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Tips on Shopping and Sightseeing in/around Amsterdam


Tips on Shopping and Sightseeing in/around Amsterdam

Old Feb 19th, 2002, 04:15 PM
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Tips on Shopping and Sightseeing in/around Amsterdam

I'll be in Amsterdam for 2 1/2 days - March 8-11. I'd like some input on the top things to do - am especially interested to see the flowers if they are around then. Also, would like some idea on shopping and what souvenirs to get in Holland. If I leave the city and go to some of the small towns what is the best way to get around? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Old Feb 19th, 2002, 04:38 PM
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VR, I can give you some tips from my trip there the end of July 2001 for about 4 days....

My favorite shopping area was right behind all the museums, it was only 2 blocks wide and about 3 long. Lots of boutiques, one dept. store, etc. Nice sales. I'm doing from memory but could it be called the Museumplein area? Close to the Van Gogh museum.

I was too late for the flowers myself. There is a nice flower market in town, that is quite charming. A flea market is very close to it.

The other shopping areas were very touristy with all the same souveniers, etc. Good to go and do a quick one here, but not spend too much time. These other shopping areas are closer to the flower market.Souveniers - the delft ceramic is quite inexpensive, whereas the delft porcelain is quite expensive.

I hope you get some additional replies that will help with specifics.
Old Feb 20th, 2002, 05:02 AM
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Old Feb 21st, 2002, 10:25 AM
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I'm new to this site - so would someone please let me know what "top" means? Also IMHO?

Old Feb 21st, 2002, 01:27 PM
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I didn't find that much to buy in Amsterdam. Chocolates of course. The department store De Bijenkorf has a nice candy selection, and you can have lunch there too. By the Westerkirk (by the Anne Frank house) is a cheese shop and a Delft store. Look for cheese knives and spreaders, which you can pick up at the airport if need be. My favourite souvenirs if you can find them, were little canal house replica boxes, maybe 3 inches tall, with candies inside. Also, oddly, beautiful French linens from a store at, I think, Magna Plaza.

Be sure to take a canal cruise. Travel to any town is simple by their super-efficient train system.

Topping just means sending this message to the top where it is more likely to be read. Messages 'sink' as new ones are added. I think IMHO stands for 'in my humble opinion.'
Old Feb 21st, 2002, 02:45 PM
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Things to do in 2.5 days IMO would include the following:

Anne Frank's House
Van Gogh Museum
Cruise on the canals (not as interesting, but fun - would do it at night)
K museum (forget the entire spelling)
Heineken brewery tour

If you're only there for 2.5 days, you don't have a lot of time to leave the city and go to other ones. Can take the bus to smaller towns from AMS or the train.

Souvenirs would include excellent cheese!
Old Feb 21st, 2002, 02:47 PM
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You may be there too early to go to the fantastic Keukenhof Gardens. Check if they've got a website for their opening dates. To get there from Amsterdam, you'd get the train from Centraal Station to Haarlem, then a bus from there to the gardens.

I'm not interested in shopping, but I agree with one of the posters on Dutch chocolate. Try Puccini Bomboni near Waterlooplein, or J.G. Beune in Haarlemerstraat. There are many more fine chocolatiers, though.

A canal boat ride, especially by night, is magical. We went with Rederij de Kooij on the Rokin.

Since you'll be there for just a couple of days, some leisurely canal strolling would give you a good feel for this city. It's great for walking because it's flat, of course!

There are loads of fantastic restaurants, cafes, bars and coffeeshops. Lokaal t'Loosje is a cool bar on Nieuwmarkt, facing the Waag. If you want really tasty Dutch food, try De Roode Leuuw on Damrak. The service and decor are impeccable. Most cafes and some bars serve divine appelgebak, apple pie, my favourite speciality there.

If you're into museums, choose between the Rijks and the Van Gogh, both world class. There's a Gaugin and Van Gogh exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum. I found the Stedelijk Museum quite disappointing, even though I like modern art.

The Sex Museum on Damrak is a lot of fun. If you feel so inclined, wander through the Red Light District. I did, and found it fascinating and not at all threatening as some people report.

I found the Dutch people to be most hospitable, friendly, and humorous.

I hope you enjoy your visit. if you want any more specific info, I'll try to answer it, though I don't check in here very often now. Best wishes.
Old Feb 21st, 2002, 03:04 PM
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If the Kuekenhof gardens are up and running (which I guess depends on the weather - if it has been warm enough to get the flowers up) then it is a 'don't miss' opportunity. I saw the gardens mid-April last year and they were spectacular. I was so glad that I made my trip in the spring. It is well worth the effort of a short train ride and bus ride to go to the gardens if the weather is favorable.
Old Feb 21st, 2002, 04:01 PM
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Keukenhof Gardens don't open until March 21, unfortunately, according to the visit Holland website.
Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 11:05 AM
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Used to live there- antique shopping is best in Jordaan area, taxi will know where to go. PC Hoofdstraat is for expensive shopping (Chanel, etc); Kalverstraat next to the Dam is for casual clothes and less expensive stores in general, but the Bijenkorf is close by which is a nice big dept. store. If you have small feet and are looking for shoes, you will only find them on PC Hoofdstraat, I wear an American 5 and shoe shopping was always very difficult.

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