After five days in Amsterdam, we leave for Istanbul today. We walked from our apartment over to Elandsgracht bus station and took bus no. 197 to Schiphol. Bus fare is €5 and you drop in-front of the arrival terminal. You just need to take the escalator inside to go up to the departure terminal. This is the same bus we took earlier before changing to another to go to Keukenhof. Our Turkish Airline flight departure is at 12:00 p.m.
Having arrived Schiphol early at 8:30 a.m. and check-in counter not open yet, we proceeded to do our VAT refund for a couple of purchases made in London & Paris. It’s quite a straight forward procedure. Fill up your purchase receipt with the required information beforehand, bring along the goods to the VAT refund counter for the officer to chop the documents and inspect the goods.
Schiphol VAT counters is at the far left of the departure hall if you are looking from outside. Hand over the documents and the officer may or may not require to see the goods purchased. In our case, among the couple of goods purchased, the officer wanted to see the ‘MK’ handbag my wife bought in Paris. The officer didn’t even touch the handbag but merely wanted to see it physically. Once the document has been chopped by the officer, put the documents into the prepaid envelope, and drop it into the post box nearby. That’s all. Oh, there were about 10 people in the queue and three counters manned.
I had requested for the VAT refund into my credit card account. I was made to understand if you opt for a cash refund, you can go downstairs at arrival terminal and obtain it from an authorised refund point, GMK Travelex.
Still with time in our hands, we headed to the Blue Boat Company which is just at the back of Hard Rock for a canal cruise of Amsterdam. We had booked an ‘open’ day one hour cruise from their website here. There was recorded commentary during the trip and we were offered free tidbits and one soft/hot drink each.
The cruise boat. Fully enclosed with windows and glass top. Toilet available.
Parts of Amsterdam the cruise boat passed.
The house in the middle is the slimmest in Amsterdam.
The bus stop at the back of Amsterdam Central station.
With still time to spare for the day, from Amsterdam Central Station, you can take trams no. 1, 2 or 5 to Leidseplein and walk over to Hard Rock Cafe. We went over to the Rock Shop for some souvenirs for our children. As with London & Paris, the Rock Shop here isn’t big.
Map to HRC. About 3 minutes walk away. Credit : hardrock.com/cafes/amsterdam/