A Great Trip To Amsterdam

Reply

Oct 13th, 1999, 08:28 PM
  #1
Robert E. Weise
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A Great Trip To Amsterdam

I recently returned from an incrediable 3 day visit to Amsterdam and loved every minute. The city is exceptionally clean and safe. The people are super friendly and English is no problem whatsoever. There is enough culture to satisfy the tastes of most everyone.

Not to brag or boast but I do not travel to save money and as a result I stay in upscale hotels. While sitting on the balcony of the Hotel De L' Europe (Tel: 31-20 53 11 777) watching Amsterdam pass by on a Friday evening, a parade of teenagers on rollerblades skated by on the sidewalk across the street. The number of kids grew and grew until they numbered some 2,000 or 2,500. They were very well mannered and well organized and were just out for a good time. I was so impressed by their behavior and the vast number, I went down to the lobby to find out what was going on with the kids. I was told "Oh, they do that every Friday night and have been doing it for years". I thought to myself that it was a great idea and gives the teenagers something to look forward to and something to keep them out of trouble on a Friday night. Other cities should take note.

By the way, notes on a couple of restaurants. I was lured into the LaPampa
(151 Niewezijds) by a hawker at the front door. I was sorry I went in as the meat was tough and I did not get my two promised side dishes. I'm old enough to know better than to fall for the lure. Conversely, for a great restaurant that is immaculate and has excellent food try De Nissen, Rokin 95 (a main street not far from the above mentioned hotel) tel: 6242825.

I'll be glad to answer any guestions as this chat room certainly helped me on my trip.



 
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 1999, 12:46 AM
  #2
Joann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
What sights did you enjoyed the most? Whay would you consider a "don't bother"? Any great buys? What local fare did you tried?
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 1999, 09:01 AM
  #3
Joann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Joann,

This is my second attempt - my first was early this morning and just before that I was about to finish, I clicked on the wrong key and poof, there went my message.

As you probably gathered from my first message, I fell in love with Amsterdam so first, some generalizations. My initial reaction of the city was to notice it's cleaniness. That was followed by a complete sense of security and safety. It seems that they sweep the streets on a daily basis and somehow or another the canals are just as clean. The uniqueness of the city and it's architecture is indeed impressive. Some of the buildings list at 4 or 5 degrees because they are 200 or 300 years old and the age is beginning to tell. The houseboats lined along many of the canals that are occupied are interesting. Overiding all of the physical attributes are the people. They are truly some of the most friendly that I have encountered in my travels. English is no problem and everyone seems to go out of their way to make sure that you understand the directions or whatever else you may be asking.

It is also a city that is loaded with culture and is able to cater to the taste of most everyone. The Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum are terrific. Anne Frank's home is indeed inspiring. A walk into Begijnhof (Beguine Court) is again unique and peaceful but certainly not earth shattering. The one area that I missed because of lack of time that I would have liked to have seen was Zaans Schaans which I'm told has many Windmills to view and tour.

Less impressive to me was the National Museum, however, that was my taste. On the other hand a visit to the Diamond Center on Rokin 5 was a complete waste of time and seemed very commercial.
Other than those two, everything else seemed well worth my while.

I was only there for three nights and the first night I allowed myself to be lured into LaPampa at 151 Niewizijds by a hawker at the front door. I'm old enough to know better. The food was unexceptional and the meat was very tough. To add insult to injury, I never received the two free side dishes that I was promised. On the other hand, De Nissen at Rokin 95, Tel 6242825 was just the opposite. De Nissen is sparkling clean and the service is friendly and caring. The food - delicious and reasonable.

I'm not much on souvenirs but I do a lot of "window shopping" and I didn't find anything that really turned me on. Past experience in my case has proven to be a waste of money.

That pretty well highlights my visit - if I missed anything that you're interested in, let me know and I'll do my best to reply.

Regards,

Bob






 
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 1999, 05:05 PM
  #4
Jeff
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Bob,
I went to Amsterdam in May and also had a wonderful time. I stayed at the Ambassade and enjoyed it, despite some of the bad press I've read on this website. I loved the city and the people were very friendly. The Begijnhof was very peaceful and the canals were beautiful; I went on a nighttime canal cruise.
I spent one day in Zaanse Schaans and truly enjoyed myself. The cheese was fantastic and so was the food. I bought a lot of souvenirs there.
I hope that you got a chance to visit the Anne Frank Huis and some of the beautiful churches (especially the Westerkirk).
I'm glad you had as good of a time as I did.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 1999, 06:18 PM
  #5
Ali
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In December I will have an 8 hour layover on my way to Egypt. In those few hours what would you suggest I experience in Amsterdam? (I am the historian type.) I have my buying plans for the return leg of the trip! Thanks for your assistance.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 1999, 07:08 PM
  #6
Meg
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi, I just returned from Amsterdam this afternoon. I am also in love with the city. If I only had eight hours there, I would take a canal cruise (they leave from right in front of Centraal Station for around 12 guilders, I think - we did the night time cruise and it was 42 guilders) and then I would visit either the Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh Museum - you may have time to do both.

I think a lot of people only associate the Red Light District and hash bars with the city (both of which I find interesting to some degree - perhaps it's the tolerance that intrigues me..) but there is so much more to see and do.

We spent a lot of time on this trip (this was our second trip to Amsterdam) strolling the various neighborhoods - the Jordaan with all it's shops, the area around the Rijkesmuseum, and the big shopping streets - Kalverstraat, Rokin, P. C. Hooftstraat. My shopping bargains were found at the Waterlooplein market where I acquired some leather jackets for my teenage niece and nephew. Certainly better leather products are to be had, but I thought teenagers would really think that was cool - and I ended up getting one myself since the prices were good.

As for food, we enjoyed the Indonesian rice tables. We had one at Flamboyant, near our hotel on the Amstel - right next door to the Carre Theater. We had another on Spuistraat at Kantjil en de Tijger which was totally different but just as good as the first one. We also tried a Chinese rice table at Oriental City in the Red Light District but liked the Indonesian food better. We ate a Cafe Wildschut near the Stedelijk Museum (Museum of Modern Art - which had some Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso on display on the first floor) and at a small, local Ducth place on the Amstel called de Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) right at the Skinny Bridge - just steaks and fries, but then that was really all we were looking for. Also had incredible pancakes at the Pancake Bakery on Prinsengracht just a few blocks up from the Anne Frank House - it doesn't open until noon - we arrived and 12:30 and the place was packed.

Amsterdam is a city we see ourselves returning to for years to come.

The candlelight canal cruise was very nice - 2 hours long with wine and cheese. The tour operator was Lovers and our guide was excellent - very informative and entertaining.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 1999, 07:16 PM
  #7
Carla
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Jeez, Should have checked out the coffee shops!! its legal and fun.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 15th, 1999, 08:18 PM
  #8
Ali
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Meg said it all - you won't go wrong with any of her suggestions. I haven't been to any of the restaurants that she recommends but based on her other suggetions I would trust her taste in food emporiums.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 18th, 1999, 06:46 AM
  #9
Bill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ditto on Kantjil en de Tijger. A very nice Indonesian restaurant.
For night time entertainment, we went to Boom Chicago. I know... It sounds stupid to see American ex-pats doing improv comedy in Amsterdam, but it works! The audience was about half Dutch, and the content is mostly commentary on the city's humorous aspects. We had a great time.
And, yes, we also tried out a coffee shop. Great nostalgia for us aging baby-boomers.
 
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:28 AM.