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One day to experience Amsterdam-where to stay and what to see

At the end of a RS tour we are landing in Amsterdam on a Monday around 7pm and only have Tuesday to see Amsterdam. Our flight out is Wed around 10 am. Should we stay by the airport? Also, I know we want to see the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum...what else? Thanks for your help!

Posted by
2487 posts

There is no need to stay in some anonymous airport hotel. There is a very frequent direct train connection from station Amsterdam Centraal to Schiphol airport, taking less than 20 minutes.
Arrange your tickets for the Anne Frank Huis as soon as possible at their website. The timed tickets seem to sell out quickly. Advance buying of tickets for the Van Gogh saves you a possible long queue. I wouldn't plan other activities, other than strolling around and enjoying the city.

Posted by
1449 posts

Personally, if I had just one day in Amsterdam, I wouldn't want to spend it in museums. If Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum are essential for you, I wouldn't try to do any more than that. In my opinion, the most worthwhile museum to visit in Amsterdam is the Rijksmuseum, which is pretty much adjacent to the Van Gogh Museum, so you could squeeze that in as well if you want. (I'd skip the Van Gogh and do the Rijks instead, but that's just a personal choice.)

Amsterdam is a wonderful walking city, so I'd wander and take in the neighborhoods, or follow a self-guided tour such as this.

Posted by
66 posts

Thank you so much! Yes, a walking tour experiencing Amsterdam sounds great! I will make our Anne Frank reservations. Appreciate the museum advice! This is in June 2017 and is our last stop after 2 weeks of traveling. I am excited we were able to add this short stop in Amsterdam on our way home.
I did not want to stay by the airport and miss the Amsterdam ambiance, so now I know about the train, I will look into staying in town. Any additional info is appreciated!

Posted by
236 posts

I will add that at "the end of a RS tour" you may be museum-ed out and ready to just wander. Having said that, both the Rijksmuseum and the VanGogh Museum have wonderful websites that give you a better idea of the museums. I was headed to VGM but having spent some time exploring the Rijskmuseum website, I'm headed there. The tickets to R. aren't time/date specific so buying online saves standing in one line and doesn't dictate your schedule. I would also think you might enjoy a Canal cruise.

Posted by
6 posts

Don't stay by the airport, especially since you aren't flying out super early in the morning. The tram system in the city is so well connected to the airport that there is no need. Just allow extra time (+45 min.) Wed morning and you'll be fine.
The Anne Frank Huis is amazing and only takes a couple hours to see completely (I recommend booking the earliest time possible as by 10am it gets pretty crowded).
Unless you are VERY interested in art, then I recommend skipping the museums. They are very neat, but with only one day in Amsterdam, there is so much else to see. Start at Centraal Station and just walk towards the Royal Palace. (Or if you go to Anne Frank Huis then walk from there). Amsterdam is big but it feels small and you can enjoy so much by just walking around.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
700 posts

We're also planning a visit to Amsterdam next month. For a hotel you might want to check the Piet Hein, it's within walking distance of the Rijksmuseum, the VanGogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. Tram #2 is a short walk away, and Tram #12 is "next door". For an unusual dining experience check enter link description here. Tram #2, by the way, is considered by some to be the "sightseeing" tram as it is a long route. For a different environmental experience from the historic Amsterdam, take a bus or tram to the East Docklands--some interesting architecture on Java, Borneo and Sporenburg Islands. Enjoy Amsterdam.

Posted by
988 posts

Been there, done that! We arrived in time for dinner which we had an Indonesian restaurant - a must do for Amsterdam! The next day, we got on a hop on hop off canal tour and made our way to Van Gogh Museum and walked right in because we bought our tickets in advance. We had time to wander about and found a place to eat lunch by a canal and then we went to Anne Frank Huis. We didn't have advanced tickets but got there in the late afternoon and waited about 20 min to get tickets it was in September so I guess that's not a bad line. I think we had time to get back on the HOHO boat before getting dinner. We actually had to leave that evening so it sounds like you will have more time than we did. Definitely stay in Amsterdam since it's so easy to reach the airport by train via Central Station. I'm actually returning for a 2 night stay in 2 weeks and staying at Hotel Piet Hein, a recommendation from this helpline.

Posted by
24 posts

I second Claudette's recommendation to go to an Indonesian restaurant for a Rijs Table. It's a mini-buffet served at your table. At most restaurants you have a choice of various dishes and sauces for the meal. We were in Amsterdam in the 70's when we did this. Now live in NJ and can't even find an Indonesian Rijs table in New York City. Will be in Amsterdam this summer and definitely will go to one. An excerpt from a Google search -- "Rijsttafel ("rice table" in Dutch). This meal of as many as 40 lively small dishes served with several types of rice and relishes called sambals was created to please the colonial overlords, and is considered by most Indonesians as a vestige of the old colonial system. Which is why the meal flourishes mainly in Amsterdam, where the Dutch still have an avid taste for it."

Another quote - "There are few culinary adventures that New York City doesn’t offer, but one of the most glaring shortcomings is the relative dearth of available rijsttafels. A rijsttafel, for the uninitiated, is a “rice table” of Dutch-Indonesian concoctions often consisting of 15-20 small dishes (think tapas style) that provide groups of diners an opportunity to explore the best of what Indonesian food has to offer. When done correctly, a rijsttafel dinner can be an exhilarating and exhausting journey full of spicy and savory dishes that challenge the taste buds. Go hungry, because you will most certainly not be hungry when you leave."

If anyone can recommend a good one I'd really appreciate it. I have seen several recommendations in this forum.
Thanks- Bob

Posted by
5668 posts

I stayed at the hotel Brouwer which is on the Singel Canal. It's a very short walk from the railway station to the hotel. I stayed there and caught and early morning flight to Scotland on a trip a few years ago. So, you will have no trouble getting the train to the airport from the city centre. I too would recommend just walking around. I went to the resistance museum and a canal house and found both very interesting.

Pam

Posted by
21 posts

I am piggy-backing on this thread as our group will also have only one day. Does anyone have experience with the lines for Friday evenings at the Van Gogh. We actually have two nights in Amsterdam, the first is the end of our river cruise. the river boat docks Friday night and we overnight in port. Supposedly we dock at 5:30, but we will be taking a tour from Hoorn that is 5 hours and we dock at Hoorn at 1:00 before the boat moves on to Amsterdam. So we won't get back to the boat till at least 6. VGM stays open till 10 on Friday's. But since boat and tour schedules are not like Swiss trains I do not want to buy timed ticket. Just wondering about taking a chance on lines for tickets.