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My husband and I have a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam. Any suggestions on what we can do? We are not interested in "coffeeshopping". Thanks.

Posted by
9106 posts

Amsterdam is a very compact city, so you can do a lot in a small amount of time. A lot depends on your interests but it would be best to visit sites that are grouped together: Rijks/Van Gough Museum, Zoo/Resistance Museum/Hermitage/Jewish Museum/Botanical Garden/Tropical Museum, Anne Frank/Dam Square/Red Light District. My recommendation would be to do the latter, take the train to Centraal Station walk to Dam Square and visit the New Church which currently has an exhibit of art and artifacts from the National Museum of Afghanistan. Then walk to the Anne Frank House. After that either double back to Dam Square and take quick tour of the RLD or walk around the scenic residential streets around the Anne Frank. Also buy a copy of the "Top Ten Amsterdam" guidebook.

Posted by
12172 posts

A good choice is a canal tour. There are several boat tours available. They take maybe two hours plus travel into the city and back.

The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh are only okay. You are likely to see better museums elsewhere on your trip. Schipol Airport also has a museum display from the Rijks you can visit when you get back to the airport early.

The Anne Frank house would be good. The wait for entry may be either short or long so it's hard to plan that as an activity. You may end up spending most of your available time in line.

Another option is to rent bikes and go for a ride. Bike paths go everywhere and bikes have right of way in most cases. Be really careful about theft. The number of bikes stolen each year is higher than the population.

I'm not a fan of the city. I think it's dirty and vice-ridden, but I understand why people want to see it once.

Posted by
359 posts

Sarah, you can bypass the lineup at the Anne Frank museum by booking your entrance ticket through their website. Costs a few pennies extra and you'll have to narrow your arrival at the museum down to, I believe, within a specific hour; the website explains all. Plan the visit near the end of your 'rapido' Ams tour and should work. IMO, the Anne Frank is a must-see museum and my #1 in Ams. If you haven't already, read Anne's Diary, or other folks' books on the story -should be at your local library; maybe see if you can rent the black and white 'Anne Frank Story' at your video store. A bit dated but won academy award(s)& in fact one is on display at the museum having been donated by Shelley Winters who won it. Easy, pretty walk from the Centraal train station.