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Best of Europe 21 starting Sept. 25

Looking forward to traveling once again. Anyone else going on the BofE21 tour starting the 25th of September in Haarlem? Arriving a few days early and wonder what others will be doing until the tour starts. Thanks

Posted by
4 posts

We will be on this as well! It will be our first Rick Steves tour and we’re very excited! Planning on spending a few days in Delft prior.

Posted by
2054 posts

We did this several years ago. Book an English speaking tour of Corrie Ten Boom’s house. Take the train to Amsterdam and visit a museum not included in your tour.

Posted by
2460 posts

Visit the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam, an excellent and well-organized museum. Does your tour see the Anne Frank House, the Rijks Museum and/or Van Gogh Museum, all highlights of Amsterdam!
I haven’t taken this tour but I’ve read rave reviews on the forum!

Posted by
4 posts

Great suggestions, thank you! We bought tickets for Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum. The Rijksmuseum sounds enticing for sure. I wish we had even more time to absorb it all.

Posted by
226 posts

We did this several years ago. Visited the Van Gough Museum and the Resistance Museum. Both great. We took the train to The Hague to the Mauritshuis museum (lovely) then the tram to Delft. We were going to try a bike tour but timing did not work out. We went to the Carrie Ten Bom house and the art museum in Haarlem. It was spring and there was a big tulip exhibit at the art museum. One night we ate dinner in a brewpub located in an old church. One regret—we did not tour the church across from our RS hotel. Have a wonderful time.

Posted by
1162 posts

Please be advised that the Resistance museum is currently closed until the end of the year for major renovations. The Amsterdam museum is closed indefinitely, also because of renovations. The Hermitage museum is closed because of the war in Ukraine.

I’ve reported all this to RS months ago already, but they still haven’t updated the information on the website.

Posted by
7 posts

My husband and I are on the BOE 21 on Sept. 25 too! Arriving on Saturday (early) and planning to get acquainted with Amsterdam for a bit before we head to Haarlem. We booked Anne Frank House for Saturday. Also booked Van Gogh on Monday afternoon. I've been practice packing and I think I have our wardrobe pared down pretty well! I'm shooting for <20 pounds each in our carry-ons.
We are thinking about taking the train on Sunday morning to the beach town of Zandvoort that is mentioned in the RS Best of Europe book. It's ten minutes away and a chance to see the North Sea and have lunch. Join us if you like. Looking forward to meeting everyone.

Posted by
1162 posts

I understand that Zandvoort is recommended because it’s easily accessible from Haarlem and Amsterdam, but please be aware that Zandvoort is one of the least attractive beach towns in the Netherlands. And that’s me being kind :-)
To us locals, Zandvoort is a place with a very ugly beachfront, predominantly visited by tourists mostly from Germany.
I would recommend to not buy your train tickets until the day you plan to visit Zandvoort and you know with relative certainty what the weather will be like. The forecast for the next weeks shows some much needed rain (thank goodness!!!) and you definitely don’t want to visit Zandvoort on a rainy day. It will look even more depressing.
Trains in the Netherlands are mass transit. Trains can’t sell out because tickets aren’t tied to a specific train and there is free seating. So you can safely wait to see what the weather is like on that Sunday and decide what you want to do that day.

Posted by
47 posts

Rita - We also booked the Anne Frank house for Saturday afternoon. Not sure if we want to visit the coast after the information provided by a local. Does not sound attractive. We will most likely make it a spur of the moment decision on what to do Saturday late afternoon and evening. Look forward to meeting you ....

Posted by
372 posts

The RS book as a section on a daytrip to The Hague and Delft, including the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague with several Rembrandt paintings. We did that a few years ago and enjoyed it. Many towns such as Leiden are picturesque and easily reached by train. Another alternative would be a daytrip such as https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/going-dutch-on-a-day-trip-from-amsterdam or to just wander in Amsterdam as in https://blog.ricksteves.com/cameron/2018/06/40-hours-amsterdam/

Posted by
1162 posts

Please don’t get me wrong, the Dutch coast is beautiful. There are some very beautiful seaside towns along the coast. From Bergen aan Zee, Egmond aan Zee and Castricum in the north, to Bloemendaal, Noordwijk and Katwijk in the middle, to Renesse, Domburg, Veere in the south and many many more. Zandvoort just isn’t one of them.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for the information on the beach town. We will play that by ear! Maybe another trip into Amsterdam or just explore Haarlem on Sunday before we meet the rest of the group. I especially want to visit the flower market in Amsterdam, and I think that is a stop on Monday with the group. Looking forward to meeting you thommi01 and bellivo.