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About Dutch_Travelgirl

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    The Netherlands
  • Interests
    Travel around the world

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  1. Make sure you are getting charged in Euro’s. Do not choose to let the ATM do the conversion for you. This is called Dynamic Currency Conversion and is never to your advantage. Wherever in the world you withdraw money or make a creditcard payment, always make sure your card is charged in the local currency.
  2. Whatever you do, do NOT use Rome2rio to book tickets for public transport. They are a 3rd party ticket reseller and charge a fee on top of the normal ticket price. The train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Amsterdam Centraal costs €4,50 when you buy your ticket online at the official website of the company that runs the trains or in their app. Rome2rio charges you €5,60 for that exact same train ticket. The official website of the Dutch railway company and their app both have an English version and both accept foreign credit cards. See www.ns.nl/en
  3. I see that Frieda has recommended the XO hotel out by Sloterdijk. This may be a good choice for her budget and dates, that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for everyone. The area around the hotel is a sterile office area, there aren’t a lot of restaurants in the vicinity. I know this because my office is located there. Also the owners of the XO hotels are suspects in an ongoing fraud investigation, which is why the city of Amsterdam has revoked their license to sell alcohol. This means no alcohol is sold in the bars and restaurants of the hotel and no liquor in the mini-bar. The point I’m trying to make is that there is not 1 easy solution for everyone. It could very well be that for your dates and budget you can find a great hotel right in the historical city center of Amsterdam. And the experts on the TripAdvisor forum are great at helping people find these hotels.
  4. Hotel prices in Amsterdam can swing wildly due to limited supply and at times huge demand. The same hotel that might cost €100 per night in January, could set you back €300 per night in the height of the tulip season. That’s why for Amsterdam exact dates and a budget are critical. There are some great hotel experts on the Amsterdam TripAdvisor forum, but you have to give them some details to be able to help you.
  5. You don’t need a tour to explore Antwerp. Your ship will dock very close to the historic city center, which is compact and mostly pedestrianised. If you’re interested in the history of European migrants that migrated to the USA I can highly recommend a visit to the Red Star Line museum, see here https://www.redstarline.be/en
  6. Well, they also charged extra as Loco2.com for tickets for Dutch and Belgian domestic trains. They couldn’t charge the normal price, because they weren’t an official agent. Both the Dutch and Belgian railway companies don’t use agents. They both have easy to navigate websites that have a full English version and accept all kinds of foreign credit cards. Using a 3rd party train ticket reseller isn’t necessary at all.
  7. Yes, and unfortunately their business ethics have changed. They have no problems in reselling train tickets against a much higher price. Please always book your train tickets directly from the company operating the trains (Thalys), or the national railway companies that own Thalys https://www.b-europe.com/EN
  8. Thalys trains have a high occupancy rate so to say, so there is a very high chance that some stranger will book the seat on the other side of the table. You not booking it, does not mean it stays free. Personally I would rather have to “fight” over legroom with someone I know instead of with a complete stranger (who also may have long legs!)
  9. Are you absolutely sure your ship docks at the cruise terminal in central Amsterdam? And not the one out in IJmuiden? Ever since the city of Amsterdam is charging a tourist tax per passenger, some of the cruise companies are avoiding the PTA in Amsterdam and are docking out in IJmuiden instead.
  10. Not in Amsterdam. There are strict rules for Airbnb in Amsterdam. Having to collect the 7% tourist tax is one of those rules. A limit on the occupants in an accomodation (max 4) and a limit on the maximum days a year an accomodation can be rented out are other rules.
  11. Tuesday May 12th is the day of the first semi-final of the Eurovision songcontest. This event alone is expected to draw 50,000 spectators and several thousand journalists reporting the event. The GP Formula 1 is expecting 200.000 visitors, plus thousands of reporters and officials. So these 5000 cruise passengers are just a drop in the ocean compared to the numbers of these 2 huge events.
  12. “We will be there early May - which is beginning of tourist season also is 75th Anniversary of WW2. Hotel rates are over the top“ Hotel rates in early May are not over the top because of the WW2 75th anniversary or the start of the tourist season. For Amsterdam the tourist season starts with the blooming of the tulips which occurs around mid April. The reason that hotel prices for early May have skyrocketed is the Formula 1 Grand Prix that will be held at the Zandvoort race track. The race will be on Sunday May 3, but training and qualifying sessions will start on April 29. Zandvoort is very close to Amsterdam, so a lot of spectators and officials will stay in Amsterdam.
  13. The SS Rotterdam has indeed been converted to a hotel. Just like any other hotel you can enter it, but you can’t freely roam around the place. So if you just want to be on the ship, you can enter via the entrance and take a look at the lobby area of the ship/hotel. If you want to explore the ship/hotel, you need to book a tour; https://ssrotterdam.com/discover/tours/
  14. The Rijksmuseum has lockers that you can use to store your valuables in. The lockers are free to use, but they require a coin of €0.50 to close. The coin will be returned when you open the locker. The Van Gogh museum has a coat check where you can store your bag, again free to use.
  15. The Bagage storage located at Arrivals at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport stores hold bagage for a maximum of 30 days. Details and prices can be found on the Schiphol website; https://www.schiphol.nl/en/at-schiphol/services/luggage-storage#time-details
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