Long Weekend A'dam Report

Sep 7th, 2004, 04:22 PM
  #1  
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Long Weekend A'dam Report

Wanted to provide my experiences after finding others so helpful...Just returned from four days in Amsterdam and had a great time! Stayed at the Hotel Fita, a clean hotel in a good location. Used it as a base and took day trips. Breakfast ends at 9:30 though, so unless you're an early riser (hard to do in that town!) then plan on breakfast on your own. Unlike others, didn't find much touristy help from the owners, but I had researched much on my own.

Day 1- visited the flower market and took a canal cruise (E9pp), both worthwhile, and allowed us to ease into the time change with a light schedule

Day 2- Took Mike's Bike Tour for E24pp and highly recommend it. Geared towards young and young at heart Americans (we're late 20's), the guide was fresh and funny in his accountings of history and the city in general. Got an up close and personal viewing of a windmill and cheese/shoe farm. Stopped for beer and enjoyed chatting with other people on tour. Then hoofed it over to Anne Frank house- interesting to see the actual house, but most info could be found on the internet and wasn't worth waiting to read all the little wall placards. I didn't find it as interesting as I had hoped.

Day 3- Took Lindbergh Tours on a 4.5 hour tour to Zannse Schans, Volendam and Markem for E26pp. Very much enjoyed the fishing villages (picturesque and good souvenier shops), but wished we had more time. Felt like we were herded through the towns...we only walked through Marken on the way to the bus. I would recommend finding a longer tour or inquiring about actual time spent at each place. Also, we were glad we had seen the windmills/cheese/shoe making on Mike's tour with 20 people, versus this tour with 75 people. (Although if this was your only way to see these things, it would still be worthwhile.)

Day 4- We cruised through Van Gogh museum (free tix from the hotel) then caught the train to Delft. Cute little town for lunch and some higher quality Delft stores. We skipped the Hague (train station seemed far from the center of town) and instead went to Scheveningen. It's a beach town with a strip of junk shops and casual outdoor cafes. We probably wouldn't go back-weren't that impressed. My boyfriend said it reminded him of the Acapulco beach scenes in 1950's movies.

In general, had a hard time finding good Dutch (or other) restaurants for dinner- finally decided they weren't to be found. Went to an Argentian steak house (they're everywhere in A'dam) and Sizchuan Cafe (a block from the flower market, and very good). Had great lunches though, with all the open face sandwiches and pancakes. Enjoyed sampling the beers at many bars and cafes too!
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 04:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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We will be in Amsterdam next Tuesday,
Did you go in any BROWN CAFES? How far was the airport from your hotel?
bigboy72712 is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Schiphol is 18km from central. Let's Go Amsterdam is an excellent city guide with maps of neighborhoods marked with food, bars, coffeeshops, etc.
suze is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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How far was the hotel from tram stops? any restaurants right near the hotel? We are planning to go next year, and considering this hotel. walking long distances can be an issue for us, so sometimes would appreciate something close by.
Joanel is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Joanel and BigBoy- There is a tram stop at the end of the block, so not very far at all. It's the same tram stop one would use to go to the Van Gogh museum. We took the train from the airport to Central Station (EU$3.60pp) and a tram to the hotel (EU$1.60pp). Takes about half an hour. If you have a lot of luggage, the train might be tricky. If you're going to be using the tram, you can buy a strip of tickets at the convenience stores and it works out cheaper than buying one on the train every time. (More than one person can ride off the same strip too.)
There's probably four or five cafes all within a couple blocks of the hotel. They seemed to be open for breakfast and lunch only. To get to dinner places, you'd probably have to walk (probably a 10 min walk) or take the tram to Leidensplein, the nearest square which has lots of restaurants and bars in all price ranges. Great people watching here too. We did not go to any brown cafes.
LM3682 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Bigboy- You do realize that "brown cafes" and "coffeeshops" are not the same thing, right?
suze is offline  
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