the water therein.

My advice would be to get out a bit more. I'd give Rotterdam and Den Haag a day each, and add Delft to any of those, perhaps Rotterdam. I would also recommend some time in Leiden, it's along the way to Den Haag.

There's so much more diversity to the Netherlands than just (beautiful in itself) canal houses, windmills and klompen. Give it a try!

PS. Or perhaps you're a seasoned Amsterdam visitor and you know what you're doing, then pay me no heed as you don't need any advice on your itinerary!

Edited: 15 March 2013, 15:52
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4. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

I accept that I am biased, but I would think carefully before taking advice to add Rotterdam to your itinerary.

What the Nazis did to Rotterdam in 1940 (bombing, followed by fire driven by gale-force winds), what the city authorities under occupation did to it during the rest of WWII (demolishing the landmarks which were still salvageable) and what the post-war reconstruction did to it in the decades thereafter (50s, 60s, 70s ...) are disgrace heaped upon disgrace. In my opinion, there is almost nothing to interest an international visitor in the whole city, unless you visit it to understand why the Dutch government of the day so quickly succumbed to occupation.

I know that's a sweeping statement (and I'll probably start a fight by saying it). It's just my opinion. You will hear others. Good luck deciding what to do.

Port Townsend...
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5. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

Noordermarkt is only operating on Saturdays and Mondays. On a Wednesday it's just an empty square.

Warsaw
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6. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

MrOther, as an actual VISITOR to Rotterdam as a tourist, I reiterate my statement - it indeed IS a very interesting city. It IS different, for the reasons you mentioned, than Amsterdam or any other Dutch city with a long history, and that's its beauty.

I agree some of the 50s, 60s and 70s architecture might be viewed less favorably by the contemporary eye, and that many chances for a sweeping urbanistic marvel were lost while hastily rebuilding Rotterdam, but it's still got plenty to offer. Especially the fact that, contrary to Amsterdam, Rotterdam very much embraces the river and has spectacular waterfonts on both sides, and the spectacular, walkable and cycle'able Erasmus bridge. Amsterdam has the historic centre, but it's built to face AWAY from the IJ, which is pretty dull and too wide to be embraced by the city.

And you can always board the train and go to Delft or Den Haag if you find Rotterdam dull (just don't do so before getting to the Maas and the Erasmus Bridge), or to Den Haag even by metro (line E connects both cities)!

I know the Dutch don't like basically anything that's post-war, or post-20th century for that matter (even Berlage seems to get a lukewarm reception and only recently has been rediscovered), but I believe this is just underestimating the architectural and urbanistic wealth of the country. I would love to have such nice cities and modern districts around here.

Amsterdam
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7. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

So, FrequentTraveller in Hong Kong, it looks like JTCz and I have managed to present some of the arguments for and against a trip to Rotterdam without actually having a war ourselves! I hope it is useful for you.

(@JTCz: Interesting points. I find myself also better informed. Thx.)

Winter Haven...
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8. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

I agree with MrOther. However if you do visit Rotterdam, be sure to take in the EuroPort, one of the largest in the world. Oh wait, you live in Hong Kong. :-)

Edited: 16 March 2013, 02:29
Boca Raton, Florida
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9. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

without offense to anyone, several suggestions - first, agreeing with above, i would allow more of a day for delft with time spent to enjoy the vermeer center. other than the escher museum in den haag, we were a bit disappointed.

near the museum of bags and purses ( spectacular fun ), the willet museum also worth a visit.

the cuypmarket was a true disappointment. may be of value for locals, of little or none for visitors. sorry, but just found it tacky and not worthwhile to spend over an hour.

consider spending some time at the jewish quarter - jewish museum, hollandsche schoubergm resistance museum, portuguese synagogue. very interesting and educational, very touching.

begijnhof - the entrances are hard to find, be forewarned. ask for help if needed.

did i miss the rijksmuseum in your list - one of the world's best, up to four vermeers, lots of hals.

we were warned off the rembrandt house as a waste, didn't go. caveat emptor.

amsterdam is a great city for the visitor, enjoy.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: 6 full days Amsterdam tour, pls comment

One of the joys of Amsterdam is wandering along the canals from sight to sight.

However, the greatest joy of Amsterdam is wandering along the canals, with no plans, no fixed idea of what treasures you will see, popping in here for a coffee, there for a quick smoke or a croquette or some frites, finding a cheese shop or a bookshop or a little church, or just watching the boats on the canals for a while as you drink a whit beer on the pavement, letting go of the need to "see" this or that or get to a particular place, just being in one of the most beautiful and relaxing cities in the world and letting it capture your heart.

That, it seems to me, is what is missing from your oh-so-busy itinerary.

Edited: 16 March 2013, 22:51