Guidebook Updates for the Netherlands

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on the Netherlands, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across the Netherlands

  • The Dutch rail system no longer issues paper tickets for domestic trains; even single tickets are now issued on a smartcard. If the train station has electronic gates, passengers who printed tickets online or who have rail passes should look for a gate with an attendant.

Aalsmeer

For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:

Amsterdam

For books printed before August 2014, the following may apply:
  • Wetlands Safari prices for 2014 are €48 for adults, €29 for kids ages 7–16; claim a €3 discount by showing your Rick Steves book.
  • Joy Ride Bike Tours' popular "city by bike" tour is now offered only as a private tour (not a group tour). Call 06-4361-1798 or check their site for information.
  • The Hermitage Amsterdam is no longer open late on Wednesdays, and can no longer be easily reached with tram #14 (tram #9 from the station still works, though).
  • Boogaards B&B has moved to a new location at Pieter Jacobszstraat 21, close to Dam Square (Db-€145, 2-night minimum, same owners, same contact info plus new mobile number: 06-3499-1941).
  • Café Vertigo (in Vondelpark) has closed.
  • Boom Chicago has moved from its longtime home on Leidseplein to Rozengracht 117.
  • Most train-ticket machines in the Netherlands do not accept American-style magnetic stripe credit or debit cards; without a chip-and-pin card the only option is to pay cash at a ticket window.
For books printed before June 2013, the following may also apply:
Orientation
  • The main tourist information office, located across the street from Central Station, now has slightly shorter hours: July–Aug Mon–Sat 9:00–19:00, Sun 10:00–17:00; Sept–June Mon–Sat 9:00–18:00, Sun 10:00–17:00.
  • Frederic Rent-a-Bike has raised their prices for 2012: €15/24 hours, €25/48 hours, €60/week; still with a 10 percent discount off multiday rentals for Rick Steves readers. They now offer three-hour rental for €8, and one-day rental for €10 if the bike is returned by 17:30.
Sights
  • The Rijksmuseum has reopened following an extensive renovation, which has restored the great building to its original 1885 glory. The museum is open daily 9:00–17:00; admission is €15 (covered by the Museumkaart; discounted admission with an I amsterdam Card). Rijksmuseum tickets are again available online. The tourist information office no longer sells Rijksmuseum tickets (but does still sell tickets for the Van Gogh and Stedelijk museums).
  • At the Anne Frank House, you cannot skip the entry line with a Museumkaart (but the card does cover entry to the museum). The only way to avoid the lines is to make an online reservation (book as soon as possible), or arrive right when it opens, or late in the day. Museumkaart holders can purchase an online reservation without buying a separate Anne Frank House ticket.
  • The Maritime Museum has reopened after four years of renovations, and is well worth a visit (€15, includes visit to VOC ship Amsterdam — now moored out back, daily 9:00–17:00).
  • The Old Church (Oude Kerk) is now closed Sunday–Wednesday (still open Thu–Sat 13:00–17:00 in summer and closed Oct–March).
  • Admission to the Tassen Museum is now covered by both the Museumkaart and I amsterdam City Card.
  • The Willet-Holthuysen Museum now has an audioguide (€3).
  • Admission to the Dutch Theater is no longer free, but requires the €12 combo-ticket that covers admission to the Jewish Historical Museum.
  • The Tropical Museum is now closed on Mondays.
  • De Hortus Botanical Garden is now open daily 10:00–17:00 year-round.

Delft

For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:

  • Delft's tourist information office has moved to Kerkstraat 3, near the New Church and the Markt.
  • Het Konings Huys Hotel in Delft has closed, although its restaurant remains open.

Haarlem

For books printed before August 2014, the following may apply:

The Hague

For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:

  • The Hague's top art museum — the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery — is under renovation until mid-2014. Much of the collection of Dutch Golden Age artists — including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals — is currently on view at The Hague's Gemeentemuseuminstead (from the TI, take tram #17 to the Gemeentemuseum stop; from Central Station, take bus #24).
  • A new visitors center has opened for the Peace Palace in The Hague, but it's harder to get inside the actual building, which houses the International Court of Justice. If you want to see the interior, you must reserve a tour online at www.vredespaleis.nl. Tours are held only on Saturdays and Sundays, and because of court schedules, you can only book about six weeks in advance.

Keukenhof

For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:

  • Bus #89, which runs from The Hague's Centraal Station to the Keukenhof flower show is no longer running. The bus numbers for other connections to Keukenhof have changed: The Leiden–Keukenhof bus is now #854 (formerly #54), and the Schiphol Airport–Keukenhof bus is now #858 (formerly #58).

Waterland

For books printed before June 2013, the following may apply:

  • Arriva bus #112 from Amsterdam to Edam and Volendam has been replaced by EBS buses #314 or #317 (still 2/hour).
  • The bus between Amsterdam Central Station and Marken is now the #311 (now leaves Marken at :15 and :45 after the hour).