Amsterdam by Eurostar…. Thanks to the Eurostar, Amsterdam is now closer than ever and you don’t even have to worry about buying tiny shampoo bottles and squeezing them into a little plastic bag to go through airport security. This new route, running directly from London St Pancras to Amsterdam is a real blessing for travellers but there’s one catch. It’s one way. Due to complications around passport checking, you can’t get the Eurostar directly back to London. You have to get the train back to Brussels and then the Eurostar from there. Even with this issue creating a more lengthy homeward journey, is a day trip to Amsterdam really feasible?
Look at what you can do during a day trip to Amsterdam
If you take the first direct train to Amsterdam from London and the last possible train back, it gives you just over four hours in the city. That’s not very long to see a major European city so you really have to think about which activities or sites are the most practical to fit in in a short space of time. Thankfully, because the train station is so central to the city, lots of cool stuff you’d want to see is very close by and hiring a bike for a few hours can be a great way to whizz around and soak up the atmosphere. The Jordaan neighbourhood is notoriously pretty and only a short bike ride away so it’s a great place to start. Anything involving a long queue is definitely out so beautiful impressive places of worship are a good option. Westerkirk is a church near to Anne Frank’s house and she even mentions hearing its bells in her famous diary. It’s definitely worth a look and, from just outside Anne Frank’s house, you can catch a canal boat for a short hour long trip. Some of the smaller quirkier museums are doable in such a short space of time and there is always time to grab a quick Dutch beer in one of the traditional ‘brown cafes’ which are the Amsterdam equivalent of an ‘old man’s pub’.
There are some things you might not be able to fit in
Forget trying to get into Anne Frank’s house unless you desperately want to see it. The queues are usually enormous and, even if you get in quickly, the pace people go through the house will eat up your precious time. The big galleries and museums like the Hermitage, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are far too packed full of fascinating stuff to try to get around with such a tight time constraint and hiring out a pedalo to take down the canals is a definite no-no. Can you imagine panicking and frantically trying to speed along in a pedalo?
Is it Worth it?
There’s no doubt that it will be a great idea to take a day trip to Amsterdam when there is a direct Eurostar route going both ways so you have a decent amount of time but, as it is, it’s likely the thing you will look at the most in Amsterdam will be your watch. However, for anyone who has never visited the city before and would love to just snatch a glimpse at this unique city (and isn’t afraid to dash around), it could be a swift adventure worth having. Whether you choose to make a flying visit – without flying – or use this handy new Eurostar route to make a weekend of it, ERV’s European travel insurance is a great value way to make sure everything is covered.