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The Sites, Smells & Tastes from 3 Days in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday!  A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to book a last minute trip to Europe this summer with stops in Prague (PRG), Copenhagen (CPH), and Amsterdam (AMS).  In case you missed it, here are the first 2 stops on our European trip: The Sites, Smells & Tastes from 3 Days in Prague, Czech Republic and The Sites, Smells & Tastes from 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark.  We both had a great time to Amsterdam (Laura’s first time and my third trip, first since 2016).  Here are some of the highlights from our 3 days in Amsterdam.

After we checked out of our hotel in Copenhagen, we took the 15 minute train ride from Copenhagen Central Train Station back to the airport for $5 / person.  As I wrote about a few weeks ago (Some KLM Business Class Awards (Booked with Virgin Atlantic) are Cheaper than Economy Awards for Flights Within Europe), we flew KLM Business Class from Copenhagen to Amsterdam (CPH-AMS) for 9,000 Virgin Atlantic Points + $12 in taxes/fees.  Since we were flying business class, we were able to access the business class section of the Carlsberg Aviator Lounge which had a few Carlsberg beers on tap to try out before our flight.

a beer tap with several beer taps

Beers on Tap at Carlsberg Aviator Lounge (CPH) in Copenhagen, Denmark

Our CPH-AMS flight was only 1 hour and 25 minutes long, but business class received a nice breakfast box that included blueberry pancakes, mixed fruit, granola, yogurt, and a beverage.

After we landed in Amsterdam, we took the 20 minute train ride from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station for $7 / person.  We then walked 10 minutes to the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.  The hotel is currently under renovation, so it is a bit loud during the day, but quiet at night.  We used 2 85K Free Night Certificates (from our 2 JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Credit Cards) and 58,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for the third night.  During my 2 previous trips to Amsterdam in 2015 and 2016, I stayed at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht and the Radisson Blu Amsterdam, both of which seemed nicer and in better locations.  The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is closer to the train station, but busier, noisier, and a little dirtier, compared to the other 2 hotels.

After checking into the hotel, we walked 5 minutes to do the Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise ($22 / person on Viator). Don’t forget, Viator Launches Viator Rewards; Earn 10% Rebate on Activities & Redeem Rewards for Future Activities within 6 Months.  There are many different canal tour companies that leave from various parts of the city, so you have lots of options.  Depending on the tour and ticket you purchase, you may have free alcohol on board, or you can pay for drinks on board.  It was a beautiful day for the canal tour and it was fun learning about the history of the various houses and buildings.

Later that day, we did a Best Amsterdam Food Tour ($99 / person on Viator).  We stopped at several restaurants and tried some tradition Dutch cheese, fries, sweets and drinks.  I wish I took more photos before devouring everything, but here are some of my favorites.

The next day, we did a Giethoorn and Enclosing Dike Day Trip ($87 / person on Viator).  Giethoorn is known as the “Little Venice” and included a 1 hour canal tour throughout the village.  The canal tour was very scenic, but the drive from Amsterdam took about 2 hours each way, so keep that in mind.

On our last day in Amsterdam, we did a Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam and Marken ($43 / person on Viator).  Zaanse Schans was the highlight of the tour since it included some beautiful windmills, a replica cheese shop, and beautifully painted Dutch shoes.

The next morning, we checked out of our hotel early, walked to the train station, took the train back to the airport, flew from Amsterdam to Frankfurt (AMS-FRA) and got on our Condor Airlines Business Class flight to Los Angeles (FRA-LAX) for 55,000 Alaska Airlines miles + $150 in taxes/fees per person.  Our flight was delayed, but we were able to hang out in the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge until boarding began.  We took a bus from the gate to our Condor Airlines plane and boarded the plane.  The plane livery reminds me of a green candy cane.  The seats were nice and had chest seatbelts for take off and landing (a first for me).  The food and drinks were very good and I slept for the second half of the flight.

The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel was the biggest disappointment about our stay in Amsterdam, but other than that, we had a great time.  If you have any questions about our flights or activities, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

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2 thoughts on “The Sites, Smells & Tastes from 3 Days in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Sharon, the Condor flight was only delayed about 90 minutes, so it was no big deal. We got to enjoy the Lufthansa Business Class lounge during our wait. We had to connect from 1 terminal to another in Frankfurt, which took a surprisingly long time, so the delay sort of helped with our connection.

      Yes, I did visit the Anne Frank House during a previous visit. I think they said reservations are required 4-6 weeks in advance now, but that may be seasonal.

      On a previous trip, I visited the Heineken Brewery Experience and the Van Gogh museum. Is there anything else you would recommend seeing/doing?


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