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2 Days after RS Tour - Where to stay?

My husband and I have just recently booked the Rick Steves Heart of Belgium and Holland tour starting the end of April. Some spots became available and we grabbed them, but now I am really behind on any additional planning and the trip time is coming fast. The tour ends on Saturday morning in Amsterdam and we will have Saturday and Sunday before flying home from Schiphol on Monday morning (flight time 11 am). We will have spent a 3 nights in Amsterdam and been to Delft and Keukenhof on the tour. It sounds like we may have some time while in Delft to hop over to The Hague as well. So for our remaining couple days we were thinking about trying to visit Haarlem, Leiden, and/or Utrecht. We really need to book a hotel for those nights and have a few options (1) stay in Amsterdam (2) the airport Hilton or (3) stay in one of the remaining towns. I don't want to waste time moving around too much, but at this late date, I am not sure our tour hotel will have availability to stay there. My husband wants to pick the airport hotel since it will be close to the airport and a train station but it just seems so soulless.

My questions:
Would it be easiest to stay in Amsterdam?

Is it too far from the airport to stay in one of the other towns on Sunday night with a Monday morning flight?

Is one town better than the others for making connections?

Posted by
129 posts

To answer one of your questions, I had a 9:30am flight out of Schipol and I was staying in Amsterdam near the train station (DoubleTree Centraal). I barely made my flight, and I left the hotel at 5:30am. Not enjoyable at all.

I have also stayed at the Airport Hilton. Very nice hotel (I'm a Hilton Diamond level, which gets me lots of freebies and a nice upgrade), but it's extremely expensive, although the client was paying! We were, however, able to leave our room at 7:30 for our 10am flight with time to spare.

There are cheaper alternatives near the airport--they're the sterile chains, but they are very handy if you are stressing about catching a flight. Getting to Haarlem from Schipol via train is not great, but you might be able to hit other places.

Posted by
487 posts

Jack, what made it so difficult to get to the airport when you stayed at the Doubletree? Was it general commuter congestion at that time of day or something else? I was considering the Doubletree as well since it was at the train station. It looks like our tour hotel (Hotel Espresso City Centre) may have availability but it is close to the east end of Vondelpark and not super close to the train station.

My husband has status with Hilton hotels as well and I think when he looked earlier we could use points at the airport hotel. That was another reason he was pushing for it.

Posted by
16893 posts

Haarlem hotel options can be cheaper than in Amsterdam. Trains from Haarlem to Schiphol start at 5:44 a.m. and take 30 - 45 minutes with one connection. But bus #300 from Haarlem (central stop or train station) runs directly to Schiphol all day and night and also take 40 minutes. It's described in both the Connections and the Haarlem chapters of Rick's Amsterdam book.

For side trips, Looking Up Train Schedules and Routes Online gives you the Deutsche Bahn train schedule link and tips for using it.

Posted by
2487 posts

From Haarlem to Schiphol by train involves a change at the station Amsterdam Sloterdijk, which makes it less attractive.
Instead of Amsterdam, you can also have your accommodation in Leiden. It is 15 to 20 mins from Schiphol with no less than 8 trains per hour, all direct. At five minutes from Leiden station you have some more than decent hotels, among which one of the Ibis chain.

Posted by
2085 posts

Last year, we stayed in Leiden for two nights before our flight out of Amsterdam. It's a lovely town and we would recommend it. Getting to the airport by train was easy. With an 11 am flight, you should be fine.

Posted by
6106 posts

If you're near Vondelpark, there's a city bus that runs directly to the airport. Cheap and easy. I don't know the hours, but you should be able to look that up. We took it several years ago, and it was fine. Way cheaper than a taxi, easier than the train.

Posted by
1005 posts

We were on that tour end of April 2016. We stayed two extra days at our ending hotel. Have you checked on your ending hotel? We had the tram by our hotel so we took it to the train station and went to Harlem for the day. Next day we took the train to den Hague caught the tram to madurodam , the to the beach at scheveningen then back to delft to the prinsenhof museum that we missed when we were on the tour. Then back to den Hague to catch the train back to Amsterdam. Oh you will have a fantastic time. This was one of my fav tours