First time in Amsterdam!

Discussion in 'Travelling & Holidays' started by Jigga Jackson, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Jigga Jackson

    Jigga Jackson
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    Hi all, a few friends and me decided to go on a euro-trip next month and after much debate Amsterdam was chosen. I've not been before but have been told about the things that go on! (drug use and prostitution) As none of us are really into that sort of thing, is there anything else worth going to see out there or do u think it could be a wasted journey??

    Any help will be appreciative
     
  2. WildeKarde

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    Depends what you are into? I'd say you need to actually visit the red light district even if you aren't "purchasing" as it's quite different what we are used to.
     
  3. Jigga Jackson

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    Thanks wild, Will have to check it out. Ideally I'd like to see the culture, go to a few markets, mingle with the natives. Is there any places where I can do this? Also we're looking to go out one night to a club. Does anyone know of any clubs in the Dam??
     
  4. m@rk

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    I did Amsterdam last year.

    Blog post here HERE

    Very very pretty place

    Yes by all means go to the RLD. Indeed do take in one of the "shows" if only to realise just how surreal Amsterdam and the whole RLD can be.

    But Amsterdam is much more than that.

    Be prepared to do a lot of walking to really get under the skin and also do one of the boat tours. These are not expensive and you can hop on and off as you see fit.

    You may also want to consider renting a bike and do as the locals do.

    One area that stood out for me was Jordaan

    Enjoy
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  5. oska

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    Tons to do, lived in the Hague for a few years so made quite a few trips. Even if you aren't into that sort of thing the red light district is interesting to take a look. Sex Museum is small but good for a laugh. Hash museum the same. Anne Frank's house is moving. Van Gogh museum if you are into that sort of thing. In general it's a cool city to walk around, some beautiful streets along the canals. Just watch out for bikes and street corner dealers.

    Club wise there is a decent article here. My advice would be to go to coffeeshop 222 and ask what's going on. They always know the best nights in the smaller venues that aren't so touristy.
     
  6. RobM

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    Do visit the RLD, just because it's something to experience. It's not as seedy as you might expect, so long as you stay on the main stretch. Just be prepared to say a polite 'no thanks' to the drug dealers as they approach you. They don't want trouble any more than you do.

    As oska says above, both Anne Franks house and the Van Gogh museum are worth visiting. If you head to the Van Gogh museum, head to the Diamond museum just around the corner, right by the Rijksmuseum. Lots of cultural and interesting things to see in that quarter of the city.

    Definitely take a canal boat tour, you'll see the city from a really interesting perspective. You can hop on and off them too, should you wish.

    Otherwise, get your walking boots on and just get going, you'll find so many interesting things to see and do you'll certainly not be bored. You won't go hungry, either!
     
  7. XA10

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    As for markets - Waterlooplein is probably your best bet and most convenient big daily flea market near the centrum within walking distance. Albert Cuyp Markt is a 6 day street market a bit further out in the area called De Pijp. Noordermarkt is a textiles and farmers market in the Jordaan area on a Monday and on other certain days you’ll find markets dedicated to books, stamps and etchings. The Bloemmarkt (flowermarket) is a bit underwhelming imho but worth wandering by I guess. De Looier is a small indoor antiques market with lots of different stalls.

    Without doubt I highly recommend walking around the Red Light District (RLD) to see the scantily clad women in the windows trying to beckon in customers, besides that, it’s the oldest part of the city with amazing architecture and with the church called Oude Kerk. (don’t blatantly wave a camera about in the RLD, the window girls hate it if it points their way) There’s a live sex show theatre, a peep show, banana bar and window girls from stunners to rough hags to ladyboys to Africans dotted all over the area of De Wallen (RLD) as well as plethora of coffeeshops, bars and cafes and it’s all safe, but can get a little edgy after 2am.

    If you’re going anytime soon during the peak, be prepared for insane queue lengths everywhere to top museums or attractions. I’ve not been nor do I give a hoot about seeing hidden rooms behind a bookcase of the Anne Frank house, but the queues to this place is mad. The other notable attractions include Stedelijk, Van Gogh or the main Rijksmuseum that has the painting called Nightwatch. The Cloggies in A’dam seem to have museums dedicated to all sorts of things, like smoking pipes, spectacles, cats, tulips, diamonds, barrel organs, vodka, torture, houseboats, Heineken beer, tropical plants, marijuana, geology, WWII (resistance), sex & eroticism, science, art, modern art, photography/film, etc, etc.

    OSKA above mentioned getting info about nightclubs in coffeeshop 222 . Don’t bother as it’s been closed for well over 5 years. I gave up clubbing years ago, but they do have venues dedicated to certain genres of dance music. Club Paradiso, Sugar Factory and Melkweg are the main venues but there are many others and as a result your best bet is to find the nearest Smartshop (a place that sells herbal stimulants) and gather flyers of upcoming events such as in the shop Conscious Dreams located in a street called Warmoesstraat near the RLD.

    As far as I’m concerned, forget using the trams and hire a bike. It’s deceiving just how much you’ll end up walking, especially a first time. Believe me, after a day or two you’ll be at a snail’s pace, but with a bike the entire city is within easy reach from Vondelpark to Centraal Station. I’ve not done a canal cruise so can’t pass judgement on that but there are 3 different colour coded looped lines around the city canals taking you to different areas with hop on hop off points scattered about.

    A’dam is a maze and you will get lost and disoriented – get a good map or Smartphone map and you’ll be fine. A’dam is a perpetual building site, expect grumpy and unfriendly service in pubs and cafes, you’ll always have the uneasy feeling you’re being ripped off or conned and as you’ve not mentioned anything about visiting a weed coffeeshop, I’ll skip this part unless you need more info?. Expect huge amounts of froth on your beer, don’t walk into bike lanes without looking first, expect insanely steep staircases and street dealers are no longer pestering tourists like they used, the city has cracked down and moved them out of the area in the RLD.

    I will conclude to say that if anyone is considering doing Amsterdam is to do it soon. It’s no longer the fun gritty place it used to be and too many changes have taken place for the worse over the years I’ve been. Enjoy it while it lasts as tolerance and freedom in the city is deteriorating which has already occurred in other parts of the Netherlands and will soon encroach on Amsterdam one day, possibly, maybe……………………we all wait and see.

    A video I personally captured and made of Amsterdam -

    Amsterdam - wandering around with my camera
     
  8. Exemplar

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    I used to live near the centre (100 metres from the Rai).

    I loved Amsterdam but could not wait to move out further and ended up in Purmerend which is near Edam.

    There is a beautiful lighthouse at a town called Marken. You have to leave the car and walk some 3-4 Kilometres to the lighthouse but the view is amazing. From there you can see for miles and miles.

    To get to Marken you have to go across one of the longest dams in Holland, again amazing views.

    From Marken you can see Bataviastaad which is a great out of town shopping centre (sometimes the big stores offload their out of season clothing there, I bought about 20 pairs of Calvin Klein briefs for less than €1 a pair). More importantly though there is an amazing real life museum there where they build old ships with the tools of that period. Last time I was there they were half way through a roman gallion. You could walk round under and in and touch which was so cool.

    So it's not all whores and dope or hidden rooms, although that can be interesting for a very short while...
     

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