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November Amsterdam Questions re: itinerary and locations UPDATED QUESTION RE UTRECHT

Good afternoon,

I booked a trip for a week flying in/out of Amsterdam (Schipol) this late fall, arriving 19:40 Saturday, Nov 25, then departing 13:20, Dec 1st. Technically 6 nights, but only 5 full days. Right now, I have a basic itinerary as follows:

Arrive, Take train/tram into Amsterdam and check into lodging on a canal off Prinsengracht in the Jordaan.

Sun, Mon, Tues: Visit Anne Frank Huis, National Holocaust Museum, Resistance Museum, Van Gogh Museum, and possibly the Rijksmuseum. Walks: Dam Square, Red Light, see De Oude Kerk, Begijnhof. Duck into a brown bar for a beer. Just hang out, as we know the days are short.

Wednesday-Thursday: Take the train to Delft in earlier am, possibly stopping in Lieden on the way (morning), spend 2/3 hours there, then onto Delft for that night and the next day. Relax and walk, sight see.

Friday: Train to Schipol, depart.

First question: Any suggestions on places to see or thoughts on something to skip or not miss, appreciated. We like museums, we don't need to see every one, though, and my only reservation about the Rijksmuseum is, I know there are over 8,000 pieces to see. Is it too much for too little time, considering we would like to also go to the Van Gogh?

Second question: Upon reading a bit more (Moon guide), I'm wondering, (just wondering) if we should leave early Wed morning and train to Bruges instead, spend that day/night; then train Thurs morning to Delft and see Delft, spend night; on to Schipol Friday am. We use carryon only backpacks, small, weight is anticipated at around 12-14lbs max for each of us. We are youngish, experienced overseas travelers, don't mind moving, probably a bit faster than some.

However, I don't want to short-shrift either place. The Moon guide has a very ambitious itinerary that I am not sure I would follow no matter what, but it did open up the possibility of visiting Bruges. Now I've seen pictures and oops. That was a mistake.

Or should I wait until I have several days to devote to Belgium? I would not have chosen to arrive so late normally: this was a VERY good deal on airfare. If I were landing earlier, I'd immediately train to Bruges for one night, and spend at least 24 hours there, then onto Delft for an afternoon/overnight, then on to Amsterdam for the remaining days. (If Aer Lingus makes any changes, I will be all over asking for an earlier flight, believe me.)

I have booked my lodging in Amsterdam and Delft but all is changeable and refundable.

Any advice from locals regarding weather at that time of year (or any other bit) is very welcome. I have been reading many posts and talking to other members who have visited as well.

Posted by
1012 posts

I like your draft itinerary, it doesn’t seem to be too rushed. A couple of random remarks;
- The national holocaust museum is a new museum that’s currently being build. It doesn’t open until some time in 2024, so it won’t be open when you’re here. .
- I would definitely recommend to visit the Rijksmuseum. You don’t need to see all 8000 object of art to appreciate it. You can use their free app with multimedia guide to follow a selfguided highlight tour that will take about 1 hour;
- If you really wish to see Bruges and think you may never come back to this part of Europe, I guess you can fit in a day there. It’s up to you to decide if you want to do that.
- Leiden is spelled as Leiden, not Lieden
- It’s impossible to say anything remotely meaningful about the weather at that time of year. It can be anything from nice and sunny to rainy and cold. Or all that in just 1 day.

Posted by
2062 posts

For me squeezing Bruges in would be too rushed and too much train time at the expense of sightseeing time. But how likely is it that you'll be in that area again? How badly do you want to see Bruges vs. Leiden?

Posted by
20 posts


Thank you for the info about the Holocaust museum, I somehow missed that. I'm sure I would have caught it at some point, initially it always seems like there's so much info it's morphs into this giant pile that must be sifted. (Also for the spelling error, I know it's pronounced "lie" so I guess my fingers just typed phonetically!) I will definitely check out the app for R museum, as well.

roubrat (and DT): well, I read mixed things about Leiden. Some love it, some think it's 'too college-y/young' - but everyone I know seems to love Bruges. As for whether we will be back in that area, absolutely. There is a lot there I definitely want to see. Partner saw the pictures of Bruges and was immediately interested.

However, roubrat, you raise a good point: shorter days means less 'time' potentially. We are not adverse to cold, so walking around at night is fine with us, but it IS a 3 hours train trip. So IF we decided to go, it would look like this:

Wed am (probably around 7:30 am, based upon what I see at train times- Thalys-IC-IC, not yet released) leave Ams and arrive Bruges 10am. Visit, stay night.

Thurs, leave Bruges ( here I have a question about where to look up train schedules-?) arrive Delft am, visit all day, stay night,

Fri, depart for Schipol.

If you have visited Bruges and Delft, maybe an opinion on whether this is reasonable? I am fine with original itinerary, but wondering if an afternoon and full day in Delft is a wee bit much, and whether Leiden is worth giving up Bruges for.

I hope that makes sense.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks roubrat!

OH! I also wanted to ask if we decide to stay on original plan, and use Wednesday as Leiden/The Hague stop, can we store our backpack carryons in the train station? Paid lockers available?

Posted by
2255 posts

Although it’s been quite a while since we have visited the Netherlands and Bruges, with your time constraints I would suggest sticking to the Netherlands and save Bruges for another trip. We did a quick trip to the Hague and visited the Mauritshuis which is a wonderful museum - small, easily digestible and well done. Have you considered going to Haarlem? That is a short train ride from Amsterdam and there are good things to see there. Rick’s recommendation of the restaurant The Laughing Javan in Haarlem was a total winner or at least it was a number of years ago.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for your thoughts, Mary. We haven't quite decided yet, but are leaning towards spending the 29th visiting two of the following: Haarlem, Leiden and The Hague before spending the night in Delft according to plan.

One thing I am having trouble confirming is whether the canal boat rides will still be happening at that time of year?

Posted by
2109 posts

I prefer the Van Gogh museum over the Rijksmuseum, but you can do both as was suggested by Dutch Traveler, just focus on the highlights of Rijksmuseum collection. There are some really spectacular paintings in both, not to be missed in my opinion.

As for your last day, based on my personal experience last summer (train strike), make sure you take a plenty early train from Delft to the airport, just in case there's a train cancelation or some other travel hiccup. I personally wouldn't be in transit on the day I need to catch a flight, but I'm gun shy now. Your flight leaves at 1 p.m. and you'll want to allow plenty of time to make your flight, even with carry on luggage. Schiphol has a handy planner to help you figure out how busy the airport is and length of waits at check in desks and security, based on your specific flight.

Posted by
3861 posts

If you do follow the plan to stop in Leiden on a Wednesday there may be a nice market going on along the main canal and bridges near City Hall. It was wonderful this summer.

Posted by
5135 posts

Hi, TheRocketDog, I'm going to second what others have said about skipping Belgium with that short of a trip, but if you're okay with it then go for it! You will lose a lot of time traveling, though. Personally, I was one enjoyed Ghent a lot more than Bruge. I found Bruge to be just a little too cute and touristy and crowded. Of course in November, you probably won't have the issue with the crowds, though.

One thing i noticed - you were talking about taking the train from AMS to Delft and stopping in Leiden for a few hours. If you can, I would spend a bit more time in Leiden. It was one of my favorite places I have been to and is such a charming and walkable city. Delft is very pretty but if you can, devote more than just 2-3 hours to Leiden. It is well worth it.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you Mardee! We have in fact, decided to spend the day marked for traveling to Delft as visiting Leiden, and then possibly Den Haague in the afternoon. We may also use the morning of our full day in Delft to visit DH if we want to spend more time in Leiden.

Appreciate the feedback!

Posted by
20 posts

Additional question:

I'm looking at Utrecht lodging, wondering if anyone has stayed at either of these:

Hotel MuseumKwartier


Hotel Bejiers

The first one is a bit farther out, not too far but as it will be December just wondering if I want to walk a mile if it's raining. 🤔

Has anyone stayed at either of these, or can comment on the locations of either?