Amsterdam Journals

Bill In the Netherlands - AMSTERDAM

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A March 2004 trip to Amsterdam by billmoy

Pancake Bakery Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands More Photos
Quote: Amsterdam has a free-and-easy reputation as a haven for drug users and sex addicts. The range of hedonistic activities should not scare off the more mainstream visitors, as there is an abundance of cultural and natural activities to keep you busy.

Bill In the Netherlands - AMSTERDAM

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Overview

Amsterdam Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Wandering around the canals is very pleasant in Amsterdam, whether on foot or on bicycle. There are signals and lanes designed especially for cyclists, so pay attention! I may not visit any of these establishments, but I must confess that a bit of "window shopping" in the red light district is a truly unique experience in Amsterdam. Prudish new sightseers may be shocked to see the world’s oldest profession so openly displayed and marketed, but it is a thriving business and there are certain standards practiced here to keep things under some sort of regulatory control. There are still a few windmills in and near Amsterdam (what can be more "Dutch" than the windmill?), but they take a b...Read More

Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

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Hotel

Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The Renaissance, which opened in 1975, consists of 405 rooms and a handful of suites and apartments. Conveniently located on a quiet street a few blocks south of the Centraal Station, it is a pleasant business hotel consisting of twelve old houses linked together along with some newer construction. This creates some interminable hallways, and if you have a poor sense of direction it may take you ten minutes to get from your room to the lobby (about as long as the walk from Centraal to the hotel). There are no high floor rooms except for those in a separate mid-rise block. The nonsmoking rooms seem to be the furthest ones from the lobby. You need your room key card to activate the elevators, a safety p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel
KATTENGAT ONE
Amsterdam, Netherlands
31206-212223

Koepelcafe

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Restaurant

Koepelcafe Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The cuisine at the Renaissance has been ranked among the top five hotels in the Netherlands by a trade magazine, so it is no surprise that the food at the Koepelcafe is rather good. There is outdoor seating when the weather is suitable enough. The cozy dining room is surprisingly dark despite a wall of windows facing the street, but the views are decent enough. There is a chalkboard with the daily specials. I actually had the equivalent of Thanksgiving dinner here one evening, as it is one of my personal traditions to be outside the United States during this annual November holiday. Amazingly, I had a set menu dinner special here featuring turkey schnitzel! I ordered a Heineken with...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Koepelcafe
Kattengat 1
Amsterdam, Netherlands
31 20 621 22 23

Pancake Bakery

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Restaurant

Pancake Bakery Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Amsterdam is well known for pancakes, the way that Brussels is famous for its waffles. I stopped into the Pancake Bakery to see if this restaurant deserved such a no-nonsense name. After all, they advertise their specialty as "the best pancakes in town" since its opening in 1973. The building is a charming old warehouse that was part of the vaunted Dutch East India Company. It is easy to find, as it is adjacent to one of the main canals of Amsterdam and about a block from the Anne Frank House and the Westerkerk. An animated pig statue is situated at the entrance, as it is one of the featured ingredients in the pancakes and omelets. The smoky interior is literally that, as the Dutch are well know...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Pancake Bakery
Prinsengracht 191
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1015
0031 20 625 13 33

De Lelie

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Restaurant

De Lelie Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This small restaurant located on a quiet street in Amsterdam has an interesting mix of dishes from Surinam and India. I am somewhat acquainted with Indian food, so I wanted to taste a Surinam-style roti dish here. Amsterdam sure seems far from Surinam, a former Dutch colony located in South America. The small interior is cozy, with posters and exotic artworks on the walls. The tables immediately adjacent to the door are a bit drafty during the wintertime. The diners here all look quite casual, as one fellow had an amazing set of dreadlocks while another woman had her loyal pooch by her feet. There is a small water closet entombed within one of the walls. I ordered the lamb in curry ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

De Lelie
Oude Leliestraat 5
Amsterdam, Netherlands
31 20 620 14 14

Rijksmuseum

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Attraction

Rijksmuseum Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The Rijksmuseum is the classic art museum in Amsterdam, but currently it is undergoing a massive and expensive reconstruction that is scheduled to last until 2008 (one of the unfortunate tasks is the removal of asbestos within the building). For now, at least many of its "Golden Age" masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals will still be available to be admired by visitors in the Philips Wing. Normally the museum would be an essential part of your visit in the city, but you may or may not want to go to see such a limited selection of artworks, albeit a very impressive selection of Dutch and Flemish "greatest hits" such as "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt. It is near the Van Gogh Museum, so you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Rijksmuseum
Stadhouderskade 42
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 ZD
+31 20 674 70 00

Van Gogh Museum

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Attraction

Van Gogh Museum Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Vincent Van Gogh is a name that has become almost synonymous with the concept of the tortured painter, and it is no surprise to find a fine museum dedicated to his artworks and his place in the history of art. The Van Gogh Museum contains hundreds of his paintings and drawings. Perhaps it might be more appropriate to call it the "Vincent and Friends Museum", since it also includes a nice impressionist collection by the likes of Gauguin, Monet and Toulouse-Lautrec among others. The original building with the gridded exterior was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973. Rietveld was the great De Stijl architect perhaps most famous for his boldly colored Schroder House in Utrecht. Rietvel...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 CX
+31 (20) 570 52 00

NEMO

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Attraction

NEMO Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
NEMO (the National Center for Science and Technology) is one of the newer landmark buildings in Amsterdam, a sloping greenish structure on the eastern harbor that is reminiscent of the bow of a large ship, or even a whale. The ship is perhaps a more appropriate image for Amsterdam, as a whale has probably never been spotted in the canals here. Debuting in 1997, NEMO was designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with O. de Nooyer as the partner in charge. The name of the building is a reference to Jules Verne. NEMO is a bit of a distance from the "main" part of Amsterdam, perhaps about a fifteen-minute walk east of Centraal Station. You will have to walk across some footbridges to arrive th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

NEMO
Oosterdok 2
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1011 VX
+31 900 919 11 00

ARCAM

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Attraction

ARCAM Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This new home for the Architecture Center of Amsterdam is located east of the Centraal Station, between NEMO and the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum), at the corner of Prins Hendrikkade and Rapenburgerstraat. ARCAM is a very exciting structure designed by architect Rene van Zuuk. It has been at this prominent new location since moving from its former Waterlooplein address near the Stopera since late 2003. ARCAM has very limited hours, from 1pm to 5pm, and it is also closed on Mondays. Entrance is free. Even if you are not interested in seeing the exhibitions, you are welcome to use its information point, which is a great resource of books, magazines, maps and articles about local architecture...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

ARCAM
Prins Hendrikkade 600
Amsterdam, Netherlands