I am finalizing our itinerary for our trip to Amsterdam and Bruges. My husband and I leave one month from today--Sept. 26 - October 7. All accommodations have been booked, as have train tickets to Bruges from Amsterdam and back, so that is set.
Here is what I have planned so far: 4 nights Amsterdam, 2 nights Bruges, and 4 nights in Haarlem.
We arrive at 11:00 a.m. on our first day in Amsterdam, and all I have planned is a canal boat tour and settling into our Airbnb, with a nap in there somewhere. We are staying in the Jordaan area. We will have an IAmsterdam card to take us into the museums we want to go to while there, and it covers the transit (trams, primarily) while we are there.
The plan so far is thus:
- Day 1: (arrival day Thursday, 9/27) Amsterdam, @ 11:00 am. Take train from aPick up Amsterdam pass at Amsterdam Centraal station. Explore Jordaan, (where we are staying), take a canal tour (from where? and Blue Boat or Gray Lines? I know both are touristy, but it is covered by IAmsterdam pass, so no cost, and would be relaxing) and a nap, a nice dinner and early bedtime
- Day 2: Amsterdam (Friday, 9/28). Possible day-trip to Zaanse Schams (15 minute train ride) mainly to see the windmills and have a country experience, have lunch. Come back, and from the train station do the RS recommended "Amsterdam self-guided walk" , seeing the Amsterdam Museum and Beginhof courtyard en route. Followed by Anne Frank Haus (tickets booked for 6:00 pm). Is this too much?? Seems kind of crazy to do a day trip to Zaanse Schams on our first full day in Amsterdam, but it seems relatively easy to do....and not much time involved. Both Zaanse Schams and the Amsterdam Museum are also covered by our Amsterdam pass, so that seems a good value.
- Day 3: (Saturday, 9/29). Amsterdam. Van Gogh timed entry is booked for 10:00 am. Lunch (where is recommeded?), then Rijksmuseum. I am an artist so I will be spending some time there. The Amsterdam pass covers this museum now, with the benefit of skipping the lines I am told (from reading this forum). I am still looking into booking a canal trip with "those Dam Boat Guys" to have a fun and relaxing end to a full museum day. I really would like a fun, non-touristy canal experience here....anyone done this?
- Day 4: (Sunday, 9/30). Day trip to Enkuizen and the Zuiderzee Museum. Full day-trip, covered by Amsterdam pass.
- Day 5: Train to Bruges ( Mon. 10/01 @ 11:15. Arrive there @ 2:30 p.m.. What are the highlights to focus on here?
- Day 6: Bruges (Tues. 10/2)--Same--what should we focus on here?
- Day 7: Train to Haarlem (Wed. 10/3 @ 11:31 a.m.. Arrive in Haarlem @ 3:05 p.m.) . Get to our apartment and explore Haarlem. What to zero in on here?
- Day 8: Day trip to Den Hague and Delft. Any recommendations here? Will definitely go to the Mauritshuis Gallery in Den Hauge. RS recommends Delft first, to get good experience at the Vermeer Center before we go to Den Hague. Also would like to take a canal tour in Delft on Rondvaart Delft for 45 minutes--any experience with this?
- Day 9: More Haarlem
- Day 10: Day trip to Leiden. What should we focus on here? Or just wander?
- Day 11: Bus (#300, 40 min.) to Amsterdam. Flight back to the USA leaves at 12:50 from Shiphol. I am hearing that it is a good idea to be at airport 3 hours ahead of time. Is this accurate?
Any and all responses would be much appreciated!