Alphen aan den Rijn

Travel Guide Europe Netherlands South Holland Alphen aan den Rijn

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Introduction

Alphen aan den Rijn is a town in the western Netherlands. The city is situated on the banks of the Old Rhine between Utrecht and Leiden. The area around Alphen aan den Rijn has been inhabited for 2,000 years. During the Roman Empire, the Old Rhine was the head branch of the Rhine. On the modern center of the city, the Romans built a fortress (Castellum Albanianae). Remnants of the Romans have been found and can be seen in Leiden at the National Museum of Antiquities.

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Sights and Activities

  • Oudhoornse Kerk (Oudhoorn Church). A Protestant church at the border of the Old Rhine founded by Cornelis the Flemish.
  • Remonstrantse Kerk (Remonsttant Church). Formerly a synagogue.
  • Korenmolen de Eendracht (Cornmill de Eendracht). This mill was founded in 1752 and located at the north side of the river de Gouwe. In 1898 the mill has been transferred to Alphen aan den Rijn to replace another mill. Until 1955 the mill has been used commercially. Open every Saturday for public viewing.
  • Old City Hall. Nowadays houses the music school. At the Burgemeester Visserpark.
  • Town house. In 2003 the new State House has been opened. A revolutionary design with trends of openness accentuated by using glass.
  • Catholic St Bonifatius Church. Founded in 1884.
  • Crypt of the family De Smeth. In the Protestant church.
  • Advents Church. Formerly the first Bonifatius Church, but during the Eighty Years' War destroyed and rebuilt as Protestant church.

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Getting There

Alphen aan den Rijn is in the middle of four big cities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague) in the Randstad, the West-Center of the Netherlands, also known as the Green Heart. The large cities are a half hour drive away by car.

By Train

Alphen aan den Rijn has a railway station. Trains arrive coming from Leiden, Utrecht and Gouda.

By Car

From Amsterdam take the A4 to The Hague and Rotterdam. At crossing 4, Nieuw Vennep, take the N207 to Alphen aan den Rijn.
From The Hague take the A4 to Amsterdam and at crossing 6a. Zoeterwoude Rijndijk, take the N11 to Alphen aan den Rijn.
From Rotterdam take the A13 to The Hague, proceed over the A4 to Amsterdam and follow the route given for the Hague.
From Utrecht take the A12 to Rotterdam/the and at crossing 12a Bodegraven take the N11 to Alphen aan den Rijn.

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Eat

Most restaurants are located in or near the city center so make reservations. The given list is just a small part of all restaurant in Alphen aan den Rijn.

  • De Gelaarsde Kat (Puss in Boots), Hooftstraat 81, 2496 GE, 0172-491401, French-Dutch, has a veranda at the Old Rhine.
  • De Monnick, Raadhuisstraat 106, 2406 AH, 0172-495254, French Restaurant, higher prices but also better quality.
  • El Caballo, Rhenanialaan 1, 2406 GS, 0172-424843, Argentina Meat Restaurant.
  • Hong Kong City, P. Doelmanstraat 12, 2405 CE, Chinese Restaurant with a view at the Alphense Bridge and the Old Rhine.
  • Is Morus Pizzeria, Raadhuisstraat 186, 2406 AK, 0172-475606, Not only Italian pizza's, but also meat and fish dishes.
  • Proto Tapas Restaurant, Rijnkade 5, 0172-476566, Spanish Tapas, but the owners are Greek, situated at the Old Rhine with a view on the new city center.

Although there are very good restaurants in the center, it is worthy to look for restaurants outside the centre.

  • Alfred's Diner, C. Geellaan 43, 2406 JE, 0172-425757, French, higher prices but also better quality, situated in a park.
  • Lubo Steal Grill, van Nesstraat 1a, 0172-499441, Balkan kitchen.
  • Original Chines Palace, Burg. Bruijn Slotsingel 20, 2406 AE, 0172-436655, Located near the Zegerplas and in a chines pagode.
  • Sari Djawi, Gouwsluisseweg 48, 2405 XS, 0172-472316, Indonesian kitchen, situated in an old mill at the old Rhine.
  • Zorba the Greek, van Nesstraat 21, 2404 AV, 0172-493335, Greek kitchen with a very friendly owner.

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Drink

  • La Caleche, Hooftstraat 157, 2496 GG, 0172-492932.
  • Kwatro, Hooftstraat 126, 2406 GM, 0172-472549.
  • Meeting Point, Thorbeckeplein 2, 2406 CG, 0172-474004.
  • De Natte, Julianastraat 19, 2405 CG, 0172-426193, Special Beer café.
  • Querelle Swing Café, Julianastraat 32, 2405 CH.
  • Under the Bridge, Hooftstraat 165, 2406 GH, Blues Rock Café.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.

Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.

From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.

The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.

It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.

Post

The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).

Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.

Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.

If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 9:10 on Apr 29, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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