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tim-b

Original Poster:

1,210 posts

94 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd May 2012 quote quote all
I'm taking the OH to Keukenhof at the weekend for her b'day (hopefully the tulips will still look nice!), staying in Noordwijk aan Zee. I guess Keukenhof will take up most of day 1 (we'll arrive around lunchtime), but day 2 I haven't made plans for....so I thought perhaps a visit to either Den Haag, Haarlem or even Rotterdam (I'll have the car but preferably not travel too much further than that). We've been to Amsterdam before - so maybe not there - does anyone have any other suggestions, or opinions on the above?

We like exploring quirky towns with nice little coffee shops (just coffee - I'm driving wink), or more urban areas with interesting modern architecture....basically anywhere with character! Unfortunately I am completely ignorant about Holland, so any ideas or 'town/city descriptions in a nutshell' would be a great starting point.

TIA! thumbup

PS Yes I know there is a race on at Zaandvort on Sunday, I did drop a subtle hint to the missus but it didn't go down too well...;)

CooperD

1,429 posts

61 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd May 2012 quote quote all
Den Haag is well worth a visit. Plenty to see and do of a cultural nature. The Mauritshuis Museum houses several works of art including the Girl With The Pearl Earing picture by Johannes Vermeer. It's situated near the Dutch Parliament Building. I can also recommend Delft, very pretty little city with some fine old canals.

troc

1,490 posts

59 months

[news] 
Wednesday 2nd May 2012 quote quote all
A second vote for Delft, small, compact and very picturesque. Great cafes and restaurants too. There's also the pottery to visit and various Vermeer related things. Perfect for a day smile

Plus awesome PHers live in Delft wink

pgmvveld

76 posts

167 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Another vote for Delft or otherwise Haarlem or Gouda.

Cheers Peter
(another PH'er from Delft)

PaulHogan

2,770 posts

162 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Leeuwarden. Lovely town, not touristy.
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troc

1,490 posts

59 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
PaulHogan said:
Leeuwarden. Lovely town, not touristy.
It is lovely around there but it's also rather a long drive from the Keukenhof smile

PaulHogan

2,770 posts

162 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
I'd guess about 2 hours? And you get to drive the afsluitdijk, which is worth at least 87 in scrabble.

tim-b

Original Poster:

1,210 posts

94 months

[news] 
Thursday 3rd May 2012 quote quote all
Thanks guys, Delft sounds just about perfect, may also pop into Den Haag and have a look around if there's time. thumbup

Does anyone have any specific recommendations for Delft, i.e. 'must see' things/places/restaurants, or is the whole town agreeable? I'll have a look on tripadvisor, but I expect a bit of local knowledge is far more insightful.

Since I'm living in Cologne at the moment I'll put Leeuwarden on the list for another time (only 3hrs drive according to google)! wink

pgmvveld

76 posts

167 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
If you visit Delft on a Sunday, not all shops and museums will be open. There is a big dig going on at Central train station.
I don't know a lot about museums (you tend not to visit the ones where you live).
There are the old church (600 years) and the new church (400 years old) for instance.

Good coffee at Lunchcafe Vrij, Kaldi or Bagel&Beans (on the market).
Nice lunches for instance at Lunchcafe Vrij, Stadskoffiehuis, Vlaanderen (Beestenmarkt) or Moodz.
Lots of choices for dinner, depending very much on your preferences and budget. I don't mind recommending a few if you can give me some idea of what you would like.

Enjoy the weekend anyway although the weather does not seem to be with you,
Peter.

troc

1,490 posts

59 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
Yeah there's a HUGE construction outside the station but that doesn't spoil the centre of town at all. This Sunday most things should be open as it's 'koopzondag' but all the tourist stuff will be open anyway I think. Couple of decent museums - the army museum (legermuseum) is worth a visit for example.

If the main tower of the new church on the main square is open, it's well worth the walk up to the top for an excellent view of the surrounding world - you can see for a loooooooooooooooooooong way as everything is so flat smile

Good places to eat or have coffee - in addition to previously suggested, Stadscafe de Waag is nice, we also like Volders 4 for nice sandwiches. For beer, my usual hangout is the Doerak which has a nice atmosphere and a good selection. All depends what you are looking for. There's an excellent delicatessen on the Brabantse Turfmarkt too if you want to take some good cheese home. I recommend going there and getting some very old Dutch "brokkelkaas". They are happy for you to taste before you buy smile

If you park in the zuidpoort underground carpark (http://g.co/maps/szpkp), you'll be nice and close to everything.

tim-b

Original Poster:

1,210 posts

94 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
Very much appreciated chaps, the missus will surely be impressed by 'my' research and planning! hehe

Will definitely check out those cafe/deli/sandwich places for lunch...don't worry about those dinner recommendations Peter, we'll probably leave early evening.

Thanks!

Super Slo Mo

3,089 posts

82 months

[news] 
Friday 4th May 2012 quote quote all
You've also got Floriade on this year, which if your OH is into flowers and stuff, she'll like. It's a massive park though, took us a day to whizz around it.

troc

1,490 posts

59 months

[news] 
Sunday 6th May 2012 quote quote all
How'd it go?

Just realises we should have told you to go to the louwman museum smile

A proper PH place to visit - one of the best private car collections in the world!

tim-b

Original Poster:

1,210 posts

94 months

[news] 
Wednesday 9th May 2012 quote quote all
Hi chaps,

Pleased to report that Delft was a big success (as were Noordwijk and Keukenhof). We actually changed plans and went to Delft on Saturday after seeing the weather forecast would be better for Keukenhof on Sunday. So we didn't get to spend that much time in Delft, as we arrived later than expected, and due to a broken sat-nav left early to ensure we made our dinner booking in Noordwijk. But we did pop into Vrij for lunch (good choice) and enjoyed wandering the streets/canals, and the flea-markets just West of the big square. I think we'll go back again sometime when we're not in so much of a rush (especially in light of the Louwman museum!), so the other recommendations aren't wasted wink

Weather wasn't great for pics, but I took some anyway that can be found here. Pretty impressed by the number of classic cars in Holland, definitely more than I see in Germany.thumbup

Also some Noordwijk & Keukenhof pics if you're interested.

Thanks again,

Tim
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