Amsterdam Journals

Weekend in Amsterdam

A September 2005 trip to Amsterdam by RID12

Quote: You cannot do Amsterdam in one day. In order to move beyond Dam Square and the Red Light District to Amsterdam's actual treasures, you need a weekend. Here, I detail a day and evening schedule by which you are sure to come across more locals than tourists.

Kantjil en de Tijger

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Restaurant | "Kantijl en de Tijger"

Quote:
Whenever friends came into town to visit, de Kantjil en Tijger was the restaurant of choice. You can't go wrong at this restaurant centrally located on Spuistraat, with great food, a relaxed ambience, and an attentive staff. The cuisine is Indonesian, which is generally very well prepared in the Netherlands, and delicious at this particular restaurant. The first time, I went in a large group and ordered several rijstafels. About 20 minutes later, our table was covered in small plates of Indonesian fare, all delicious and in large quantities. There was enough for each one of us to taste each plate. The next time I returned, it was just three of us for dinner, and we ordered off the menu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2005

Kantjil en de Tijger
Spuistraat 291-293
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1012 VS
+31 20 620 09 94

Restaurant Gespot

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Restaurant

Quote:
Stumble across this restaurant on the Prinsengracht and you will not be disappointed. For those who like a lot of space for themselves, this is not the restaurant to go to. Tucked onto a corner of Prinsengracht this small restaurant lets out an unassuming, warm, romantic ambiance that you feel the minute you walk in the door. Small candles are the lighting du jour at each of the tables, (the actual lights are dimmed) and the tables are close together, for an intimate setting. My date and I started off our meal with a glass of white wine and raw oysters as our appetizer. The wine list, for both red and white, was reasonably priced and fairly extensive. I would discourage the oysters--ours ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2005

Restaurant Gespot
Prinsengracht 422
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Heineken Brewery

Attraction

Quote:
Go to the Bacardi Factory in Puerto Rico, and you have a solid factory tour coupled with a rum tasting at the end. But don't go to the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam expecting anything like that. It is, to put it simply, a disappointment. Virtual rides take you on the streets of Amsterdam on the Heineken horses. A walk through the brewing room is a walk through the old brewing room--no beer is currently made or processed there. The first three rooms on the tour represent the ingredients of beer; one of the room discusses the role of water in making beer. The only beer I saw was the one I was poured in the Heineken bars, which could've been poured at a bar with more ambience and history for the 10...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 27, 2005

Heineken Brewery
Stadhouderskade 78
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1075 AE
+31 (0)20 523 92 22

Jordaan Neighborhood/Markets

Attraction | "Small Galleries"

Quote:
You wake up late on a lazy weekend afternoon in Amsterdam, unsure of how to spend the lingering daylight hours. The answer to your uncertainties is fairly simple: the hidden art galleries of the Jordaan. Tucked along the canals and side streets of what is known as Amsterdam's more artsy neighborhood, unfortunately little known to tourists much beyond the Anne Frank House, are scores of art galleries--waiting to be discovered. Walk into one of these galleries on a Sunday afternoon and expect to be warmly received, and walk out with a work of art or two, or at least a decision to purchase one in the future. The artists welcome you warmly into their galleries--a stroll down the Brouwersgracht and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2005

Jordaan Neighborhood/Markets
Jordaan
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Jimmy Woo's

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Attraction

Quote:
Jimmy's Woo's has been the place to go in Amsterdam for the past few months now. The easiest way to get in is by getting your name on the guest list or by having a Dutch friend with you. Otherwise, it's up to you to don some trendy clothes and the right attitude to convince the attractive Asian doorwoman that you should be allowed into the club. Enter through the doors, check your coat, and walk into the first-floor opium lounge setup. A cool Oriental theme dominates here. The crowd is chill, gathered in small groups--hanging out, talking, and slowly sipping drinks served up from the bar. Downstairs, the scene is a little different. There's a DJ mixing tunes—hip-hop on Thursday nights (the b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2005

Jimmy Woo's
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+ 31 20 626 3150

Cineac

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Attraction

Quote:
Cineac is hands down the coolest lounge in Amsterdam. Go on a Wednesday and have a relaxed catch-up session with a friend over a glass of wine and reasonably priced oysters. Go on a Saturday before heading out to a nearby club (like Sinners) and sit in one of the crushed red velvet booths and people watch. If you're lucky, you may catch a performance from, well, the ceiling. Cineac is an old movie theatre turned brasserie/lounge. The ceiling is very high, like that of a 3-D theatre, and concave. In the center, there is a circle for performances. And on nights when you're not lucky enough to catch an energetic performance from this unique stage in the ceiling, there's a live singer walking aroun...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 14, 2005

Cineac
Reguliersbreestraat 31-33
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1017 CM
020-5306888

Sinners in Heaven

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Attraction | "Sinners"

Quote:
While Cineac is my favorite pre-club spot in Amsterdam, Sinners in Heaven is my favorite club. It gives Jimmy Woo's a run for its money and ultimately wins out. I went on Friday nights, and like at Jimmy Woo's, the line to get in was a bit of a hassle. We were four Spaniards and one Dutch field hockey player. The line moved fairly quickly, or at least, faster than expected when you arrive at a club at 1am, and our Dutch friend talked us into the club. I can't stress how much of an advantage it is to bring a Dutch person out with you or to get onto the list at these clubs--it saves a lot of time (and often a cover charge). Getting in on your own works as well--just be prepared to have the right a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 17, 2005

Sinners in Heaven
Wagenstraat 3-7
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1017 CZ
+31 20 620 13 75

Bike Riding

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Attraction | "Renting a Bike"

Quote:
Bike anywhere, as long as you avoid the center of Leidseplein and Dam Square if you're an inexperienced biker. I would visit the Jordaan in the morning--leave your bike and walk through the small market at Noordermarkt on Saturday mornings, then bike over to Albert Cuyp Straat and take advantage of the market there. The bike ride I most recommend is one that takes you to Museumplein and then to the Vondelpark. Vondelpark is a beautiful park in Amsterdam, where there are always people walking around, enjoying the lush vegetation, trees, and cool weather. Pickup soccer games take place, rollerbladers do tricks, and couples walk around slowly, taking pause every few steps to look at flowers. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2005

Bike Riding
Central Station, Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Museumplein (Museum Quarter)

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Attraction | "Museums--Rijks, Van Gogh, Stedelijk: MUSEUMNACHT"

Quote:
Unfortunately, Amsterdam art museums are currently undergoing renovations. Of these three, only the Van Gogh museum is fully open. And as for the Kroller Moller museum (my hands down favorite in Holland) an hour and change away in Appeldoorn, you should skip that for the time being due to extensive renovations. But back to the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk, and Van Gogh Museums. Of these three, you should go only to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. The Stedelijk has been moved to the Old Post Office near Amsterdam Centraal Station and even less of its collection than before is shown. The first time I went in the summer of 2002, I was disappointed by the disorganization of the rooms and the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 20, 2005

Museumplein (Museum Quarter)
South of Leidseplein
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Supper Club

Attraction

Quote:
Once the "it" club of Amsterdam (say 3 years ago), when the Supper Club CD was flying off the shelves at Amsterdam's Virgin Records, the Supper Club has become, unfortunately, a passe tourist trap. Sure, still go for the novelty factor—if you go for dinner, food is served to you lying down, and like in most clubs, you can finish your meal and head to the actual club area. This is likewise trendy—minimalist, lots of white in "le salon neige", red in "le bar rouge", what you would expect from a former hot spot. The tunes, as evidenced by the CD, are spectacular. They have excellent DJs spinning some of the best lounge music to be heard. Although, it's just not as authentic as it used to be, and as it...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 2, 2006

Supper Club
21 Jonge Roelensteeg
Amsterdam, Netherlands