Amsterdam June 11-18

Old Apr 27th, 2000, 02:18 AM
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Amsterdam June 11-18

What would you tell your best friend to see if he had one week, & a rent-a-car in and around Amsterdam.

Thanks Ned.
Old Apr 27th, 2000, 02:46 AM
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First, you don't want a car IN Amsterdam. The city is designed for walking/biking/public transport, and it would be foolish for a foreign tourist to drive in Amsterdam. Many narrow one-way streets. no or very expensive parking, etc.
In Amsterdam, one of the simplest and nicests things to do in walking around in the canal zone and the Jordaan area and people watching from a terrace.
Also: visit the Rijksmuseum (old art), the Vincent van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum (modern art). The Anne Frank Huis is a must, too.
Other nice museums are the Tropen Museum and the Nautical (scheepvaart) museum.
Take a canal boat tour, and go shopping in Magna Plaza or PC Hooftstraat or Spiegelstraat or in the Jordaan area.
On a nice day, go by train to Zandvoort ("Amsterdam beach"). Or, take a long day trip to the island of Terschelling. (you will need a car for this one: drive to Harlingen (about 1.5 hrs), take the ferry to Terschelling (about 2 hours).
Rent a bicycle in Amsterdam and take a trip to the South: the winding road along the river Gein between Driemond and Abcoude (just 7 km South of Amsterdam) is very nice for a bike trip. Or follow the river Vecht South from Muiden.
Day trips by car:
Go to the Kroller Muller Museum (lots of Van Gogh's) in National Park De Hoge Veluwe. (
Take a trip to Kasteel De Haar (castle) in Haarzuilens, close to Utrecht. (

Nice day trips from Amsterdam (best by public transport) to Den Haag (the Hague), visit Madurodam (Netherlands in miniature), Panorama Mesdag and Scheveningen beach)
Or to Delft, Leiden, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Alkmaar and/or Haarlem.
Old May 1st, 2000, 08:09 AM
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I would agree with 99% of what Sjoerd advised, but I would warn you to stay away from the beaches he recommended, unless you want to be with every Dutch and German tourist around! The beaches will be packed!

For the rest - have a great trip

Old May 2nd, 2000, 07:09 AM
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Hi Ned,
I think Sjoerd summed it perfectly. I just have to reinforce the driving thing. We had a horrible experience returning our rental car to the Amsterdam city office, traveling from Belgium, and we're used to San Francisco city driving. I don't see why anyone would want to drive in the city, maybe outside to get to destinations, but get a car out of Schipol or something so you can avoid driving in the city.
Purchase a tram pass, for however many days you will be there, from the VVV.
Don't miss the Van Gogh Museum, for me it was a highlight of our trip.
Old May 12th, 2000, 03:49 AM
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The Rijksmuseum has a huge blockbuster exhibit this summer: The Glory of the Golden Age, Dutch Art of the 17th Century. Admission is by ticket. I avoided standing in a long line by getting tickets from a ticket broker in NYC before leaving home. It might be possible to order from museum's website.
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 03:48 AM
Nigel Doran
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If you want, you can try to find out about this annual event: Amsterdammers open up their private gardens sometime during your visit. I am sure the tourist board, or something called VVV which is opposite the main rail stations, will have details. I read about it in a British newspaper's travel section, but cannot be sure if it was The Telegraph or The Independent.
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 11:54 AM
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Sjoerd mentioned almost everything I was thinking of; however, I would recommend paying for a small-group bicycle tour rather than going off on one's own. We had a great time with a one-man operation called "Let's Go" on a route he calls "castles and windmills" to the east of the city. We took the train with him to the suburbs and picked up bikes at a shop that was less than a block from the station.

Also, if it were MY best friend, I'd tell him or her to sample the wares of a smoking "coffee shop" - ie, a marijuana shop. My wife and I dabbled a bit in the wacky weed in college MANY years ago and hadn't touched it in many years, but we wanted the nostalgia experience and we most definitely don't regret it. Watch out for the potency, however. We did some research beforehand and asked the proprietor for "medium-strength" product, which was fully as powerful as anything I remember from the old days. A few puffs produced just the right buzz for walking along the canals and visiting the van Gogh museum. Two provisos: Don't smoke in public (it's considered rude) and don't even dream of bringing some back.
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 01:55 PM
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I agree. Don't rent a car. The train system is very simple and will take you all over Holland. I woudl recommend traveling to Delft. What a beautiful city. If you have time, go to Antwerp belgium via train. It only takes about 2.5 hours. have a great time!
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 06:36 AM
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Bill -
I think it is inappropriate for you to recommend drug use on this forum. You may not know it, but marijuana is still illegal in the Netherlands. Because the Dutch are very tolerant people, they allow drug use to go on nonetheless. Many Dutch citizens would prefer that the laws be enforced more strictly and are embarrassed by their country's reputation among "druggies" around the world. When I was last in Amsterdam, there were young people smoking marijuana in public and acting very obnoxious and intoxicated.
You can get your marijuana in your own country. Please don't contribute to Amsterdam's problems.
Drugs are ultimately ruinous to the human body.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 08:47 AM
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As a Dutchman and resident of Amsterdam, I have to disagree with the last post. If you want to smoke marihuana here, go ahead! Marihuana / hasjiesh are no more harmful than tobacco or alcohol and should be legalized. 95% of Dutch people agree with me.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 09:26 AM
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I would like to clarify something. Bill said not to smoke marijuana in public; it is considered rude. Actually, it is illegal. My husband and I have many friends who are police officers in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam. They have told us that smoking marijuana is illegal. However, if it is kept inside, such as in the coffee shops, they don't bother with it. But, if people are openly smoking it outside, they can and will make an arrest. Though, for the life of me, I can't understand people who feel they need to get high to appreciate Amsterdam.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 01:02 PM
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The last time someone got arrested in Amsterdam for smoking marihuana, either inside or outside, was 35 years ago. Your police friends have been pulling your leg. Of course, it is considered good manners not to smoke in crowded areas where you are bothering people, but in a big park such as Vondelpark it is no problem.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 01:21 PM
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For pictures of the Island, Terschelling please see my website at www.dutchnsuch. I have also posted a website made by residents of Terschelling which gives info for the ferries etc leaving Gronigen and going to Terschelling. I went in August and had no problem going back and forth on the ferry no riding my bike around. Yes, there are people but that's what makes it fun. Compare their beach to one in So. Calif and it won't feel crowded! also I pictures of Amsterdam on the link 'Suzanne's site" and pictures of canals and tulip gardens on "Circuit Rider" link on my website
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 04:00 PM
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Sorry to cause consternation on this thread with my recommendation to try some marijuana. Actually, we DID hear that it is technically illegal, but it's akin to exceeding the speed limit in your car by 1 mph/kph. In many parts of the city there are serveral shops on each block. We went to a pleasnat one in the Jordaan that also squeezed fresh orange juice while you waited. Yum!
As I said, we were very discrete in our smoking.
Ilisa - We also appreciated Amsterdam just fine without being high, but it was doubly magical with a modest buzz. And the van Goghs were quadruplely so!
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 07:28 PM
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Dont rent ta car so many toursits get clamped and you pay per hr anywhere in the city no parking places are ever free. You have to get up early and pay again. Check out Marken small port outside of amsterdam. BuY strippencarts of tram tkts. Dont stay at the Quentin hotel. Alot of hotels have theft problems.
Old Jun 7th, 2000, 08:44 PM
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Don't forget "Canal Street". If you take a trip to Den Haag visit Madurodam Miniature Village. It is fascinating

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