Amsterdam Journals

Amsterdam for the Queen's Birthday

An April 2000 trip to Amsterdam by JohnR

Kukenhof Gardens Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands More Photos
Quote: Amsterdam's wild celebration of the Queen's birthday.

Amsterdam for the Queen's Birthday

Overview

Quote:
Flea markets everywhere; people-watching; partying til dawn for the hardy;

Side trips to the Keukenhoff Gardens, the Madurodam, and Utrecht

Quick Tips:

Watch out for the bicycles - they stop for noone.

Best Way To Get Around:

Walking; tram; canal boat.

Owl Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

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The Owl Hotel is a charming (three star) establishment, and this was my third stay there in seven years. Just a couple of blocks away from the bustle of the Leidesplein, the Owl is on a quiet street. The rooms are clean, small by American standards, and immaculate. Our room had a private bath. The breakfast room overlooks a postage stamp sized garden, alas, the non-smoking phenomenon has not arrived in Holland, but we survived the German couple next to us with their foul smelling fags. The staff is friendly, helpful, and English speaking. Four nights for two cost just under $400 and was darn well worth it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Owl Hotel
1 Roemer Vischerstratt
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sama Sebo

Restaurant

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Sama Sebo is perhaps the best known Indonesian Rice Table establishment in Amsterdam. Just a block or so from the Rijksmuseum, this venerable establishment is a must. Imagine twenty-four small dishes of rice, vegetables, and meat on skewers (various kinds, including goat). Everyone should try this experience at least once.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Sama Sebo
P.C. Hooftstraat 27
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 BL
+31 20 662 8146

Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag)

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Attraction | "Queen's Birthday Celebration"

Quote:
Awesome. Queen Beatrix of Holland has a birthday in January, but celebrates it on April 30 (the birthday of her mother, the much loved Queen Juliana). This year the 30th was on a Sunday, so the celebration was Saturday. A couple hundred thousand extra people crowded into central Amsterdam during this day. Every major, and a few minor, streets were lined with vendors selling everything under the sun. People were dressed up in orange gear (after the House of Orange), and wore funky, wild, orange and purple hats. Public transport grinds to a halt on this day, except for the canal boats. Even the venerable trams do not run in the inner city. It is like a mini mardi gras which lasts only on...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag)
Centrum (vondelpark)
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 AA
None available

Kukenhof Gardens

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Attraction

Kukenhof Gardens Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The last week of April, some seven million bulbs are at their peak in the famous Kukenhof Gardens, about 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam. It has to be seen to be believed - acre upon acre of manicured grounds, trees, ponds (complete with swans), and everywhere beds of flowers, mostly tulips, but other bulbs as well. Rhododendron and Azaleas well.

Peak spring bloom only lasts for a couple of weeks, and the end of April is the most reliable time.

There is a summer flower season, as well, but it could not possibly compare.

The attached photos, taken on an overcast day, do not begin to do the place justice.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Kukenhof Gardens

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Madurodam

Attraction

Madurodam Photo, Den Haag/The Hague, Netherlands
Quote:
The Madurodam at Den Haag (the Hague) is a miniature city spread out over some five acres. Famous buildings and landmarks of Holland are created in exquisite detail. To give you an idea of scale, the spire on a miniatue cathedral came to mid-thigh. There is an airport in miniature, a habor complete with automatic loading of ships, and model trains running throughout. Flowers were everywhere. It has to be seen to be believed.

This spring there was an indoor exhibit of ice sculptures, huge things, including buildings and monuments. Truly amazing (and cold - they give you special gear to wear while walking thru the display)

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 11, 2000

Madurodam
George Maduroplein 1
The Hague, Netherlands
31 (0)70 416 24 00

Quote:
Amsterdam has been my favorite city since my first visit there in 1993. It is a friendly place (most of the people speak at least some English). There is so much to see and do, ie.: The State Museum (Rijksmuseum), the Van Gogh Museum, the Ann Frank House, the diamond district, and the famous Red Light District. Near the Red Light District is the Church of our Lord in the Attic, a series of 17th century townhouses, which a full scale church in their shared attics - catholics worshiped there during the Reformation, it was pretty much an open secret at the time. Many small streets spread out from the Leidesplein and are lined with restaurants of almost every ethnicity imaginab...Read More