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Local advice on where I am planning to visit

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Local advice on where I am planning to visit

Hi fellow TA forumers, would be grateful for any feedback/tips to my trip next week. It started out as a business trip but the kids were tagged on last minute and now I am having a full-on panic attack because I am only starting to plan now for the R&R bit hahaha.

16 May (Wed) - Morning arrival. Staying at Casa Hotel. Unlikely to do much because I have got to settle the kids in and have planned meetings in the afternoon.

17 May (Thurs) - Tradeshow. Evening time = family time

18 May (Fri) - Half Day @ Tradeshow. Check-out to move to Meininger Amsterdam City West. From now on R&R time.

19 May (Sat) - Local market --> Park --> Some shopping around Dam Square

20 May (Sun) - Zaanse Schans --> Canal cruise

21 May (Mon) - Depart

We are a family of 2A + 2C (5yo + 8yo)

Questions:

1) On the nights of 16 & 17 May, any suggestions of where we can eat around Casa Hotel? Not looking for anything fanciful, just as long as its reasonable priced and tasted. Something you would eat on a weekday night. I tried to do a google view of Casa Hotel to get a sense of the neighbourhood but didn't see anything besides buildings.

2) Are there any reasonably tasty asian food outlets around Meininger Amsterdam City West?

3) Does the order of the programme make sense for 19 and 20 May? Those are places I want to go but I am not fixed on the sequence.

4) What local markets would you recommend? I am hoping to visit one that has fresh produce and maybe a few cooked food stalls.

5) I am torn between Amstelpark and Amsterdamese Bos. Both have petting zoo and playgrounds. Any fellow parents, please feel free to chip in your two cents.

6) For Zaanse Schans, when I did a google map search, it stated that I would need to walk 15mins to reach the windmills after I stepped out from the train station. Usually i trust everything Google Map tells me, but this trip I have a 5yo and 8yo with me and no prams. So I need to be realistic and ask the local experts' advice if the actual walking distance is really 15mins. Also, how long would someone typically take to spend there - check out a few windmills, visit the cheese and clog factory, and Verkade.

Thank you!

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22 replies to this topic
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

Hi there,

A few answers.

1) Walk towards Amstel or along Wibautstraat and you find enough eateries.

2) Sloterdijk itself is a 'concrete desert' but walk into De Ruijterweg area and you find plenty of local eateries including Chinese.

3) I'd do park at end as market and shopping are in same area.

4) Noordermarkt on Saturday

5) Bos, the petting zoo is much bigger than the one in Amstelpark,

6) It's really 15 mins, but there is also a direct bus from Centraal to ZS. Two hours is plenty for most tourists.

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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2. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

As far as I know the Amsterdamse bos has a goat farm somewhat similar to a petting zoo. There's no way though to get there by public transport, you'd need to take a taxi. Amstelpark you could take the metro and get off at RAI. The playground at the Amstelpark is good and there's a few other things you can do without having to walk very far.

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3. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

16 may do you need a whole day to settle in the kds. Why not take them out with the metro to central station and take a canal cruise for a first impression of amsterdam?

6. The difference is that with the train and 15 minutes walk you will cross a bridge where the wind mills are lined up. Very popular spot with the tourists.

The bus at the other hand will just drop you off at the entrance of ZS

Amsterdam, The...
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4. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

The Casa has it's own restaurant https://hotelcasa.nl/east57/ so maybe consider just eating there for convenience. Otherwise just take a wall to the Wesperzijd on the river Amstel and there's restaurants along there. Wesper http://weesper.amsterdam is supposed to be nice. Location is pretty and they have outside seating. Otherwise there is a Portuguese place just down from there and Cafe Hesp. Both have outside seating right by the water (if you can get a seat that is. Might be a bit too chilly to sit outside.

On the other side of the bridge http://www.cafevrijdagamsterdam.nl/ which is owned by the people that have Wesper.

>>2) Are there any reasonably tasty asian food outlets around Meininger Amsterdam City West?<<

You really like to stay in concrete jungle areas don't you!! No asian restaurant near there apart from Yang Ming which is a 15 minute walk and gets poor reviews https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Rev…

BRET outside the hotel is decent for casual food (not asian).

Otherwise not a lot in that area. You would be better taking the 22 bus to the Haarlemerplein and some great eating places around there.

>>I am torn between Amstelpark and Amsterdamese Bos.<<

Go to the Amstelpark. Much easier to get to by Metro from Sloterdijk to the Rai and lots of things for kids to do there including a small train.

You can take a direct train to ZS from Sloterdijk so no point in going to Centraal Station just to get a bus which would take over an hour total. Take the train and walk.

Edited: 11 May 2018, 20:48
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5. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

If you take the 22 bus two more stops from the Haarlemmerplein to Buiten Brouwersstraat, it's puts you a block away from the middle of the Haalemmerdijk/straat.

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6. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

The 22 doesn't go via the Haarlemmerplein at the moment.

Singapore
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7. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

Thank you all! Gosh!! I didn't quite realised that Meininger is in concrete jungle. I chose it because it has quad rooms, some amenities nearby and not too expensive on the weekend. It was also next to the station... so :( I thought Casa was worse but it seems I am wrong *face palm*

@ ErikandSandya, you recommended park at the end. Would there be enough daylight next week? I know the sun sets late in June, like 10pm. But what about this time of the year? Google said that Noordermarkt is opened 9am-4pm, what time do you recommend we go? is it where the locals go too, or more for tourists :)

@ BL_Henkie, I have meetings planned for 16th afternoon so I can't bring the kids out. Got a nanny to take care of them. But I am definitely taking the canal cruise over the weekend.

Does anyone have recommendations for canal cruise, specifically kids-friendly? If it's just me and hubs, it would be easier but with the kids, I would prefer to rely on personal experience. Anyone?

Seems like I may have time on 20 May to do something else too, since ZS will not take up to much time. What would the local experts recommend? I see some posters and day trips mention Volendam, Marken and Zaandam. Are any of these worth a detour? I am open to any suggestions. Btw, I know I can buy wooden clogs at ZS as gifts but I am sure they are overpriced. Any idea where I can get more affordable ones around City, or I am probably better off buying in ZS bcos of limited price difference?

And I had all but forgotten about the pancakes! Heard it's a must-eat food. Do any of you have personal favourites in the City?

Last but not least, I just want to make sure I get my terminology correct - what's the difference between trains, trams and sprinters? Do my kids 5yo and 8yo have to pay for transport? Is there senior citizen fare? My mother-in-law might be joining us and she is 66yo.

Counting down now, actually getting excited hahaha

Edited: 13 May 2018, 13:54
Singapore
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8. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

I just realised there is a Albert Cuyp Market. What is the difference with Noordermarkt that @ErikandSandya recommended? I am visiting on a Saturday and both are open.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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9. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

Albert Cuyp is far bigger and also has fresh produce; however Noordermarkt specialises in organic food and we find atmosphere better. Now too it's daylight until 9 PM already...

<Erik> & [Sandya]

PS See top question on train travel for trains. Both kids can use Railrunners, senior citizen tourists sadly don't have access to the discount fares that resident senior citizens get. And another top question

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g55616…

for the trams.

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10. Re: Local advice on where I am planning to visit

I work on the Noordermakrt. It's a locals market, as is the adjacent Lindengracht market, but there are lots of tourists too. Any time between 9-4pm will be fine.

The Alber Cuyp is also a locals market, but it's on every list of things to do for tourists, so the Noorder/Lindengracht markets reflect that in terms of tourists. For all intents and purposes, there's really nowhere there won't be tourists. The Waterloopleinmakrt is definitely aimed at tourists.

Any clogs you find will be for tourists, at tourist prices. They will be easiest to find at ZS.

All the boat tours are more or less the same. If the weather is nice go for one of the smaller open boat options. It will be light until 21:20 when you're here.

Trains travel between cities. The Sprinter is a train that makes more stops than an InterCity train. Trams travel on the street within cities, like a bus. No senior rates available to visitors.

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