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Amsterdam Planner for the Clueless & Clued

Amsterdam Planner for the Clueless & Clued

Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:36 AM
  #41  
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I do not know about any artist space but that does not mean of course it does not exist - Amsterdam has a plehtora of such places - but you could be meaning NEMO? Not exactly a space for artists but for experimental science and technology, etc. in a futuristic-looking building on the waterfront, uniquely built over a busy road tunnel under the Ij.
In summer time this structure built with a boat motif has a lot of outdoor seats on its sloping side that folks enjoy sitting on.

Amsterdam.info - Science centre NEMO, Amsterdam
NEMO houses loads of experiments and exhibitions inside its giant green hull on Oosterdok.
www.amsterdam.info/museums/nemo/

NEMO
The Amsterdam-based NEMO covers a wide range of scientific and technological subjects. We want you to return home with a feeling of satisfaction, ...
www.e-nemo.nl/index.php?id=5&s=85&d=551
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:46 AM
  #42  
 
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The NDSM-werf is a former shipyard now artists quarter. www.ndsm.nl/ Click on English for more info.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 05:20 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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FREE THINGS TO DO

Diamond Factory Tour: some people hate it, we went to The Gassan and found it very educational, and they were candid and diplomatic when provoking questions (i.e. blood diamonds) were asked; no pressure to purchase.

The Library: across from the floating chinese seafood restaurant, 1,000 free computers that anyone can walk in and use in a modern and pleasing environ. From the 8th floor cafe terrace, one can have a bird's eye view of the city.

Of course the Flower Market and the RLD don't cost money.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 05:49 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Thanks Palenque, WillTravel and Heti. Very useful info.
We are now looking at the Hotel Estherea on the Singel canal near the Anne Frank house and not far from Jordaan. Pricier than we wanted but it looks comfy, quiet (we'll need sleep after the long flight from LAX and we are heading to Tanzania after 3 days in AMS) and it gets rave reviews.
Love the free stuff info too.
Now if I can only remember the old-fashioned place near the modern art museum where I had the best whole sole I've ever had in my life. Alas, it's probably not there any more.
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Old Nov 4th, 2009, 07:44 PM
  #45  
 
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By all means avoid anything in or near the Redlight District and along the Dam to the Damrak (square) - to to the southeast of Centraal Station - this is a sleazy many will not feel comfy in at night.
But any hotel outside of this area on say one of the ring of canals, Prinsengraacht, etc. would be delightful.
I'll be back with more after some research - and as always anyone is welcome to give their ideas.


I'll double check maps, of course, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what/where is dicey and where exactly is the Red Light District. What about around the Royal Palace? Yay or nay? Like LALeslie I'll be transiting from East Africa but will be solo (female). Normally a little seediness doesn't freak me out, I'm pretty loosey-goosey and live in SF, but I'm not familiar with Amsterdam so want to aim for something that screams "safe." I will have spent the bulk of my funds on safari so Estherea is out for me. My main goals are Anne Frank House, Rijkmuseum and whatever else I can possibly squeeze in--will have two nights. Will go over budget for charming area but not luxe accommos.

See you then, hetis!
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:09 AM
  #46  
 
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bookmarking!
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:20 AM
  #47  
 
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Leely, the RLD is west of the Damrak around the Warmoesstraat Zeedijk and Oudezijdes Voorburgwal (hence the Dutch name for it - the Wallen). Anything east of that is fine.

Have a look at the chain hotels - not so atmospheric maybe, but there are deals to be had and they are in good areas. Hotel Brouwer is also popular with Fodorites but you have to like stairs for that I believe! Any hotels on the grachten will be in a safe area, but they are in old buildings with lots of (steep)stairs generally.

I am so envious of both of you going to Tanzania. I have been once and hope to get back again, it stole my heart while I wasn't looking .
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  #48  
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hetismij - thanks for the site of the artists' warehouse - i have not been to Amsterdam this year (for the first time in nearly 40 years!) so i am not up to speed on things like this - i always walk along the waterfront east of Centraal Station and have seen the old warehouses, just beyond the smashing new Cruise Ship Terminal, being re-developed and will, hopefull this late December, trek again to see this development. I'm thinking it may be the old warehouses i've seen that still have the names of ports printed on them that ships used to come from - like Batavia, Bremen, etc.

Shanghainese - thanks for elaborating on the free list - especially the library with all the computers - Amsterdam used to have Internet cafes but these have seemed to have gone away and hotels, if they have Internet, often charge a lot for it.

and yes the Diamond 'factory' tours right by the Rijksmuseum are free and rather interesting, despite the hard sell i've seen on some of them - but an easy thing to incorporate into a visit to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum.

LAleslie - i think the Singel in that area is a really nice locale - well out of the flotsam right around the immediate vicinity of the central train station. A great location about at the epicenter for walking to any main sight.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 11:19 AM
  #49  
 
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Thanks, hetismij, for your reply and advice. I am thrilled to be going back to EA and getting to tack on a few days in Amsterdam is the cherry on the sundae. I keep checking my flight itinerary to make sure it really exists.

And thank you, Pal, for this thread. It helps the clueless (like me).
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 11:23 AM
  #50  
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The IBIS hotel right on platform 1 of Centraal Train Station is one such chain that at times, esp on weekends at some time of year, can run specials - www.accorhotels.com - really convenient, obviously, for rail travelers.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:12 PM
  #51  
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Some interesting and helpful Amsterdam web sites - the official Amsterdam Tourist Office (VVV) site has free walking tours to do on your own that you can download free (or buy them for a few euros printed edition at Amsterdam VVV - platform 1 Centraal Train Station (unless moved during renovations) and right opposite the station's front entrance. Be sure to cop an Amsterdam map upon arriving from the VVV.

Amsterdam.info - Amsterdam hotels
Amsterdam tourist information, accommodation, hotels, apartments, hostels, airport information, coffeeshops and red light district.www.amsterdam.info/

Visiting - The official website of the Amsterdam Tourism ...
The official Amsterdam Tourist Board website with information on attractions, history and highlights, hotel and excursion bookings, events and exhibitions ...
www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting

RedLight District of Amsterdam info-pages -www.rld-info.com
Feb 24, 2009 ... The RLD infosite gives you information about the Red Light District of Amsterdam, also known as 'the walletjes' or the RLD.
www.rld-info.com/
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 12:13 PM
  #52  
 
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ref the harbour area, Pal, we spent a few happy hours with our kids at the science museum, but what they enjoyed jsut as much was lunch at the floating chinese restaurant that we went to afterwards.

it was a sunday so it was full of local chinese families having their lunch - very good food and very good value.
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Old Nov 5th, 2009, 05:06 PM
  #53  
 
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Leely2, check out the Hotel Residence le Coin. It has, as a bonus, kitchenettes, and was reasonably priced and intriguing when I checked it out on the Web site. I read positive reviews. Nothing fancy. The Hotel Orlando (ground floor room)and NH Doelen (part of a chain) also looked well located, reasonable. Found some good deals thru the Eden chain, but they only last till March, if I remember. Mercure's are pretty good/reasonable as a chain. The big chians (Marriot, Renaissance) were too mcuh, maybe $212 euros a nite.
We're going on FF miles, so saved lots o'bucks that way.
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 12:14 AM
  #54  
 
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leely re: "want to aim for something that screams "safe." I can honestly say that during the past year I spent in Amsterdam, I never felt unsafe in any areas visitors are likely to be. I mean there is never any guarantee anywhere of course - I'm just saying that was my experience. And I was on foot or bike or public transport all the time (we didn't have a car there), sometimes after midnight, and sometimes by myself. Our 21-year-old DD came to stay with us for a couple of months when she finished her school year in Paris, and we felt quite comfortable letting her ride her bike home at night by herself through all the tourist areas of town. There are tons of people out and about day and night.

And while I don't really see the allure of the RLD as a tourist sight, I wouldn't really even call it that sleazy by American standards. It's in a quite beautiful old part of town. Understated elegance it ain't , but not scary - at least that I ever felt. (We had friends who lived in a gorgeous old house a few blocks from there, and when we visited them we used to ride our bikes through the RLD neighborhood to get home - sometimes quite late at night. Never had a problem or felt unsafe.)

On a side note, I didn't realize you live in San Francisco! We are living there now too - in the Cole Valley neighborhood. If you ever want to get together for a cup of coffee, let me know and I will be only too happy to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about our year in Amsterdam. I believe we already have a date in Amsterdam with Hetismij this coming June, but hey, we can start the GTG early! My email is nycal9 at yahoo. But don't feel obliged - I won't be insulted if you decide you can wait till June. ;->
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 12:33 AM
  #55  
 
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I'll have to see if there are any cheap flights to SF and join you
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 12:55 AM
  #56  
 
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hetismij - that would be great!

If by any chance it proves to be impractical to come to SF for a cup of coffee, maybe we should skype you in. ;-> We "attended" a Christmas dinner back home last year via skype - it was hilarious. So if leely and I get together, we should have you attend by teleconference. That way you'll be up to speed next June.
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 12:22 PM
  #57  
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THE RED-LIGHT DISTRICT
Since it has popped up in posts already let's address this now and yes it is by all accounts a very major sight for tourists to Amsterdam - called the #2 site after the Anne Frank House by some sources.

But it ain't everyone's cup of tea and in many ways it is not a pretty sight - not only is the area a collection of tawdry sex shops, live sex shows, tacky bars and youth-oriented coffeeshops and cheap hostels but some will be disturbed by the blatant sex for sale - scantilly clad bosomy multi-ethnic gals sitting behind picture windows subtely lit by red neon lights.

Though prostitituion is legal in many European countries and bordellos in Germany can be huge no where in the world have i seen such an open and blatant red-light district. Even in Dutch and Belgian cities that have Amsterdam-style RLD nothing is this brash.

And apparently it has become too brash for the Major of Amsterdam and the town's council who has endorsed the Mayor's strong desire to basically remove the RLD elsewhere and then rehab the whole area into an upscale den of fancy hotels, condos, offices, etc. - just like much of the rest of central Amsterdam seems to be becoming.

The Mayor has said he especially wants to attract a different type of tourist to the area and not British young people, who he targeted by name as not wanting here at all.

So tourists currently may be the last ones to see the RLD as it is and has been for a long long time - they call this the Sailors' Quarter because i guess, close to the old port and harbor sailors used to come here for gals - like sailors have all around the world from time immemorial.

The heart of the RLD is just a few blocks east of the Damrak - the street that runs straight to Dam Square from the train station entrance. This is an area of several canals, which once all the flotsam is cleared away should be a really pretty area, much like other canals in town.

NEXT - exploring the RLDistrict more precisely

And again some tourists have little interest in seeing all this Sodom and Gommorah and that's fine - and others like me may not like the idea of women being perhaps taken advantage of as has been given for one of the reasons to downsize the RLD - gals from Eastern Europe i guess being treated like slaves, etc. and gangs, etc taking over more and more.

There are actually three RLDs in Amsterdam but the other two are very discrete, on quiet streets - presumably the model for the Mayor to turn the main RLD into.

I would appreciate anyone's impression of the RLD!
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 12:41 PM
  #58  
 
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Good news for those who like them - Casa Rosa and the Bananen bar are to remain open.

Important to note that you are not allowed to photograph the open windows too - it is forbidden and will get you a very angry response not only from the lady but her pimp too - who may not be very gentle in his rebuke!
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 02:26 PM
  #59  
 
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i wanted to see the banana bar out of morbid curiousity but could never get up the nerve...
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Old Nov 6th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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Went with DH to the RLD last month before dusk and spent less than 10 minutes just so we can claim "been there", general impression was ugly, everything and every girl was ugly, were told the pretty ones don't work there. Did go back the next evening to the restaurant "Kam Yin", inexpensive and not bad, has a small bakery attached where we bought asian pastries for breakfast.

Is there a reason why the RLD is clustered around the church and the chinese temple?!

Gassan Diamonds is much larger than the ones in the museum district, it was built by Jews who escaped from Antwerp during WWII.

Ibis is built over the railway tracks, small rooms are noisy all day and night.
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