Amsterdam Things to Do Tips by Pijlmans
Amsterdam Things to Do: 3,379 reviews and 5,294 photos
You can download an English spoken podcast from the site of the Amsterdam Public Transport Company, GVB: http://www.gvb.nl/.
The podcast for tram 4 made is by the British comedian Adam Fields: Enjoy the route between Amsterdam Central Station and the RAI (congress center).
Podcasts for tram 5 are made to start at Central Station (and guides you to the ticket office first) or starting directly inside tram 5 itself.
The podcasts are part of a campaign to promote 24, 48, 72 and 96 hour public transport tickets.
Podcast in Amsterdam...shouldn't that be written "potcast" ???
At the moment (2012) the podcast are (temporarily?) removed from the GVB website due to an upgrade of the website. If you send me a message I can send them to you!
If you would like to visit Amsterdam during your layover at Schiphol Airport, this is already possible (but touch and go) if you have about 3-4 hours to spare. Make sure you know if you need to check in again for your next flight, and realize that you'll have to go through customs and security check on your way back in.
Website of Schiphol Airport: http://www.schiphol.nl/. Here you can also find information about luggage lockers.
Trains go every 15 minutes from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station, the trip itself takes 15-20 minutes. So, reserve about 1 h in total for traveling to Amsterdam and back to the airport. The train station is inside the airport. Train schedules: http://www.ns.nl/
Depending on the time you have, you can visit some museums, Dam Square with the Palace and the National Monument, stroll around the city etc etc.
If you only have limited time, you can see the city from the canals by taking a 1 h canal cruise. The cruise boats are located right in front of Central Station: http://www.lovers.nl/. Or take the hassle-free (but expensive) Floating Dutchman Tour with an amphibious bus directly from Schiphol airport if you have 5 hours or more to spare: Floating Dutchman.
This company offers (pricy) tours, e.g. Amsterdam in 2.5 or 3.5 hours: http://www.hollandtoursschiphol.nl/.
The following websites have useful information on Schiphol Airport layovers:
Destinations outside of Amsterdam:
You can visit the CoBrA Museum for Modern Art in Amstelveen, that was awarded "Best Museum 2008" by a Dutch Newspaper. Just take bus 300 direction Amsterdam in front of the airport, it is only 15 minutes to the bus station in Amstelveen, which is next to the museum. Amstelveen also has a very big and well sorted shopping center.
Visit the cities Haarlem (30 minutes by train) or Leiden (20 minutes by train).
During the months March-May you could visit the famous Keukenhof, the flowershow with millions of bulbs in flower: http://www.keukenhof.nl/. A direct bus is going from Schiphol Airport to the Keukenhof (30-45 minutes). Get your tickets already at the airport to avoid lines at the Keukenhof. See the website for more details.
If you want to see the famous Dutch windmills, you can go to the Zaanse Schans. By train/bus it takes about 1 h to 1.15 h to get there. You can e.g. take the train to Amsterdam Central Station and subsequently bus 91 to Zaandam. More information: http://www.zaanseschans.nl/ and http://www.zaanseschansmuseum.nl/.
Go birdwatching: http://www.birdsnetherlands.nl/schipholairport.htm.
If your layover time is too short, Schiphol Airport has several options itself: A lot of shops, a free museum, bars, a casino etc, see here: http://www.schiphol.nl/AtSchiphol/AirportFacilities.htm and here: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/ShopRelax.htm.
You can book a hotel room/cabin for a minimum of 4 hours (35 euro) inside the transit area of Schiphol airport: http://www.yotel.com/. More hotels here: http://www.schiphol.nl/Travellers/AtSchiphol/AirportFacilities/HotelsAtSchiphol.htm.
Start at the National Monument
Too good to be true? No, this is for real...
Two times a day (11.15h and 13.15h), a FREE 3 HOUR GUIDED WALKING TOUR starts from the National Monument at Dam Square.
EVERY DAY except Queens Day, in every kind of weather. Tours are in English or Spanish.
Enthusiastic young guides will take you through the center of Amsterdam for three hours. Our guide did not only tell us the facts, but also threw in a good dose of humor. As a local I really liked the tour, and so did all the tourists in our group.
Of course, you are expected to give the guide a GOOD TIP if you liked the tour...The smart thing about this concept is that the guides really do their best to give you a good tour, because the better they are, the better their tip will be (in contrast to tours where you pay first and the guides can be as boring as they want).
Besides the free tour, they also offer a Red Light District tour and a Biking tour, for which you do have to pay.
See the website for most up-to-date information.
Address: Dam Square, Amsterdam
Directions: At the National Monument
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been asked several times in the Amsterdam Forum what there is to do for kids in and around Amsterdam. Many of the answers are summarized below, with credits to everybody active in the forum:
In and around Amsterdam:
Science museum Nemo
The Tropenmuseum has special activities for kids:
Artis, the zoo of Amsterdam
Café Groot Melkhuis with playground in the famous Vondelpark:
Amsterdam Forest with playgrounds, pools, goatfarm, pancake house etc
Climbing in living trees in Fun Forest in the Amsterdam Forest
Amstelpark near RAI Station with playgrounds, train, midget golf etc
Indoor playground (ages 1-12)
Animal farms for kids
Near the village Ouderkerk aan de Amstel: http://www.elsenhove.nl/
Amsterdam SouthEast: http://www.kinderboerderijbrinkie.nl/
Reproduction of the VOC ship Eastindiaman Amsterdam
Amsterdam Dungeon for kids older than 10 years
Pancake Boat: Cruise and unlimited pancakes
Puppet theaters (check if appropriate for non-Dutch kids)
A day at the beach in for instance Zandvoort or Scheveningen . Also see http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/aroundamsterdam/regional-parks-and-beaches
Big outdoor playground about 45 minutes from Amsterdam:
The Netherlands in miniature (The Hague)
Natural History Museum (Leiden)
Dick Bruna Museum, the creator of Nijntje (Miffy) (Utrecht)
Bataviawerf and Nieuw Land (New Land) Museum (Lelystad)
Reconstruction of two Dutch United East Indies Company (VOC) ships, one of the ships is finished and can be visited: http://www.bataviawerf.nl/. The Nieuw Land Museum is next door and has a big area where kids can play and explore: http://www.nieuwlanderfgoed.nl/. Combination tickets are available.
There are too many to list, google “attractiepark”
See for instance http://www.efteling.com/ , http://www.duinrell.nl/, http://www.sprookjesbos.nl/ (Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands)
Often it pays off to look up...
See here, in the Jordaan area, hanging gardens at the balconies!
Designed by architect Cees Nagelkerke.
In the surroundings of Amsterdam, you can escape the city for a moment and enjoy the suburbian nature.
Marked walks from the Dutch Touring Club ANWB in the nature around Amsterdam:
The Demmerikroute near Vinkeveen is about 20 km from Amsterdam: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1ca004/
Additionally, there are marked hikes in the Amsterdam Forest: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/19afe9/
The Goudriaan route, a walk near the village Durgerdam along the IJmeer lake, just north of Amsterdam: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1e60a5/
On my page about the Netherlands, there is more information about hikes in the Netherlands, please see the link below:
Canal in Alkmaar
The city Alkmaar is about 40 minutes by train from Amsterdam.
It is famous for its weekly cheese market, held on Fridays from April to September.
Alkmaar has a rich history, many old houses, churches, museums, canals and even a windmill.
It is also the second city in the Netherlands for shopping.
Follow the link to my Alkmaar page for more information...
Fun Forest Amsterdam
In the Amsterdamse Bos (forest of Amsterdam), there is a climbing park with different courses in living trees.
See the website for more information!
Address: Bosbaanweg 3, Amstelveen
Directions: See the website or use http://journeyplanner.9292.nl/ for public transport
Other Contact: email@example.com
A man-made forest (1928) situated close to Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Aalsmeer. A good place to relax and enjoy nature, with excellent facilities for families with children.
Some things to do:
- Marked walking routes ranging from 4-7 km.
- Jogging routes of 5 km, 10 km and 21 km.
- 14 km long route for bikes. Bikes can be hired at the main entrance on the Van Nijenrodeweg (+31 20 644 54 73, http://www.bikerentalamsterdam.nl).
- Goat farm (great for the kids, see http://www.geitenboerderij.nl/).
- Open air theather (± july-august, see http://www.bostheater.nl/).
- Two pools for kids and several playgrounds.
- Climbing in living trees in Fun Forest in the Amsterdam Forest, see http://www.funforest.nl/
- Canoes and pedal boats can be hired at the "Grote Vijver", the big pond
(+31 20 645 78 31, http://www.kanoverhuur-adam.nl/, make sure you have ID with you as deposit).
- A pancake house, Boerderij Meerzicht
(+31 20 679 27 44, http://www.boerderijmeerzicht.nl/).
- A ferryboat that will take you close to the pancake house or to the beaches on the other site of the lake the Nieuwe Meer (http://www.rederij-oeverloos.nl/).
- Visitors’ centre close to the main entrance at the Bosbaan (rowing course)
Open: Tuesday - Saturday from 12.00 to 17.00, Sundays from 10.00 to 17.00
(+31 20 545 61 00).
- Camping (http://www.campingamsterdamsebos.nl/).
An interactive map can be found here:
http://www.amsterdamsebos.amsterdam.nl/algemene_onderdelen/plattegrond. You can also download the map by following the link to the PDF called Plattegrond Amsterdamse Bos.
Address: Bosbaanweg 5
Directions: Busses of the GVB and Connexxion stop on the Amstelveenseweg, the Amsterdamseweg and Bosrandweg. For information phone 0900-9292 or have a look at the website of the Amsterdamse bos (Mainly in Dutch but with an English section).
The Vrolik Museum is a collection of medical anomalies, founded by professor Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and his son professor Willem Vrolik (1801-1863).
The collection comprises body parts, fetuses and skeletons and shows various aspects of human and animal anatomy, embryology, pathology and congenital anomalies.
Very interesting for those interested in (medical) science.
However, the exhibition is pretty much in your face and probably not suitable for small children or weak of heart since it displays some gruesome anomalies.
This small museum is located in the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and free of charge. Open on Monday-Friday from 09.30-17.00. Tours for maximal 15 persons can be arranged by appointment.
A visit to the museum could be combined with a 3 hour walk through the surrounding nature. This hike passes Station Holendrecht. For more information, see http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tp/1bca23/.
Address: Meibergdreef 15, Amsterdam
Directions: Academic Medical Center (AMC)
Station Holendrecht, Metro 50 and 54 and train.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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