'Classic' visit Holland tour (7 days)

Experience the Dutch way of life when you visit Amsterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, The Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Leiden. In this 'classic' visit Holland tour, you will become familiair with the bright city lights of these beautiful and historic Dutch cities. Of course you will also visit the authentic Dutch countryside, de Zaanse schans and other windmills. This trip starts in Utrecht, a historic city with many hidden treasures and home to the Dom tower, which is the largest church tower of the Netherlands (95 mtrs). In the Hague you will visit the Mauritshuis, a unique 17th-century palace, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Dutch classicist architecture. Here you can see work painted by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens and van Dijck and many more. In Leiden you'll become familiair with it's famous almshouses, university, museums and glorious history. After your visit to Leiden it's time to explore the authentic Dutch landscapes and countryside. You will drive to the Zaanse schans, a small village on the banks of the Zaan river, complete with neat and tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Clock Museum and the first Albert Heijn store. Also you'll visit Volendam, an isolated Dutch fishing village, well-known for it's atmosphere of authenticity. The tour ends in Amsterdam, the capitol of the Netherlands and a legendary city with a long history. During your stay in Amsterdam you will enjoy it's beautiful canals on foot and with a special boat-tour. Also you'll visit it's famous museums: Rijksmuseum, van Gogh museum and the Hermitage. See the itinerary below for more information about this tour.






Day 1) Highlight: Experience Utrecht by day and night

You will arrive at Amsterdam Central Station in the afternoon. Meet and greet your tour director, who will bring you to your motor coach. After becoming acquainted with your fellow travelers the bus will bring you to Utrecht, where you will be staying the coming 3 nights. Upon arrival check into your hotel and relax. Later that day, the tour director will walk you to the center of town, where you will meet your official city guide for a city tour. Utrecht has a rich history that goes back to the beginning of our Christian Era. The Dom Tower, the churches, the beautiful historical buildings and the canals with their wharf cellars are typical of the city. After your sightseeing tour you will have time to go shopping (the department stores are open till 19:00 hrs). At 19:00 hours, the group will meet in front of the Dom Tower and your tour director will walk with you to a nice restaurant for your welcome dinner. This is the time to get to know the other members of the group and share your first impressions of Holland. After dinner at +/- 21:30 you can join the tour director for a very special tour of Utrecht by night. From sunset to midnight you can visit an innovative art project. Throughout the city’s historical centre you can follow a route past artistically lit works of art and locations. The goal of this project is to illuminate this city’s past and present in a spectacular fashion.


Day 2) Highlight: See the Hague and visit museum the Mauritshuis

After breakfast a motor coach will bring you to the Hague. This city is the Dutch seat of government and home to the royal family. It is also referred to as ‘the legal capital of the world’.  As home to the International Court of Justice, The Hague is the only city outside of New York with a UN main body and nearly every international organization in the field of peaceful administration has a representation in this city. Upon arrival your city guide will join you and he will show you the sights. Around noon you have time to enjoy lunch and experience the local atmosphere. In the afternoon your tour director will bring you to the Mauritshuis, a unique 17th-century palace, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Dutch classicist architecture. In the last 200 years the collection of the Mauritshuis has grown considerably. In 1822 the museum housed around 200 paintings, but now it has nearly 800. We advise you to admire the wonderful paintings from the ‘Golden Age’ the 17th century. You can see work painted by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens and van Dijck and many more. The Mauritshuis is still open till April 2012 and will then be closed for 2 year renovation. Around 16:30 hours will leave the Hague to return to Utrecht, where you are free for dinner.


Day 3) Highlight: Visit the city of Leiden

Today you will visit the university town of Leiden. The city is famous for its almshouses, university, museums and glorious history. The spirit of the Golden Age lives on here, a place where Rembrandt was born and inspired so many other influential painters.


Day 3) (continued) Highlight: Visit the city of Leiden

After breakfast, the motor coach will bring you to Leiden. Around 10:00 hrs the group will be joined by an official guide who will show you the sights. There is still much of the rich city history visible everywhere in Leiden. During this guided tour you will visit the most historic spots, along which some beautiful almshouses, where time seems to have stood still. You will be amazed by the beauty the 17th century city centre has to offer. Around noon you are free to explore the city on your own and have lunch. If you want to buy a bargain and you don’t mind a hectic atmosphere and like some wheeling and dealing, then make sure to visit the famous market. Almost everything you can imagine can be found at Leiden’s street market. On Wednesdays and Saturdays the stalls of this bustling market line the Botermarkt, the Vismarkt, the Aalmarkt and the Nieuwe Rijn, adding an extra touch of local and foreign color to shopping in Leiden. And do not worry about missing out on a good bargain. The vendors at the Leiden market put on quite a show in order to make sure you hear about their special deals and quality—a city tradition that has been carried on for 900 years.


At 14:00 hrs, you will return to Utrecht, where you are free for the rest of the day to go sightseeing and relax. We suggest you to have a drink in one of the many cozy café’s.


Day 4) Highlight: Dutch countryside, bicycles and windmills

After a good breakfast buffet, check out of your hotel in Utrecht. Today you will see the authentic Dutch landscapes and countryside during your drive to the Zaanse Schans, located only a few kilometers to the north of Amsterdam.  This is a small village on the banks of the Zaan river, complete with neat and tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Clock Museum and the first Albert Heijn store. In the 17th and 18th century there were thousands of windmills along the dykes; sawmills, dye mills, oil mills etc that powered the Dutch economy. The Zaanse Schans village gives you a picture of what it must have been like. Not all the windmills and buildings started out in Zaanse Schans, many of them were moved here from the region as they came under threat from urban development across North Holland. During your stay at this open air museum you will visit a windmill, a cheese farm and a clog factory. Enjoy the fresh air and the impressive cloud formations in the Dutch sky.


Day 4) (continued) Highlight: visit Zaanse Schans and Volendam

At noon the bus will bring you to a Dutch fishing village situated on the banks of the former Zuiderzee now called IJsselmeer. As a result of its rather isolated location, this village preserved its character for six centuries, also because of the tough mentality of the fishermen it is a challenge to integrate in this community. The characteristic small houses, which together with the canals and the drawbridges form the most picturesque spots, present the visitor an atmosphere of authenticity. On the other hand the local population does not mind to sell the tourist souvenirs or serve them wonderful fish dishes in the many restaurants located in the centre of Volendam. From 13:00 – 14:30 you are free for lunch and to explore the village. We advice you to visit Hotel Spaander. The hotel owns more than one thousand 19th century paintings that can tell you stories from the past. They always have an interesting art collection on display which you can enjoy while drinking a cup of coffee or tea.


At 14:00 hours you will meet in front of Hotel Spaander and your tour director will walk you to your bus. From there it is a short drive to Amsterdam. Upon arrival the motor coach will show you some of the sights during a panoramic drive through town. This way you can get an idea what this exiting city has to offer. In the late afternoon you will check into your hotel. Tonight you are free to have dinner and you can go shopping, because on Thursday the shops are open till 21:00 hrs in the centre of this cosmopolitan city.


Day 5) Highlight: Enjoy a canal boat tour and visit the van Gogh Museum

After breakfast it is time to become familiar with the capital of the Netherlands. The most wonderful thing about Amsterdam is the friendly atmosphere and the liberal way of life. This trendy city combines the old and the new and is a treat for art lovers. Do like the locals do and move around town by bicycle, by tram or on foot.


Day 5) (continued): Highlight: City tour of wonderful Amsterdam   

Every participant will receive an ‘I Amsterdam City Card’ which is truly your key to the city. This card is your public transport pass (valid for 48 hours), your ticket to Amsterdam’s top attractions (e.g. museums) and your voucher for great discounts and free surprises. Your tour director will bring you to the Leidseplein by tram (streetcar). Then it’s time for a journey along the canals in a glass-topped boat, so you can admire that typically decorative Dutch architecture from the water and see the former warehouses and merchant mansions with their beautiful gable stones.  Since 2010 UNESCO has included the area around Amsterdam’s three main canals on the list of World Heritage Sites. After an hour the tour will end and you will walk to the van Goghs museum. Here you can admire the largest collection of paintings by Vincent and see his development through the years.


In the early afternoon your tour director will accompany you to a lively square in town centre called the Leidseplein. Here you can find many nice restaurants and cafés, where you can enjoy lunch. At 14:00 hrs you will meet the other participants of your group at the fountain in front of  the American Hotel. Then it’s time to learn more about Amsterdam, during your city tour on foot. You will admire the architecture, see busy shopping streets but also hidden treasures like ‘the Begijnhof’ a wonderful court yard a true refuge from the chaos of the center. This medieval courtyard was founded in the 1300s and is home to a hidden chapel and a number of historic Dutch houses. The tour will end at the famous Dam square, where the Royal Palace is located, this impressive building was originally built as a town hall for Amsterdam’s administrative and judicial authorities. Around 16 hours you are free to go shopping and sightseeing. There is plenty to do and see and please keep in mind, that your City Card offers you free admission to many venues like the Nieuwe Kerk (monumental church) or the Amsterdam museum. A lively, international city like Amsterdam deserves an exciting museum. So the most modern forms of multimedia are used. Discover the surprising objects that make the past seem real. Have fun and make sure to experience Amsterdam by night. Friday is a lively night in town and you can meet many locals who are having fun.


Day 6) Highlight: Pay a visit to the wonderful Hermitage Museum

After breakfast your tour director will bring you by tram to the Rembrandtsplein. From there you will cross the Amstel river via the famous ‘Skinny bridge’ or Magere brug as the Dutch call it. This wooden bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in the city and will bring you to the Hermitage museum which is the Dutch branch of the world-famous Hermitage in Saint Petersburg (Russia). The museum presents itself as an unique exhibition venue and a cultural educational centre, portraying Russian history and culture. After enjoying this cultural experience you are free for the rest of the afternoon to go sightseeing or shopping. Close to the Hermitage you can find the Waterlooplein, where a daily flea market is located and please remember that you can still make use of your Amsterdam Card. Many public transport options are free of charge and you have free admission to many more sights.


At 19:00 hours, meet at the lobby of your hotel. Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. Your tour director will bring you to a pleasant restaurant where you will have dinner with the members of the group. We hope that you have made new friends and that you have learned to appreciate the Dutch way of life?


Day 7 Highlight: Memories are here to stay 

After breakfast, you can still spend a few hours in Amsterdam. Make sure that you have checked out the hotel and have your last Dutch cup of coffee before you have transfer by motor coach to Amsterdam Central Station for your train home.


Kantoor- & Bezoekadres (op afspraak):
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
(op het Leidseplein, in gebouw van 'de BALIE')
1017RR Amsterdam
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