Going to Amsterdam in the new year, top gear there
March 28, 2011 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Arrive in Amsterdam 4th April. Depart Amsterdam 14th April. The rest is up to YOU!

I am going to Amsterdam these holidays, and I want the whole Amsterdam experience.

Minor snag, I am on a smallish budget, though don't mind splashing out if it is worth it.

Accomodation options also wanted. I tried couchsurfers but no luck unfortunately, so hostels. Especially busy ones.

I also thought about travelling up to Copenhagen or possibly Hamburg but if thats not worth it please tell me.

Other than that I'm open to anything.

Thanks in advance!
posted by midnightbarber to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Possible day trip: Brussels/Bruges. Brussels's Grand Place is beautiful during the day. And at night.
posted by troywestfield at 12:19 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mauritshuis museum in The Hague is a definite must.

Get tickets to see a comedy show at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam.

Take a day trip in Leiden and see where the Pilgrims lived before leaving for the New World.

See if the Dutch Cheese Market in Alkmaar has started, yet, during your visit.

For beer, have a drink at Café Gollem and then shop at the beer store on the other side of the street.
posted by deanc at 12:39 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Anne Frank Museum is a really moving experience and worthwhile even if you feel like you already know the story.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:41 PM on March 28, 2011

Dom Tower in Utrecht.

Make sure you go all the way to the top and I have it on reliable authority that visiting the 'Coffee Shops' just before the tour makes it better.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 12:56 PM on March 28, 2011

If you're really into museums, pay EUR40 and get a Museumkaart, which will get you into most Dutch museums for free. Worth it. One Dutch person told me "It's worth it sometimes just even as a way to access a bathroom for free!"

You'll need an OV-Chipkaart to travel around. If you're only staying in AMS proper, you can get one from GVB. If you plan on seeing anything else of the Netherlands (which I recommend), get one that works nationwide.

Have you thought about checking with Couchsurfing people outside of Amsterdam proper? You can quickly get to A'dam from Den Haag (The Hague), Rotterdam, or Utrecht, all interesting cities in their own rights.
posted by knile at 1:05 PM on March 28, 2011

Audio tour at Van Gogh museum was great.
posted by bquarters at 1:15 PM on March 28, 2011

I'll second a trip to Brussels. I was there in January and loved every moment.
posted by reductiondesign at 1:32 PM on March 28, 2011

stay in the flying pig hostel ... there are two of them in Amsterdam ... they rock (both) (when I was there the guy in the lower part of my bunk died ... talk about cool email fodder).

April is good weather ... go hire a bike for your stay ... Marken is a fun ride ... actually for that time period you can hire one of mine ... I'll give you one for the going rate ... and throw in my museum card for free (which is a fantastic deal! €40 savings ... I won't be using it) ... and the OV card for the trams, but you won't use it.

Visit, for day trips, rotterdam, utrecht, den haag, and haarlem (den bosch is also nice). Spend the rest of your time in Amsterdam and its surrounds ... 10 days is about perfect for a flying trip of NL. Do the free tour of Amsterdam (sandmans) on your first day.

Skip the Anne frank house ... it is smaller then expected! and not covered by the museum card. Eat at Febo once, but only once. Go to the zaanse schanse, by bike if you will.
posted by jannw at 1:43 PM on March 28, 2011

If you want to get out of the city for a day, the Hoge Veluwe is a massive park about 1.5 hours outside Amsterdam. You pay a small fee to get in and then can grab a free bicycle and cycle around the park. It's a surprisingly varied terrain, going from lakes to forest to actual desert, with lots of stops for wildlife viewing. There's also a great art museum near the middle of the park.

For cheap eats and a unique Amsterdam experience, head over to "The End of the World" squat restaurant in a boat off of Java Island. Only open Wednesday and Fridays, run their website through Google Translate to be sure.

And do lots of day trips - no need to go to Brussels when you have Delft (the Saturday flea market is fantastic), Rotterdam, Den Haag, Haarlem, Utrecht all less than an hour and a half away.
posted by Gortuk at 1:56 PM on March 28, 2011

I just (3 weeks) ago got back from Amsterdam / Brussels. I'd def recommend a Brussels stopover for the Belgian beers alone(Delerium tap room!).

AskMe pretty much planned my trip for me. Look for previous threads on Amsterdam & Brussels, where I picked up great suggestions like heading to the Albert Cuyp street market in Amsterdam and the comics & musical instrument museums in Brussels.
posted by mnology at 1:58 PM on March 28, 2011

Take the canal ride with the St. Nicolaas Boat Club. Much better than the bigger tour boats.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:04 PM on March 28, 2011

FWIW, I was also told that the Museumkaart is not accepted at the Anne Frank Huis, but it was a week ago. The sign is just in Dutch/code.
posted by knile at 2:12 PM on March 28, 2011

I'm vacationing in Amsterdam right now -- get a bike and use it! Seriously, this city is super, super bike-friendly.

Otherwise, get a Museumkaart and go to museums -- Verzetmuseum (about the Netherlands in WWII), Joods Historisch Museum, et cetera. Anne Frank Huis is kind of pricey, but worth it.

And if you're not opposed to it, Amsterdam is awesome for dumpster diving. I'm staying at a place right now where pretty much all the food we eat is dumpstered.
posted by naturalog at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Don't stay in the Inner Amsterdam Hostel. Its a crappy hotel turned hostel, and it's pretty boring.

Spend a day exploring Utrecht and a day in Delft. They're both really cool places.
posted by cholly at 2:47 PM on March 28, 2011

FWIW, I was also told that the Museumkaart is not accepted at the Anne Frank Huis, but it was a week ago. The sign is just in Dutch/code.

This was definitely true when I was last there, and I can't imagine it's changed. I got to the front of the line, asked, got a negative answer, and left. The scowls I got! (I'd been there five or six times already, and was mainly looking for shelter from the rain. Try explaining THAT.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:24 PM on March 28, 2011

I's highly recommend a visit to Rotterdam. Holland is famous for its older charms, but the crazy race-to-the-future development in Rotterdam is truly something to see. A Spido boat tour of the harbour is very impressive. The Boymans collection is simply world class, and often forgotten against the lure of the Amsterdam museums.
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:35 PM on March 28, 2011

Do you like Indonesian food? Kantjil-to-go was my favorite place to grab a bite, and there's a classier place next door run by the same people called De Tijger.

I second The Flying Pig. It should definitely be busy when you go, so be sure to check availability.
posted by yaymukund at 4:41 PM on March 28, 2011

posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:08 PM on March 28, 2011

The English version of the Anne Frank house doesn't mention the Mueumkaart, but the Dutch version mentions it, and says admission is free ('gratis') for holders.

The IAMsterdam card from the GVB that knile mentions upthread seems crazily expensive to me if you're just going to use it for transport. It offers discounts and free admissions to all sorts of stuff, but first check out its details if it's worth it to you. For transport in the rest of the country, yes, get an OV-chipkaart (valid in Amsterdam too).

And yes, day trips! Utrecht, Den Haag, Delft and Den Bosch are personal favourites of mine. However, if you're more interested in the club scene (I just noticed your tags) I'm not as sure you'll enjoy those cities as much...
posted by Ms. Next at 6:41 AM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was just in Amsterdam, we stayed at St. Christopher's at The Winston (on phone, can't link) which we found incredibly central and clean, however we only stayed a night as we were offered an apartment elsewhere. The red light district wasn't my scene, but it may well be yours.

We started with a free walking tour but bailed midway in favor of food and beer. YMMV.
I visited the Anne Frank Huis and got a lot out of it. I would highly recommend it. We enjoyed walking through the 9 streets, riding bikes (on tour & hiring), eating stropwafels - try fresh and packaged and drinking my new fave beer Zatte by Brouwerij't ij, the local brewery.

I wish we'd had more time as Haarlem and Den Haag were on our list. Next time!
posted by WayOutWest at 2:20 PM on March 29, 2011

« Older To buy, or not to buy, a car--that is the question...   |   Should I be shredding ALL my receipts? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.