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Morning from Rotterdam to Amsterdam

Hey guys!

I had a question for everyone out there. My partner and I are going to be in The Netherlands from June 1 -June 4 as part of a 3 week trip around Europe. Last time (only other time) I was in Europe, we stayed in Amsterdam and went to Friesland to for a day to research my Grandpa's side of the family. (Yes, I'm part Frisian...get over it!) This time we're arriving from Prague early on the 1st and researching my Grandma's side from a small village outside Rotterdam. We will rent a car to do this, return in the mid-afternoon, and enjoy Rotterdam for the rest of the day. We are then driving up to Amsterdam the next morning and checking into our hotel in the afternoon.

I would like to stop on the way from Rotterdam to Amsterdam at a couple places. The first is Delft, and the second in The Hague. I plan on having breakfast in Delft on the way to The Hague.

DELFT QUESTIONS: How interesting is the china demonstration? How much does it cost? How long? Is it worth it, or should I just explore the main square?

THE HAGUE QUESTIONS: How much time do I need to devote to The Hague? How much can I see without a tour? Should I buy a tour? Etc!

Let the good advice commence...dank u wel!

Posted by
7286 posts

Despite much experience driving into New York City, I found the drive into Amsterdam (and dropping off the car) to be the worst part of our drive across the Netherlands, in ten days. I would add that your "breakfast in Delft" comment tells me that you have a breakneck pace in mind for the car trip. Do you have experience (from past trips) with medieval street plans, underground garages with tiny parking stalls and tinier ramps? Have you seen rush hour traffic in the Netherlands?

Perhaps it's pointless to tell a Californian about a car. But I would use the car to see things that are easier to do with a car - like Kinderdijk, which you don't have on your list. OTOH, Delft is connected to The Hague by a tram, which you can look out from during the ride. But you have to decide in advance whether the tram or your car will be the slower means of transit! How much of this day will you spend sitting in traffic, and how much sightseeing?

Because our hotel in The Hague had free parking, we did keep the car there, but we didn't touch it on some days. You have very little time to see two major cities (Rotterdam and The Hague), a major small city (Delft), and drive to Amsterdam. Your trip is after Keukenhof closes for the year, but I would rather visit Leiden than an inadequate stop in The Hague. Another stop that is better with a car would be the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, but that's early morning only.

We didn't go to the china demonstration. Although we did buy a Delftware vase, we saw the town as more an art history location than a shopping stop, and had the longest stop at a mansion-museum (that had plenty of Delftware to see.)

You won't have any trouble with car rental or hotels, but you should read up here on how the Netherlands (specifically, NOT Europe in general ... ) is agressively deprecating American-style "swipe" credit cards.

Posted by
32735 posts

Not going to Kinderdijk, then?

How much time to devote to den Haag? How long is a piece of string? Mauritshuis, Scheveningen, palaces, there's a lot there.

If you are going to visit the city after another - Delft - and before Amsterdam after leaving Rotterdam - all in one day you will undoubtedly doing it on a very superficial level.

So other than music and boat trips, what do you and your partner like to see and do?

BTW - the Netherlands is not an easy country in which to park. Traffic in the Randstad can be difficult. Do you have your parking requirements in Amsterdam and Rotterdam taken care of?

Posted by
32735 posts

Tim and I were writing at the same time - with remarkably similar answers.

I did do the tour through the Delft factory and enjoyed it very much. I have been on similar factory tours several times previously in the UK, Royal Worcester, Spode, Wedgwood among others, and this was fairly middle of the road, nowhere near as comprehensive as the Royal Worcester one used to be, and enjoyable. I don't remember it taking much over an hour.

Arle, a little googling can get you opening hours (what time did you intend to up anchor?) and costs.

Posted by
333 posts

I've taken the Delft pottery tour and it was quite interesting and not expensive. I think it was around an hour, not including shopping time. I went as part of a day tour that went to several places. The town itself is lovely and a great place to stop for lunch or a snack.

As to The Hague, personally I thought it was dull and a waste of my time- but that's just my opinion. I saw nothing there that held my interest for more than a couple of minutes and would have rather spent that extra time in Delft or Zaanse Schans.

Posted by
1005 posts

I also recommend the Delftware factory tour. You get to meet the artists who are painting the porcelain and watch them work. And there is a factory "seconds" section in the gift shop that's a good deal. If you love Dutch Masters, the Mauritshuis in the Hague has an outstanding collection, including Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. If you don't care about art that much, you could skip the Hague and just hang out in Delft--which is a college town and has that youthful vibe.

Posted by
40 posts

Thanks everyone! We are going to see Zaanse Schans over Kinderkijk on this trip (while we are in Amsterdam).

LEE, we've driven in The Netherlands before. My partner is actually from Germany, so he's pretty good at getting around, and we live in Southern California, so we're used to the car thing. I'm sure the traffic is bad, but that's why we're stopping on the way to break it up. Thanks for the "heads-up" on credit cards!

In The Hague, I'm basically only interested in see the state houses (Huis ten Bosch/Noordeinde Palace/Binnenhof) and the Peace Palace. All the governmental things. While I like some museum time, I tend to do it on my own...NOT with my partner who would make it painful! (Although the Escher Museum might be one to keep his attention).

NIGEL, we are being VERY superficial to these two places...basically checking them of the list as places we've been and using them as something to do on our drive up, though still genuinely interested in seeingthem. We found a car garage near our hotel in Rotterdam (CitizenM) and will be dropping the car off when we get to Amsterdam.

RANKSTER, I appreciate your candor!

T., your advice about the "seconds" section is great!