When planning a vacation to Europe, we included the Netherlands as our destination after France. I also searched for information on which tourist attractions to visit in the Netherlands. Based on the results of research on Google and asking Dutch friends, then I began to arrange an itinerary for 2 days and 2 nights in the Netherlands. I also find out about the transportation there, which transportation card we should use, etc. Because I went with a family of 3 parents, so I must have proper preparation.
Day 1: Amsterdam
Bucket list checked: Take pic with I amsterdam Sign, Eat Stroopwafel, and Holland Cheese (Smoked Cheese, Edam Cheese, Gouda Cheese).
Hari 2: Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Edam
Bucket list checked: Visit windmill village, stop by the clogs shoe factory, stop by the Holland Cheese factory, take a pic with Holland traditional clothes, visit the cheese factory village Edam.
Transportation Card in the Netherlands
There are several choices of transportation cards in the Netherlands that are usually used by tourists, namely I amsterdam City Card, GVB Day Passes, Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, and Amsterdam Travel Ticket. I amsterdam City Card will be useful if you often visit tourist attractions in Amsterdam, such as museums. This can also be used for public transportation operated by GVB. Because there are many promos that can be obtained, such as Free Canal Cruise, Free Entrace to Museums and some Attractions, Unlimited use for GVB. The price for 1 day is 65 Euros. The GVB Day Passes are specifically for public transportation operated by GVB. The Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket can be used for public transportation operated by GVB, Connexxion, EBS and NS in Amsterdam and surrounding areas. Amsterdam Travel Ticket is similar to GVB Day Passes but already includes return train tickets from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to all train stations in Amsterdam. This transportation card can be directly purchased at Schiphol Airport and the train station in Amsterdam.
To find out which transportation card is suitable for you, you first need to know the travel route. It must be adjusted to the itinerary. The best-selling one is the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket transportation card. The price of Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket for 1 day is 18.5 Euros, 2 days is 26 Euros, and 3 days is 33.5 Euros. Because I planned to go to other cities besides Amsterdam, namely Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Edam, the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket transportation card is the most suitable for me. If it’s only in Amsterdam, it’s better to use the GVB Day Passes transportation card. Because it’s cheaper. I have even tried to do simple calculations. If I buy a one-to-one point ticket, then how much if I buy an Amsterdam ticket & Region Travel Ticket. It turns out the results are cheaper if I buy a travel ticket.
I checked the schedule and public transportation tariff here: http://9292.nl/en/. From that website, we know how much if we buy one-to-one point tickets, then I will sum, and at that time the result was cheaper if we buy a travel ticket.
Amsterdam & Region Travel Tickets are available for 1, 2 or 3 days. In the Netherlands, the transportation card is valid from the first day at 00:00 to the next day at 04:00. So, if you buy a 2-day travel ticket, that means it can be used until the third day at 04.00. At that time I planned 2 days and 2 nights in the Netherlands, and on the third day I planned to depart from the hotel at 05.00, so if you buy the Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket for 2 days, the tickets cannot be used anymore. So finally I decided to buy Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket which is valid for 3 days. Actually it is a pity, but I think instead of bothering to buy tickets on the spot there, especially at dawn, and I also brought a group of 3 parents.
Uh, but apparently, in fact, on the third day of dawn, we did not ride public transportation because of the hassle of carrying large and large suitcases. Finally we took a large taxi for 7 people who were booked at the hotel reception on the second day of the evening. What a shame.. If I thought of taking a taxi on the third day from the beginning, I would definitely buy 2 days travel ticket. Unfortunately I just thought of it when I was in the Netherlands the second day 🙁
Hotel in Amsterdam
I initially had trouble finding suitable lodging in Amsterdam. In the center of Amsterdam, hotels and Airbnb are very expensive, more or less the same as hotels in Switzerland. Finally I chose a hotel on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Still in Amsterdam anyway, but in Amsterdam West it’s not right in the center of the city. There are several choices of hotels that are okay there: MEININGER Hotel Amsterdam City West, Hotel2Stay, Mercure Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, and Golden Tulip Amsterdam West. All hotels are close to the Sloterdijk train station. Initially I wanted to stay at Meininger, because it was said to be good and cheap, moreover it was very strategically located right next to the Sloterdijk train station. But after reading the review again, this hotel is actually similar to a hostel. Many young people here. Many people said it was not suitable to bring parents, because of its noisy young people. Because I brought 3 parents with me, in the end it’s better to stay at another hotel. And finally our choice fell on the Golden Tulip Amsterdam West. Even though we have to take the tram again (1 stop) from Sloterdijk Station to get to this hotel. But we are satisfied with this Golden Tulip Hotel. Not disappointed! Nice hotel, clean, comfortable, recommended anyway! 😉
Recommended Restaurant in Amsterdam
The majority of Dutch food is delicious, tasty, and suitable on the tongue of Indonesians! When we were in France, the foods are not that tasty. But when we arrived in the Netherlands, wow, surprisingly the foods were super delicious!
There are a lot of Indonesian restaurants there, we also had a chance to try one of the Indonesian restaurants there. But unfortunately it didn’t taste good. But at that time we ate at an Italian restaurant that was located directly opposite our hotel, Golden Tulip, and it was really tasty. The name of the restaurant is La Casa Di Michael. It’s delicious, and cheap too! The pizza is around 9.5 Euros. The servings are also big. Prices for such a size for a pizza in restaurants in Europe are so cheap, because usually a main meal costs 15 Euros.
There are more restaurants that are recommended. This is a Thai restaurant, called Bird Thai Restaurant. But here the price is quite expensive. I ordered Pad Thai which cost 15 Euros. But it is truly amazing, really delicious of Pad Thai and lots of portions. That should be a portion for 2 people. Oh yes, I also had the chance to meet with Indonesian people who also ate at this restaurant. We are Indonesian, so yeaa, we match with Thai food 😀
The thing that I like and don’t like about Netherlands
Even though we only spent 2 days and 2 nights traveling in the Netherlands, we were quite satisfied in the Netherlands. Many friends said, “What are you doing in the Netherlands? There is nothing there. Except when there are tulips in the spring.” It’s also not wrong what those friends are saying. The Netherlands does not offer beautiful nature, like Switzerland. Holland is a flat country. When I went there too, during early October, the weather was really erratic. It often rains, it can be sunny, it can also be cloudy, and the winds are the worst. The wind is so hard in the Netherlands. And the winds are also cold, surpassing Switzerland. I’m colder in the Netherlands than in Switzerland!
But there is a Dutch side that I like too. First, the food is suitable for Indonesian people. Then the cheese, oh my.. it’s heaven! I also see the house or building that is unique, like in Zaandam. Transportation in the Netherlands is also good and convenient. Then Dutch is also English-friendly, unlike in France where people do not want to speak English, especially in Paris.