Thursday, April 25, 2013

Holiday in Holland (April 2013)

Hey everyone,

I just got back from my holiday and after a while missing from the blogging world, I shall resume with my recent holiday in Holland, UK and Belgium which will be written in 3 different entries. Now, let's start with my trip to Holland.

I had a friend working at The Hague and she was kind enough to let us stay at her house during our visit. Hence, we saved a lot on accommodation. However, if you wish to visit Holland one day, I would recommend you to stay at any hotel/hostel in Amsterdam.

So, from Schipol Airport, we had to take the NS train to Den Haag HS and from there we took a tram to her house. You can buy the train ticket from the machine (only accept coins, debit card and credit card) or from the counter. The tram however, you will have to buy from the driver and it will cost you €3 one way.

Travelling around Holland, we took the NS train most of the time. You may plan your trip here (to check on the price and train schedule)
Our first stop was of course the Amsterdam. Just stop at Amsterdam Centraal and everything is in a walking distance.
A few minutes from the train station is the SexMuseum. It's 4 per entry.
Not far from the museum is the fries shop called Mannekin Pis. The fries is quite large for 2 persons and it's tasty. You should try when you get there. There's also a lot of Halal restaurants in Amsterdam and you don't have to worry about food.
What's Amsterdam without visiting the Red Light District right? It's only 10 minutes of walking from the train station.
Not far from the train station is also Madame Tussauds Amsterdam. Just follow the main street from the train station and you will definitely find it.
Visiting Hard Rock Cafe is a must for us. To get here, you can take the tram line 1, 2 or 5 and get down at Leidsplein. From there you will see signage to the HRC at Max Euweplein. If you wish to walk, just follow the tram line and it will take you about 20 minutes. You will also see the Flower Market on your way there.
Our next visit is Zaanse Schans where all the windmills are. Just take the NS train and get down at Koog Zandijk. From there, it is a 10-15 minute walk through the village of Zaandijk (just follow the signs).

Alternatively, you may take bus 91 from Amsterdam Centraal Station which has its terminus right beside the main entrance of the Zaanse Schans. The bus ride takes you there in around 40-45 minutes and the bus leaves every 30 minutes (in rush hours even more frequently). The bus link at Centraal Station is at the bus station at the east side of the main station entrance, at the bridge. The buses are the only ones painted red, so you can't miss them.

Another possibility is to go by boat from the centre of Amsterdam. It is not very far and it is a truly lovely ride. You could even combine the ride to the Zaanse Schans with breakfast, lunch or dinner on board and you can ask the captain for a quick history lesson on the way. 
The lovely view at Zaans Schanse.
The windmills.........
If you wish to tour the Holland in only an hour time, you may visit Madurodam. The miniatures and their stories come to life in the new Madurodam. There is more to see, to experience, and especially to do.

You can load the containers on a cargo ship in the port of Rotterdam, have a plane take off from Schiphol and operate the Oosterscheldekering storm surge barrier to prevent the village that lies behind from flooding.

You will also experience together the stories behind many buildings in the Netherlands. During the process, you discover what makes the Netherlands so special and unique. And when you are done, you can let off steam in the new themed playground. In short, come and experience what makes a small country so big at the Madurodam.

To get to Madurodam, take the NS train and get down at Den Haag HS or Centraal. From there, take the tram line 9 and get down at Madurodam. For more information on Madurodam, check here
On your way back, why not shop a little at the Den Haag Centrum.
Wait for my next entry on my visit to Keukenhof.......