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13 hour layover in Amsterdam - what to do?

raley

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The title of the thread pretty much says it all. I'm flying from Houston-Amsterdam-Cairo on Dec. 19. I will get into Amsterdam at 8:00 AM on the 20th and my flight to Cairo leaves at 9 PM. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do/check out, or if it is even feasible to do so with such a limited amount of time?
 

maverick

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Definitely. The train leaves very often and takes only about 20 minutes (if I remember correctly). Centraal Station is right in Amsterdam and you can walk pretty much anywhere in the city.
 

EL72

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Leave your bags in the airport. Take the train into the city. If you've never been to Amsterdam, the touristy boat tours are a good way to see the city. If you have, go straight to a bicycle rental place and get one; it's the best way to get around Amsterdam. Bike to the nearest coffee shop and get a nice buzz then go hang out in the vundelpark (?) or go to the van gogh museum nearby, which is very nice. Otherwise, the Anne Frank house is an interesting tour if you feel like it. You'll surely be hungry by now so go have a nice sandwich with fries and a couple of Carlsberg. You probably now have just enough time to hit the red light district before you need to return the bike and get back to the schiphol. Enjoy!
 

whodini

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13 hours will leave you with plenty of time. The Van Gogh and Anne Frank house museums are both good suggestions. Coffeeshop is as well if you're into that. I'd also highly recommend taking a tour of the Heineken brewery.

Personally, I enjoy just walking around the city or people watch along the canals. I try to find a new random, out-of-the-way pub each time I'm there and when they find I'm a foreigner, I'm practically treated as family.
 

chorse123

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You are in an enviable position. Amsterdam is lovely and Schipol is easy.

The Anne Frank museum is worth visiting, but may not be best if you are in a rush. It is usually crowded with a long line snaking around the corner. Perhaps that won't be the case given the date.

Van Gogh museum is pleasant and has some great paintings.

I would come up with one or two things you want to do and just walk the rest of the time. It is a delightful city for walking, and you have plenty of time.
 

edmorel

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Originally Posted by EL72
Bike to the nearest coffee shop and get a nice buzz... a couple of Carlsberg...... You probably now have just enough time to hit the red light district

Why does a good time for you guys always have to involve beer, women and smoking? I would play Scrabble at the airport for 13 hours because I am morally superior to all of you. I don't understand bachelor parties, drinking or beautiful women. Why do you guys need any of that
 

Thomas

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...at first blush I expected all the answers to read: shop for clothes!

Then again, this is Amsterdam, by all means get out there and see the city! Have a blast and sleep on the plane.
 

VMan

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Be wary of hitting a coffee shop, then shopping for clothes after. You may end up purchasing more than you intended to.

On the other hand, you might wind up with some interesting patterns and combinations you wouldn't have otherwise thought of pairing together.
 

maverick

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I forgot to mention that Schipol has these great lockers that make it very easy to store your bags.
 

globetrotter

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wow - 13 hours in amsterdam, you can eat junk food, get stoned and laid in that time, all for under $100.

leave your bags, get on a train to the central station. take a taxi to the Riksmuseum, see the vermeers and the rebrants, don't try to see anything else, it will just overload you. go to a coffee shop and get a loose joint and smoke it. then go here for lunch:

Riaz
Bilderdijkstraat 193 (683 6453). Tram 3, 7, 12, 17.
Open noon-9pm Mon-Fri; 2-9pm Sun.
Main courses €5-€14.
No credit cards.

Amsterdam's finest Surinamese restaurant is where Ruud Gullit scores his rotis when he's in town. The Indian edge to the menu sees the inclusion of some curries. There's a takeaway service, too.

then hit the van goh museum. swing by the red light district for some site seeing. take the train back.

if you have the munchies, go to one of the chain of FEBO, an automat that has little fried croquettes. very nice, if a little greasy. the suranamise food and the croquettes are the way to go - you won't find that anywehre else.

have fun.
 

VKK3450

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Be wary of trying the Anne Frank house and Heineken Experience. Both generally have absurd lines. (And the Heine Experience sucks since they redid it).

13 hours really means about 8 or 9 since you have travel time and need to be at the airport a few hours early.

You can try the Van Gogh if you can get there early and avoid the lines.

Rijks has been under renovations, so I am not sure what exhibits are open and what is closed. Maybe best to check first.

A boat is a good idea. Typical tourist thing, but it really does give you an idea of the atmosphere and scenery of the city. Plus its a great view of the architecture and they will give you a synopsis of the history of the city. there is one ("canal bus" I believe) that will let you get on and off at different attractions throughout the city. This allows you to have a bit of a wander around some of the areas (try Leidseplein and Rembrandplien)

Have some lunch in the Jordaan. Its a neighborhood just west of the station and has many small picturesque cafes where you can get a meal and a few beers while sitting beside a canal. Try Bitterallen. Its a Dutch snack that is meaty and fried. I wont tell you more. Just try it.

Shopping is pointless. Most things are not what we would be looking for, and prices are not worth it.

There are various markets around the city depending on the day, but this may be a time consuming thing.

Find an old dutch bar (there are a couple off the tram stop "Spui"). Old and smokey with great atmosphere. Have a couple of beers and chat with the barman. Sample the Jenever (Dutch Gin), both old and young varieties. Have some cheese. I like the Oude Kaas. It is sharper than the Jonge Kaas

Last, have a wander around the Red Light District. If you like, have a smoke. Just remember that the stuff is potent and you have to find your way back to the airport.

While the museums are good to see, better is to get a feel for the city. Check out the architecture and canals, watch the people riding around on bikes and get the feel of the place. Its not a big city, so you can see alot in a day. Save the museums and Anne Frank for when you have more time.

Have a good time, and let me know if you have any specific questions. I lived in the city for 5 years, and loved it.

Proost Jonges!!!

K
 

VKK3450

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It was done years ago, so you would have gone to the new one.

I really just prefer the old one, which was more of the old method of brewing, the history, etc... It used to be a couple of guilders, and everything went to charity. Now its the "experience" and supposed to be interactive with that silly cart ride thing and a modern (as in un-dutch) bar, and more expensive.

The lines can be hit or miss. I lived around the corner until September, and when I rode by, you could see heavy lines quite frequently. I just think that if you have 8 or 9 hours, your time is best served seeing the actual city...

K
 

Get Smart

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find Club Vandersexxx.....i hear they even give you a free tshirt

and the head mistress looks a lot like Xena Warrior Princess
 

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