amsterdam and schipol

We're planning a night in Amsterdam in late October. We'll arrive on EasyJet from Edinburgh at 12:40 with a 10am flight home to SFO the following morning. I'd love any suggestions on where to stay and what to see in our brief visit. Searching the Helpline, the consensus seems to be that it is better to stay in Amsterdam and just head to the airport in the am, but I could use some help on where to stay - even just area-wise. I have rewards points with Best Western, but fine staying at a different hotel. We plan to have minimal luggage (hoping for carryon only) and we're reasonably fit so mass transit is fine. I'm looking for a neat clean and decent hotel (not hostel, not luxurious). Also, I'd appreciate any recommendations on what to see/do/eat in the short time we have.
Thanks in advance

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2615 posts

Well, a practical option would be the Ibis hotel nearly adjacent to Amsterdam Centraal, the main train station in the city centre. Ibis is a major chain, similar to Best Western in level of service. It would be easy to get to, puts you in the center of everything, and easy to catch the train to the airport in the morning.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1619 posts

Further on the Ibis. Its resaurant is excellent. There is a free bus that takes you from in front of the airport to the hotel and picks you up in the morning.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1114 posts

There's a Best Western near Leidseplein and the museum district, south of the center but still close in. It has good reviews and we'll be staying there in October, mainly for proximity to the museums, but I can't vouch for it based on experience. You might have trouble using your points there if they were earned in the US, but I know it wouldn't be a problem in the reverse direction. Otherwise I'd second the idea of staying close to the Centraal station, Ibis or other.

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1531 posts

Have you considered Priceline? We got a hotel(****) fairly close to train station for $100-our first bid. We will be in A'dam next week for 3 nights and plan to have Indonesian dinner at least one night. The guidebooks and google will give you good ideas on where to dine. The Anne Frank house is not to be missed-we saw it on our first trip so will skip it this time. The Riiksmuseum is at the top of our list.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7399 posts

Go to the Rijksmuseum right when it opens Susan. Lines to get in in the middle of the day are horrendous!

Posted by Susan
Atlanta, Ga, USA
1531 posts

Thank you Michael! We were totally jet lagged on our previous visit so we will start out early the day after we arrive.

Posted by Iain
Edmonton, AB, Canada
668 posts

Sorry, I must me missing something, but if you are arriving at lunchtime and leaving at 10am next day, there is no opportunity to be at the Rijksmuseum as it opens. You really only have a short afternoon and evening. By the time you gat a train (it is fast and convenient) and assuming you have no luggage to collect, the best you can expect to be in Amsterdam is 2:00pm. If you must see the Museum, you need a tram to get you there. The museum closes at 5:00pm, so you might have 2 hours there. You can catch a canal boat near the museum and ride it back to the Ibis if that is where you want to stay and have dinner and that is about it. If there is time after dinner, you can walk round near the station - we have always found it quite safe, but do take care if you go south east from the station to the Red light district. You do not say what time of year you plan to go, but in July our son could not get a room at the Ibis, so plan to book ahead of time. A note about EasyJet. It is fine, we have used it frequently, but if you plan to have only carry-ons, make sure you do only have ONE carryon each - no purse, camera case, etc as well as the carry-on. You will be forced to check one of them and if you have not booked checked luggage in advance, it costs an arm and a leg. In addition, make sure you have plans for your liquids if you have them in your carryon for security restrictions, they must be under 100cc each and all fit in the one litre plastic bag. Enjoy Amsterdam, we have been several times and all have been enjoyable. Too bad you do not have longer.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
7399 posts

Sorry, I must me missing something, but if you are arriving at lunchtime and leaving at 10am next day, there is no opportunity to be at the Rijksmuseum as it opens. I was responding to Susan's reply. She will be in Amsterdam for three nights.

Posted by Alison
Los Altos, CA, USA
34 posts

Iain - I'm the OP with such a short time. Thank you for your suggestions and info on EasyJet. I guess we'll have to start planning a future trip with more time....just need to deal with that pesky work stuff that pays for the travel, haha. We're going in October so we'll have early darkness to contend with, as well. Since it's looking like we won't really get to do much with Amsterdam, I went for a Priceline bid a got a bid accepted at $75 for Nh Schiphol. So, we'll take the train into town for a few sights and dinner and then have an easy van ride for our morning flight.
Thanks all for the help

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
4792 posts

Alison, Amsterdam is very pretty after dark, great for a canal ride. And you may even find a church or two that are open in the evening.