Amsterdam Journals

A great short week in Amsterdam

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An October 2002 trip to Amsterdam by MichaelJM

Dam Square Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands More Photos
Quote: We wanted a city break that was not too far away. There's a short list of only one: Amsterdam. Guess that's where we're going! And what a great few days, with a few mishaps...

A great short week in Amsterdam

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Overview

Quote:
Amsterdam is generally a delight to wander around, but we discovered, to our disappointment, that the reports about high crime rates against unsuspecting tourists are probably very true. On our first night, we set off to find a place to eat and ended up in Rembrandt Square. In fairness, it’s not a place I’d recommend, as it clearly caters to tourists and dishes out lower-quality fast food (I generalize, of course!), but that’s where we decided to eat. The pub/restaurant was almost empty, but we were ravenous and so settled down in one of the corners. The lights were dimmed as we ate our meal, and an attentive waitress and young child were never far from us. Time to pay, and our friend’s handbag had di...Read More

Nova Hotel

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Hotel

Nova Hotel Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Friends had stayed at the Nova Hotel and told us that it was well-placed in the middle of Amsterdam and a short walk away from Dam Square. They said it was nothing special, but as three-star hotel, it was good value for the money—a fact that I always like to consider when arranging a holiday. The entrance to this 60-bedded hotel was a little difficult with heavy suitcases, as we had to deal with a few steps, and once we’d struggled to reception, there were more steps to negotiate. Not surprising, I guess, as the hotel has been formed out of a number of 17th-century houses, and conversions of this type will always result in somewhat quirky accommodations. We were dealt with efficiently at...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 9, 2005

Nova Hotel
NZ VOORBURGWAL 272 280
Amsterdam, Netherlands
31-206-230066

Dam Square

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Attraction

Dam Square Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This square is said to be the centre of Amsterdam and indisputably gave the city its name (a derivative from Amstelredam). In the 1200s, the River Amstel was dammed here, and a small fishing village grew round the "harbour" that is now Dam Square. Over the years, small fishing boats gave way to trading vessels, and as land reclamation progressed, so the city grew and the small port became prestigious land. By the early 1400s, the Nieuwe Kerk was being built, quickly followed by the Town Hall. The Town Hall (now the Royal Palace) controversially took pride of place over the church and dominated the large open square in size and positioning. In compensation, the church was offered a new spire to augment...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 9, 2005

Dam Square
Dam
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1012 JS

Bloemenmarkt/Amsterdam Flower Market

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Attraction | "Flower Market"

Bloemenmarkt/Amsterdam Flower Market Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
I had no personal desire to visit the flower market, but my wife, a keener gardener, really wanted to go. So I, as the dutiful husband, prepared myself for the venture. This is a "floating market" and is open most days (although we gather that Sunday may be a bit hit-or-miss) and can be found along the side of the Singel Canal. Bloemenmarkt is one of the main suppliers of flowers to Amsterdam, and though packed with tourists, it is also frequented by locals (although I suspect that they do not rub shoulders at peak times). The place is an absolute mass of colours, and I was amazed at how much they managed to cram into small spaces. We had to be very careful as we picked our way through some of th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Bloemenmarkt/Amsterdam Flower Market
Singel Between Muntplein and Koningsplein
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1017 AZ

Red Light District

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Attraction

Red Light District Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
We must be about the only group that had difficulty finding Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Now, I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that we were desperate to find it, but we felt that we shouldn't leave without at least a cursory glimpse. We also feared that our street creed (what bit we still have) would be seriously diminished if we failed to orient ourselves. It was only when we ceased to look for it that we stumbled across it (often the case—or so I’m told!) It is an extremely strange experience to walk the world-renowned district that is popularly known as the Red Light District. If you’re shy and retiring or in the least bit prudish, then don’t even think about walking this route, ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 14, 2005

Red Light District
Oz Vootburgwal and Oz Achterburgwal
Amsterdam, Netherlands