Long Weekend in Amsterdam

Jan 19th, 2000, 09:56 AM
Karen Tinsky
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Long Weekend in Amsterdam

My husband and I are thinking about spending a long weekend in Amsterdam next month. (We are both in our late 20s., we love museums, architecture and shopping). Any suggestions? Will it be very cold? What are some must-sees? Any ideas about relatively-inexpensive accomodations?
Jan 19th, 2000, 10:15 PM
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We didn't find it all that cold in February. For a long weekend, you could see the standard sights. Visit the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum at least. The Eyewitness Travel Guide to Amsterdam has some good information on architecture, and the canal cruises are an easy way of seeing some of it. The night-time cruises are nice too because of the lights. De Bijenkorf is an interesting department store. Another store I liked in or near Magna Plaza was French(!). No one else seems to mention it but we really enjoyed the hour Holland Experience show. The best thing about the off season - fewer people, shorter lineups.
Jan 20th, 2000, 02:39 AM
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Most of the bigger hotels are doing one night free in Feb in A'dam.(some 4th night free, some 3rd night free, some Sunday night free if staing Fri & Sat)Whether this is only available via
agents packages I'm not sure - the deals don't appear on the booking sites but if you phone up & dicker you may get a good deal.I recommend the Doelen hotel(not nearest the museums).Well sited, lovely breakfast room,
great view if you get a canal room high up, net access.Cheaper is the Botel.
There is a well preserved merchants house near the centre which I think is
more interesting than the museums.(can't remember the name, soth of centre, near Tolstraat)Buy a museum
card if you intend to visit a lot of museums.There is also a canal boat which
takes you between the museums.(!)The Van Gogh museum is excellent, but there are many others, there is even a torture
museum & a marihuana museum (can't comment on these)Very very cold in February,but warm in the bars.
Go the the flower market on Singel canal.
Jan 20th, 2000, 07:18 AM
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Definitely see the Van Gogh Museum and then either the Rijksmuseum or the Stedelijk (sp?) which is the Musuem of Modern Art. Anne Frankhuis should not be missed. If you have time, do a day and night time canal cruise. We took the night time wine & cheese cruise operated by "Lovers" - it was about 2 hours long and the guide was very informative. I'd skip the Holland Experience unless you are going to have children with you. The Waterlooplein Market is fun but closed on Sundays. On our last trip, we stumbled across at artists' market on Sunday afternoon at Rembrandtplein (maybe Muntplein, but I think the former) that was a great a find - inexpensive watercolors by local artists. Definitely eat a rice table - I prefer the Indonesian over the Chinese, but they are both interesting. For Indonesian, Flamboyant on the Amstel right next door to the Carre Theatre is good. Kantjil en de Tijger on Spuistraat was excellent also. Stroll the Jordaan to check out interesting shops. De Bijenkorf is a great department store at Dam Square that you should check out. Some people are offended by it, but I found the red light district very interesting - go at 10 p.m. or later to see the place in full swing. Have a great trip.
Jan 20th, 2000, 07:21 AM
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I forgot - we always stay at The Bridge Hotel near the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge). The highest rate we've ever had was $85 a night. Comfortable room - very roomy compared to other places we've stayed in Europe. Free breakfast. Walking distance to the center, but there's a metro station a few minutes away if you prefer to ride in. Their website is www.thebridgehotel.demon.nl
Jan 21st, 2000, 02:03 AM
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The Sunday art market Meg mentions is at the Spui.It's great fun for a quick browse, too small really for serious buying.(my fave is the art market in Barcelona near the ramblas, not sure what day).There are other specialist markets,books,stamps etc, check them out in the Rough Guide.(a cut down version is now on the net)
Jan 22nd, 2000, 04:50 AM
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Karen-Meg gave excellent advice. If you love architecture, you might want to take a day canal cruise to see the buildings better. Again, for architecture, if you are up to it,you could take a 60 min. train ride to Rotterdam. The city was destroyed in WWII and built it a wonderful, joyful, modern style- we walked from the train station all the way to the Blaak Houses and "The Pencil" and went up the Eruomast tower. Then (we walked again) to Historic Delftshaven to see the undestroyed section and the old windmill.
We like the "red light district" and thought the "Asian Caribbean" restaurant on the Warmoesstrat was such a hoot! Also liked the Sukasari Damstraat 26-68 for the rice table. Loved eating dinner in the window table at De Luwtw (Leliegracht 26-28) in the Jordaan.
You almost can't go wrong in this fabulously fun city. As for hotels- I find the goholland site to be easy- you can search the hotels by price and see the pictures of the rooms. It depends if yo u want a "canal house" type place or a basic hotel room, which are clean and inexpensive. Almost all the nice hotels include a buffet style breakfast.
I know once you visit, you'll want to go back again! People are friendly and well mannered- but realize, it's not like a London Pub or a Bosotn bar- the people sitting next to you generally do not want to "make friends" with you or talk to you, groups of people are private unto themselves. Please feel free to email me if you have more questions.

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