A May 2000 trip
to Amsterdam by Re Carroll
Quote: Amsterdam can be overpowering but there are some interesting small towns less than 1 hour travel distance but worlds away in atmosphere.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2000
Alkmaar Cheese Market
Bus tour to island
Attraction | "Zandvort ans Zee"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 20, 2000
Zandvoort aan Zee
Attraction | "Zans Schaanse"
Zaanse Schans Historic Windmills
Zaandam, Netherlands 1509
+31 (0)75 681 00 00
The museum is devoted to cats and there are paintings, statues, posters, drawings, cartoons, etc. that all feature this beloved feline. There are even sketches by Picasso and Rembrandt and the carpeting on the stairs has a cat motif. I did notice one resident feline but otherwise, the only visitors to the museum were of the human kind. The front desk has some items for sale - art cards and calendars - with cat themes, of course.
If you're not a cat fan, stop in anyway because the museum takes up part of the main and second floors of a large, elegant canal house that was built in the mid-1600s and has antique furniture throughout. Take a peek into the back garden and you'll see an abundance of greenery and colourful plants that cover most of the yard. Ask to use the washroom and you'll be shown to a water closet, a tiny room tiled with rich dark wood and brass fittings.
Admission is f10. (approx. $4.00 US). You may want to phone first (020) 626 53 78 since operating hours vary.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2001
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1017 BT
+31 20 626 53 78
Attraction | "The Allard Pierson Museum"
There is an extensive collection of artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, Cyprus, West Asia (Turkey) and Etruria. Among the exhibits are jewellery, household goods, vases, pottery, weapons and tools. The Egyptian section has a scale model of the pyramids of Giza and a computer that will print your name in hieroglyphics although it wasn't working when I was there.
There is a number of impressive statues including one from Greece's Temple of Apollo and another one of Mausollos, the King of Caria in the mid 4th century bc. When he died, his wife had a magnificent tomb built for him that become one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. This is where the word mausoleum comes from.
There is a small shop at the entrance that sells books, postcards and some replicas from the collection.
Admission is f9.50 (approx. $4.oo US) and there are NO flash pictures allowed. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. It is easily accessible via Tram #20.
Their phone number is (020) 525 2556.
Allard Pierson Museum
Oude Turfmarkt 127
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1012 GC
+31 20 525 25 56
The most advertised is the Albert Cuyp Markt, easily accessed via Tram #20. It is in the middle of a quiet street off busy Ferdinand Bolstraat and is open from Monday through Saturday. It is quite large and seems to stretch for about 1/2 mile. There are lots of stalls selling clothes, household products and lots of food items. If you want to try pickled, raw herring topped with onions, this is the place to do it. On both sides of the street are small stores that cater to locals and sell everyday type clothes (no boutiques here), household goods, food, etc. so you can shop 'til you drop. There is even a discount store called Knaackland that has lots of games for kids and other cheap gifts to take home.
The market at Noorderkerk (North Church), just off the Prinsengracht canal is much smaller by comparison. It caters more to the second hand market - books, records, old clothes and other used goods make up the majority of the merchandise. The slogan "one man's junk is another man's treasure" could have been coined for this place. There are a couple of people selling handmade jewellery and the prices are reasonable. If you're looking for retro clothes, this is the place for you. It operates on Monday mornings only.
My B&B host recommended Jordaan Market and said this is where she goes. Size wise, it's a cross between Albert Cuyp and Norderkerk. Lots of produce, flower, cheese and bakery stalls attract locals doing their grocery shopping. There are also toiletries and some clothes vendors too. It is located in the Jordaan section of Amsterdam which used to be a 17th century working class neighbourhood but is now a trendy residential and shopping district. This is also good place to sit at a canal side table and have a drink while people watching.
The most colourful of the markets is the floating flower market on the Singel canal. Open from Monday to Saturday, it consists of a number of permanently moored barges that feature plants and cut flowers of all sizes, shapes and colours. This is the place to buy bulbs for home, although make sure they will pass your country's inspection at Customs. I made the mistake of assuming that bulbs ok'd for import to the U.S. would also be ok in Canada - they weren't so mine were confiscated. This is also a good spot to pick up small cheap souvenirs such as fridge magnets and key chains.
There are many other markets throughout the city. Check with the Tourist Office to find out what's happening, where and when.
Abbotsford, British Columbia