4 Days in Amsterdam

Old May 25th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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4 Days in Amsterdam

I will be in Amsterdam from June 30 to July 3. Any suggestions on what things are a must-do or must-see for a first time visitor to Amsterdam. Willing to step out of Amsterdam also?
pakmaninusa is offline  
Old May 25th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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There is lots to do and see in Amsterdam but what is best depends on your tastes. We spent 3 days there for the first time in Sept. Places we think are in the must see category: Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Historical Museum and Anne Frank House. I am sure there are others. Don't miss the opportunity to take a canal boat around the city and to walk. It is a wonderful city to see by boat and foot. (There are many, many resources on the internet.) Have fun. bob

I particularly enjoyedCanal House was a charming hotel located at Keizersgracht 148. Ate dinner at very nice Dutch restaurant named Haesjes Claes at Keizersgracht 146.

Sept. 15 Wed. Amsterdam

Breakfast in Canal House sitting room followed by short walk to Anne Frank house
which is one of the few attractions in Amsterdam that opens before 10am. The tour was very worthwhile and a moving experience. Picked up the Museum tour boat outside Anne Frank house for the one hour ride past the port and along the canals to the Again lucky because the rains decended while we were on the boat with a glass roof! The sun was out when we arrived at the museusms.
Toured Van Gogh Museum and enjoyed special exhibit of Manet and the Sea as well as
many sea pictures by other impressionists?Monet, Renoir, etc. On to Rijksmuseum for collection of Dutch Golden Age art. Wonderful exhibition of many Rembrandt and VerMeer paintings. Spent about 4 hours in the museums enjoying every minute. Returned to Anne Frank house via Museum boat and walked back to Canal House.
Dinner at a brown bar called Reiger in Jordaan. Small local bar with wonderful and
reasonably priced dinner. English speaking guests were all in the front room because all the locals were in the back where smoking was permitted.

Sept. 16 Thurs. Amsterdam

Breakfast at the Canal House and walk to Westerkirk next to Anne Frank house. Tower
tours on the half hour starting at 11am so off to Theater Museum. An architecturally interesting set of 4 canal houses. Also opens at 11am so off again to where we learned about the history of the city, building of the canals and dams, growth of the city, etc. Very interesting court yard that was once home to an orphanage. Lunch in the courtyard at David and Goliaths near the outdoor lockers used by the orphans. After lunch walked around the flower market and purchased bulbs. Leisurely walk home along the canals passing hundreds of bikes and boats and concluding with a walk around Jordaan. Dinner at DaDek another brown bar. Good food and convenient to the Canal House (one canal away). Walked around the Dam and red light district which was interesting at best and seedy. Not a highlight of the trip.
Packed for trip home.
Beechtree is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 11:37 AM
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I am more of a "wanderer" than a guidebook sight-seer, and that worked very nicely in Amsterdam. I particularly enjoyed Vondelpark and the Leidseplein area. Also the novelty of a day time walk around the red light district and stop in one of the erotica museums.

I did not think to do this myself but a canal boat tour is considered a "must do" by many people.
suze is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Historical Museum, canal cruise, Botanical garden (small but pretty/ cute/ nice), Red Lights District...
There is a Madame Tussaud museum in the Dam Square. You can book for a day trip to see the mills, a clogs workshop, fishermen village, Edam cheese factory, beautiful countryside. There is a tourist office just outside the railway station, a little to the left, where you can see what day trips they have and book one there.
Rembrandt's House museum, if you have time. Wander around the Dam Square and watch the occasional artists perform.
A walk in the Vondelpark - watch the people bycicling from work, teenagers holding hands while riding their bycicles, youngsters playing their tricks on the rollerblades...
While in town, watch out not to walk on the alleys made specially for bikes, as they are adjacent to the pedestrian pavements. They will ring the bell at you, anyway, but there's quite a traffic...
A trip to Haarlem, 15 minutes by train. Trains in that direction run every few minutes, half an hour at the most. A very beautiful town, Frans Hals museum, and another very good museum, I forgot its name, but it is on the Spaarne (Is this the name of the river?) banks... Technology museum, or something like this. Very good museum, they say it's the oldest in the Netherlands...

Enjoy your trip.
gabrieltraian is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 02:53 PM
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I used to live in Amsterdam ( een jaar en een half!) and should be shot for never stepping foot in the Rijksmuseum. Please go see it, for me. ;o)

Anyway, it was nearly a decade ago but here are things I can add to the suggestions above:

1. Rent a bike and go for a ride out of the city. I lived near the Westerpark for a brief time, and there's a road that passes near there that is pretty and picturesque with an old windmill on it. OR find the route out to AmsterdammerBos (it's out past all the streets that are named after musicians, like Beethovenstraat, and american historical figures, etc) in the south of A'dam and take a dip in the cool waters of the lake out there.

2. The Westergaasfabrik (sp?) is a cool little cafe to hang out in by day, alot of artists hang out there for cafe verkeerd and company. At night, it turns into more of a night club and they also serve dinner. (That is, if it still exists).

3. If you're there on the right days, there's a flea market on the Waterlooplien, near the Het National Theater. If you're into nightlife, I think there's supposed to be some kind of Cirque de Soleil performance rave thing that happens behind Centraal Station in the summers.

4. Definitely hang out in Vondelpark! Have a weisbeer met lemon on the terrace out back. Go rollerlblading.

5. Walk around the old area behind the Waterlooplein. I can't remember what it's called now, but there's some really pretty old buildings and stuff back there.

6. Watch buskers in Rembrantsplein or Leidserplein.

7. Budget awesome lunch- you can get the most awesome falafels in the Leidserplein!

8. I'm not a fan of dutch cooking, but what is abundant and tasty in A'dam- Indonesian food, Surinaam, Turkish and even some good Greek. I practically lived on fresh salads and yogurt from a Greek takeout place just of of Rozengracht in the Jordaan when I first moved there.

9. You might be there in time for Julidaans, a big modern dance and performance 'festival'. The Netherlands has some of the best up and coming choreographers in Europe. See them at the beautiful theater whose name I can't remember now for the life of me in the Leidserplein.

9. If you want to do the 'coffee house' thing, the prettiest one I know of is Het Greenhuis (OR Groenhuis) and is near the Saffierstraat in the area around the Heineken brewery. Side note, I don't do these cafes, and only know this one b/c I lived nearby and it was a great place to go and drink hot chocolate and write...seriously.

10. THis is not my cup of tea, but some people feel the Heineken Brewery is a must see. Depends on your taste.

11. In the Spui, there is is (or used to be) this cool little bar called The Scotch Bar, that pretty much only serves scotch. It is one of the most beautiful bars I have ever seen. A Dutch friend of mine dragged me there one night w/some other friends and we did a tasting flight of 5 scotches that really opened my eyes to the beauty of scotch. I'm still not a scotch drinker, but I still carry and appreciation for it based on that tasting!

12. Walk the canals at night- I can't tell you how beautiful and intimate is once the sun has set (which won't happen until nearly 1030pm the time of year you will be there).

14. Have patats frites! If your adventurous, have Patats Hoologh (again, sp?)- named b/c it's supposed to create a war in your stomach.

15. This one's not for now, but if you ever go again during the winter holidays...have a warm fresh Stroopwafel on the Kaalverstraat in the cold air. It's one of the few dutch foods that I actually miss.

16. There's a really cool museum and park (again, I forgot the name of this place too) that is south of Amsterdam. IT's a sculpture park and they have free white bikes that you can ride all around the park (They just can't leave the park). There's a really fun Dubuffet sculpture there and many others. It makes a nice day trip (take the train) from A'dam.

Have fun. That's a great time to be in the city weather wise (although, be warned it can still get really cold that time of year).

Oh yeah...pack your umbrella!
lp_nyc is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Oops, that's patats hoorlog.

Dank je wel!
lp_nyc is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Amsterdam is probably the #2 (after Paris) city mentioned on this forum. I suggest that you use the "search this forum" box above and enter amsterdam. You will have four days, at least, of reading. I used to live in Haarlem, 15 minutes west, and must say that 4 days in Amsterdam is like 4 seconds with a big bowl of ice cream. You are going to wish for more time.

hopscotch is offline  
Old May 26th, 2005, 09:50 PM
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When we go to Amsterdam (just there last month for the 10th time)we just walk around..We usually don't plan anything..See how the weather goes..We get up early, have breakfast and then start walking!!

When we have walked so long, we stop for a coffee or equivalent..And then we walk some more!!

I love the Spui..It is nice to sit on the benches.. Eat the fries and mayo that we just purchased not too far away..Walk along the canals..Walk down Kalverstraat, stop in a few shops...

Because we have been there so many times, we rarely go to museums any more, but we did do the Heineken Brewery tour last month..It was really good, we really enjoyed it..If you like Indian Food, right behind the Heineken Brewery there is a restaurant called Taj Mahal..Really good Indian food...

Try out the Albert Cypt (sp?)market..It is a nice way to mingle with the locals..Try out some fresh herring (yum!)

A bike ride outside of Amsterdam is a must..It is simply beautiful in the country..

If it is a nice day go to Leidseplein and sit outside at one of the many outdoor restaurants and people watch..There is usually always street entertainment on a nice day..Or feed the pigeons on the Dam Square...

Walk into a coffeeshop..Whether you smoke or not, it is an interesting experience..Alot of them are decorated very nicely.You can have something to drink and just see how civilized they really are..

Take a canal boat cruise..Or just sit at an outdoor cafe on a canal...

A nice day trip outside of Amsterdam is Harlaam..It only takes under 30 minutes and it is fun to browse around...

Have fun!!

TracyB is offline  
Old May 27th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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I'm usually not a guidebook person but found Let's Go Amsterdam to be an extremely helpful resource both for the usual tourist info, great maps, etc. & also tips and background about "only in Amsterdam" kind of things.
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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Read "The UnDutchables"..... it is a humerous look at all things Dutch! It will give you something to laugh about while you are visiting.

I do not recommend eating on the Leidseplein. I live here and work next to the plein....locals do NOT eat hee...it is expensive and touristy. But, it is a nice place to have a cup of coffee or a cola.....just make sure the price is on the menu...... I know people who have paid €5 (about $6.25) for a cola or a coffee there...thanks to a missing price on the menu. A better place to eat is the V&D on Kalverstraat (pronounced Fay and Day, in Dutch). They have a restaurant called La Place. All sorts of food..hot and cold, for eating in or carrying out. It is good and cheap!!! Get in touch if you want some tips. I am happy to help. Just email me. I have lived here three years, and worked in the center of Amsterdam for about 1 and a half.....

Charlif761 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2005, 11:29 AM
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All of the above sounds great. Consider taking "Mike's Bike Tour". We had a blast and then next day felt very comfortable renting bikes on our own.
You can find them online and they meet for tours near the Rijksmuseum.

uptowngirl2418 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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I too am in Amsterdam during that time. Whats the best thing to see if you are by yourself?
munchkin1 is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2005, 02:52 PM
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We were in Amsterdam in early June and loved it. If you click on my name above, you can find my London-Paris-Amsterdam trip report, which names several restaurants, cafes and activities we enjoyed in Amsterdam during our five night stay. It's an unexpected gem, IMHO. Enjoy it.
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