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-   -   Amsterdam - My Favorite Things! (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/amsterdam-my-favorite-things-908019/)

PalenQ Oct 3rd, 2011 09:01 AM

Amsterdam - My Favorite Things!
 
Been going to Amsterdam annually for decades and here are some of my favorite things that to me make Amsterdam one of the world's most intriguing and captivating and gorgeous cities!

THE CANALS

They call Amsterdam the Venice of the North for good reason - the old city center is ringed by stately canals lined by stately facades of canal townhouses - and these are typically only facades with everything behind having been demolished - but a stroll along any of the main canals like Prinsengracht or Kaisersgracht especially is just so so romantic.

THE FREE FERRIES ACROSS THE HARBOR

One of my favorite things to do is to hop the free pedestrian and bicycle ferries that leave from behind the main train station and cross the busy harbor - from the other side of the water you get a neat view of Amsterdam - a very different view - a neat neat view! And you can see the rush of bikes loading and unloading - zillions of bikes ridden by all types of folks, from old grannies to hip teens.

VONDEL PARK

I just love strolling thru Vondel Park at any time of the year - not only a lovely park but great people watching to boot. In summer lots of folks about - check out the Melk Huis (sp) outdoor tea garden!

PalenQ Oct 3rd, 2011 10:20 AM

FRITES! FRITES! FRITES!

Or French Fries as we may call them - french fries served in a paper cone and over which a vairety of optional things can be slathered - like Mayo, ketchup, peanute sauce, curry sause, relish, onions and more - I often get a Frites Speciaal - mayo, ketsup, relish and onions all on one - a veritable meal in itself served from ubiquitous Frites shops, like the all-pervasive FEBO.

PalenQ Oct 11th, 2011 10:46 AM

THE TROPPEN MUSEUM

Though a bit off the radar of most touirsts because it is not right in the tourist-oriented town center to me this museum makes a wonderful visit - it is not your typical stuffy museum but one that makes foreign places come to life.

The Troppen Museum I think must take its name from the Tropics as it showcases life and artifacts from the third world and tropical areas - perhaps originally Dutch colonies in the tropics.

Anyways the exhibits re-create street scenes in places like South-East Asia, etc. and there is often an eclectic avant-garden display dominating the main hall.

A great great place for kids and families.

travelgirl2 Oct 11th, 2011 04:20 PM

I love the Tropenmuseum! One of my favorite museums ever. We were there in 2006 with kids 10 and 12 and it was just a fun, curious place to visit. It felt like we were in the middle of an Indiana Jones set at times.

PalenQ Oct 12th, 2011 12:08 PM

Tropenmuseum
tropenmuseum.nl/ - Translate this page - Block all tropenmuseum.nl results
Maak kennis met de Braziliaanse cultuur tijdens het Brasil Festival Amsterdam. Het Tropenmuseum mag tijdens dit festival natuurlijk niet ontbreken! Meer over ..

Yes like travelgirl2 I am always delighted by the Tropen Museum and it is also in a neat area of Amsterdam that few tourists get to - a swank area in and around the University of Amsterdam buildings - the museum building is impressive in and of itself!

hetismij2 Oct 12th, 2011 11:45 PM

Bad news is that the government has just announced a huge cut (40%) in the subsidy for the Tropenmuseum. So it's future is not looking good. It could merge with one or two other museums, one in Rotterdam and one near Arnhem, but it's all abit vague at the moment.

PalenQ Oct 13th, 2011 08:56 AM

hetismij2 - thanks for the however bad news! I do hope the museum can stay pretty much as is.

irishface Oct 13th, 2011 10:28 AM

PalenqueQ thanks for the helpful tip, I am sorry that I have missed the Troppen on my visits to Amsterdam. Sorry, but your description of the contents of the frites special made me want to throw up.

irishface Oct 13th, 2011 10:33 AM

I forgot to mention that Amsterdam is my second favorite European city, right behind London. Wish I lived close enough to visit regularly.

tom18 Oct 13th, 2011 11:46 AM

The Dutch Resistance Museum! A fascinating look at what life was like in Amsterdam during WWII. Shouldn't be missed!

PalenQ Oct 14th, 2011 07:43 AM

And the Dutch Resistance Museum is just a short stroll from the Tropen Museum!

Dutch Resistance Museum - Verzetsmuseum
www.verzetsmuseum.org/museum/en/museumPocket booklet 'Anne Frank walk': € 0,50. Walk Dutch Resistance Museum - Anne Frank House describes WWII events in Amsterdam.

I agree with tom18 on the Dutch Resistance Museum being a fascinating visit showcasing the grim life of Amsterdam during the Nazi Occupation. Hard to believe this all happened not really that long ago in this lovely town.

ltr Oct 16th, 2011 07:39 AM

PalenQ, thanks for starting this thread. We leave on Wednesday for Amsterdam and Paris. We will definitely see the Tropenmuseum while it is still intact.

This trip has been postponed twice on the day before we were leaving, so it is difficult to get too excited until I am on the plane.

PalenQ Oct 17th, 2011 08:37 AM

thanks Itr!

folks going to the Dutch Resistence Museum, Jewish Historical Museum and Ann Frank House can buy a pocket walking guide that will take you between those three sites via a scenic pedestrian-oriented route of about two miles it seems.

Ozarksbill Oct 17th, 2011 09:10 AM

Learning about a few things for another visit whenever! My favorites: Rijksmuseum with Rembrandt, Steen, and special Vermeer exhibit...also VanGogh museum nearby (not to be missed)...Anne Frank House as a reminder of Nazi terror and perseverance...Oude Kerk 1306, now that's old!...Floating Flower Market in May...Cruising the canals.

Bill in Boston

PalenQ Oct 17th, 2011 10:23 AM

Museum Our Lord in the Attic - I amsterdam
http://www.iamsterdam.com/...our-lor...7-4092-8...Our Lord in the Attic is one of the oldest and most remarkable museums in Amsterdam. Behind the characteristic facade of the canal house lies a 17th-century ...

Our Lord in the Attic Museum is another of my favorites - a church hidden away in an attic to hide it from folks who were not tolerant of that type of religion.

Hopefully the restoration of a few years ago is done?

PalenQ Oct 17th, 2011 12:33 PM

And all of the above sights so far mentioned are covered in full by the National Museum Year Pass - valid at practically every major and many minor museums and attractions in Holland - only a few museum visits will make its 39 euro fee for a whole year pay off - and you can come and go rather than exhaust yourself in say the Van Gogh if you had to pay everytime. The Ann Frank House is now fully covered, being a recent addition to the scheme (thanks to Hetismij for that update).

Buy the pass at any participating museum.

PalenQ Oct 18th, 2011 01:07 PM

Museumkaart, Museum Card Amsterdam Museum Pass ...
www.amsterdam.info › MuseumsThe Museum Card represents a personal pass to enter more than 400 museums ...
Amsterdam Museums and Galleries | Amsterdam.info
www.amsterdam.info › Attractions › MuseaThere are over 50 museums in Amsterdam, which belong among the main tourist ...

mr_go Oct 18th, 2011 01:27 PM

Much like Venice, my favorite thing in Amsterdam is Amsterdam itself. That is, just walking around the city and discovering it up close and on foot (especially the canal rings and the Jordaan area).

Also, another vote here for Our Lord in the Attic. Fascinating place!

DAX Oct 18th, 2011 05:26 PM

The Dutch sense of humor and friendly attitude

DAX Oct 18th, 2011 05:27 PM

Dodging those aggressive byciclists with killer instinct!


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