My husband and I are thinking of going to Amsterdam in late May. Besides flying to Milan, Italy to go to Lake Como for a couple of days what else would you suggest we see while we are there? We will be there 10 days but could make it 2 weeks.
For day trips, the other towns in the Randstad also deserves some attention. Or maybe Brussels, or a bike trip in the countryside?
Thanks. From reading a little more I'm beginning to think 10 days is too long to be based in Amsterdam. Maybe we will move on to Northern Italy after 3 days.
I agree that ten days is too long for just Amsterdam (unless you want to explore in greater depth than most people). Haarlem would be a good easy day trip from Amsterdam, with its church, Franz Hals Museum, and other attractions. So would a number of other nearby places like Leiden, Delft, the Hague, etc., all easily reached by rail.
There's a lot to see in northern Italy. Between the Netherlands and northern Italy you could easily fill two weeks or more.
Enkhuizen is a gem and has a wonderful open-air museum. Can easily be combined with Hoorn, on the same railway line. Haarlem is a favourite, with the Frans Hals and Teylers museums.
Leiden is an obvious choice, slowly being discovered by tourists. The Hague (Den Haag) is 15 minutes away, with a good collection of museums: Mauritshuis, Escher, Panorama Mesdag and others.
Delft is an all-time favourite with tourists. Can be combined with undervisited Schiedam, a few minutes further on, famous for its huge windmills from the gin industry days.
There is, of course, no reason to stay in Amsterdam. You could treat yourself with a few days in the eastern part of the country. Zwolle, Kampen, Deventer and Zutphen are a string of agreeable historical Hanseatic cities along the river IJssel.
All are easily reached by train. Use the NS train planner and get yourself an OV Chipkaart.
Wow. Appreciate the advice.
Do you have the Rick Steves Amsterdam and the Netherlands guidebook? If not, get it right away. Not only will it give you lots of ideas of what to see and do in Amsterdam, but it has lots of day trip and overnight possibilities. From cities to small towns to rural areas, there's lots of variety, complete with good-proof directions on how to get there. You can certainly fill 10 days to 2 weeks in this area.
I'm a city person, so I loved my trips to Rotterdam, Leiden, and especially Utrecht. I found the Hague to be of interest only for its museums, and didn't care for Delft. Again, if you want more rural destinations, you will want to go to other places.
While I also liked my time in Varenna in Lake Como a lot, I'm not sure I'd fly there from Amsterdam if that were the only part of Italy I was going to see on this trip. There are plenty of nice relaxing areas that are easier to reach from Amsterdam; I'd save Lake Como for a trip when I was in the region, as the flight plus train will take much of a day.
I ordered the Rick Steves Amsterdam guidebook. I plan on checking out all the suggestions. Really appreciate the advice.
We spent 9 days in Amsterdam and didn’t get to see all on our list. It is a wonderful city. We did day trips to Delft, Edam/Volendam/Markem, Haarlem, and Brugges. Brugges was a long day. It was my second trip there and a city I would return to. If moving around too much isn’t appealing to you, The Netherlands could easily occupy your time.
My son and I took a day trip from Amsterdam to Cologne and Dusseldorf by train to enjoy the
Cathedrals back in Feb.
Very well worth it !
We spent 5 nights in Amsterdam and struggled to fill the last day. We visited Delft, the Hague, Haarlem, Rotterdam, Kinderdijk within Amsterdam we went to the resistance museum and the Van Gogh museum and did a walking/beer tour and one that same trip 3 nights in Bellagio on Lake Como(our third trip there). I think 4 nights in Bellagio for a first time visitor is good.
"We spent 9 days in Amsterdam and didn’t get to see all on our list."
"We spent 5 nights in Amsterdam and struggled to fill the last day."
And there you have it - exactly why it's impossible to answer a "how long should I stay in..." questions.
The number of places to daytrip to from Amsterdam (by unreserved commuter trains, up to about one-hour away), is huge. Both Leiden and Utrecht have more than you can see in a day. Note that Delft and Den Haag are adjacent, so if you don't like art on the wall, you could move by public transit from Den Haag to Delft easily. To add to the long list already given, there's the early business morning flower auction in Aalsmeer, the pretty town of Amersfoort, and (for civil engineering fans), the slightly harder to get to Delta Works. Alkmaar is touristy but fun. Have both big windmill monuments been mentioned, Zaanse Schans and Kinderdijk? Rotterdam is probably even more attractive than Den Haag, but I haven't been downtown there, only to Kinderdijk by rental car. (There's a city bus out to Kindedijk, which is also directly on the public bikeway.) I believe Keukenhof will close 19 May 2019. That is worth a whole day, with easy excursions to book from Amsterdam (or also Leiden, I think.)
I don't like changing hotels unnecessarily, so if you like the accomodation and price in Amsterdam, I don't see the urgency to move. Training to another hotel to the east, in good weather you might enjoy the surprisingly walkable (and free white bicycle-able) De Hoge Veluwe national park, the associated world-famous art museum, and the several attractions in nearby cities, like Het Loo palace.
Just want to let everyone know I am still reading and loving the suggestions.
I was in Amsterdam in Sept and plan to return this Spring. So for me at least 4 days to incl highlights and museums. There are many daytrips that are wonderful as othrs have mentioned. Keep in mind Amsterdam lodging is costly so u could stay in more affordable Haarlem and also see its highlights plus daytrips. U can take an easy city bus ride from airport to Haarlem also. Betw Netherlands and n. Italy your 10 days or 2 wks would be used up. Remember travel days in your trip could be at least 4.
Enjoy, May is a great time to be there and u have selected great destinations.