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Recommendations Amsterdam

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--- Quote from: Dr.Jones on October 14, 2012, 12:22:13 PM ---Hi!

Thought i might use the forum for something, which i think you guys could help me out with.

I'm going to Amsterdam[Netherlands] tomorrow, and i would like to know if any of you have any recommendations. I'm thinking of beautiful places to visit and to photograph, and not the coffee shops which i am well aware of. 

Is there any "must visit" places?

Thanks in advance!
- Jones

--- End quote ---

Hi, there are so many "must have seen"-points that I recommend buying a city-guide there or picking up one of the flyers from your hotels info-display, the most important information is, that the people there from all over the former Netherland's imperium are very open und relaxed, so accept them as they are and don't wonder. Ah - in a "Coffee-Shop" you will not necessarily drink coffee, but see yourself. Many people there are from arabian or african countries, ask before taking photos. I have never heard a "no" - but aks (!). Some hotels in the inner city are very expensive but extremely ugly - avoid them chosing a hotel near Schiphol or in the outer rings, it is not too far to the old city and the urban traffic system is good and cheap. Parking in the city is extremely expensive, 50 - 55€/day. Better using bicycle ('Fietsers') or public transport.


Or Delft, birthplace of Johannes Vermeer. You get of the train, you cross the street and you are in the old part of Delft. With canals, buildings, houses, churches as they were 4 hundred years ago and less tourist. Its smaller then A'dam but you get a better feel of how things were around 16-1700.
Youre in luck. Its proper Dutch weather, with lots of wind and rain. ;)

Van Ghough museum.

the Scheepvaart museum (shipbuilding museum) is very nice if you're at all interested in boats & naval history; I mention it because it's not in the same area as most of the other museums (but it's close to theNemo science center).

There are a lot of beautiful old towns close to Amsterdam that can be easily visited on a day trip, as a few others here have suggested.  I believe the closest one is Haarlem, but Delft, Leiden, Utrect, etc, etc are all extremely picturesque.  Most can be reached on a short train ride from Centraal Station.  I also highly recommend renting a bike rather than trying to learn the tram or bus system; the city's small enough that you can get anywhere on a bike in about 20 minutes.  If you're not used to a coaster ("retropedal") brake make sure you specify a bike with handbrakes or you will crash into someone like my girlfriend did!

A stroll through the flower market is a great place for street shots.

My favorite place to get a drink in Amsterdam is the IJ brewery.  It's on the east side of the city, built inside a windmill.  See also

I'd suggest staying in a rental apartment or a B&B rather than a hotel.  My experience in central Amsterdam is that there are two kinds of hotels:

* the expensive kind
* the dirty kind
whereas with every rental apartment we've stayed in the owners have been proud of their presentation and very kind & helpful people (though there are several fine boutique hotels in the smaller cities).  The two B&B's I recommend the highest are Maes and Boogaard's, but they are usually fully booked months in advance.  Do check them out though as it's the off-season & they do have cancellations from time to time.  Staying in the city itsself is much nicer than staying in a business hotel outside the city as you can come and go as you please, and you can get everywhere you want on a bike.

Do make the effort of learning some basic Dutch phrases (at the least: hello, goodbye, please, thank you, yes, no, count to 10).  Pretty much everyone except very rural people speak very good English, but this is the main reason you want to learn some Dutch :-).  They see *A LOT* of tourists and you will really stand out from the unwashed hordes if you put forth a little bit of effort, and you'll be rewarded with better service as a result.

Too much to mention. Renting a bike is a good idea, IF you are an experienced cyclist and you don't have problems with right hand-side traffic.
NB There is NO Damplein in Amsterdam, the proper name is simply Dam.

Outside of the center, I can recommed seeing the Tropenmuseum, near Artis (the zoo). A nice colonial building, proudly exhibiting the riches we stole from the Indies.
Inside the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) (next door, same building) you will notice the door handles in the form of elephant heads.
The Aula (used as theatre and for meetings) has remarkable wooden statues towering above your head.

Outside Amsterdam one could mention Haarlem, very beautiful centre, church with a famous organ (often used for concerts), canals etc.
A small but beautiful old village North of Amsterdam (reachable by bus) is De Rijp. Townhall by Leeghwater, museum.

South of Amsterdam, on the banks of the Amstel river is the town of Uithoorn. Not very exciting, but the Cindu, a chemical factory bordering the Amstel is worthwile if you are interested in industrial designs.

Futher from Amsterdam, not very far from Dordrecht (reachable by train an bus) is Kinderdijk, famous for its windmills. Very spectacular, but rather touristy.

Delft and Leiden both have very attractive centres.
All depend on how much time you will have.

If you go in summer and the wind is North, you can easily cycle all the way from Amsterdam to Dordrecht, following rivers most of the time.

Kind regards,

Rob (in Solo)


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