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Travel to the Netherlands

I am planning a trip in September of 2020. This is my first trip to Europe. I would appreciate any advise or information on travel tips and recommendations on how to travel in the Netherlands.

Thanks, Andrew

Posted by
3529 posts

How fun for you!

I would encourage you to explore this website further, especially Rick’s European travel skills videos
The Netherlands are a great choice for a first trip. Public transportation is easy to use and very efficient. Much of the population also speaks English and will be able to help you if you have questions.

Posted by
2986 posts

Your first trip to Europe! How exciting. The first thing will be to read through some trustworthy travel guide books and websites. You can find Rick's guides, as well as others at bookstores, on line, or in libraries. I'd also recommend his Europe Through the Back Door book to learn about how to manage your travels - everything from money matters to communication to accommodations, and much more.

Different sections of this forum are helpful as well, such as the Travel Tips section. Finally, his videos are available online.

Getting around the Netherlands is a piece of cake on public transportation. You'll find info in all the places I've already mentioned. And, as a novice with European train systems, I strongly recommend that you spend some time looking through the man in seat 61 website.

Posted by
1128 posts

I’d say rule number one is there are no must dos. This isn’t a high school field trip. If you have no interest in WW II, then you can skip the Anne Frank house. If you hate art, no need to see Van Gogh.

I always recommend travel vlogs on YouTube. I’d suggest reading though this forum, most of the attraction advice will still be valid. Amsterdam can (and probably will) be a fairly expensive city for accommodations. You don’t need to book immediately, but you might want to be thinking about it as you start to drill down on your trip.

Posted by
5011 posts
  1. Try to make your tip “long enough” (often longer than some people first expect). A trip that’s too short will result in either you stretching yourself too thin on a too-fast pace, or being disappointed when you realize there’s so much to see that you won’t get to. Of course you can’t see it all, but IMHO most tripsto Europe should be more than a week or so. Two-to-three weeks seems about right to me, but preferences vary. But there’s more to see and do than you may think, and you get more from your air fare (the biggest single cost for most trips) by staying longer (up to a point).

  2. Don’t book your flight yet - for a September trip you have plenty of time. Do some planning, get an idea of a rough itinerary, do some reality-checks, all before you click the “Buy” button. Don’t wait until late to book, but if you book now you may wish you had a different schedule later (we read many reports of first time travelers who dream of a list of places, they book a flight, and only once they rough out an itinerary do they find they can’t get to all or sometimes even half of their wish list).

  3. Invest your time in research and planning. The more of that you do, the better your trip will be.

Posted by
2487 posts

Some basic tips:
1. The Netherlands is much more than Amsterdam (overcrowded and expensive anyway), Haarlem and Delft. Almost no overseas visitors go to the eastern parts, with wonderful smaller cities like Deventer or Zutphen (read this enthousiastic report), while only some 1,5 hrs from Schiphol airport.
2. The public transport is excellent. (I still haven't encountered a railway station, even the smallest one, which isn't served at least twice an hour.) Look at this real-time planner for everything which is on offer. The OV Chipkaart is the nationwide payment method.
3. Get a decent guide book, which covers the whole country and not only the usual suspects. The Michelin website is also good.