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Everything posted by Dutch_Travelgirl

  1. The SS Rotterdam has indeed been converted to a hotel. Just like any other hotel you can enter it, but you can’t freely roam around the place. So if you just want to be on the ship, you can enter via the entrance and take a look at the lobby area of the ship/hotel. If you want to explore the ship/hotel, you need to book a tour; https://ssrotterdam.com/discover/tours/
  2. The Rijksmuseum has lockers that you can use to store your valuables in. The lockers are free to use, but they require a coin of €0.50 to close. The coin will be returned when you open the locker. The Van Gogh museum has a coat check where you can store your bag, again free to use.
  3. The Bagage storage located at Arrivals at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport stores hold bagage for a maximum of 30 days. Details and prices can be found on the Schiphol website; https://www.schiphol.nl/en/at-schiphol/services/luggage-storage#time-details
  4. Is it still possible to buy the 'stripkart' (sp???) for 10 tram trips? The strippenkaart has been discontinued since 2011. When it was in use, you could use it to travel on the bus, tram and metro, not on trains. It has been replaced by an OV chipcard, but you can also buy single journey tickets or (multi)day tickets. If you want advice on what type of ticket is best, I suggest you start your own topic and explain how long you will visit, where you will stay and how often you will use public transport
  5. Train tickets costs €1 extra if you buy them at the station. To avoid this surcharge you can buy tickets online at the NS website or via the NS extra app. The NS website and the app both have an English version and both accept foreign credit cards. See https://www.ns.nl/en
  6. Both unusual and unique is the Museum of Bags and Purses. Apart from having a great collection of, you guessed it, bags and purses, this museum is located in a historical canal house. https://tassenmuseum.nl/en/
  7. If you are not yet familiar with Google Maps, I suggest you check it out. It gives you directions on how to get from A to B by car, by bike or on foot. It will also let you plan public transport. For the Netherlands Google Maps is very accurate. Google Maps will show you how close the Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum are to each other and how to get there from the cruise terminal. Even if you only have 1 day in Amsterdam, I strongly suggest to reconsider visiting both museums back to back. I’m a big museum fan myself, but I would never visit both the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum in 1 day as it would give me art overload. Both are major art museums. You can easily spend 2 hours in the Van Gogh museum and 3 hours in the Rijksmuseum. Unless there is a special exhibit for which you need to book a time slot, the Rijksmuseum does not require prebooking. You can purchase tickets in advance online. These tickets are valid for 1 year and are not tied to a specific time or day.
  8. Are you sure your ship will dock in Amsterdam and not IJmuiden? A lot of cruise companies are now avoiding Amsterdam in favour of IJmuiden, because the city of Amsterdam is charging them a tourist tax of €8 per passenger. If you indeed dock in IJmuiden you will need to take into account that it will take longer to get to the airport and that it may take longer to wait for a taxi. I personally would stay in Amsterdam for one night, explore the city and fly out the next dat.
  9. That meeting point is right in the middle of the very busy Schiphol Plaza. It’s crowded with people running right past you with luggage carts. It’s okay to wait there for a couple of minutes, but I would never sit there for hours to wait for someone. It’s very uncomfortable and you will have to keep an extremely close eye on your belongings at all time, because a bag is easily snatched in the crowd. It’s much more comfortable to wait for your son in the nearby Starbucks or one of the other restaurants that are very close by.
  10. Just to be clear. Buying tickets in advance for the Van Gogh museum (and Anne Frank house) is not about avoiding having to wait in long lines. Both the Van Gogh museum and the Anne Frank house have NO ticket sale at the door at all. You need to book a time slot in advance or you won’t be able to visit. So there are no lines to stand in or to avoid. The lines you may see at one of these places are made up of people who already have tickets, but who are waiting until it’s their time to enter the museum. Sometimes, people with tickets for a 10:30 am time slot will turn up at 10:00am hoping they will be let in early. That’s not how it works, so these people will have to wait until their time slot is called out. Just turn up 5 minutes before the start of your time slot and you should be able to walk right in.
  11. After you exit the airside area of Schiphol, you will arrive in Schiphol Plaza. Schiphol Plaza has an official signposted meeting point, but also lots of shops and places to have a drink and/or bite to eat. Schiphol also has free WiFi. So if I were you, I would pick a nice place to sit down with a drink/coffee and contact your son using the free WiFi to tell you in what restaurant/café you are exactly.
  12. What ship are you on and when will the ship dock in Amsterdam? Cruise ships usually dock in the PTA cruise terminal. That cruise terminal is very close to the train station and is located on the northern edge of the small and compact city center. The Van Gogh museum is located on the southern side of that city center. The distance between the cruise terminal and the VGM is 4 km’s and it’s a nice, pleasant and safe walk thru the historical canal district. Make sure you book a time slot for the Van Gogh museum in advance on their website. There is no ticket sale at the door. https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/plan-your-visit/tickets
  13. Both the Ice bar and the Heineken experience are considered to be the 2 biggest tourist traps in Amsterdam. The ice bar, because it is not unique to Amsterdam (there are ice bars all over the world) and has nothing to do with Amsterdam, the Netherlands or Dutch culture. The HE because it’s a marketing tour thru a building where they used to brew beer. If you want to taste a Heineken, just go to any of the nice cafes. If you want to see a working brewery, go to Brewery ‘t IJ which is an actual brewery located in a wind mill! https://www.brouwerijhetij.nl/tours-in-the-brewery/?lang=en You should book your Anne Frank 2 months in advance, which is NOW! Get them asap at https://www.annefrank.org/en/museum/tickets/
  14. Trains from Schiphol to Centraal are not mainly double deck. There are various types of trains, including trains with very narrow doors and several steps to climb! Luckily for you there are also train types that are step free and that have a large open area to stand or sit close to your luggae. These trains are called Sprinter trains. Not because they are super fast trains, but because they run short distances, just like the sprint in athletics. The trains with narrow doors and steps and the Sprinter trains all leave from the same platform at Schiphol. The type of train is announced on the displays on the platforms. At the platform at Schiphol there will also be staff available to assist you. You can ask them when the next Sprinter train to the Central Station departs. There are several trains per hour, so it’s never a long wait.
  15. If you look at a map of Amsterdam, you will see an area with lots of canals that’s shaped like a horseshoe. That area is the Canal Ring. The Westcord City Centre is located on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and it’s right in the Canal Ring. So I’m not sure why you would think this hotel is located outside the canal ring? Perhaps you are confusing this hotel with one of the other Westcord hotels in Amsterdam?
  16. In the Netherlands you can buy wine at supermarkets or in specialised wine shops. Inside the Central train station close to the cruise terminal, you will find several small supermarkets that sell wine. If you want a larger selection of wines, I suggest you go to the large Albert Heijn supermarket on the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, located just behind the Royal Palace.
  17. I think in this case a taxi would be easiest. Another option is to take the metro from the Amsterdam Central Station to Europaplein station (all step free or elevators available). At Europaplein you can transfer to the special Keukenhof express busses. These busses should be step free too. Closer to the opening date of the 2020 season of the Keukenhof, you will be able to buy combi tickets that include public transport to and from the Keukenhof and entry to the Keukenhof. These combi tickets can be bought at the official website of the Keukenhof. https://keukenhof.nl/en/
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