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Lay over in Amsterdam

9 hours in Amsterdam
13 years ago, January 29th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #101679  
N Posts: 15
Our flight to Cairo March 20th has a lay over on Amsterdam for 9 hours arriving at 11 AM and we would like go into town and see some of the sights and have a meal. Does anyone know what will be required to leave and return the airport and how long it will take to get in and out of the security?
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13 years ago, January 29th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #101700  
Hello Don 😊

Would you mind posting here which passport you hold, so somebody can hopefully say what the rules for citizens of that country are.

As regards Amsterdam, there is a train going from airport to the old part of Amsterdam. I dont think the security checks will be too lengthy for leaving the airport, but they might take longer when you want to get back in. I would leave a margin of error for this.

Mel Reply to this

13 years ago, January 29th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #101718  
N Posts: 15
We will be traveling from California, USA and have USA passports. Reply to this

13 years ago, January 29th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #101731  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi Don,

Welcome to TravelBlog.

Both times I've been through Amsterdam customs things have been processed pretty quickly, and as Mel mentioned there is a train from the airport - take it to Amsterdam Centraal Station, there's more than enough around there to fill a day.

Is your onward travel with the same airline / will you need to collect your bags and get them checked in again with another airline?

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13 years ago, January 30th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #101800  
N Posts: 15
We are on the same airline. Will I need to purchase a visa to leave the airport?
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13 years ago, January 30th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #101850  
B Posts: 11.5K
Can't tell you definitely as I don't hold a US passport, but if anyone that does reads this they will probably reply.

You could try contacting one of the consulates in the US and check with them.

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13 years ago, March 14th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #106421  

I'm from Amsterdam myself!
At the moment they check people going to and coming from the US very carefully, so you should really keep that in mind.
As said before, take the train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station (do NOT take a taxi, it'll cost you around 40eu one way). Train is around 4euro one way. It's also cheaper to buy your tickets in the ticketmachines, than when you buy them at the counter. Train will take about 20min and it'll drop you off right in the center. (There are trains every 10min during the day!).
There is a free walking tour starting at 11.00 and 13.00 in front of the tourist information (VVV) (White building, in front of central station). That'll take 3 hours and you will see some main attractions!

Greetings Inge
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13 years ago, March 17th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #106669  
N Posts: 15
Thanks for your reply. Are there places that are a must see? We are just going to walk around and look at what ever. We want to see the Ann Franks house and don't know what else. Reply to this

13 years ago, March 17th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #106675  

It is nice just to walk around or rent a bike. Main important places in Amsterdam are close to Central Station. It's nice to walk along the canals. The main squares are Dam (Dam square, with the royal palace), Rembrandtplein (A lot of nice restaurants and cafes, some pretty expensive tought!), Leidseplein (same as Rembrandtplein with a lot of restaurants and cafes) and Museum plein (museum square; with the famous Rijksmuseum (=National Museum, with paintings and other arts of Dutch artists as Rembrandt and Vermeer) and the van Gogh museum).
Anne Frank is a one of a kind museum and actually a must-see! You can buy tickets in advance at the tourist information (either at Schiphol airport or city centre). You will pay 50cents more than when you buy it at the door, but it will avoid the line! And believe me; sometimes people wait in line for 2 hours!! Because it is a small museum, they don't let too many people in at the same time!
Other nice museums (and kinda hidden treasures) are museum Amstelkring; that's a hidden church. Or some canalhouses are museums as well and it shows you how wealthy people lived in the past (for example; willet holthuys and museum van loon). There's also Artis, the zoo, which is nice!
And at the Tourist information you can also buy a IAmsterdam card! For 24hrs its around 35eu but it'll give you free entrance to a loooooot of museums, free public transport in the centre and a free canal cruise!

Ohh and marketplaces; the albert cuyp market is cool or the dappermarket. These are just regular markets. There's also the market at waterlooplein, that's a second hand clothing market. Markets are everyday except for sundays.

And if you like soms info about the creepy history of Amsterdam; there's also the Amsterdam Dungeon! That's kinda cool!
Or science museum Nemo, if you're travelling with children!

And otherwise there is still the free walking tour, and it will show you a lot of the center. You only have to tip them.

Soooo... I hope you will enjoy! If you have any questions. Don't hesitate to ask!
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13 years ago, March 17th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #106679  
N Posts: 15
WOW, I wish we had more time to see all of the things you have listed, but we will do our best. Thanks for all of the information. Reply to this

13 years ago, March 25th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #107223  
you don't need a visa to holland for stays up to 90 days.

I recommend a sandman walking tour and a bit of coffeeshop culture...

you won't have time to do more that 1 museum and the walking tour is a must...you need to see this beautiful city..you can maybe do a canal cruise instead. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 5th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #108044  
Hi Don! I will be having the same trip as you but not until June -- a 9 hr layover in Amsterdam on our way from California to Cairo. I was also thinking of going to the Anne Frank museum, as well as a canal cruise during the 9 hours. Could you please let me know how it worked out for you?? What you were able to see and how everything worked out time-wise? Thank you!
Hope you had a great time!! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 5th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #108063  
N Posts: 15
We got into Amsterdam at 11 a.m. and changed enough money to go into town. We bought train tickets without much trouble and got on the train. The weather wasn't in our favor and started raining shortly after we started walking around, but we still got to the Anne Franks museum and started back to the train station when it really started pouring. We found a cafe and went in for a meal and wait out the rain. Still got back to the airport with lots of time for our flight at 8 p.m. It's well worth it and we enjoyed it alot. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 6th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #108066  
About how long would you say your trip was from the airport to the Anne Frank museum? How long were you in the museum? Was that cafe near the airport, on your way back? Do you think we'd also have time to fit in the canal ride?
Sorry for all the questions!! 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, April 6th 2010 No: 15 Msg: #108116  
N Posts: 15
The train ride to town is 30 min. and we first talked to the canal ride boat places ( they are right in front of the train station) and there is a one hour ride and I think a three hour ride. The guy gave us a map and we asked where the Franks museum was and he showed us and we decided to walk around town first see the museum and see what time we had left. When it started raining it would rain for 5 minutes and then stop. We almost went back to the canal boats but then it would stop raining and we would walk a little further. We got to the Franks museum in less than an hour even with the rain delays, it's maybe a 20 minute walk, and were in the museum close to 2 hours, it is self guided so you can spend as much time as you like reading the information. The cafe we found was between the museum and the train station. We were back at the airport before 5 p.m. and the flight was at 8:55 p.m. I am sure you could do the canal ride also. Going thru security at the airport was a 10 minute deal. One more thing, we did not want to carry our carry on lugage with us and found lockers that for 2 euros can rent for 24 hours. When you change your mony you need to get some coins for this, as the machine does not take bills. The Schiphol Airport is big!!! It took us longer to find the lockers when we came back from town than any thing else. We finally asked the right guy that took us to the lockers. Hope you have a great trip and if there is any thing else I can help you with just ask. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 16th 2010 No: 16 Msg: #108888  
Hi Don,
Thank you so much for all the helpful information! I just have a few more questions...(sorry!) 😊
I've researched online, and it appears that most people in Amsterdam speak English, so we should be fine. Is this correct?
Also, I'm assuming you flew as I will be, from CA to Amsterdam, layover then flight to Cairo. I'm flying KLM. Did you have to pick up your luggage or did they transfer it to the next plane for you?
I will only be in Egypt for 3 days, but any suggestions from your trip? 😊
Thank you!! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 23rd 2010 No: 17 Msg: #109472  
B Posts: 37
You will have no problem in Amsterdam speaking English. Even when i asked homeless people (some of which looked pretty dodgey lol) for directions there english was very good. It's a very easy place to find your way around and i've always found people to be very helpful.

As for Egypt it's a big place for only 3 days! I'd probably spend a day on the Nile, a day looking at temples etc and the third day having a little shop around.

Something i found quite interesting in Cairo are all the unfinished buildings. There are top floors that look like there is work going on, but there actualy isn't (and people are living in the buildings). It's something to do with the building laws, and unfinished buildings cost less. It completely baffled me until we asked someone!

Both Egypt and Amsterdam are lovely places to visit, good luck with your trip and hope you enjoy yourself 😊

(Oh btw - in Amsterdam you will most likely be approached by street drug dealers, just say no and keep walking. Same in Egypt - you will be approached by alot of beggers and/or people trying to sell you things. Don't engage them even slightly or they'll be following you around for ages!) Reply to this

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