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Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Munich, Prague, Madrid...

Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Munich, Prague, Madrid...

Jan 13th, 2006, 06:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 5
Amsterdam, Rome, Milan, Munich, Prague, Madrid...

Any help appreciated...

I will be on a business trip in a few weeks to the cities listed above and have never been to any. American male, mid-20's, and will be busy during the day but free at night. Any reccommendations?

Thanks again for your time
Novice_Traveller is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,459
Hi NT,

How many days per city?

What are you interested in seeing, doing?

ira is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Well, one thing you can always do in the evening is have dinner. If you put <city name +restaurant> (without the arrows) in the Search Box, you should find quite a few recommendations. Your hotel will also be able to recommend restaurants.

Depending on the weather, you can follow up dinner in some of the cities - Milan perhaps, Rome and Madrid - with people watching in cafes over a coffee or a digestif. (Many cafes have propane heaters that allow them to stay open even in cold weather.)

In Rome, for one, many monuments are illuminated at night and can make for an interesting stroll.

I don't know what your interests are, but most of the cities you name have busy music and opera seasons. The local tourist office, which should be the first place you go in each city, should be able to tell you what is on.
Prague's Laterna Magika is an interesting and unusual theatre experience that requires no knowledge of the language (I assume it's still in operation; I haven't been to Prague in decades).
Eloise is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Thanks for your feedback...

I basically have one night in each city. Some I have two, but over the course of two weeks I think I am in 10 cities.

I will definitely search for restaurants ahead of time, that is a great idea.

I don't think I am all that interested in the performing arts, especially for just one night. I think I would prefer a cocktail or two in the local haunts.

Anyone know any great, local watering holes?
Novice_Traveller is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 09:06 AM
Posts: n/a
Here's my Amsterdam trip report, including info. on the great restaurants and cafes we found here. You will love it.

"LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Amsterdam! You always hear of the Red Light district and the coffee shops and the laissez-faire attitude, but you don’t hear how open and friendly the people are, how lovely the canals and side streets, how wonderfully trendy the restaurants and cafes, how people are out strolling at all hours of the night and you feel safe everywhere. I think I’d expected it to be quaint and charming (which it is), but in a dark wood-paneled cliché way, not in the young and contemporary way it is.

The standard reply we were given in Amsterdam, when we asked for anything, was always “Of course!” How refreshing.

We stayed in a fabulous location, at The Hotel Residence le Coin, which was directly across a small street from the Hotel de l’Europe, down the street from the Hotel Doelan, on Nieuwe Doelenstraat (sp?). A great neighborhood in the heart of old Amsterdam.

The hotel has a lift and A/C, also free use of the hotel’s washing machine and clothes dryer in the basement (which was welcome as we’d been traveling over a week when we arrived there). Each room has a little kitchenette, a nice-sized bath, large rooms with wooden floors and a sitting area. It’s fairly new, so everything sparkles. Very friendly front desk, too.

Two cafes on the same block as the hotel were wonderful: Café Katoen for a university atmosphere, and Café le Jarden, for great table seating on the canal.

Amazing dinners at two restaurants in particular:
“Stout!”, at Haarlemmerstraat 73 (www.restaurantstout.nl). Fabulous ‘foamy asparagus’ soup with shrimp, chateaubriande, fresh fish, dessert course, wine list. Very trendy lighting. Great service. We’d gone to the neighborhood in search of a restaurant called “Lof” which we’d seen written up. We didn’t like its atmosphere, but were lucky that Stout! was just across the street.

Also at “Restaurant Dining Eleven” we had a great dinner. It’s at Reestraat 11. Also trendy and contempory, well-presented and beautifully-served meal.

Another nice dinner at “frenzi”, at Swanenburgwal 232. Very simple and contemporary. We arrived shortly after 10:00p.m., when most restaurants close in Amsterdam, and persuaded the owner to sell us any left-overs they had in the kitchen! They put together a nice Caesar salad with cooked-in-the-shell shrimp and mango. Very nice.

Also a good brunch at a place across the street from frenzi—called “Puccini”. Creative salads and sandwiches. Very nice also.

We took a canal cruise one evening. Toured the Anne Frank Huis and the Van Gogh Museum. Visited the Nieuwe Kerk (sp?) Our teens went to a concert at the Paradiso and loved it.

One afternoon we did the 2:30 “Best of Holland” excursion to Volendam and Marken, with a stop to see wooden clogs made, Gouda cheese created, and to visit windmills. It was by bus, with a boat from Volendam to Marken. A lot of fun. Even our two teens liked it.

Our teens also liked shopping at one street in particular, between our hotel and the museum district. Also a Zara shop there, and many others like it. They thought the selection and prices were better in Amsterdam than what they’d seen in London and Paris even.

A detail about Amsterdam if you go there-- carry enough Euros in cash, because many places won't accept a credit card for a 'small' purchase (i.e. under 25 EU).
The only unpleasantness we encountered in Amsterdam related to cab rides and inconsistent pricing. Especially when our two teens were grossly overcharged cabbing to the hotel from the concert. They were well aware of the route, having walked it already twice, but we'd wanted them to cab home late at night. They knew the cabbie took a very round-about way back in order to over-charge. Also, when we arrived at the taxi sand at Central Station, I was literally swarmed by rather aggressive cabbies and felt uncomfortably jostled by them all.

A great trip all in all. Weather was spotty, with rain showers on and off, but not bad.
We enjoyed EuroStar from London to Paris. Then we took the Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam. It, too, was very nice, until we encountered a derailment which had rail traffic stopped at central station. We were re-routed to Schipol airport, and told our tickets would get us to Central Station on another train. It didn't make much sense, as that train also got held up by the derailment mess, and was a commuter which was quite slow. Also, they didn't give us much direction as to how to find the next train, but we figured it out. Some locals simply shrugged and indicated that the train system didn't usually run 100 percent smoothly. Not a good start to Amsterdam, but we loved it there anyway.
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