Netherlands Journals

Going Dutch

Best of IgoUgo

A May 2009 trip to Netherlands by tvordj

Wooden tulips on the flower market Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands More Photos
Quote: As part of a 2 week Trip to the UK, we decided to take a few days and go to Continental Europe. Three nights in Amsterdam to start with...

iAmsterdam vs Museumkaart

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
In many of the tourist guides and brochures, you will see a lot of promotion for the "iAmsterdam" card which gives you a free pass to most of the major museums and some attractions in Amsterdam and includes a transport pass for the Metro and trams. You can purchase one that covers 24, 48 or 72 hours. The top cost at the moment is 58 euros for the three day card. You can also get a Museumkaart that is almost the same thing, allowing entry into most of the same major museums. The cost is, with fees, about 40 euro and it's good for a full year. There is no transport included.What i find is that the short term cards find you rushing from museum to museum to attraction to fit everything in so t...Read More
The Stop/Go bus  Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The cheapest way, of course, is to walk. You can buy a Strippenkaart for about 5 euros with 8 strips on it, probably good for most of a day if you take the tram in the centre. Each trip in the centre, one zone, will use up two strips and is good for about an hour or so, so you can take another tram or metro within that hour on the same ticket. Another cheap way is to use the Stop/Go bus. This mini-bus seats about 15 people and takes a route starting by the Public Library next to Nemo on the waterfront near Centraal Station and, with a stop at the station, then follows the Prinsengracht canal all the way around to Waterlooplein. You can hail the bus or ask the driver to stop anywhere along ...Read More

Visiting Amsterdam - Arrival

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

The National Monument, Dam Square Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The plan is to spend three nights in Amsterdam though not three whole days. We arrive later on a Sunday afternoon and leave mid afternoon on Wednesday. On Tuesday we are heading to Arnhem for a day trip involving an Open Air folk museum so that leaves Sunday night, Monday and Wednesday morning to see a little bit of Amsterdam. We did have a list of possible museums and attractions to see, with one or two in particular being a "must see" but the rest were open for negotiation as time and energy allowed. We flew from Manchester UK to Amsterdam via Heathrow's Terminal 5 which is absolutely enormous. It is probably no larger than the other terminals but it feels bigger because it's more open w...Read More

First Full Morning in Amsterdam

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Selling tulip bulbs on the Floating Market Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Didn't sleep all that well though the bed was comfy. I think i had too much caffeine late in the day yesterday. We had an early start. Breakfast isn't included in the hotel rate so we went into a pub type place a few doors down and had a hot breakfast. I had eggs over cheese and ham on toast and it was nice. The weather is good, sunny with clouds and it's mild though sometimes the breeze is cool. The streets look a bit cleaner but there's still litter in corners and bus shelters. First order of business was to get our train tickets to Arnhem for tomorrow and to get either a transport pass or "Strippenkaart" tickets. The Netherlands transport has a special kind of train pass that costs abou...Read More
The Begijnhof courtyard Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
I really wanted to find a courtyard called the Begijnhof. In the 12th century, this began as a religious retreat for women. It wasn't quite as strict as a convent, the women were not nuns though did have to vow chastity and obedience to the parish priest. They could leave at any time to get married and did not have to take a vow of poverty. They did good works, teach, tend the sick. They were referred to, some time later as Beguines. This "settlement" was originally surrounded by canals and marshland but over the years it was filled in. There is a church and a small chapel. The women would be buried in the church but when the official church in the Netherlands converted to Protestant, one woman refuse...Read More

Arnhem and the Folk Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Eetcafe Bij Oma Photo, Arnhem, Netherlands
Quote:
The Arnhem Openluchtmusem (Open Air) is in the outskirts of the city of Arnhem, about an hour away by train. You then have to go to the nearby bus station and take a city bus, a number 3 that says Altveer on the front. Watch out for this because we saw several different number threes with different destinations. We asked the driver to let us know where to get off the bus and it was clearly out in the suburbs. You cross the road and go down the entrance driveway to the ticket office. This museum is a collection of about 80 houses, farmhouses and buildings that come from various parts of the country and from different eras. You can get a feel for h...Read More
Caffe PC Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
We checked out of the hotel this morning and left our stuff in the luggage room. Off to the Rijksmuseum but we need to find a place for breakfast first. On one of the nearby streets, it looked, from my map, as though there should be both shops and cafes so we headed in that direction. It's early enough that most of the shops aren't open yet and we didn't see too many eateries but we did see one that was open and it looked inviting. This is a trendy type shopping street, with the stores all designer type labels so the restaurant is a bit more expensive. Caffe PC is elegant but served up a very good omelette which gave us the energy to get through the morning and most of the afternoon. Since...Read More

Rijksmuseum

Attraction | "One of the Best"

Rijksmuseum Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The Rijksmuseum is one of the top museums in the world. Currently in 2009, there is a major renovation ongoing so only the top 400 masterpieces are on exhibit. You get a taste of the greats, Hals, Vermeer, Rembrandt including the famed Night Watch and his exquisitely detailed portraits. You also get a view of the art and artifacts from the Dutch golden age in the 17th century and they are a sight to behold. You don't get a reduction though the whole museum isn't open but it's much more digestible this way and you can always go back again when it's reopened to see the rest. It's the kind of museum that you can spend most of the day in when it's fully operational. Currently there is no cafe but there ar...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

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

Dutch Open Air Museum (Openluchtmuseum)

Attraction | "Out in the Open Air"

Dutch Open Air Museum (Openluchtmuseum) Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The Openluchtmuseum (Open Air Museum) is just outside the historic city of Arnhem, just an hour away from Amsterdam by train. It's a large wooded park with streams and ponds and gardens and about 80 or so buildings, many of them farmhouses and they have been brought here from all over the country from various eras of history. The museum represents the way of life of the Dutch people over the past couple hundred years, from farming to merchants to industry. There are people that will show you how to make paper out of rags, how cheese was made in a dairy using steam powered machinery, you can shop in an old fashioned general store or buy freshly baked good...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2009

Dutch Open Air Museum (Openluchtmuseum)
Outside Arnhem
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tulip Inn Amsterdam

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Mini-Rooms in Amsterdam"

Tulip Inn Amsterdam  Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
I booked this hotel in Amsterdam on the recommendation of a coworker who stayed here. The location is very good, just a few blocks from Centraal Station and Dam Square, with a tram stop right outside for several lines that are very useful for many of the main attractions. The staff at the hotel were very nice when we checked in, offering us maps and brochures and later on, called one of the tour boat companies to check on departure times for us. You are given a swipe card as a key and you also need it to call the elevator from the lobby and for the toilets in the lobby as well. You need it to power up the room also, via a slot on the wall when you enter but the lights can be turned off or dimmed via s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

Tulip Inn Amsterdam
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 50
Amsterdam
+31 20 4220011

Restaurants

Rosmarijn Restaurant

Restaurant | "Quiet Bar/Cafe off Damrak"

Rosmarijn Restaurant Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Our first night in Amsterdam, we took a canal cruise and then decided it was time to eat. We walked down Damrak, the "main drag" of Amsterdam where we had been unimpressed by the eatieries on offer. We ventured into the smaller streets just off there, looking at menus. Many were *those* kinds of coffee shops or they places were blatantly tourist traps (Scottish pub in Amsterdam?) . We finally came across a small place that seemed to have a menu that appealed to us so we went in. Rosmarijn is not that large, with dark wood and tables. The bar stretches down one side, tables down the other and in the back. There was an English version of the menu on offer, always a good thing when you do...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

Rosmarijn Restaurant
Haringpakkerssteeg 6
Amsterdam
+31 (20) 626 63 77

Restaurant de Rozenboom

Restaurant | "Cozy and Quaint in Amsterdam"

Restaurant de Rozenboom Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Amsterdam is full of quaint restaurants, tucked away in corners and up short narrow streets and this is one of them. We were visiting the Begijnhof area near the Spui tram stop and decided it was time for lunch. We walked around a bit looking at menus and trying to decide when we spotted some signs up a narrow street which was off a very busy and crowded shopping street lined with trendy designer stores (Kalverstraat, I think) in the area. A peek at the menu satisfied us and once inside, we were hooked. De Rozenboom has a big, bright window in front and has three levels of seating area. We were ushered in to the lower level with it's dark wood walls covered in blue and white tiles. The wo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

Restaurant de Rozenboom
Rozenboomsteeg 6
Amsterdam
+31 (20) 6225024

Pancake Bakery

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Filling Pancakes by the Canal"

Pancake Bakery Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Dutch pancakes are more like we in North America call crepes. You can get them with many types of fillings or as a dessert with syrup or chocolate, which is how many of the Dutch have them. We were with a Dutch couple one day and they seemed to scoff at anything in a pancake that wasn't sweet. But I digress. The Pancake Bakery has been featured in guidebooks, which is where i'd heard about it and it wasn't too far from our hotel so that was our choice for our last evening in Amsterdam. It's on the well known canal, Prinsengracht, a very short walk from the Anne Frank house and is in a 17th century canal house on two levels. It's an unassuming restaurant, not flash and fancy like you might...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

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

Eetcafe Bij Oma

Restaurant | "Quaint and Tasty But Cash Only!"

Eetcafe Bij Oma Photo, Arnhem, Netherlands
Quote:
After a long day tramping around the Openluchtmuseum (Open Air) outside Arnhem, we drove back into the city centre to have dinner before going our separate ways. The city centre market square in Arnhem has lots of restaurants and cafes but Pieter had heard of one in particular so that's the one we went for. It's called Bij Oma eetcafe, side by side with one called the Cavern. Bij Oma is on the left. There are a couple of steps up into the restaurant and inside, the decor is quaint with dark wood tables and chairs, and lots of framed prints on the walls, most of them reminscent of the early 1900s graphic art. Lots of little ornaments as well and the bar in back had flowers and nice hanging...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2009

Eetcafe Bij Oma
Korenmarkt 5
Arnhem
+31 (26) 44 50 499

Caffe PC

Restaurant | "A Little Elegance for Brunch"

Caffe PC Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
We were heading to the Rijkesmuseum and got away early so decided to find a place for breakfast in the area. I had the impression the Hooftstraat was a street with a lot of restaurants and shops so we headed up there. Turns out there were far more shops, most of them designer and trendy, and hardly any restaurants but we did find this one, Caffe PC and it was open for breakfast (about 9 a.m.) so in we went.The restaurant is modern and chic, with white tables, some brown comfy chairs and some curvy metal chairs. There's also a few tables with a banquette/bench type seating. There's glass and chrome and modern art on the walls. They have an English menu as well as a Dutch one. The prices ar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2009

Caffe PC
PC Hooftstraat 87
Amsterdam
+31 (20) 6734752