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Lois R

Going to Amsterdam.........

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I am in Paris now but took the Jordaan food tour last week and highly recommend it. Just be sure to NOT eat any breakfast that morning because they do not skimp on portions, esp the Dutch apple pie that Bill Clinton loved so much he took a whole one home! You get a huge slice. Plenty of beer and wine too if you want. It is totally worth the cost and the Jordaan is a lovely neighborhood, like all of Amsterdam.

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So many great tips and info on this thread!! One thing I'm still having difficulty with is transportation. We will be arriving a week early and plan to go to Rotterdam, Edam, Marken, Delft and Sliedrecht. I can't quite figure out whether I should get an OV Chip card or Iamsterdam Card? The Iamsterdam card allows for a free canal cruise, entrance to some museums and some transportation. The OV Chip card seems a bit confusing to me. Can it be used for a canal cruise, tram, bus and train? It sounds like you need to keep a minimum balance on it of 20€ and must have it activated if using it on a train. Any help clarifying from those living in Amsterdam would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

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Hi Lisa:)........just home today........Hungry Birds was great:D

I will try and do a review over the weekend but I will say, I would

even do this tour again;)

 

Hi LoisR, So glad to hear Hungry Birds was everything you expected. Hope you had a fantastic trip.

C.

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Hi LoisR, So glad to hear Hungry Birds was everything you expected. Hope you had a fantastic trip.

C.

 

Hi Chelly:)...it was FANTASTIC.......it was in my top 2 cruises ever:D

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Hi Chelly:)...it was FANTASTIC.......it was in my top 2 cruises ever:D

 

Delighted to hear that.:D

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So many great tips and info on this thread!! One thing I'm still having difficulty with is transportation. We will be arriving a week early and plan to go to Rotterdam, Edam, Marken, Delft and Sliedrecht. I can't quite figure out whether I should get an OV Chip card or Iamsterdam Card? The Iamsterdam card allows for a free canal cruise, entrance to some museums and some transportation. The OV Chip card seems a bit confusing to me. Can it be used for a canal cruise, tram, bus and train? It sounds like you need to keep a minimum balance on it of 20€ and must have it activated if using it on a train. Any help clarifying from those living in Amsterdam would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!

 

The OV Chip card is a nation wide card for all public transport, it's the best way to go as the only alternative are the higher pay cash as you go fares. No canal cruises with the OV Chip card.

 

The IAmsterdam card is a tourist card, meant for visiting the landmarks/museums and some inner city public transport on I think just the GVB network. The GVB runs all trams, metros etc in Amsterdam, the regional network is served by other companies like Connexxion but all use the OV Chip system of a top up card. The balance for a bus ride is 4 Euro if I am correct.. Train is 20 indeed (each way!), you can top up with bills at the railway station's Service Desk.

 

Use http://www.ns.nl/en and http://9292.nl/en for journey planning.

 

Depending on your travel you might be better off with a NS Day ticket for some parts of your plans?

 

Also consider this ticket for your plans; https://www.ns.nl/producten/en/overige-kaartjes/p/amsterdam-travel-ticket

 

Any questions, let us know! Enjoy Holland!

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The OV Chip card is a nation wide card for all public transport, it's the best way to go as the only alternative are the higher pay cash as you go fares. No canal cruises with the OV Chip card.

 

The IAmsterdam card is a tourist card, meant for visiting the landmarks/museums and some inner city public transport on I think just the GVB network. The GVB runs all trams, metros etc in Amsterdam, the regional network is served by other companies like Connexxion but all use the OV Chip system of a top up card. The balance for a bus ride is 4 Euro if I am correct.. Train is 20 indeed (each way!), you can top up with bills at the railway station's Service Desk.

 

Use http://www.ns.nl/en and http://9292.nl/en for journey planning.

 

Depending on your travel you might be better off with a NS Day ticket for some parts of your plans?

 

Also consider this ticket for your plans; https://www.ns.nl/producten/en/overige-kaartjes/p/amsterdam-travel-ticket

 

Any questions, let us know! Enjoy Holland!

 

Thank you for the information!! I will check out the links. It seems the OV chip card is the one we need then. I know we also want to try and go to Gouda and The Hague. Do you have to pay 20€ for each trip, oris it based on distance? I'll read your links as that may explain exactly what is required. My husbands family is originally from Sliedricht and came to Canada after the war. I'm really looking forward to seeing their family home!!

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Thank you for the information!! I will check out the links. It seems the OV chip card is the one we need then. I know we also want to try and go to Gouda and The Hague. Do you have to pay 20€ for each trip, oris it based on distance? I'll read your links as that may explain exactly what is required. My husbands family is originally from Sliedricht and came to Canada after the war. I'm really looking forward to seeing their family home!!

 

The 20 is the treshold to check in/swipe your OV Chip card at the railway station, fare is indeed based on distance. Amsterdam - Sliedrecht i.e. is some 18 Euro one way 2nd class. Any children with you? Buy them a Railrunner ticket which is 2,50 any distance when an adult accompanies them.

 

Sometimes certain Dutch department stores/retailers sell NS Day cards for some 20 Euro for a whole day use, fast selling promotions but worth a purchase over the counter if it aligns with your plans. :)

 

edit: a site which keeps track of the special railway discounts: http://www.treinreiziger.nl/reizen/kortingsacties

All in Dutch btw, might want to use Google Translate and you might also want a connection in Holland who can purchase these for you in advance, might save you some big bucks. Most Dutch travel with a 40% discount during off-peak hours with their year/monthly subscription.

Edited by FreestyleNovice

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Why are some people saying we need to purchase them before we leave? They say we can't buy them once we're there.

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Why are some people saying we need to purchase them before we leave? They say we can't buy them once we're there.

 

Anyone can buy an anonymous OV Chip Card (costs 7,50 Euro) at the staffed railway stations and some other places. Most people probably encountered the railway vending machines which mostly (besides some on the AMS airport and Amsterdam) don't take credit cards and require debit cards. And for a personal OV Chip Card (also 7,50 Euro) you are required to have a Dutch bank account, but an anonymous one is perfect for visiting as you don't need any subscriptions or special fare discounts loaded onto your OV Chip Card.

The whole system is a bit tourist unfriendly, especially the card costs.. with fewer train travel I would accept the (I think it's) 50 Euro cent upcharge for a single use paper ticket but that requires some planning (i.e. also directly buying the return at your staffed station of departure if your destination is not staffed/only has the debit card vending machines to top up.. :)

Edited by FreestyleNovice

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Anyone can buy an anonymous OV Chip Card (costs 7,50 Euro) at the staffed railway stations and some other places. Most people probably encountered the railway vending machines which mostly (besides some on the AMS airport and Amsterdam) don't take credit cards and require debit cards. And for a personal OV Chip Card (also 7,50 Euro) you are required to have a Dutch bank account, but an anonymous one is perfect for visiting as you don't need any subscriptions or special fare discounts loaded onto your OV Chip Card.

The whole system is a bit tourist unfriendly, especially the card costs.. with fewer train travel I would accept the (I think it's) 50 Euro cent upcharge for a single use paper ticket but that requires some planning (i.e. also directly buying the return at your staffed station of departure if your destination is not staffed/only has the debit card vending machines to top up.. :)

 

Thank you so much for all of your help!!! It does seem to be complicated for sure. We went to London last year and used their Oyster card. It was great and easy. I'm not quite sure why I can't wrap my brain around this? I've read so many websites now and get the basic understanding. It does seem expensive to go any great distance, but I guess that is probably the norm there.

 

Thank you again......I appreciate it and I'm looking forward to visiting your beautiful country!!

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You might be interested in this hotel. It is city center, has a lift and some family rooms (many of them with kitchen). http://www.lecoin.nl/en/

 

I've just sent an email requesting some information from this hotel. I had sent one to the Brouwer as well, but I must have had the wrong email address as it came back. Does anyone have contact info for the Brouwer Hotel?

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I've just sent an email requesting some information from this hotel. I had sent one to the Brouwer as well, but I must have had the wrong email address as it came back. Does anyone have contact info for the Brouwer Hotel?

 

Plenty of info on this hotel online.

 

Here are a couple of links. Second one is hotel website with contact info.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g188590-d277657-Reviews-Hotel_Brouwer-Amsterdam_North_Holland_Province.htmlhttp://www.hotelbrouwer.nl/rateseng.html

http://www.hotelbrouwer.nl/rateseng.html

 

+31 20 624 6358

Hotel Brouwer, Phone

Edited by Chelly

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Plenty of info on this hotel online.

 

Here are a couple of links. Second one is hotel website with contact info.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g188590-d277657-Reviews-Hotel_Brouwer-Amsterdam_North_Holland_Province.htmlhttp://www.hotelbrouwer.nl/rateseng.html

http://www.hotelbrouwer.nl/rateseng.html

 

+31 20 624 6358

Hotel Brouwer, Phone

 

Thanks so much...was able to get to the site...:)

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Been researching all morning long and for one reason or another having a hard time finding something that fits our needs. We did come across The Best Western Dam Square that seems to be reasonable, good location and has an elevator which my bad knees require....just wondering if anyone has heard/read/or experienced this hotel? Any info would be appreciated ;)

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Been researching all morning long and for one reason or another having a hard time finding something that fits our needs. We did come across The Best Western Dam Square that seems to be reasonable, good location and has an elevator which my bad knees require....just wondering if anyone has heard/read/or experienced this hotel? Any info would be appreciated ;)

 

Hi,:) I started this thread last summer.....glad it is still helping people:)

 

I cannot help you with this Best Western but what are your needs?

I highly recommend where I stayed back in April.....Banks Mansion.

 

You might try Trip Advisor too. You can get read alot of reviews on there.

Edited by Lois R

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Check this website: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ToFromSchiphol/SchipholTravelTaxi.htm

By putting in the zipcode 1019BR 27 it will tell you the cost. You can prebook on this side or simply take a cab from the airport. Yes there will be some vans, but it might involve some waiting.

 

Two of us will be arriving on July 11 at 9:30 PM with three bags. Do you think we need to reserve a taxi or can we just go outside and grab one?

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Two of us will be arriving on July 11 at 9:30 PM with three bags. Do you think we need to reserve a taxi or can we just go outside and grab one?

 

Lots of taxis lined up outside. Three bags will fit in most!

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We stayed at Sheraton AMS hotel for our cruise trip last month. When we arrived at the airport, we just took the luggage cart and walked to the hotel using the elevator provided within 5 minutes. Everything automatic! The hotel is so convenient. After we checked in, put down all our luggage and we were ready to go explore the city. We took the direct train to the Central station within 20 minutes. We walked to the Dam Square and checked out Red Light district. I recommend this hotel. The main thing was we got a good sleep before boarding the ship.

 

Taxis are everywhere outside the airport. We picked a van for 4 of us to the cruise terminal next morning. The taxi costed us €60 after tips.

Edited by CruiseLady88

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We decided to book the Best Western Dam Square....will write a review after the trip...but that won't be till next May! Thanks for all the suggestions.

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First, I am so glad someone posted on this and kicked it back to the top. I had totally missed it and it was started by one of my favorite CC people, the amazing Lois R. What a great start you put on this.

 

So we are going to be in Amsterdam from 8-1 through 8-5 and are already booked at the Banks. How was it? Sounds like you really liked it. Did you review it? If so, can you link that here? Or can you tell me how breakfast was? How were the afternoon appies. We are doing what we have been told is a VERY filling food tour on one day and plan on making the appetizers at Banks our dinner. Are they enough for that or should we make dinner reservations? Is the Banks as walkable as it looks? I love to walk and will often go out pre-dawn to take pictures (best light). We booked it because of it's central location.

 

Lastly, how difficult was it to get to the port? There will be seven of us with luggage. Our plan is to ask the Concierge to get us one van or two taxis. We sail on the morning of the annual Gay Pride parade and the place will be PACKED.

 

Any insights from someone who cruises as much as you do will be appreciated.

 

Jim

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If you are taking the Jordaan food tour I recommend not eating breakfast. I got pretty full long before the end of the tour and wasn't drinking anything but water with the food. Others were drinking beer or wine and I don't know how they did it. The food is VERY filling and I doubt if you would want to eat anything for the rest of the day. I know I was totally stuffed!

 

It is an excellent tour and I highly recommend it. Have fun in Amsterdam. What a wonderful city! Easy to get a taxi to the port. Just ask the hotel and they will book it for you.

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First, I am so glad someone posted on this and kicked it back to the top. I had totally missed it and it was started by one of my favorite CC people, the amazing Lois R. What a great start you put on this.

 

So we are going to be in Amsterdam from 8-1 through 8-5 and are already booked at the Banks. How was it? Sounds like you really liked it. Did you review it? If so, can you link that here? Or can you tell me how breakfast was? How were the afternoon appies. We are doing what we have been told is a VERY filling food tour on one day and plan on making the appetizers at Banks our dinner. Are they enough for that or should we make dinner reservations? Is the Banks as walkable as it looks? I love to walk and will often go out pre-dawn to take pictures (best light). We booked it because of it's central location.

 

Lastly, how difficult was it to get to the port? There will be seven of us with luggage. Our plan is to ask the Concierge to get us one van or two taxis. We sail on the morning of the annual Gay Pride parade and the place will be PACKED.

 

Any insights from someone who cruises as much as you do will be appreciated.

 

Jim

 

Hi Jim, been a long time......I appreciate the kind words:)

 

As for The Banks Mansion, breakfast was lovely.......all kinds of hot

foods and cold foods (cheeses/meats/breads)...it is Europe after all;)

 

And yes I did a long review of my whole trip which includes the hotel.

It is under the Member Reviews section under River Cruising....here

is the link:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=536267

 

This is was my first River cruise and I gave it 5 stars:D

 

I did a food tour too.......(I was only there for one day pre cruise)

and I missed the appetizers they serve in the evenings (read my review).

I went on a food tour called "Hungry Birds":)

 

It was not difficult to get to the ship at all. The front desk called a cab

for me and he was there within 10 minutes.

 

I am actually taking another river cruise next year and will be staying

at The Banks again and will be staying 2 nights this cruise:D

And yes, the hotel is very convenient and the front desk are happy

to help.

Edited by Lois R

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Hi Jim, been a long time......I appreciate the kind words:)

 

As for The Banks Mansion, breakfast was lovely.......all kinds of hot

foods and cold foods (cheeses/meats/breads)...it is Europe after all;)

 

And yes I did a long review of my whole trip which includes the hotel.

It is under the Member Reviews section under River Cruising....here

is the link:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=536267

 

This is was my first River cruise and I gave it 5 stars:D

 

I did a food tour too.......(I was only there for one day pre cruise)

and I missed the appetizers they serve in the evenings (read my review).

I went on a food tour called "Hungry Birds":)

 

It was not difficult to get to the ship at all. The front desk called a cab

for me and he was there within 10 minutes.

 

I am actually taking another river cruise next year and will be staying

at The Banks again and will be staying 2 nights this cruise:D

And yes, the hotel is very convenient and the front desk are happy

to help.

 

Great review Lois. Thanks so much. Can't wait. Only 29 days to go.:D

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from one Lois to another, just want to thank you, LoisR, for the thread and all the great posts with info...it's been so enlightening...and since I'm not taking my cruise till May 2017...suspect there will be more great info to come. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

Lois aka HiLo71

Edited by HiLo71

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