If you had a 9-hr layover in Amsterdam, where would you go? Are the windmills accessible in that time (allowing for clearing security going back in to catch the flight out)? I'll spare you the boring details behind it, but 1poorlady is going to be in that situation and I was thinking it would be cool to go into town for a few hours, see a few things, get a decent meal, and back to the plane. (That's how I saw Pearl Harbor for the first time...12 hr layover in Honolulu...)TIA,1poorguy (bummed that Europe this summer is out due to this unexpected trip, but will be continuing that planning for 2014)
The Rijksmuseum and downtown Amsterdam are a 15-minute train ride directly from Schiphol Airport terminal. Trains leave very frequently. This is absolutely do-able for a 9-hour layover, and well worth doing.One bit of hassle is that train tickets are mostly purchased through vending machines, and (at least when I was there 6 months ago) the machines won't accept "non-chip" US-style credit cards. But you can purchase tickets at a counter or (I think) the machines take Euros:http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ToFromSchiphol/PublicTrans...If 1poorlady prefers, the airport terminal itself is a small city, complete with a branch of the Rijksmuseum, a huge shopping area, and more.The windmills and stuff are probably not a good idea until late spring/early summer, and that's a longer trek from the airport.
If you are into art, the Dutch school of painting is famous. The Rikks Museum has lots of Rembrandts including some famous colorful ones. (In the US, most art museums have no more than one Rembrandt and most often its a dark picture of a person dressed in 15th century finest. Largest number of Rembrandts are found at Metropolitan in NYC and National Gallery in Washington, DC. Britain has the largest number but Rikks Museum has lots, and some of the best quality ones that do not travel. The famous Dutch Master's cigar picture is there; so is Night Watch, a wall sized painting that was damaged by vandals a few years ago.)Its also the home of Vincent Van Gogh, who has his own museum nearby.Ann Frank house.If you go in tulip season, the fields of blooming tulips are something to see.
Just strolling and eating is a great way to spend time in Amsterdam.
All my picks have been taken, mostly going downtown. Did all of Pauleckler and Countupp's during a smaller layover. Can't remember if they included the blue light district, but with DW we walked quickly and I closed one eye. Also, pretty decent shopping. It does mean checking your bags, including carryon. I wouldn't carry my bag on the train.I remember the train vending machine taking non-chip credit cards, but it's been several years.Definitely watch for pickpockets. They announced their presence in four languages on the intercom on the train. ENJOY! As I think I said, I enjoyed flying KLM.BobRYR Home Fool
Also, \heck out Rick Steves' board on Amsterdam.http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oGkkAiyPhQEhEARvpXNyoA...Count Upp
Do not neglect or overlook the marijuana cafe's, and then, once thoroughly baked, the stunning red-light district with all it has to offer!!!n
Do not neglect or overlook the marijuana cafe's, and then, once thoroughly baked, the stunning red-light district with all it has to offer!!!If I tried to send 1poorlady there, she'd kill me.She also doesn't have much interest in art museums. At least not enough to walk around looking at paintings for several hours.She'd like the windmills (too far), she might find unique architecture interesting, statues (especially as part of fountains), etc. She liked just wandering around Firenze. She liked the castles outside of Munchen.She will be coming from Dubai, so she won't have any Euros going in there. I suspect she'll need some. Airport exchange isn't great, but maybe good enough (assuming her VISA card is inadequate...pretty sure we don't have any chips in ours). I'm not going on this trip, so she would be on her own there.1poorguy
<...she might find unique architecture interesting, statues (especially as part of fountains), etc. She liked just wandering around Firenze.>Then by all means, she should get herself into the old part of the city -- the part with the semicircular canals -- and just wander around. The architecture is absolutely unique. This is a World Heritage site. Also a zillion wonderful cafes. Take a walk in Vondelpark -- there is a windmill there.Watch out for all the bikes!
My 2 cents - which will soon turn into probably $1.87 - LONG! and scrollyThe train machines at Schiphol do NOT take non Chip credit cards. Even the ticket windows at Schiphol take only the Chip+PIN or cash.(yes, I am sure, I was at Schiphol Thursday)Rather than go through th exchange rate counter on the way in, she might just be better off going to an ATM and withdrawing some cash (depending on her spending habits)For 9 hours, she has PLENTY of time to get out and see some things.Schiphol has Storage lockers where she can leave luggage. These accept credit cards (IIRC) but are not always super obvious to find - If she is interested in finding them, She should ASK for their location. It is a HUGE airport/train station.The Schiphol airport is also a train station (in case you did not know) - and she can catch an easy train to Amsterdam Centraal and just walk around - There is an abundance to see - especially if she loves architecture, de Oude Kerk is beautiful, Dam Square, the Amsredam history museum is nice. She can take a tram to Leidsplein and check out Vondel Park...I do suggest making a reservation/prebuying her time ticket if she wants to visit the Anne Frank house.The Heineken museum is OK, the outside of the Science Center is a nice walk around...The Amsterdam library is HUGE and right close to Centraal Station...Den Haag (the hague) is not so far if she wants to see modernization and things of political interest.I do recommend taking a "ferry to nowhere" off the back of the Central Station.It is free (bring a coat!) and windy, but the ferries go across and back all day taking commuters, one just walks on and does not get off on the far side.and finding Beginhof is a nice treat - it is a secluded courtyard.Depending on weather, it is about a 25 minute train to Zandvoort-an-Zee, which drops one off about 2 blocks from the North Sea. Which is something to see/do that is a little different.Haarlem, a smaller but quite beautiful town is about 20 minutes by train and just a lovely town to wander. I think locl gemeente for surrounding towns should have market-day information if she wants to catch a local market.If she is inclined towards Cheese, she could take a train (an hour each way) to Gouda and go the route of the town, and the cheese tours.note to notablelaggard, I should check on the status, but legislation was underway last year to prevent "coffee shops" from selling to non-dutch by Jan 1. They are trying to cut back on the drug tourism, so even if DW was inclined that might not be possible, just FYIWHat time of year will she be going? Keukenhof (if she is there later March and on) is worth a visit and buses leave directly from the airport.Should not take her too long to get out of the airport.If she is already checked in, she should allow about 90 minutes to get back through passport control, and security is At.The.Gate in this airport. If she is a Priority member of an airline, this will expedite both of those processes.peace & I am sure there is moret
what i did not address was your windmill question - Sadly taking public transportation (trains/buses) to the windmills, will take well over 2 hours each way, which would eat up much of her time.However, if she really wants to see them, and is intrepid, she could rent a car and get there from Schiphol in about an hour... then she culd have a leisurely visit, return the car and still have time to do other stuff.Parking in AMS proper is not for the faint of heart, so I would say return the car and take a train into the city if she goes that route...peace & tiltingt
note to notablelaggard, I should check on the status, but legislation was underway last year to prevent "coffee shops" from selling to non-dutch by Jan 1. They are trying to cut back on the drug tourism, so even if DW was inclined that might not be possible, just FYI------------I was totally joking, of course --- but my understanding from an old friend of mine who has lived in Rotterdam all of his life is that that legislation fell flat. Those who realized the enormous loss in tourist revenue that this short sighted move would entail prevailed. nl
WHat time of year will she be going?Thanks for all the detail. She will be there in about 3 weeks. Family emergency is forcing the flight (this week), and she is just doing a layover on the way home from there.I will investigate all that a bit more. She does love cheese, but I would be worried being a full hour away from the city.1poorguy
There are many excellent cheese shops in Amsterdam. This is one of the best of them: http://goo.gl/maps/DzKlAI recommend that she take a little "virtual walk" around the old part of Amsterdam on Google maps. I think she will see that it is a wonderful place to spend some time. I picked this spot more or less at random as typical: http://goo.gl/maps/PAfcGFungi
So it looks like step 1 is this:https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Schiphol+Airport,+Schipho...Step 2 (to the cheese shop) is this:https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=amsterdam+station&dad...From there, general wandering? I'll need to look around more for points of interest. de Oude Kerk, you mentioned, appears to be "right there" (on the way back to the station from the cheese shop).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oude_KerkShe's not a huge fan of churches (in Firenze it seemed there was a church on every block...it got boring), but she might like to see this.Looks like the walk to/from the shop will pass a lot of daily life stuff. That's always interesting.
Follow Prinzengracht south towards Vondelpark (the bottle-shaped park on your map). It's lovely. Walk in the park. There's even a windmill there. Then head over to Museumplein. Have a meal in a nearby cafe. You can even get a tram or bus back to the airport from there, if you wish.Look, you asked whether a daytrip to Amsterdam is worthwhile for a 9-hour layover. The answer is yes. But de gustibus non est disputandum.
Look, you asked whether a daytrip to Amsterdam is worthwhile for a 9-hour layover. The answer is yes. But de gustibus non est disputandum.Believe me, I appreciate all responses so far. They have been very helpful. Hope you don't think my probing for more detail says otherwise. 1poorlady is excited but a bit scared, so I'm trying to plot a route as detailed as possible so she feels she has a plan and isn't going to get lost (and miss her flight).If I can route her to the cheese shop, I definitely will. She loves cheeses. She's a bit apprehensive about getting cheese through customs, but I think they mostly care about meats and produce. I will check out the places you mentioned, too. A tram back to the airport would be great so that she doesn't have to work her way back to the train depot.Please, keep the ideas coming! We'll give her a nice day visit there.1poorguy
She's a bit apprehensive about getting cheese through customs.for Customs -hard cheese - YESrunny cheese - NOpeace & dairyt
As tconi said, hard cheeses are ok. We regularly bring them back from Portugal and freeze them to last us thru the year. Even the semi-soft haven't been an issue. They're cured, just somewhat soft. Runny cheese (those delicacies from the Estrellas mountains up north that you spread on a piece of fresh bread like butter, no (sob). Wrap them well so any strong odors don't get into clothes.Laura
As tconi said, hard cheeses are ok. We regularly bring them back from Portugal and freeze them to last us thru the year. Even the semi-soft haven't been an issue. They're cured, just somewhat soft. Runny cheese (those delicacies from the Estrellas mountains up north that you spread on a piece of fresh bread like butter, no (sob). Wrap them well so any strong odors don't get into clothes.Laura cheese - yum
Well, weather permitting, she will be able to do a small sojourn into Amsterdam. I created a simple (I hope) itinerary for her. Train from airport to the main station, then walk to oude kerk to look around a bit. Train/walk to Begijnhof. Then walk to the De Kaaskamer cheese shop, then train back to the airport. Plenty of time built in for looking around and getting some food. She has about 8 hours, and I only plotted three stops (and she can always skip one if she wants). Hopefully she will be able to find/use lockers for her carry-on bag before leaving the airport (or else leaving may not be practical).Obviously if it's raining or snowing she'll probably just hang out in the airport. Or if it's ridiculously cold. She brought a jacket, but not a parka. No idea what conditions will be like in three weeks when she's there.Thanks for all the tips and ideas.
I hope she has a wonderful time. Please let us know how it turns out.As noted, even if she decides to stay at the airport, there is a lot to see and do right in the enormous terminal.Fungi
If she's at the downtown square I'd definitely take the short walk to Anne Frank's house. Besides seeing the canals and historic houses it's a reminder of man's inhumanity to man, the courage of the Dutch, and that the holocast really did take place only 70 short years ago.Hope she enjoys the entire trip. If she can't take a trip the KLM club is REALLY nice with a good view and food.bob
...the KLM club is REALLY nice with a good view and food.First class passengers only?
First class passengers only? Opps, we did upgrade on the way to Italy. Can't remember if you can buy your way in. Sorry!bob
KLM lounge policy is here:http://www.klm.com/travel/us_en/prepare_for_travel/at_the_ai...You might want to check and confirm the policy. The lounge at Schipol has been a lifesaver for me on layovers: showers, hot food, wi-fi, comfortable and generally quiet.The club is upstairs and a bit difficult to find. But there are plenty of agents and other folks to point the way. Ask for the KLM Crown Lounge, or "business class lounge."It's part of the Sky-Team alliance (Delta et al.), which is how I've been able to get in.
It's part of the Sky-Team alliance (Delta et al.), which is how I've been able to get inDitto - and i swear it is at the END of the longest hallway in the world (or maybe just from where I enter)The first time I was sure I had somehow missed it.peace & Really Big airportst
We are just ordinary grunt SkyMiles members. No precious metal designation. Maybe Aluminum Members?? ;-)So she'd have to pay the fee. Which, knowing her extreme frugalness, she won't do. But I'll pass the tip on to her anyway.Thanks again for all the info.1poorguy
IF she arrives on the morning of 9Feb - early (like 7ish) - I am flying out of AMS...I could meet her there and walk her into the SKy CLub(and then leave to catch my fight)I know- imginary people & all that, but if that is her travel date and she is there and it is early enough I have no problem.peace & timingt
Alas, you're about a week early. She should be coming through on the 15th.Thanks for the offer, though.1poorguy
One more- that just occured to me while i wait at the gatethe AMS airport here has mediocre wi-fi in many areas.But she can login free, twice (per device - in case she has a laptop and a smart phone) in a 24 hour period for 30 minutes each time.When she reaches the main page, it will Look like she needs to pay, and then she should look for the phrase Gratis Inloggenand choose that.peace & i promise to be donet
peace & i promise to be doneNo need to be 'done'! I appreciate all the input from everyone. It was helpful. Hopefully the weather will cooperate with her and she can have a nice layover/excursion there.1poorguy
well- how did she do?peace & a dusting of snowt
Well, she arrived last Friday morning a bit apprehensive only to be met with fog. Apparently the fog lingered for quite a while, and she didn't see the point in going out if everything was socked-in. So she wandered around the airport a bit instead. Disappointing, but we knew there was a possibility she would encounter bad weather or bitter cold, in which case she wasn't going to do it. She ended up picking up some cheese and "chorizo" at a duty free there. (The "chorizo" is a bit puzzling...not a Dutch thing...it's Mexican. I will be slicing into it either tonight or tomorrow to see what's up.)1poorguy
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