AMSTERDAM! tips - questions - advice!

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  1. My search didn't immediately show a dedicated Amsterdam thread so, if one exists, please merge!

    Can anyone give advice on the taxi situation in Amsterdam? I understand it's not as regulated as other cities like London and Paris, is this accurate? How much is an average fare within the city centre? For example, from PC Hoofstradt to the Central Train station?

    Does anyone have a (chauffeured) car service recommendation to get from Schiopol to the centre of town? As an alternative, is it fairly easy to figure out where to catch a train from the airport to get into town?

    Staying down the street from Hermes and Cartier in the Museumkwartier so I'm sure it's a nice area but are there certain areas/neighbourhoods best avoided when carrying designer goods? I'm sure it's "use common sense" like any other city, but would like to know where to NOT accidentally wander. TIA! 🌷
     
  2. We'll be there in 3 weeks so I hope you get some good information!
     
  3. It is very easy to go from the airport to downtown by cab; I do not remember the fares, but they were reasonable. If you are traveling light, it is also easy to take the train from the airport to downtown. I recommend getting a Canal Pass to travel in the city, it's fun and convenient.

    Amsterdam is a very lively city with great museums, shopping, and food (cheese, chocolate,...). I would recommend visiting the Anne Frank House/Museum.
     
  4. I just took the train from Schiphol airport to the city centre and it was quick and easy. Bought the tickets from a vending machine and hopped on the next train. It was fine even with all our luggage from an international flight.

    http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ToFromSchiphol/PublicTransport/ByTrainDomestic.htm
     
  5. When I was there, we took the train into the city, and walked to our hotel (we stayed right on the Dam Square). We didn't take cabs or transit the whole time we were there, we just walked everywhere (including to the museum district, where you're staying). Then, when we left, we took the train to Schiphol, which is really easy - like HiromiT said, you can buy the tickets from a vending machine, hop on, and in about half an hour/40 min (can't remember exactly how long), you're there!

    Within Amsterdam, though, I'd recommend getting some sort of transportation from the train station (Centraal) to your hotel - we walked to ours, but yours is a fair bit further from the train station if I remember correctly, and I wouldn't want to walk that far with luggage.

    There wasn't anywhere in the city that I felt unsafe, which was really nice. I second the suggestion to see the Anne Frank House - buy your tickets online before you go and you won't have to wait in line! Down the street from there is Winkel, which is apparently famous for the dutch apple pie. It was pretty tasty. I loved Amsterdam, and it was DBF's favourite city that we visited on our trip to Europe.
     
  6. Great advice, so far! Still haven't left yet and DH decided a car service (with driver) would be most convenient from AMS to hotel (a bit far from train station). Does anyone have personal experience with any particular company? Anything like Uber or Addison Lee (London) in Amsterdam?
     

  7. Amsterdam has it's own Uber service. I've never used it, but last month I read an article that it's sometimes even cheaper than a regular taxi.

    I don't live in Amsterdam, but I go to college there and a lot of my friends (and sister) live there and I've been coming there since I was a child, so I spend a lot of time in the city. I've never felt unsafe walking around (but maybe that's because I'm used to it) so if you just look after your bags and don't leave them unattended in restaurants or stores (like in any other big city) you'll hopefully be fine! I assume you probably only visit Amsterdam Centre, Zuid (south, where you're hotel is) and maybe West (de Pijp has a lot of nice restaurants). Does are, in my opinion, pretty safe districts.

    If you want to visit a museum, I too suggest you buy your tickets online,
    since there could be long queues at the famous museums like Anne Frank or van Gogh museum.

    Hope you have a wonderful time!
     
  8. We just returned from a Rhine river cruise that began in Amsterdam. We loved the city and I'd like to return for a longer visit.

    Never felt unsafe anywhere and we walked a lot. People there are friendly and helpful. Bikes are everywhere. Be careful to not walk on the bike paths and watch for the trams.

    So many museums in this city including a handbag museum! It's not large but it's quite interesting with a cute giftshop.

    If possible, for any museums you want to see, including the Anne Frank house, try to get tickets ahead of time online. Otherwise you may be stuck in a long line. We were unable to see the Anne Frank house because I didn't go online far enough ahead and the lines were incredibly long on Friday and Saturday. I did get online tickets for the Van Gogh museum and it saved us a lot of time--we got right in. Beware if you want to see his *sunflowers* painting. It's on loan this year to London. Blue Irises is there, though and many others. Great gift shop at the Van Gogh!

    And their cheese is TDF! I pigged out on anything made with their Gouda.

    Since we had little time, we took taxis and they were quick but it ate into our supply of Euros. The drivers were all professional and informative--almost like a tour guide as we rode to our destinations.
     
  9. Great detailed tips! I'll be sure have a brief trip report with tips/advice when I return. More input welcome! I've still got a couple of weeks!
     
  10. Amsterdam is a very cool, laid back city. Trip report:

    -Uber trip from AMS to Rijksmuseum area cost us 35-38€ each way. I've read that flat rate is usually 40-45€. The most convenient place to meet your driver would be in front of the Sheraton hotel, located right in front of the AMS arrivals entrance.

    -Trams are frequent and convenient. To buy a ticket (during peak hours) you usually board in the center and buy a pass from a man in a tiny booth. During off hours you purchase from the driver. There are hour passes (2.80€?) and 24-hr passes (maybe 7.50€?). Be sure to have cash - not sure if they take CC. You will have to touch your pass in/out against the readers at the door (similar to Oyster in London).

    -Definitely buy museum tickets online when possible!

    -Don't forget to send a postcard! Mailboxes look like strange, flat orange boxes. Wouldn't recognise them easily. Peppered throughout the city - one is definitely in front of the main train station.

    -PC Hooftstraat is a great luxury shopping street: Hermes, Chanel and Cartier all very close to each other.

    HTH!
     
  11. Thanks for this. We only had a day and a half in Amsterdam and loved every minute!

    The tip about the online museum tickets is important! We got right into the Van Gogh with our online ticket while the regular line was down the street. Also because I didn't book early enough, we couldn't get into the Anne Frank house--lines were around the block and online they were sold out for months ahead.
     
  12. I'll be there the first weekend in August! We already bought tickets to Anne Frank and Van Gogh for Friday. On Saturday we're going to eat some pot brownies and then head up to Zaanse Schaans to eat cheese, buy clogs and look at windmills (tourist!!). Not sure we'll have time for much else. I'm so excited :biggrin:
     
  13. You'll have a great time! The windmills are interesting--you'll be surprised at how small the living quarters are.

    I'm glad you got tickets ahead of time. The lines are often so long.
     
  14. Are there any good flower markets/outdoor markets on the weekends to recommend? My best friend is a big gardener and I would love to buy her some tulip bulbs from the Netherlands. I'm not looking for anything in particular, any tulip would do, I mostly want to experience the market.

    Day 1: Ferry from England lands, we go to the beach to dip our feet in the ocean ^_^, then train to Amsterdam. Tickets for Anne Frank House at 2:30, Van Gogh museum at 5:30.

    Day 2: Zaanse Schans! Watch windmills while eating cheese.

    potential Day 3 (if I stay longer than original schedule): ???

    Other thoughts on what to see? My travel friend is not a particularly fond shopper (:sad:) but she likes parks and walking around the city.
     

  15. Yes, there is! In the centre of the city there is a flower market which is really nice just to walk there. It can be crowded though. http://www.amsterdam.info/shopping/flowermarket/

    May be you can go to the Vondel park on your third day. It's a large park in the centre of the city, which is really nice to walk around or just sit down and relax.
    Have fun!