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Four days in Amsterdam

My friend and I are arriving in Amsterdam mid April and have four days to explore prior to our river cruise. We would like some suggestions for a quiet, centrally located B & B, a canal tour, museums, and parks. We are both retired and love to travel but unfortunately nothing too strenuous. I am very excited and will appreciate your advice.

Posted by
2411 posts

We love Amsterdam, it is one of my favorite cities. Just walking around is fun. It will be cool in April so count on layers. Besides the popular museums, we enjoyed the Museum of Handbags and the various hidden Churches, especially Museum of Our Lord in the Attic (Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder) it is near the Red Light District. We ate in a lovely, small Dutch restaurant called The Planty. If you are there on a Wednesday, try to get to Edam, easy by local bus, for the weekly cheese festival, for lack of a better word. Hope you have a lovely trip.

Posted by
1005 posts

Unfortunately Amsterdam's crack down on Airbnb has also affected B&Bs--collateral damage? Some of my favorites have closed recently. Rick recommends Herengracht 21 B&B and Wildervanck B&B, you might give them a try.

Posted by
3926 posts

I'd def recommend packing some light gloves - we went last year in mid-April - and our arrival day was lovely and warm - out in a t-shirt - then it turned cool and I would wear three layers (t-shirt, fleece pullover and my light lined spring jacket) and was cursing not having gloves.

We stayed at an airbnb in the De Pijp area, but I booked it in Dec for our stay in April. Only dipped into Vondelpark, and wish I'd had more time to walk around. We also strolled around Sarphatipark, but it wasn't too far from our airbnb, which is why we went.

De Pijp was actually a nice area - lots of restaurants, and the Albert Cuypmarkt - which was OK - it did have some good stalls to buy Dutch sweets, flowers, cheese, fruits/veggies, some arty stuff and antiques...but also a lot of cheap souvenirs, drug store items and cheap clothing. Our place was a 5 min tram ride to Rijksmuseum and would have been a short tram ride to the first of the canals - but they were doing work on the tram line (just finishing up when we were leaving) so we had to walk about 15 min to the first canal.

The trams were so easy to get around on - it was great. We unfortunately spent 3 of our 4 days there doing daytrips (Haarlem, Den Haag and Keukenhof) so Amsterdam got shortchanged - next time we'll stay more in the city itself.

Posted by
4894 posts

Not a BandB, but I can highly recommend Hotel Vondel in the Museum district. Express bus from the airport has a stop one block away.

Posted by
2487 posts

WIth four days you can do a lot, not only the major sights.
Try to fit in the Royal Palace on Dam Square, which started its life as the City Hall of what was then Europe's commercial centre. An English-speaking tour is very well waiting for, pointing you out details which you otherwise would have missed. Nearby you'll find the Westerkerk, with a beautiful interior, and the Noorderkerk with a street market in front. This part of the city, with the Brouwersgracht, is my favourite.
Another special sight is the huge Portuguese Synagogue, part of the Jewish Historical Museum. Close by you have the Amsterdam branch of the Hermitage Museum of St Petersburg. At the time of your visit they have a special exhibition of Dutch masters, which have returned home after a very long period.
Another special exhibition is hosted by the Rijksmuseum, including two recently bought marvellous portraits by Rembrandt: Marten and Oopjen.
Of the minor sights I can recommend you the Cromhouthuis, a beautifully preserved canal house.
Consider buying the Museumkaart. At EUR 59,95 it gives you free access (with possibly a surcharge in case of special exhibitions) to over 400 museums in the Netherlands, among which all worthwhile places in Amsterdam. It already pays itself after four visits. You can buy it at counter at most participating museums.

Posted by
105 posts

I recommend strolling around the Jordaan district. It's so picturesque and peaceful, plus there are some fabulous restaurants in that area. You can almost feel a difference when you leave the excitement and business of the Dam Square area and the center and then you walk into the Jordaan district of the city.

A canal tour is a nice way to see the city. It's so relaxing too.

Another traveller recommended the Royal Palace and I would second that recommendation. It was an unexpected delight. We really enjoyed touring it.

There are some great museums in Amsterdam, like the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum...both get pretty busy but they are wonderful.
We took Rick's advice and woke up early one day and headed over to Aalsmeer, just outside the city to see the Royal Floral Holland flower auction/warehouse. It was really neat to see it in action. We took the bus there, maybe it was about a half hour on the bus.
Have fun! Amsterdam is a great city!!!

Posted by
6518 posts

We love Amsterdam and often end a trip there. We have rented houseboat apartments through Citymundo and loved those. Our go to hotel which we have used twice is a small 5 or so room B&B owned by two American ex pats and is well located on a canal near the Amstel -- Hotel Orlando.
http://hotelorlando.wix.com/orlando#!others

The rooms are large, the location is lovely and the breakfast is fine. The owners are pleasant and helpful.

4 nights 3 full days is perfect. Book Anne Frank Huis well in advance if you want to visit. Don't miss the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Hermitage. The canal boats are nice. There are many INdonesian restaurants. We had good luck at Kantjil et de Tijger. They have the traditional rice table, but what is great is you can easily just opt for half a dozen a la carte choices instead which is difficult at many of the tourist trappy Indonesian places that insist on the rice table. IMHO the rice table tends to stress bulk over great food -- lots of cabbagy filler type dishes. After doing that, we discovered the things we really like and enjoyed just ordering those. We also like traditional Dutch food like Stamppot and Snerk; the restaurants that serve them tend to be central and touristy -- but they are tasty. And best of all, just walk around Amsterdam; it is a beautiful city.

Amsterdam is my favorite because it’s the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. The free walking tours are the wonderful activity to do in Amsterdam. The canals of this city are incredibly beautiful. There are many other things and places that make my visits memorable. I miss Amsterdam.