Suggestions for Amsterdam ?

Hello ,
We will be arriving in Amsterdam a day early for the Amsterdam and Moselle River Cruise. Any suggestions for things to do or fine dining places to eat that first day before the trip begins?
Thanks in advance for your help !

Comments

  • Search the Forum as there are lots of previous posts on what to do in Amsterdam. It's a wonderful city and there are so many things to experience.
  • Has anyone been to Haarlam?
  • GOP wrote:
    Hello ,
    We will be arriving in Amsterdam a day early for the Amsterdam and Moselle River Cruise. Any suggestions for things to do or fine dining places to eat that first day before the trip begins?
    Thanks in advance for your help !


    Anne Frank house....not on your itinerary but needs to be booked online 2 months before.

    Also, the walking tour (Viatours) of the red light district. It's a fun excursion beside being ssafe and very informative.

    Viatours also has a full day tour of Bruges and a half day tour to Keukenhof Gardens if these are not included with Tauck.

    I don't remember any "fine" dining places but there is lots of good seafood.
  • Even if Tauck offers a daytime canal cruise, take one at night. Amsterdam is beautiful at night and looks quite different when all the bridges are lighted. Also, try dining at an Indonesian rice table restaurant. They're fairly common in Amsterdam and your concierge should be able to recommend a good one.
  • GOP wrote:
    Has anyone been to Haarlam?

    Yep. Short ride by train from Amsterdam. Nice market square and large gothic church. Also a well preserved windmill.

    It's a nice option for people who have been to Amsterdam before. If this is your first trip to Amsterdam, there is so much to see and do there that I think you'll want to save this for another trip.
  • edited February 2019
    GOP wrote:
    Hello ,
    We will be arriving in Amsterdam a day early for the Amsterdam and Moselle River Cruise. Any suggestions for things to do or fine dining places to eat that first day before the trip begins?
    Thanks in advance for your help !


    We did the Rhine river trip a few years ago. Our tour started with Tauck in Bern and included an excursion to the Jungfrau (amazing!). We then were on the Tauck bus from Bern into Lucerne and then to our boat in Basel.

    Zurich and Bern are about a 2-3 hour drive, Bern to Basel (via Lucerne) is also a few hours bus ride away. Lucerne is a beautiful little city with wonderful sausage, beer and of course chocolate.
  • IF timing & season right, I would do the Keukenhof Gdns, wish had had the time when in Amsterdam to go there. Spent a few days in Bruges after the Tauck river trip Basel to Amsterdam, loved it. Still recommend the gardens in bloom if they are when you're in Amsterdam.
  • GOP wrote:
    Has anyone been to Haarlam?

    YES!! We absolutely loved Haarlem. We went specifically to visit the Corrie ten Boom house, which is marvelous if you know her story. We were there on a Saturday (market day) so there was lots going on in the town square. The church there is fascinating.
  • edited February 2019
    GOP wrote:
    Hello ,
    Any suggestions for things to do or fine dining places to eat that first day before the trip begins?
    Thanks in advance for your help !

    There were a couple of restaurants we really enjoyed in Amsterdam, although I wouldn't categorize either one as fine dining:

    Worst
    Great winebar with tapas style food to share
    171 Barentszstraat

    Spanjer & Van Twist
    Outside dining tables right on a canal with great people-watching
    Leliegracht 60, 1015 DJ Amsterdam
    +31 20 639 0109

    So many good places to choose from all over Amsterdam.

    ALSO....don't miss the Van Gogh Museum, which is NOT included with the Tauck tour. Make reservations online ahead of time.

    (Your trip is too late in the season for Keukenhof Gardens, I'm sorry to say, because that is like walking into heaven. It's only open for about 8 weeks from mid-March to second week in May.)

  • I agree completely with stbartsfan. If you are in Amsterdam during the last two weeks of April, DO NOT MISS KEUKENHOF GARDENS. It is like floral heaven on earth. The gardens are only open about 8 weeks of the year, and the last 2 weeks of April are generally the peak time, give or take a few days depending on Mother Nature, who, we all know, can be exceedingly contrary. You can get the concierge at the hotel to make arrangements or look on viator. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has day trips from Amsterdam. If you really want to see the tulips at the gardens, go on the Holland and Belgium in the Spring river cruise. That is when we went to Keukenhof, and I will go again in a heartbeat if we ever have the opportunity.
    Tauck might take you to the Rijksmuseum. Personally, that is not my kind of art, no matter how famous. Go to the Van
    Gogh Museum...get timed tickets ahead of time, online. We loved it. We tried for the Anne Frank house, but our only free time was a Saturday...crazy busy, and we could not get tickets, even though we tried on the first day they were available. The floating flower market is a fun stroll, but do not buy tulip bulbs there...last years bulbs, packaged for sale to the tourists. We wanted to do a tour or a walk throug of the red light district, tacky though it may be. Where else can you see that?? We also missed walking through the old town square and seeing the royal palace. So much to see, so little time.
    We are considering taking the Rhine and Moselle river cruise, so we might have another opportunity.
    Happy travels.
    Nancy
  • Thanks to all who have posted and have shared their suggestions and experiences. We are going on the July 28- August 10 trip. Any suggestions on which excursions to choose ?
  • We took this cruise a few years ago and the itinerary has changed slightly. Here are my suggestions:

    Boppard - as I said in another post, tour on your own and take the chairlift to the top. Well worth it especially if a clear day.

    Heidelberg - we didn't get a choice on this one but did enjoy it. Interesting castle and it's a fun college town. If you're into Christmas decorations it has a Kathe Wohlfart shop with amazing choices.

    Schaffhausen/Rhine falls for sure. I'm a bit prejudiced on this one as I have family roots there and didn't see it. It wasn't on our tour and the train had problems the day we tried on our own. Also there isn't much in Basel - the Red Rathause and The park with kinetic sculptures which you can easily see on your own since you said you were staying over.
  • I'm not prejudiced in the same way that Claudia is since I have no familial connections to Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls, but please do try to go there. We were there in December several years ago. They're supposed to be even more spectacular in the summer when melting snow adds to their volume.The falls mark the furthest point on the Rhine that seagoing vessels can travel. The falls are about 75 feet high and 450 feet wide. A dozen or so of us who stayed in Basel after our main tour ended took the train there on a very, very inexpensive group fare and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are there at lunchtime, there is a small cafeteria there. Although we didn't visit them, Basel has a number of highly reputable museums.
  • GOP wrote:
    Thanks to all who have posted and have shared their suggestions and experiences. We are going on the July 28- August 10 trip. Any suggestions on which excursions to choose ?

    We really loved Hoge Veluwe National Park; my husband did the bike ride there and I toured the museum, which has another huge collection of Van Gogh paintings. Both options were fabulous.

    We especially loved the scenery and vineyards on the Moselle; it it more scenic than the Rhine. The chairlift at Boppard and Heidelberg castle were great. And as others said, don't miss Schaffhausen & Rhine Falls!

  • You all have been so great with answering my questions! Many thanks !!! I am so excited for this trip. Hoping that the weather is good in the summer. Did anyone purchase to send back wine to the states? if so , how did you find this process? We did this when we too out tour of Italy 3 years ago.
  • GOP wrote:
    You all have been so great with answering my questions! Many thanks !!! I am so excited for this trip. Hoping that the weather is good in the summer. Did anyone purchase to send back wine to the states? if so , how did you find this process? We did this when we too out tour of Italy 3 years ago.

    We bought a bottle of Peach Liquor at the Schlagkamp-desoye winery on the Moselle (Day 5 of our tour) but we brought it back in our luggage. As I recall people were offered the opportunity to buy larger quantities of the wines they sell there. Not sure if your tour will go there or another winery. Definitely try the Riesling wines on this tour even if you think you don't like them. I didn't before this tour and discovered that's because the "good stuff" pretty much stays in Germany. We get Blue Nun...

    I agree with Calkat that the Kroller Muller art museum was excellent. In fact, I liked it better than the d'Dorsay in Paris. The light is much better. Nice outdoor sculpture museum especially if the weather is good.
  • Thanks for your suggestions!
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