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Trip Report 3 nights in Amsterdam

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This site was very helpful when planning my trip, so here is the Amsterdam portion of my trip in case anyone is interested.

Decided to fly into Amsterdam to start our trip and to stay an extra night (from 2 to 3)
We flew in Schipol with no problems and after sorting out options to the hotel decided to just take the hotel shuttle (16 euros). More expensive than bus or train yes, but door to door when jet lagged also yes.
We stayed at the Marriott near Leidseplein . I did stay there before on a business trip 10 years ago but only for 1 night. This time was my wife and I (mid 50s)
Marriott is a bit pricey ($300 euros per night) but was full service and great location. We will come back and probably stay in the same area if not the same hotel.

We had a full 3 days there so lots of time to wander around and see the sights.
Did not buy the I amsterdam card, seemed like it would require too many museums in order to get value, plus Ann Frank not included. (we get burnt out from too many museums despite what others say)
what we did
Van Gogh museum - did enjoy it, headphones give self guided tour, would have gotten more out of it but was a bit jet lagged.
Ann Frank house - definitely recommend, very sobering and sad but powerful
Amsterdam museum - kind of stunk, I guess if you have nothing to do there is some value but don't have high expectations
Heineken experience - not bad, kind of fun, I would recommend
Canal boat ride - went on a small boat (about 10 people) highly recommend, an excellent city and boat ride.

Plenty of pot smoking everywhere outside, plus you can go into a coffee shop and buy it and smoke it to your hearts content. we went into 'the bulldog' near our hotel to check it out because its also a bar with karaoke at times , very friendly and safe environment
Buy a 24 hour tram pass for your full stay, its only about $7 euro, it will save you endless walking or from getting lost.
restaurants - try Puri Mas for the Indonesian rijstafel (rice table) dinners.
Red light district - we walked thru at night, somewhat seedy, mostly younger guys hanging around the individual doors/windows. Not a great atmosphere, kind of depressing.
Live Sex shows -we didn't attend, I went some years ago and thought they were terrible and so didn't want to go back although the tourists were lining up.

We will try to always start our future European trips with a couple nights in Amsterdam (probably only 2 nights is enough), next time will try to make it May/June season. Then we took an ICE train into Cologne for the rest of our trip (more details in another Germany trip report)

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