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Planning a trip to Amsterdam and I need help

Travel Forums Europe Planning a trip to Amsterdam and I need help

1. Posted by SweetPea33 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 23 Mar '08 13:55

SweetPea33 has indicated that this thread is about Netherlands

My husband and I are going to Amsterdam this May. We are staying there for 5 nights and then we are going to Brussels for 2 nights. My questions are:

How do I get a train ticket from Amsterdam to Brussels? Are they readily available? I read that there are machines where the tickets can be purchased, but do they take cash or foreign credit cards? If not, is there a ticket booth that does and that will be open on a Saturday?

I also need help with exchanging money. I have read that there is a place at Central Station that offers this service, but are they open on Saturdays as well? And is it better to bring cash or to use a credit card to exchange money with? My hotel requires payment with cash, so we will need to exchange money as soon as we arrive.

Our hotel is in the De Pijp area, can anyone recommend any bars or restaurants in that area? Is there a lot of nightlife in that area?

Thank you for any help! :)

2. Posted by Lewis86 (Budding Member, 12 posts) 23 Mar '08 15:16

Hi! i went to both those places last month.

Amsterdam is a very easy place to get around. Central train station has tickets machines that accept foregin credit cards, it has ticket offices and it has a Information counter. All english speaking and 7 days a week. The Amsterdam to brussels journey is a nice one. Perhaps consider getting off at Rotterdam on the way?

Yes you can exchange cash once there (at station or theres shops everywhere on the main shopping streets that will exchange money and cash travellers cheques) Or even just withdraw from an ATM?

There are bars and good nightlife across amsterdam! And you are never more than a 10 minute tram ride from the main night life hot spots!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 23, 2008, at 2:29 PM by Lewis86 ]

3. Posted by bestmayo (Budding Member, 14 posts) 25 Mar '08 00:22

Hi,

It's very easy to buy a trainticket for amsterdam-brussel.
For international tickets there's always a loket open where you can buy them. You can also get all the information about de train times etc on that loket.

In Amsterdam you can exchanging money on many places, also at the central station. ( 7 day's a week)

Is Amsterdam the only place where you stay in the Netherlands?? Maybe when you have time left you can visit more places, the Netherlands is not only Amsterdam...a lot places like Utrecht, Den Bosch or Maastricht are very nice.

Enyoy your stay in Amsterdam!

4. Posted by SweetPea33 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 25 Mar '08 06:24

Thank you bestmayo and lewis86 for your help! I have never been to Europe, so I am very excited about this trip. We are going to try to check out some other parts of the Netherlands as well. If anyone can recommend any great places to hang out and visit in Amsterdam that would be great, too. I was worried that I needed to purchase my train ticket to Brussels way in advance. I found a website where I could order it now, but I'd rather wait until I get there in case there are other cheaper options. Based on what has been posted, it sounds like I can purchase it when I arrive in Amsterdam.

5. Posted by Lewis86 (Budding Member, 12 posts) 25 Mar '08 15:39

Hi me again! If its your first trip to Europe you are right to be excited! You will have a fantastic time and meet lots of great people.
Yes i'd say just purchase them once there. If you go on the intercity train (amsterdam-brussels about 2hrs 45mins) it would be cheaper than high speed (thalys) In my experience there are always plenty of seats on these trains. So you have nothing to worry about there.

hmm as far as places to visit it depends what your into really.

I'd say take a canal cruise, visit Anne Franks house and there are plenty of other museums, go shopping, go to the red light district -even if your not into drugs or prostitutes you still must go even just for a giggle! I dound that place hilarious, its like nothing ive ever seen before! Plus theres lots of bars and clubs around that area (be careful of your drink though as i heard from someone in a hostel that a few people had their drinks spiked) rent a bike, ride a tram... theres lots to do. Trust me you wont get bored!

You can pick up tourist maps very cheaply in quite a few places so just have a look what going on! :)

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 25, 2008, at 2:40 PM by Lewis86 ]

6. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member, 415 posts) 25 Mar '08 16:04

hey there!

if youre in a hurry to get to brussels then take the thalys, if not, just get the intercity trains, theyre cheaper but slower but less than 3 hours isnt that bad anyway!

de pijp is a great area! lots of bars and restaurants to choose from! if you have time head over to the Jordaan area, its gorgeous, quaint and kinda easy to get lost but there are also alot of places to eat and drink there too! if you manage it, go to the cafe Winkel, you can get a really cheap and delish lunch there, as well as whats said to be asmterdams BEST applepie - its pretty damn good! its on the noordermarkt, right by the church, it has a green and white striped sunshade thing...

if you go to the red light district and youre looking to go out for a bite afterwards, the nieuwmarkt is great! you just walk past the RLD and turn left at the canal and head towards a big castle looking thing on the square - thats cafe de waag, pretty decent place! i can recommend tho cafe nieuwmarkt, you can get a tapas plate to share for €14 or a cheese fondue for €14, i take ppl there all the time! it can be a little busy tho...

if you have any more questions, fire away!!

7. Posted by SweetPea33 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 30 Mar '08 07:16

Thanks for all of the tips! You guys have been very helpful! Now I just can't wait to get there! :)