Amsterdam for 5 days. Need help!

Old Feb 5th, 2018, 08:15 AM
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Amsterdam for 5 days. Need help!

We will be in Amsterdam for only 5 days at the end of March. I do not know anything about the area. Looking for recommendations for dinner and lunch, best sights to see etc. We are in our early 40s and like wine, food, architecture, history and arts. We would also like to spend a day in the countryside/nature if there is something good for that. We live in Charleston South Carolina and really enjoy being in different environments and experiencing other cultures. Any advice and recommendation is highly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 08:31 AM
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" I do not know anything about the area." The best way to remedy that not-inconsequential problem is to avail yourself of guidebooks, maps, and the internet.

It's way too early to be concerned about lunches and dinners. Amsterdam and surrounds are chock full of food, architecture, history, and arts. Wine, not so much. You can find out about all of those things in any guidebook, the official website of Amsterdam, and hundreds of websites. By train from Amsterdam you can get to dozens of countryside locations as well as other lovely towns. Again, all easily researched, by you, with YOUR interests in mind.

At this juncture our suggestions will be close to useless. When you have even a rough plan, many people here will be more than happy to help you refine it.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 09:29 AM
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Amsterdam - My Favorite Things!

A little old but still relevant. What are your interests and yes consult some general guidebooks and here ask specific questions.

Is this the only place you will be going.

Like StCirq says lots of nice day trips - for ones by train check www.ricksteves.com and BETS-European Rail Experts. Delft, Haarlem, Rotterdam, The Hague and on and on are all great places but for different interests.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
We will be in Amsterdam for only 5 days at the end of March. I do not know anything about the area.
Haven't been to Amsterdam myself except on a layover at the airport. But my advice would be: the absolutely easiest way to get yourself acquainted with any city is go to TripAdvisor and read up their "top 10 things to do" list for that particular city, and then pin them on a Google Map (that you can create on your google drive). You'll get a feel for what attractions there are and where they are located. This will also help you know where to stay for easy access to these attractions when it's time to book hotels. From there, you can do more reading and research but I find the method above is a good starting point.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
like wine, food, architecture, history and arts.
Depending on what type of things you are interested in each category, your destination can be a mismatch. It is difficult to tell based only on the generic info provided.
Wine: All the wine we have ordered in Amsterdam were imported from elsewhere. Expensive and mediocre. I am sure you can get better imported wine at high end places, but at moderate places, this has been our experience. I order beer there because of this.
Food: This greatly depends on what you are looking for. As an international city, you can find non native cuisine from around the world.
Architecture, history, arts Which style/period are you interested in?
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 12:45 PM
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Must sights for many are:

Anne Frank House (book timed entry at house site or wait in long long lines.

Rijksmuseum (can also book timed entry)

Van Gogh Museum (can also book timed entry)

Canal-boat tour

But to me the best thing about Amsterdam is just wandering around the inner canal-laced old town and port area. Some folks consider the Red-Light District a must sight but some avoid it like the plague.



3 full days would be enough to see the must sights.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 01:11 PM
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We were there in August for a few days and we did the things PalenQ recommends, and liked them -- first, try to get tickets ASAP (NOW) for the Anne Frank house. Don't wait on that. The two museums she mentions are worth the time; We were at the Van Gogh museum on a Friday evening and there was a sort of happy hour with wine available (I think it had to be purchased) but it was beginning as we were leaving. You might enjoy planning for that. We took a canal cruise that was a highlight of our trip. It was on a private boat owned by our hotel, the Pulitzer -- if you don't have a hotel yet I would highly recommend the Pulitzer. We had a party of 7 so we rented the boat, captain and bar for our own private cruise but there is a public option I think every evening and you can buy tickets for that. It's an elegant, wooden boat and its claim to fame is that Winston Churchill rode in it. We dressed up for the evening and sipped champagne and drinks as we rode along the canals, with the captain, who was knowledgeable and friendly, giving us a good tour.

We did go through the red light district and it's perfectly safe; a little depressing to me, but very interesting.

"Coffee shops" are where people go to buy marijuana -- if it's called "coffee shop" in the name, it's not really a coffee shop. I went in a couple of them out of curiosity -- it's just matter-of-fact, with a menu of different types of marijuana and a person behind the counter taking and filling orders. Although it seems as if marijuana is legal, our boat captain told us it is not (but that the laws are not enforced).

We all really enjoyed Amsterdam. If a trial had been scheduled in the Hague (the International Criminal Court or the International Court of Justice (World Court)) at the time of our visit, we were going to attend some of it if possible, but during our time in August there was nothing scheduled. If that sort of thing holds interest for you, research whether there will be trials going on during your time in the Netherlands and whether you could sit in on some of it, and do a daytrip there. I think it's about an hour train trip from Amsterdam.

Have a great trip.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 02:13 PM
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Let's Go is a great guidebook for Amsterdam.

Vondelpark & Leidseplein are wonderful areas to explore.

Tropenmuseum is fun.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 03:00 PM
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For a day trip oit of the xity take a train to any combination of half day visit-Leiden, Delft, The Hague( urban) , Haarlem, etc.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 03:06 PM
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https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do

Of all the sites on Amsterdam this IMO is one of the best - run by City of Amsterdam I believe.
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 04:22 PM
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Another voice for getting a really good guidebook or two. The cost will be nominal in comparison to the cost of your trip, you will gain a wealth of information, and you will learn answers to questions you don't even know to ask.

Amsterdam is a delight -- enjoy!
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 09:53 PM
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"Wine: All the wine we have ordered in Amsterdam were imported from elsewhere. Expensive and mediocre"
Odd comment, the Netherlands has only a tiny wine industry. Are all 'imported wines' expensive and mediocre? Not in my experience.
Certainly a lot less expensive than local wines on a recent visit to California.

Tripadvisor is good for top things to visit, but not as much for restaurants. www.iens.nl is better. Comes in English too.
Go to the Foodhallen and try the bitterballen at the Ballenbar.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 01:21 AM
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Foodhallen, please don't. You can have bitterballen literally anywhere, with beer, in a nice bar. And not in the overpriced tourist trap that is Foodhallen. Lookout for the Van Dobben brand. If a bar has it, it will advertise it.

Wine: you get what you pay for. Vyne, on Prinsengracht is an excellent place for wine.

And almost everyone on this thread said it already: without knowing a little bit about your specific interest in Amsterdam, it's difficult to suggest anything.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 01:24 AM
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BTW, if you like architecture, you might want to visit museum "Het Schip" in Spaarndammerbuurt, named after the eponymous housing block where it is located. In the interbellum, Amsterdam architects developed an Amsterdam architecture style for social housing. If you know what to look for, you'll recognize it everywhere

https://www.architectuur.nl/nieuws/a...rdamse-school/

https://www.amsterdam.info/architect...terdam-school/
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