Drive vs Train

Old Jul 1st, 2021, 07:44 PM
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Drive vs Train

We are planning a trip to see the Tulips next spring. This will be our second trip to Amsterdam. We will stay a couple of nights in Amsterdam and then have an extra night before we go to Lisse and Haarlem for 3 nights to see the tulips. We are planning on seeing Utrecht, Gouda, Delft and The Hague. We would see Utrecht and spend the night in Gouda and then Delft and The Hague the next day ending up in Lisse. The question is would it be better to take the train or rent a car. I am concerned that there is not luggage storage at train stations. Look forward to any feedback.
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Old Jul 1st, 2021, 11:10 PM
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I've taken trains all over the Netherlands, from Amsterdam, Delft, Haarlem, and clear up to Groningen in the north, and they were great; don't know about the main tulip viewing, though, I'm sure someone will speak up about that specific aspect.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 12:58 AM
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Train is stupidly easy. Car can be stupidly difficult. Last year Amsterdam introduced a very difficult one way system into the city centre, our Aunt took ages to get out of town because of it. The local government want you to use the train, don't fight it.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cindiwilliams9089 View Post
We are planning a trip to see the Tulips next spring. This will be our second trip to Amsterdam. We will stay a couple of nights in Amsterdam and then have an extra night before we go to Lisse and Haarlem for 3 nights to see the tulips. We are planning on seeing Utrecht, Gouda, Delft and The Hague. We would see Utrecht and spend the night in Gouda and then Delft and The Hague the next day ending up in Lisse. The question is would it be better to take the train or rent a car. I am concerned that there is not luggage storage at train stations. Look forward to any feedback.
Train. Looking at the locations, those are all on major routes, with frequent intercity services. I would go the other way round though: Haarlem - Den Haag (stop in Leiden perhaps), Den Haag - Delft - Rotterdam, Rotterdam - Gouda, Gouda - Utrecht: easier train services, and no doubling of routes. But Haarlem Utrecht and then Utrecht - Gouda, Gouda - Den Haag, Den Haag - Delft is also perfectly viable. Most are journeys under 40 minutes, so no hardship. Den Haag - Delft can also be done by tram. The stretch along the Vliet to Delft is particularly nice.
Utrecht, Gouda, Den Haag, Delft all have good luggage storage.

If you go to https://www.ns.nl/stationsinformatie/ you can see facilities by station. I use these routes a lot and they're the main ones in Randstad, so good service overall: you won't need a car (and you forego serious issues parking it)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 03:21 AM
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Thanks for the ideas. It looks like training is the overwhelming response. I will do more research on the availability of luggage storage at each station.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cindiwilliams9089 View Post
Thanks for the ideas. It looks like training is the overwhelming response. I will do more research on the availability of luggage storage at each station.
I know from direct knowledge that all stations you mention have luggage storage (lockers, card payment). I don't know which size luggage you have though. These are all heavily used commuter routes. Even Gouda (the most minor one of these intercity stations) has them, so no worries, unless you bring bags that won't fit the lockers.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 10:35 AM
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Lisse doesn't have a train station. The only way to get there is by bus, I believe, say from Leiden.

If you are only going to LIsse to go to Keukenhof, be sure you are near the bus station (route 50). However, that same bus runs all the way from Leiden to Haarlem, so you don't have to stay in Lisse if you don't want. In fact, if you are going from there to Schiphol, you can't by train, obviously, so it might be better just to stay in Leiden, if you do want to go to the airport. that well be closer to The Hague, also. The bus from Leiden to Keukenhot does take about 1.25 hrs, but in the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad version the other trouble you would save.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2021, 10:47 AM
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Adding that from Leiden you can take trains to The Hague, Delft but also to Gouda via Alphen a/d Rijn and to Utrecht. And it's 10 minutes by train to Schiphol.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 03:16 AM
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Thanks so much for all your input.

My current thought is to visit Utrecht and Gouda by train. After dinner in Gouda we will press on to Delft to spend the night. Explore Delft then train to The Hague and then on to Leiden Central. Seems then we can store luggage in Utrecht,Gouda and The Hague. We will then rent a car in Leiden to get to our hotel in the tulip area. After 2 days there we can return the car and carry on by train to Paris. I know this won't be ample time to see these cities in-depth but we can at least get a taste for them.

Thought appreciated.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 03:27 AM
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My only concern is you are visiting a lot of cities. There are some really lovely villages and small towns worth a visit. Is this city visiting normal for you i.e. are there things you have to do in cities. The other thing you might enjoy is take a cycling journey, bike hiring in pretty easy and, because cycles have different infrastucture to cars you really don't need helmets or special clothing you just use a bike like most of us walk.

If any of this interests you come back.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cindiwilliams9089 View Post
Thanks so much for all your input.

My current thought is to visit Utrecht and Gouda by train. After dinner in Gouda we will press on to Delft to spend the night. Explore Delft then train to The Hague and then on to Leiden Central. Seems then we can store luggage in Utrecht,Gouda and The Hague. We will then rent a car in Leiden to get to our hotel in the tulip area. After 2 days there we can return the car and carry on by train to Paris. I know this won't be ample time to see these cities in-depth but we can at least get a taste for them.

Thought appreciated.
That's a good use of mainlines! As a suggestion: if you visit Utrecht in the morning and Gouda in the afternoon, dinner in Rotterdam might suit you better than dinner in Gouda (Gouda is not that big a city). You need to change trains in Rotterdam anyway for your connection in Delft. There are some very good places right outside Rotterdam Centraal. That way you also miss peak commute. Utrecht - Gouda - Rotterdam is a very busy line in the late afternoon.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2021, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
My only concern is you are visiting a lot of cities. There are some really lovely villages and small towns worth a visit. Is this city visiting normal for you i.e. are there things you have to do in cities. The other thing you might enjoy is take a cycling journey, bike hiring in pretty easy and, because cycles have different infrastucture to cars you really don't need helmets or special clothing you just use a bike like most of us walk.

If any of this interests you come back.
Gouda, Delft, they're tiny cities, at least the interesting, historical parts are small. That's not an entire day, but a few hours.
Also they've got luggage.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 06:45 AM
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Updated travel plans in Netherlands

Thanks you for the input. Our current plan is to train from Amsterdam to Utrecht and spend the night there after exploring the city for the day. We would then train to Gouda in the morning for the Thursday morning cheese market. An afternoon train to Leiden where we will pick up a rental car. Drive to Tulihoeven where we have a hotel. We would then have a car for the 3 days we will be in the tulip region. We would like to go to Noordwijk to see the construction of the floats on Thursday and then we have 8am tickets to Keukenhoff on Friday so we thought a car would be the easiset way to get around.

After seeing the parade on Saturday we will drive back to Leiden, turn in the car and then train to Haarlem where we will spend the night. The focus of these days are seeing the tulips.

Would love any feedback that you have on the trip.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 11:49 AM
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Excellent plans. What can I say? It's good you have a car for your visit to the Geestgronden (tulip country).
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Old Apr 3rd, 2022, 01:10 PM
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Thanks Menachem for the thoughts on a car.
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