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Netherlands solo trip in July 2019

This is my supposed itinerary for solo trip to the Netherlands and parts of Belgium in July 2019. 14 nights total. One night on the flight to Amsterdam, 13 nights on the ground. Plane tickets already purchased. I didn’t make any other reservations yet.
Tuesday night is on the airplane.
Wednesday: Plane arrives in Amsterdam 12:30pm local time. If time: Van Gogh museum, walk past various monuments. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Thurs: Anne Frank house, Portuguese synagogue and Jewish museum; if time, Dutch resistance museum. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Fri: Rijksmuseum; if time, if not seen yet: Van Gogh museum; Amsterdam museum if I already saw the Van Gogh museum. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Sat: day trip to Haarlem: Buy combo ticket for Frans Hal and Teylers museum at information office in the town hall at 9:30am or when they open; see Frans Hal museum first; if time, walk past various monuments. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Sunday: Amsterdam: maritime museum; if not seem yet, Dutch Resistance museum; if time: Rembrandt house or Willet Holthuysen museum. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Mon: Day or part day trip to Zaanse Schans; train to Den Haag/ The Hague. Sleep in The Hague.
Tue: Day or part day trip to Delft: Vermeer centertn Prinsenhof museum; if time: one of the churches, walk past various monuments, and so on. Sleep in The Hague.
Wed: The Hague: Mauritshuis museum, Escher in the palace; if time: binnenhof and/or walk past various monuments. Sleep in The Hague.
Thurs: Gemeentenmuseum (11-5pm); possibly one or more other museums: Prison Gate museum (10-5pm), adjacent prins Willem V gallery, Panorama Mesdag; train to Brussels. Sleep in Brussels.

See the Belgium section for the rest of my trip.

Suggestions are welcome.

Should I take my suitcase with me to Zaanse Schans, hoping there are enough lockers at the train station, or should I just arrange to leave it at the hotel or hostel's desk, and come back to get it on my way to Haarlem? Should I take the bus to Zaanse Schans to save myself from excessive walking, if the bus can get me closer while the train requires another 15 minutes of walking in addition to the walking I do at the sight?

Am I trying to do too much or am I skipping something you feel is really important?

Posted by
5588 posts

Here are my thoughts:

Wed-I’d try to stay outside instead of doing an important museum on jet lag afternoon. If you do decide to do a museum, I’d do the Maritime Museum. You can get some outside time in touring the ship model that’s docked there.

Thurs - I’d try to do the Dutch Resistance Museum before Anne Frank. It just gives you a great overview of the time and dynamics.

Posted by
9432 posts

You probably already know this, but Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum require advance reservations online.

Posted by
11544 posts

Plan for something on Wedesday that doesn't require great concentration or advance tickets. The Maritime Museum is a good suggestion - quite interesting, you can wander around on an old ship (17thc ?) and there's an interactive tour that's fun.
Thursday - The synagogue and museum won't take more than 2 hours. You may want to allow more than that for the resisitance museum - there's a lot to read, though mostly in Dutch, so be sure to take the audio guide. I think you'll be able to do all 3 sights without rushing. The synagogue is a short walk to resistance museum.
The Hague - I dimly remember having a transport card for the tram. Use the tram to visit Delft. It's most convenient. The Mesdag is unusual so be sure not to skip it. Last time I saw it, I later went out to the seashore and it still looks much the same.

Overall, your itinerary seems well-paced. On one of my visits to A'dam, I rented a bike for a few days (places not at the train station are cheaper). It was a lot of fun and efficient to ride around the city like a local and I didn't have to figure out the tram tickets.

Posted by
2009 posts

With your apparent museum interest, buy a combi ticket in The Hague for not only the Mauritshuis and the Willem V Gallery, but also the Bredius Museum and the Historical Museum.
In Delft a ticket for the Old Church is also valid for the New Church (and vice versa). They are both very well worth a visit, and you'll pass the Old Church anyway from the tram stop or railway station to the Market.
The railway station Zaandijk Zaanse Schans has no lockers. Couldn't you combine it with your day trip to Haarlem? It is a 12-minute train ride from the station Amsterdam Sloterdijk which you'll pass on your way to or from Haarlem.

Posted by
710 posts

I want to pile on about how important it is to stay outside on your first day after an overnight flight. I made the mistake of trying to see the van Gogh Museum last June on my first day, and I definitely did not get much out of it. Later in the visit, I did a walking tour with That Dam Guide, which was very worthwhile. In hindsight, that would have been a very good thing to do on the first day.

You might want to consider buying a Museumkaart, but you will have to do the math for the admission prices of the various museums you wish to see. With a temporary card, you are limited to 5 museum visits, but given the cost of some of them it’s still probably a good deal.

We did a WWII walking tour through Peter Schaapman, which was very interesting- began at Anne Frank Huis and ended at Resistance Museum. PM me if you’d like more information. I also warmly recommend the Rembrandt House and The Hague Historical Museum.

Sounds like a great trip!

Posted by
299 posts

Revised hypothesized itinerary. Cross posted in the Belgium section.
Wednesday: Plane arrives in Amsterdam 12:30pm local time. If time: Maritime museum, walk past various monuments. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Thurs: Anne Frank house, Portuguese synagogue and Jewish museum; if time, Dutch resistance museum. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Fri: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, possibly Stedelijk museum. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Sat: day trip to Haarlem: Buy combo ticket for Frans Hal and Teylers museum at information office in the town hall at 9:30am or when they open; Frans Hal museum first; walk past various monuments and possibly, if time, briefly go inside: Saint Bavo’s kerk. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Sunday: day or part day trip to Zaanse Schans. Sleep in Amsterdam.
Monday: Rembrandt house or Willet Holthuysen museum; if time, if not seen yet, one or more of: maritime museum; Amsterdam museum, Dutch Resistance museum. Train to Den Haag. Sleep in Den Haag.
Tue: Day or part day trip to Delft: Vermeer center, Prinsenhof museum; if time, possibly briefly go into one of the churches; walk past various monuments, and so on. Sleep in The Hague.
Wed: Den Haage: Mauritshuis museum, Escher in the palace; if time: binnenhof; walk past various monuments. Sleep in The Hague.
Thurs: Gemeentenmuseum (11-5pm); panorama Mesdag; if extra time, possibly: Prison Gate museum (open 10-5pm), adjacent prins Willem V gallery. Train to Antwerp. Probably the “Intercity” train rout that requires changing trains in Breda. Sleep in Antwerp.

Belgium:
Fri: Antwerp: Museum Plantin-Moretus, Rubens house and Mayer van der Bergh museum combo ticket (the Mayer van der Bergh is listed in the rough guide but Rick skipped it); walk past various monuments. Sleep in Antwerp.
Saturday: Snijers Rockox house, Red Star line museum, if extra time: museum aan de Stroom. Train to Brussels. Sleep in Brussels.
Sunday: Royal museum of fine art; if time, musical instruments museum; walk past various monuments.
Monday: Possibly: European parliament (show up at 9am, see if there is a tour available), 1958 world’s fair grounds, walk past various monuments, and so on.
Tuesday: Flight back to Detroit.

Does my first Monday look like a good day or should I squish the part of my itinerary beyond Amsterdam a day sooner and give myself another day in Belgium?