| Amsterdam, Delft
was a brief three days visit to the Netherlands. I've been travelling
to the Netherlands frequently until 1999, even living there for two
years between 1992-94, then no longer visited the country as I moved to
Munich. It was the first time for my wife and the kids to the
Netherlands. She overall enjoyed the country and stated that there is
more to see compared to Denmark. Both Amsterdam and Delft are very
picturesque cities with plenty of life and local culture.
cost of travelling in the Netherlands is higher than in Germany,
although not as high as the one in Denmark. We paid 134 Euro/night for
a room in the Meininger hotel (conveniently located near a major train
Also in the Netherlands we ate mostly in ethnic restaurants (Italian, Chinese) and didn't try out the local cuisine.
hotel we chose in Amsterdam (the Meininger) was conveniently located a
bit west of the city centre, but adjacent to a major train station
(Sloterdijk). It was a bit expensive, but overall a good deal
considering the comfort level and the location.
/ Exchange rate (June 2014)
1 Euro = 1.35 USD
ATMs are everywhere, so that you can easily get cash with a
Cirrus/Maestro ATM card. You won't need traveller cheques.
phones and prepaid cards
Prices for roaming have significantly fallen over the past years,
making it economic to roam in the Netherlands with a German SIM card. So this
time we purchased some data roaming packages.
the hotel had no working WLAN in the room I used the 3G phone as a mobile
hotspot to download my emails and surf the Internet.
Mostly sunny, some clouds, no rain, max. temperatures around 23-24°C.
None required for the Netherlands.
from developed countries can enter the Netherlands without a visa or get a visa
on arrival. Visitors of other countries need to get a Schengen visa.
No issues here. The Netherlands are a safe country.
used public transportation to get around in the Netherlands. This was
easy, as the hotel was adjacent to the Sloterdijk train station, from
which trains arrived and departed very frequently. There are several
operators offering boat tours across the canals of the historic centre.
10.6: Copenhagen -> Helsingör
Meininger hotel Amsterdam City West.
134 Euro for a nice room, relatively basic, but functional. Small, but
good toilet with good shower. Wooden floor, A/C in the room, windows
can't be opened, flat screen TV, phone. The WLAN in theory exists, but
doesn't work. Located adjacent to the Sloterdijk train station, very
convenient to get around with public transportation. Shared kitchen in
the basement with one washing machine and a dryer.
Weather: slightly overcast in the
morning, sunny blue sky in the afternoon. Quite warm in Copenhagen,
more fresh in the evening in Amsterdam. No rain the whole day.
The flight from Copenhagen takes off with some delay and reaches Amsterdam shortly
before 10pm. No free drinks or food on the plane, except for tea and
Once in Amsterdam retrieving the luggage is quite fast. We take a
taxi to the hotel at 10:20pm (40 Euro), arriving there at 10:50pm.
Meininger hotel Amsterdam City West
Weather: Sunny blue sky the whole
day. More fresh than in Copenhagen, probably 23-24°C.
In the evening we take a train into town (2.60 Euro, trip takes a few
minutes). Apparently there are about 20 trains per hour connecting
Sloterdijk with Amsterdam Central station.
We have a dinner at an Italian pasta restaurant (take away pasta, quite
delicious) in Amsterdam central station. Then we have a brief look at
the area in front of the station.
There is an operator offering a boat trip of the canals costing 15.50
Euro and lasting one hour. Only a couple of hundred metres away another
operator is charging only 9 Euro (5 Euro for children).
We take this boat trip at 8:30pm. This brings you across the canals.
Picturesque views of the old houses in Amsterdam. Passing under low and
narrow bridges. I wonder if all operators do the same itinerary or if
there are different itineraries.
We are back around 9:30pm, then get back to the hotel.
Meininger hotel Amsterdam City West
Weather: sunny in the morning, some
clouds in the afternoon. Sunny
again in the evening. No rain.
We leave the hotel after 5pm and catch the next train to Amsterdam
Centraal. Once there, because Shirley and the kids are hungry, we have
some noodles at the Italian fast food noodle restaurant in the train
station. Later we realise that we could have had dinner in one of
the countless restaurants of the old town. It's just that we
don't know right now where they are.
Then we start walking along the Damrak street into the old town. Lots
public works and roadworks are ongoing, which mess up the
scenery. Actually the entire city centre is quite messy and
Very scenic old town with old, tall Dutch houses. We spend the next
few hours until about 9pm exploring the area and discovering curious
places. A shop selling cannabis drinks for instance.
Tourist shops selling unusual souvenirs.
In the evening, while I'm in town taking some blue hour shots, Shirley
calls and tells me the the hairdryer is broken. We'll buy a new one
13.6: Amsterdam -> Delft ->
Hotel Cabinn Metro, Copenhagen. 935 DKK
for a quadruple room (which became two twin rooms). Rooms are small,
but quite high tech. LCD TV, water boiler, table+chair, tiny cupboard
for clothes. Soft bed. Toilet with shower, no hair dryer. Very slow
staff. Reception doubling as bar (people in front of you at the
reception buying coffee and drinks). Outside parking costs 100 DKK/day.
Our room is not available (that is any quadruple room) because the
hotel is overbooked and they gave our room to somebody else. Which is
very strange because we have a booking with booking.com and if we don't
show up they can charge us in full the room price. They instead give us
two adjacent (but not connecting) double rooms. They give us the
parking for free as an apology.
This hotel is not bad, but overpriced, and the reception could be
Weather: Sunny, blue sky the
whole day. Some thin clouds every now and then. A bit windy and fresh.
About 14°C at Copenhagen airport, sky without clouds.
We check out of the hotel at 12pm, leaving the bags there. We then buy
a train ticket to Delft (54 Euro return for two adults and two kids).
Then we catch the 12:18pm train to Delft (5 minutes delay).
The train trip proceeds smoothly and there are plenty of empty seats to
choose from. Fast, free WLAN connection on the train.
Doing a day trip to Delft is a good idea, because Delft is a very
pleasant and beautiful, without the chaos and mess of Amsterdam.
Beautiful canals bordered by tree and old houses in Dutch style.
The train reaches Delft around 1:20pm. Construction works ongoing,
because a new and flashy train station building is replacing the old,
We walk into the old town and have a good lunch in the Peking Chinese
restaurant near the town hall. Staff speaks mandarin. Good food,
although not exactly cheap.
Shortly before 3pm we start exploring Delft. Near the restaurant there
is the market square with the town hall and the Nieuwe Kerk church.
church has a tall tower (supposedly over 100m tall) from which there is
a good view of Delft and the surroundings.
We walk up this tower (6.50€ for me and my two girls; Shirley prefers
to watch the event going on in the market square). It's amazing with
how much energy these two little girls climb up the tower. I barely
manage to catch up with them. They walk up almost non-stop. The
staircase is a very narrow and steep one, winding up the tower.
We spend a bit over 10 minutes on the top, then walk down again. We'll
spend the next couple of hours until 5pm in Delft. I must say that this
is a very touristy place, nicely choreographed, in an idyllic setting.
We catch the 5:20pm train to Amsterdam. This is now very crowded
(initially we can't get a seat) and the WLAN also does not work. I
guess there are too many people using it. Also connecting to the
Internet with the mobile phone works so-so. Probably I'm not the only
one using mobile data.
We reach the Sloterdijk station around 6:20pm. It's impossible to
continue until Amsterdam Centraal, because there is a fire along the
rail track. Supposedly the firefighters are taking care of it, but it's
unclear how long the train will be stuck here.
Was thinking of buying a new hairdryer in the Saturn outlet near
Amsterdam Centraal, but this probably won't be possible due to lack of
So we get back to the hotel and at 7:10pm we get a taxi (41 Euro) to
the airport. Trip takes only 20 minutes.
There we check in and go through security. I'm randomly selected for
additional screening, even if I have no metal items on me.
In the duty free area (quite big by the way, plenty of shops) I buy a
new hair dryer for 65 Euro. Cheapest model is 12 Euro, i.e. prices are
Free WLAN at the airport, but apparently only for 2 x 30 minutes.
The plane leaves with some delay (should I be surprised - SAS already
had some delay in Copenhagen) at 10:05pm and lands in Copenhagen at