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Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

ellisiln
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Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

Hello to all. I am planning my first trip to Amsterdam with my significant other and would like some MUCH NEEDED ADVICE from experienced AMS travelers/residents.

1. Which time periods would be the cheapest to travel 3/25 through 3/30 or 4/16 through 4/22? Would rather travel when rates are cheap and less tourists around.

2. Does anyone have any experience with Iceland Air? I researched priceline.com for airfare but found booking with icelaindair.com directly is significantly cheaper. Some as little as $548 total between JFK and AMS (is this cheap?). I'm also wondering if there are seperate fees aside from what's advertised?

3. Can anyone recommend a cannabis friendly legit apartment rental site? HOSTELS ARE A NO NO. I have a 110 euro a night budget TOTAL (5 days=550 euros for both of us). I would like a centrally located apartment preferrably in either De Dam, Jordaan, or Grachtengordel West but Grachtengordel Oost, De Pijp, Museumkwartier or Vondelpark are ok as long as there's easy acess to the tram.

I don't expect a 5 star experience at such a low rate but would like a clean, safe, studio or 1 BR which would include a bathroom (with sink , toilet, and shower), a kitchen (want to cook sometimes), heat, and located close to tram and supermarket.

I am confused by TA's contradictory posts regarding several sites (amsterdamstay.com, stayamsterdam.com, vrbo.com, citymundo.com, amsterdamapartments.com, simplyamsterdam-apartments.nl) Have heard RAVES about amsterdamescape.com but it's just waaay over my budget.

Those with actual experience rather than hearsay would be great :)

4. Also what questions should I be asking when renting these apartments so that I'm not "jipped" out of my money?

5. What are the TRAM's operating hours?

6. Is using my ATM card really the cheapest way to exchange money from US dollars to euros?

Sorry I'm asking so many questions. Any advice would be GRANDLY appreciated. I have researched the forums for answers to some of these questions but end up more confused than clear.

Thanks a bunch guys!

Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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5,867 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

hi , well No 5 !! Trams run approx 6am -12mn last journey , night bus on most routes thereafter , see www.gvb.nl , click on English , for full details ....... geoff

ellisiln
14 posts
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2. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

GEOFF.. thanks for your prompt response regarding TRAM!

Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
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3. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

Your dates are so close I cant see that it will make a huge difference , cost wise. Both fall within the flower season but if anything the first date may be marginally cheaper ....geoff

ellisiln
14 posts
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4. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

GEOFF - thanks once again! I see you have lost of experience regarding AMS.

Brewster, New York
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5. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

We've flown from JFK (New York) to Amsterdam on several occasions using Iceland Air. No complaints whatsoever! Will continue to use them because their fares are usually the best!

ellisiln
14 posts
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6. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

thanks sasha!! not so weary anymore. can't wait!

Jacksonville...
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7. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

To answer #6, yes ATMs are the easiest and cheapest way to get euros while in Amsterdam. There are ATM's all over.

Pay attention though. Every so often, you will find one that charges an upfront service charge. Just walk further and you run into an AMRO or other version that has no additional fee.

I like to have a 100€ or so when I arrive, so I usually buy some from Wells Fargo before leaving. With the current exchange rate, they would deliver 200€ for $213.98.

Maryland
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8. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

I agree your dates are too close for there to be much difference. Unless there is a big convention, Easter, something unique happening in town.

I have never flown Icelandic myself. But I have heard good thing about them.

But that price they quoted? Unless it states outright that all taxes are included then you can bet that taxes are not included. Figure $150 to nearly or over $200 in various taxes. Taxes seem to be a bigger deal than what I remember 15 years ago.

I'd go to www.sidestep.com and run your dates. They will search a number of sites and most airlines and give you a range of prices and flights for your dates. I believe that there prices all include taxes.

rhode island
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9. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

Regarding apartments, I have used stayamsterdam.com before and their apartments are just as advertised. Clean, well situated..all mod con's etc. I was not thrilled that I was charged 20euro extra to be met at the apartment by a rep. otherwise I would have to have had gone to the rental office located in the south of the city when my apartment was near central station. For the price that I was paying for the apartment, I thought that seemed a bit greedy.

I have recently booked an apartment for Queensday through citymundo because I have heard many good things about them. They have some properties that are right in your price range too! No extra costs to be met right at the apartment either.

Goodluck!

Alpha Centauri
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10. Re: Legit Apartment Rental Companies? IcelandAir Experiences?

Hello There, I have used www.stayamsterdam.com several times last year for different apartments, each time, no complaints. The photos were accurate, very clean, comfortable king bed, no $$ hassles, (pre-arrange to pay the deposit AND balance with VISA online) I rented the Berenstraat Studio for 86 Euros per nite and I recommend you search for an apt. with a balcony for smoking as many apts are non-smoking inside and many do have balconies. Your Bank/ATM/VISA cards get better (bulk) exchange rates; Bank/ATMs are just outside customs at Schiphol, and VISA charges $10+ for each cash advance, so only do that as a back-up for cash, and pay for as much as possible with the VISA card. Use cash exchanges as a last resort, especially at the airport. Enjoy! --Sandy