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“Nice Feeling in the City Of Windmills”

Amsterdam City Tours-Day tours
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US$259.62*
and up
Private Transit Tour: Amsterdam City Tour with Luxury Vehicle
Ranked #72 of 371 Tours in Amsterdam
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Book walking, bike and bus tours in and around Amsterdam ! We offer a wide range of sightseeing tours and excursions in Holland.
kuala lumpur
Level Contributor
534 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
“Nice Feeling in the City Of Windmills”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Several years ago, we crossed over to Amsterdam from Germany & it was a wonderful feeling as we went sight seeing through the windmills, taking a boat ride on the canals, reading about the boy who saved the country by putting his hand into a leaked dyke as Amsterdam city is below sea level & going to the jewellery shops.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank carsam c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Amsterdam”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Amsterdam

As the Boeing settles into its glide path, the patchwork quilt of colour that is tulips from Amsterdam melts into the Impressionist haze over Schipol airport. A hundred years ago a sea battle was fought here on the reclaimed land that is now Amsterdam’s airport. Ten minutes takes you to the city centre by taxi and costs about thirty Euro. A little longer, but a lot cheaper by train, about three Euro. Trains run seven times an hour during the day and hourly through the night. If you arrive in the city without having booked anywhere to stay, the Tourist Office in Dam Square will be most helpful in finding you somewhere.
This is a city vibrant with its cosmopolitan population and it’s worthwhile to take a few minutes out just to listen to the languages. One of the advantages of staying in Amsterdam is that while it has all the advantages that are usually associated with a large city, it is surprisingly small, very beautiful and relatively quiet. Probably because of the absence of traffic in areas with so many canals.
Dutch hotels are excellent especially as the staff speak such good English. In fact virtually everyone in Holland speaks English and in many cases better than we do.
If quiet is wanted, then the Apollo First Hotel in Apollolaan, some fifteen minutes out from the centre of the city is perfect. Quiet subdued black marble décor, no piped music and a breakfast room to cater for everyone. And their coffee. So good that two pots were asked for - and got. With no caffeine headache to follow.
Outside in the middle of the very wide avenue is a huge grassed area with several curious statues. Definitely to be looked at as the tram is waited for.
Narrow trams. Crowded. And with the inevitable pickpockets.
Women, carry handbags inside coats. Men, leave an empty wallet sticking out of a hip pocket. It’s a good distraction!
This city lends itself to walking but beware! Cycling is one of the traditional ways of getting around Amsterdam and there are cycle lanes marked out in red. Cyclists show no mercy to errant pedestrians. They also ignore traffic lights! And if you decide to hire a bike yourself to see around the city, take care when crossing the tramlines. Don’t cross at a shallow angle as the wheels can get stuck in the track!
Not a city for the easily offended. The red light district is a tourist attraction in itself and because of the numbers of people wandering around it is very safe. And the girls in the windows? Worth seeing but don’t try taking any photos of them! As we were walking round, one very lovely mixed-race girl who was sitting in a window with an unlit cigarette in her hand and wearing very little else, beckoned to me. I smiled at her but shook my head. She in return shook her head and held up her cigarette and pointed over my shoulder. Her friend across the alley in another window similarly attired held up a cigarette lighter.
Ah!
The penny, (Euro nee Guilder), dropped. I passed the lighter between the two and back again to the bemused glances of a party of American tourists passing by. Did this entitle me to special privileges? Not a chance! I was dragged on by herself to a more sedate area devoid of such carnal pleasures of the flesh.
If ever there was a cosmopolitan society, then this is it. And as for being well-educated, the average Dutch person speaks five languages. Not only that, but they read books in English for pleasure. One shopkeeper was able to distinguish that my accent was from the North of Ireland and not the South!
And of course there is the Van Gogh museum. Well worth the visit even if you’re not necessarily an art lover. Just enjoy the atmosphere of the museum and the simplicity of the paintings. And think about that poor demented soul whose mind endured torment to produce these masterpieces. Or the Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt’s “Nightwatch”. And those fascinating Dutch interiors by Vermeer and Van Hals.
It’s worth taking the train out of the city if you want a break away from it. Haarlem is a great place to visit. This little town is about half an hour away from Amsterdam and the Dutch trains are clean and punctual. It’s easy to operate the automated ticket system after studying it for a while, but if there is a problem, there are kiosks where an actual person will be able to help.
And of course there are the canals. Quiet and subdued. Take a trip along these gentle waterways and enjoy the fairy-tale atmosphere of the quaint houses with their narrow frontages. Hooks high up above the top storey testify to the time when payment of rates of houses was based on the size of their frontages. These were kept as narrow as possible, hence stairs were unable to accommodate furniture which had then to be taken up by hoist.
Obligatory is a visit to Ann Frank’s house, the wartime hiding place of the young Jewish girl and her family. Although caught by the Nazis, her story has become famous through her diaries. A very subduing experience.
This little city has many “hofjes” or courtyards hidden away between houses. Try the Begijnhof, an oasis of calm close to the bustling heart of the city. It’s on the Spui. A doorway in a terrace of houses leads you into this idyll where there is a lovely English Church dating back to 1400. Here too is the oldest house in Amsterdam, one of the few surviving wooden ones.
One of the publicity slogans that the city has is that while Rome has more sunshine, Amsterdam has more cafes. And it’s true. There are more than a thousand restaurants in Amsterdam. When the Dutch go out to eat they rarely eat Dutch food which is like much of that from the hinterland of Europe based on root vegetables and geared towards high calories to combat the fierce winter winds from the North. But excellent in its variety and treatment. Avoid the inevitable tourist menus around Dam Square and look elsewhere for somewhere a bit different.
Check that your choice of restaurant takes credit cards if that is what you’re paying with as there are many which still don’t take this form of payment. If you’re after a bit of dining in grand turn-of-the-century style then try 1e Klas, (First Class) which is in the former 1st Class waiting room at Central Station. Or for something unusual, The Sea Palace, a very large floating Chinese temple.
One of the nice things about this city is that it doesn’t matter where you sit in a bar or restaurant, the price is the same. By the way the Dutch eat early and a lot of restaurants will have stopped serving food after nine.
Incidentally it is legal to drink wine and beer from the age of sixteen in Holland. And Holland is a paradise for beer drinkers with such a huge variety available, both local and imported.
Back in the 1600s Catholics and Protestants discovered that they were living side by side and strangely enough for the time hadn’t slaughtered each other. As it seemed to work reasonably well they invented a concept called “tolerance.” This has percolated down the years to modern times so that nowadays the Dutch don’t care whether you’re gay or put mayonnaise on your chips.
This is a delightful city to browse around and watch the people. Everyone is so relaxed, and not just due to the effects of strange substances. Amsterdam has a policy of tolerating the sale and use of soft drugs. These activities are centred around the euphemistically called “Coffeeshops”. Easy to recognise if you’re trying to avoid them as they are usually dark, have a characteristic smell and have words such as free, high, happy, dreams etc. in their titles.
If you’re looking for the tourist offices here, they’re signed by VVV. The main one is in Damrak near Thos. Cook.
This is a great city for a short break with lots to do, or not as you wish, really nice people and not too far away. On the way home it’s worth shopping at Schipol Airport for presents, something normally to be avoided at most airports. This airport has been voted the best airport in the world several times and not without reason with its variety of shops.
Bring back stone bottles of Dutch Gin, (Jenever). Or Dutch chocolate. But best of all, Dutch cheese. Except that the smell of Edam in your hand luggage on the plane...

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
11 Thank james_m186470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Marken, Volendam and Windmill tour”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

I booked the Marken, Volendam and Windmill tour (5 hours) departing at 12:15pm. Make sure you get there early because by 12pm, we were already on the bus and departing. This is a reliable company. I booked on their website and then the meeting point was Damrak 26, Amsterdam. I had to exchange my ticket for a boarding pass and then wait for the tour to depart. Make sure you get there at least 30 minutes before hand. The price for this tour is the same as all the other tour companies, but I got a discount from their website as they had an "early bird" booking special. This is a very popular tour and there are always lots of people on the bus. It's a nice tour of Amsterdam where you can see the windmills, clogs and cheese. There are tour in English and other languages. Note that because of the large group (buses are pretty much full), unless you are at the front when walking, you will find it hard to hear what the tour guide is saying. They don't use a microphone when walking around on tour.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank 2014wtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KualaLumpur
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Day Tour to Fisherman Village”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Me and my wife decided to take the day trip to the fisherman's village...trust me it was worth the visit..you could buy the tickets at the tour counters all around town.Euro 20+ per person.The bus will depart from Central Station.First stop was at a village outside the town about 20 min ride.
The tour agent brought us to a small village to see the locals houses and the clog factory.there was a demo to show how the famous clogs were made. Then off for a 30 min ferry ride across the channel to the Fisherman's Village.We had lunch and visited a cheese factory and off to see the Windmills.Awesome day

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Rozaidi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripon, WI
Level Contributor
158 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Delft and The Hague Tour”
Reviewed 7 May 2014

This is a 5 1/2 hour tour offered by several tour companies. The tour includes a visit to a porcelain factory (and outlet) in Delft with an hour free time afterwards and a tour of major governmental sites in the Hague. The advantage of the tour is the convenience of visiting these cities without having to worry about transportation and parking, access to the porcelain factory, and the explanations offered by the guides. The problem is crowds. There were several tour buses at the Delft factory and the place swarmed with tour groups.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank BillW611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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