John & Kari's Amsterdam
Visit to Amsterdam!
Our ideas for you to have a great visit to Amsterdam! But, it is your vacation…so it's whatever you want to do…
Arrive @ Schiphol Airport. Take a taxi from the line in front of the airport to the city "Centrum". It should cost you about 35€. Or, if you feel like "going native and being Dutch", take a train from underneath the airport to Amsterdam Centraal for about 6€. Then it's up to you to either walk or catch a tram to wherever you are headed (for another 1.70€). Relax, unpack, shower, then head out into the city.
Many people visit Amsterdam because of the museums. The most popular museums
(i.e., Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum) are located on the Museumplein.
o Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is a brand new building that was constructed while the featured works traveled the world a few years back. It's an impressive collection of works and the top floors showcase his sketches and ideas for the paintings. If it's not crowded, it's pretty easy to get through the place in a few hours.
o Anne Frank Museum
If you ever read "The Diary of Anne Frank" as a child, you must see the Anne Frank Museum which is located on the Prisengracht. The museum shows how she and her family lived whilst hiding from the Nazis in WWII.
o Amsterdam Historical Museum
Another good museum (and one of John's favorites). This museum takes you from the earliest origins of the city to modern day Amsterdam with each room focusing on a different period in the city's development. Leave plenty of time if you want to go through every room, as it will take you most of a day to see it all. For those that only want a taste, it is possible to get through in only a couple of hours.
(Dutch Resistance Museum) Amsterdam
Lastly, we would go to the Eastern part of the city and visit the Verzetsmuseum Amsterdam (Dutch Resistance Museum). It's Kari favorite museum in Amsterdam and it gets very little attention in the tourist books. We don't know why, this museum is a better bet than the Anne Frank Huis if you want to understand what was really like in Holland during WWII.
Amsterdam has many places to eat and drink, but to understand the dining situation
here in the Netherlands, please follow this link to FEBO.
It is a restaurant in which the Dutch actually pull their dinners out of a wall vending machine.
Umm...Lekker! (which means tasty!) The local favorite is the kalfvleeskroket which is
essentially deep-fried gravy in the shape of an egg roll. Truly, how you can deep-fry
something like gravy is beyond me. Anyway, the point being...If you choose to eat something
other than that which comes out of the wall, reservations are usually required.
o Restaurant Bordewijk
o The Pancake Bakery
o Cafe Tabac
o To Dine Restaurant at Hotel Arena
This place holds a flower auction Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. It's the largest of it's kind and held in a building that is as big as 125 football fields!!! Take Bus lijn 172 from Amsterdam Centraal Station.
Renting a bike in Amsterdam is easy and it's a great way to see the city. Besides, biking in Amsterdam is the quintessentially Dutch experience! Don't be surprised if the bike you rent looks like a prop from The Wizard of Oz.
Boom Chicago is Improvisational comedy at it best. A mostly British and American cast making fun of the oddities of the Dutch and other European as seen through the eyes of a tourist. Many Dutch also enjoy the show as it pokes fun at American and British tourists as they experience Holland.
There is no better way to see the city from a different perspective than to take a canal cruise. If you visit Amsterdam, don't miss this experience. Most cruises operate day and evening, and they have multi-language guided tours.
The Red Light District in Amsterdam is legendary. In country where prostitution is legal, much of it is concentrated in this one area of the city. It is generally safe, with undercover police patrolling the streets. Avoid shady looking characters that try and sell you drugs.
If you visit Amsterdam in the Spring time, this is the place to be. The world's largest flower garden covering 32 hectares with over 800,000 visitors every year.