Amsterdam - My Favorite Things!

Old May 5th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the link, PAL. Bookmarking.
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Old May 5th, 2015, 11:46 AM
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KEUKENHOF COMBI TICKETS

The following is from the official Keukenhof Combi-ticket site: http://www.keukenhof.nl/en/plan-your...lic-transport/

and outlines ways to the gardens by shuttle bus that gives priority entrance once there - one combined ticket covers ell transports and priority admission:

If going to the famous Keukenhof Gardens not too far from Amsterdam you have a choice of several 'combi-tickets' sold in Amsterdam and all over Holland - the cheapest way from Amsterdam goes via Arriva bus to Schiphol, change buses there direct to Keunkehof (thus you could take the train from Amsterdam to Schiphol and join the bus - buying your own train ticket but having about a 5 euro cheaper overall ticket - about what the train would cost).

<By Bus from Amsterdam's Center:

You travel from Amsterdam centre (bus line 197 and Keukenhof Express bus line 858)
This Combi-ticket is also valid on bus line 197, this is operated by the Connexxion bus company. You will find bus stops at several locations including the Leidseplein, the Rijksmuseum and the Museumplein. At Schiphol you transfer over to the Keukenhof Express bus line 858.>

The combi-tickets site says you are taken right to a special Keuknehof entrance for priority entrance.

If you want to go by train from Amsterdam Centraal (C.S.) then it's 35 euro (or from any train station in Holland apparently) to Leiden C.S. then a bus to the gardens, again with special entry it seems.

for an extra 6.50 euros I would take the train from Amsterdam C.S. to Leiden C.S. for the shuttle bus from there (35 euros all told from Amsterdam return) if I were close enough to it as it is quicker I believe than the bus, with Amsterdam's traffic and all.

And I would try to go one way say via Leiden or Schiphol for the bus and then take bus #100 from the Keukenhof to Haarlem as it passes right thru the heart of the commercial flower fields which are a bloom at this time of year - and then spend a few hours looking around beautiful Haarlem before taking the train back to Amsterdam. It seems you could mix and match tickets - going one route and returning via another but ask before buying if that is your plan.
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Old May 6th, 2015, 12:08 AM
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I don't know about the Apple Cake place, but I suspect it might be Winkel at Noordermarkt. If it isn't I consider them to serve the best appeltaart in town. There are lines out the door!
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Old Jun 16th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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http://www.eurocheapo.com/blog/amste...ve-to-eat.html

8 "affordable restaurants" in Amsterdam - ones patronized by locals - I know little about restaurants, preferring to picnic on a bench overlooking a canal but if looking for tips on restaurants check this out!
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Old Jun 16th, 2015, 10:41 PM
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Latei, Bird and Bazar, all excellent. If I have friends from abroad visiting and we meet in Amsterdam, Latei is where I take them for coffee or lunch.
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Old Jun 18th, 2015, 07:54 AM
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ww.latei.net - Take that recommendation from menachem to heart - a local! The Zeedijk is one of those streets near the red-light district that when I first started coming to Amsterdam was basically a no-go zone with tought looking types hanging out all the time - but now all revitalized wiht places like this.
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Old Jul 14th, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Menachem just posted this helpful thread of folks wanting to visit and experience Holland's largest windmill complex and also get a taste of Rotterdam - the ancient and the modern - great day out from Amsterdam! Thanks Menachem for posting this:

<Heads up for those want to get to Kinderdijk from Rotterdam

Waterbus is now operating a direct service to Kinderdijk from either Rotterdam Erasmusbrug, or Dordrecht Merwekade. You can just walk on validate your chip card. No change at Ridderkerk: it's straight to the Kinderdijk stop.

http://www.waterbus.nl/kinderdijk-en/

See how special Kinderdijk is and to go by water from Rotterdam is special.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kind...=1600&bih=1075
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Old Aug 5th, 2015, 12:05 PM
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SOME GREAT INSIDER INFO ON AMSTERDAM

From a Dutch person who has lived in Amsterdam - priceless stuff not in many guidebooks - makes me want to read the book! (Copied from another thread.)

menachem on Aug 5, 15 at 2:43pm
To me, Amsterdam is most of all, the city where Kees Bakels, the protagonist of Theo Thijssen's "Kees, the Boy" lived. Kees' world is the Jordaan, but also the newly built houses on Vondelpark where he goes on errands (he's a cobbler's son). Kees has a rich fantasy life and while his illusions of his family being one above the cut die one by one after the death of his father and the family's descent into poverty, there is romance in his life: his love affair with Rosa Overbeek.

To this day, when my wife and I are on the corner of Herenstraat and Prinsengracht, we say to each other: "this is where Kees kissed Rosa Overbeek".

It's well worth a little detour to visit the Theo Thijssen museum on 1e Leliestraat. And also note that the cafe at the corner of Brouwersgracht and Lindengracht is named after Thijssen. There is a statue of Thijssen - the - teacher nearby.

The clip shows the "zwembadpas", the special walk Kees developed for getting to the swimming pool in the shortest possible time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnikoHbyUh4

there now is also a "rosa overbeek bridge"
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 12:01 AM
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Thanks! Starting from the Pianola Museum (amazing place!) on Westerstraat, there's a circular walk that takes in the Thijssen Museum and the Ritman Library (equally amazing): you buy a passe partout ticket for 7.50 and this gets you into these special private museums.

Visiting the Ritman Library also gives you a look behind the façade of an amazing patrician canal house that is not a museum or a private residence. The library is Ritman's private collection, focusing on alchemy and hermetic philosophy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1wGmqV1bQM
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 12:11 AM
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And on the topic of specialist libraries there is of course Ets Haim Livraria Montezinos, which to this day is attached to the Portugese Synagogue on J.D. Meijerplein.

It's open for guided tours, on request and it has a beautiful interior.

http://www.etshaim.nl/engl/visit/guided-tours

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itqtXOuK4n8
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Wow - again thanks for the great insider info!

Dank u (very) wel! I think I have been upbraided for putting the 'well' in there but I do remember hearing that several times - maybe as a joke on an American speaker.
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Old Aug 6th, 2015, 09:53 AM
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Menachem--Thanks for more great info. We're really looking forward to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
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Old Aug 14th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Yes menachem - always nice to have a local chime in - diffeernt perpesctive from most guide books, etc. Thanks or Dank u very wel!
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 02:25 PM
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any insider info on the fate of coffee shops - we read that many are being targeted but this is hard to believe and has been rumored for several years?
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 04:48 PM
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PalenQ- Not insider info, but I can tell you that CS in Rotterdam and Arnhem are open to all. Some things I had read indicated that tourists would be out of luck once you left Amsterdam. Also the further from Amsterdam, the price fell.

If AMsterdam gets too crowded, head to Arnhem. The open air museum, and airborne museum, are top notch. Very easy to get to by bus. Also very easy to rent a bike from the train station, 7.5 E for the day. Again, not too crowded for a tourist to ride. And the pedestrian area was a lot larger than I was expecting.

So my favorite thing about Netherlands, I guess.
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Old Oct 20th, 2015, 09:50 PM
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Arnhem is quite beautiful. I used to work there and still go there for occasional meetings and always like it. I always also try to plan some walking after meeting. This summer my wive and myself cycled from Arnhem to Rhenen along the Rhine. Beautiful! Doorwerth Castle is super special. Hilly though.

One walk I vividly remember is walking from Hartenstein (Airborne museum) via Oosterbeek church towards Arnhem. It's a signposted walk commemorating the retreat from Arnhem during Market Garden. It's easy to see then why advancing to the Arnhem bridges was such an impossible task and it becomes very clear what a narrow escape going across the Rhine from Oosterbeek was.

Sonsbeek is a beautiful park, not far from Arnhem station.

And the coffee shops are fine, although the mayor of Maastricht has been stirring the pot again last week by suggesting that coffeeshops in Maastricht should be close and converted in closed membership "cannabis clubs".

HOWEVER: Extreme Right and pseudo fascist PVV are probably going to get a substantial percentage of the vote in the next parliamentary elections, and they have promised a crack down on cannabis. One thing they want to do is close every coffeeshop with in a 1 km radius from a school. In fact this was done in Rotterdam already and it meant a reduction of 50%.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 05:21 AM
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Hopefully Rutte can hang on for another year, and when push comes to shove the Dutch see sense and don't vote for Wilders and his pseudo fascists. Not holding my breath though.

Arnhem is one of many cities and towns easily accessible from Amsterdam, and sadly ignored by visitors.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 07:54 AM
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Arnhem to me is sweet and has its own character and charm - bdokeefe mentions some great sites there - plus Kroller-Muller is a fairly short bus ride away. A real sleeper - Arnhem!
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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PalQ, I bought weed in Haarlem this August. No problem. It is less expensive in Haarlem than in Amsterdam. Haarlem is as charming as ever despite being a very active cafe city around the Grote Markt and Boter Markt areas.
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Old Oct 27th, 2015, 06:45 AM
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Hope to do a trip report on our just completed trip, but did want to follow up on the above.

We were a little disappointed by Amsterdam, maybe because we are not young and trendy any more, but Rotterdam and Arnhem were really wonderful--wish we could have spent more time in Arnhem--and Rotterdam was a revelation. The transportation infrastructure in particular was fantastic. Wish we had done here in Atlanta what Rotterdam has done.

BTW--food much better and less expensive in the Netherlands (and Belgium) than in Paris. We were delightfully surprised several times when we got the check for a meal as to how much less it cost than we were prepared to pay (guess I shouldn't say that).

Also, everyone, all over the Netherlands, was very, very friendly and helpful.
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