Amsterdam Journals

Amsterdam-A Forward Thinking City

A December 2005 trip to Amsterdam by HiramAbif

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Amsterdam combines in a uniquely harmonious Dutch way the Modern and the Old, the traditional and the progressive. It is environmentally friendly and full of ideas and innovations. It is welcoming and if you visit once you are likely to visit again, because above all Amsterdam is beautiful.

Amsterdam-A Forward Thinking City

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Practically every visitor to Amsterdam will not miss a visit to the Red Light District and the massive array of coffeeshops in that area. Fewer will spend time visiting the local markets or exhibitions of the great Dutch Masters, or MORE IMPORTANTLY, try to absorb and understand the Amsterdam way of life. When every big city in the world is plagued by ever-growing traffic, uncontrolled urban development, urban transport problems, noise, and pollution, the Dutch, in their unique, quiet, yet effective way, teach the rest of us a lesson. They move around with bicycles (what an environmentally-friendly way of transport), they use their trams, and you will see the exhaust-fuming car as a minority mode of t...Read More

Febo

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Restaurant

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
FEBO epitomises the marriage of Dutch ingenuity and the fast-food concept. If you want a quick fix of your hunger for a few Euros, the Dutch fast-food chain FEBO is a very good solution. You will never have to queue, no matter how busy it is or appears to be. Snacks are placed in small heated cubicles with glass windows and you take them by entering the correct amount of change in a slot. If you don’t have the correct amount, there is a money-changing machine that will change your money for you. My favourite specialities are the kaasshuffle (almost like a cheesepie with breadcrumps), which is mouth-watering delicious (for €1.20 or about US$1.40), the Nasi, and the Bami (w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 18, 2005

Febo
Damrak 6
Amsterdam, Netherlands
(020) 638-5138

Wok to Walk

Restaurant | "Wok Walk"

Wok to Walk Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This is an incredibly inexpensive way to respond in the most gratifying way to your appetite for food. Wok Walk is a Dutch chain of Oriental fast food that can easily stand up against the usual Western giants of KFC, Burger King, McDonald's, etc. Meals are served in a square paper carton (which can be used for takeaway as well). Portions are absolutely massive and will satisfy even the most demanding client. You pay €5 for your basic portion of either rice or noodles, then another €1,5 for the accompanying meat (i.e. chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, etc.), and then you ask your favourite sauce as well, which is free of charge (i.e. sweet and sour, black bean, teriyaki, etc.). Try the noodles with chick...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 18, 2005

Wok to Walk
Leidsestraat 96
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 (020) 624 2941

Shabu Shabu

Restaurant

Shabu Shabu Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Shabu Shabu is near Leidseplein, which is full of restaurants, fast food, and take away outlets. The problem is that on busy Friday and Saturday evenings, even the fast food outlets can take up to half an hour to serve you.Shabu Shabu comes in very handy, with a relatively fast and efficient service, basically decent tasting food, and very very reasonable prices. And, of course, you have the pleasure of sitting and being served properly , in an ambient and pleasant atmosphere, rather than queueing forever in a fast food. The three dishes that stand out are the "eat as much as you can" buffet for €16.50, the Day's menu , with two main courses for €9.95, and the one dish "tourist menu" for just €6.95 ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2006

Shabu Shabu
Kerkstraat 47
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 (020) 638 3774

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant

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Restaurant | "AXUM"

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Axum is a no nonsense African, Ethiopian to be specific, eatery at Grachtengordel South. It is located at Utrechtsesdwarsstraat 85-87, which is the first parallel south of Prinsengracht, and off Utrechtsestraat (access from Central Station with trams No 4 and No 25, travel time 5 minutes. Also served by trams 6,7 and 10). The restaurant’s name derives from Axum , one of the most important civilisation centres of the ancient world. Axum restaurant is run by the charming and hospitable Mrs. Belaynesh Tareke, who interchanges roles, from Chef, to waitress, and restaurant manager. The menu is real authentic Ethiopian cuisine, with memorable flavours and respect for the tradition. Mrs Tar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant
Utrechtsedwarsstraat 85-87
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 (020) 622-8389

De Koffie Salon

Restaurant

De Koffie Salon Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
In Amsterdam, you are spoiled for choice of a cafeteria (NOT a coffee shop) to enjoy your Saturday or Sunday morning. I recommend De Koffie Salon not only for its decent Italian-styled coffees, but also for the artistic decoration and layout of the interior. The seating is ideal both for a leisured enjoyment of your coffee and newspaper, and a nice conversation with your friends or partners. This being an Amsterdam cafeteria, you should not miss your Stroopwafel to accompany your coffee (world-famous Dutch Biscuits that you place on top of your cup). I prefer the Hoenig (Honey) variety. The artistic decoration is completed with photographs of Hollywood actors on the wall enjoying a cup of coffee, and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

De Koffie Salon
130 Utrechtsestraat
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cafe van Leeuwen

Restaurant

Cafe van Leeuwen Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Cafe van Leeuwen fulfills the traditional concept of a Dutch Bistro/Cafe. If you are there before 11:30am then you can enjoy your coffee, your newspaper, the romantic canal views of Keizergracht and RELAX. The top floor is far better from that aspect, as it is quieter and the canal view is so much better (see photos 2 and 3). If you come 11:30 you can order the super delicious omelets of Cafe van Leeuwen, which are an absolute bargain grab for €6.75 (March 2006). The omelets are absolutely MASSIVE, and equal a full main-course meal, and the cook makes no economy on the amount of cheese and ham he throws in. Cafe van Leeuwen is on the corner of Utrechtsestraat and Keizergracht canal, and easily accesse...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 30, 2006

Cafe van Leeuwen
Keizersgracht 711, 1017 DX Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 (020) 625 8215

Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Attraction | "Amsterdam canal tour"

Amsterdam Canal Cruises Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This is a very “touristy” thing to do in Amsterdam, yet always worth it. There are a number of operators, mostly near the Central Station and Damrak Road. A Sunday afternoon canal trip from a company on the left of Damrak (as you walk from the Central Station) set me back 6 Euros and lasted a good hour. The boat has a recorded taped description of what you see in Dutch, German, French, and English (in that order). You will pass the usual landmarks of towers and churches, the Shell Tower, the Sea Palace Chinese restaurant, Central Station from the back, the Ann Frankhuis, and numerous bridges and neighbourhoods. As the boat does not make any stops and you are very close to the banks of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 18, 2005

Amsterdam Canal Cruises

Amsterdam

Coffeeshops

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Amsterdam is perhaps the only large city in the world where you can stop a policeman, ask him where you can buy and smoke marijuana, and be given directions where to go. The liberal and tolerant Dutch have a very analytical mind and can be daring and challenging at the same time, as their history proves from the time of Luther to today. While drugs are a problem plaguing most Western societies and capitals and is strongly associated with increased crime, the Dutch try to tackle the problem at its roots. Smoking tobacco and consuming excessive alcohol is harmful for your health, but both are taxed, regulated, and retailed in a controlled mode, allowing Western governments to generate enormous profits, ...Read More

Red Light District

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The Red Light District is another vivid evidence of the Dutch attempting to control and regulate another phenomenon that in many other Western societies remains problematic, and from the legal, tax, and humane aspects, remains poorly managed. Prostitution is treated like a trade, and the merchandise is displayed in the infamous Amsterdam windows/doors. Women from all over the world, in their hundreds, if not thousands (and some transvestites) are selling their bodies in confined spaces away from the higher danger of the street, with cameras monitoring the activities of the punters. Should we accept (by our Western values and morals) poor women from third-world countries being exploited as simple merch...Read More

Transport

Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The enhancement of public transport is firm evidence of how eco-friendly Amsterdam is. The trams are favoured methods of locals to go to work and out shopping. At the same time, the sheer number of bicycles around Amsterdam is simply overwhelming and outnumber any other major city in the world. Taxis? Well, they are expensive, but they also come in pedal power form (the concept is taken from Southeast Asia and can be seen in central London during weekends). And in addition you have a reliable train and bus network. If you use the tram, a ticket in the central area will cost you €1.60 Renting a bicycle for a day will cost you about €6, but it gets cheaper if you rent it for more days, an...Read More