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Where to stay in Amsterdam or Haarlem

I am flying in a day early for my Rick Steves tour.

Should I stay in Amsterdam that night or Haarlem where the tour starts the next day?

I need someplace that's relatively safe as I'm a female traveling alone.

What place is good in each spot? I would like a reasonably priced hotel meaning not over $150 USD a night.

Posted by
408 posts

I have stayed in both cities on my own but since the tour is starting in Haarlem, I would choose there. I stayed at the Amadeus Hotel last summer. It is right on the market square and close to everything. Very nice people who manage it. I just checked the price and a single was €62.

Enjoy your tour. I just returned from the Spain/Morocco one and had a wonderful time.

Posted by
408 posts

Forgot to mention that the bus #300 from the airport stops quite close also. It is very easy to use and inexpensive.

Posted by
21865 posts

I second Amadeus. We were there last Fall. The bus stop is about five or six south of the hotel or you can go all the way to the end of the line which is the train station and walk south for about ten minutes. Hotel is on the south west corner of the plaza. The entry door is just a door between two restaurants so it is a little hard to see between the outdoor seating for the restaurants. But you will never have a more scenic view for breakfast.

Posted by
44 posts

Thanks for the responses.. I will check it out.

I think you all have helped me to choose Haarlem over amsterdam!

Posted by
6031 posts

I would also recommend the Ambassador City Center Hotel, also near the main square and nice for the price. I have stayed at Hotel Amadeus, concurring that they would be good as well. We also stayed at Hotel Carillon, also right on the square, acceptable, maybe a choice behind the other two.

As for safety, Haarlem is about as safe as you get, as long as you watch out for bicycles.

Posted by
6031 posts

I guess to go along with James comment, I agree with the assessment, but the clincher for me was that the tour starts there and travelling alone, the boredom of Haarlem might be nice, with Amsterdam a 30 minute journey away from your hotel.

Amsterdam is certainly a great city to stay in, for Jodee's circumstance, I would not recommend one of the more central hotels, great if you want an active nightlife, not so great for the jetlagged. There are many nice small hotels in the surrounding canal belts, a definite possibility, maybe a little harder to navigate to, but easily within her price range.

Posted by
313 posts

I also stayed at the Hotel Amadeus and would recommend it. I liked Haarlem because it was much quieter than Amsterdam. If you arrive early enough be sure to see the Corrie Ten Boom home although it may be listed on your tour. Also, check your book for the recommended Indonesian restaurant. I've lost that page in my book but it's just a short walk off the square and is absolutely wonderful. Just ask for the serving for one. As you walk from the train station, just over the bridge on the left is a little restaurant that serves pannenkoeken. I had one with ham and cheese that was unbelievable. Have a great time!

Posted by
27 posts

We also stayed at Amadeus a few years ago. It was fine. I recall we circled the town square looking for the place. It is hard to find....but it is just across the square from the McDonald's. We recommend the ten Boom museum also. Check the church. We enjoyed a musical program just by chance.

Posted by
44 posts

Thanks everyone.. I did end up booking the Amadeus. I like that I can cancel it anytime up to 48 hours before with a full refund. That way if I change my mind before next month I have the option to do it.

Biggest thing for me is safety. I think I will be touring around amsterdam for the day. I land at 8:30 a.m. in the morning so I have a whole day and a half before the tour starts!

Posted by
1449 posts

For convenience I'd stay in Haarlem, since that's where the tour starts. You can call Rick Steves tour dept and ask what hotel they are using; sometimes the hotel will give you a discount rate if you are arriving a day or 2 early, and if you stay there then you save one time of packing everything up to move to another hotel.

Note that the day the tour "begins" usually means meeting late in that afternoon for introductions and then a group dinner (at least it did for my tour). Point being that you'll have most of that day free for sightseeing too. I would suggest looking at the itinerary (or calling the RS tour dept) so that you can plan a few things to do that won't duplicate what you're doing on the tour. Which tour are you taking, BTW? I did the 21-day tour a few years back and it was great!

Posted by
2788 posts

I second everything Mike from LA says. I did exactly what he suggests. I take a RS tour every summer and always find out what hotel the tour starts in so that I can book a room in that hotel. I make sure that I ask the hotel for a room that I can stay in when the tour begins so that I do not have to move. In May we booked an "upscale" "sea-view" room in the tour hotel in Istanbul for several nights prior to the beginning of the tour and they we so kind to let us stay in that more expensive room when the tour starts. RS does provide good rooms but not the most expensive ones in the hotels. The first RS tour I took some 10 years ago was his 21-day Best of Europe one. It is still one of my favorites. You will be fine traveling as a single woman on a RS tour. I have seen ones on probably half of the 9 RS tours we have taken. Happy travels