Amsterdam Journals

An insiders view on Amsterdam

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A travel journal to Amsterdam by Illion

Queens Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag) Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands More Photos
Quote: For ten years, almost my entire adult life, have I been living in Amsterdam. The diversity of this city/village makes I definitely don't want to leave. In this journal I want to leave the beaten path and want to introduce you to some less touristy spots in Amsterdam. Any questions are welcome.

An insiders view on Amsterdam

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Overview

The Skinny Bridge Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The usual highlights almost always include the Rijksmuseum, the Van Goghmuseum, canal-tours, coffee shops and the red-light district. I have to admit, these are things that are part of the Amsterdam experience. But there is so much more! Still very touristy but also very nice (or interesting) is a visit to Anne Frank's house, the Heineken brewery and the Rembrandt house- and the Waterloo square flea market (that is, if you like flea markets). But that's not all. There is hidden treasure everywhere. What about rollerblading trough the Vondelpark? Playing soccer on the Museum Square? Listening to one of the best classical orchestra's in the world: the Dutch Concert hall Orchestra in the C...Read More

Hans Brinker Budget Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
Well, as I live in Amsterdam I don't really need to try out places to stay so I haven’t. This doesn’t mean I don’t know any hotels though. First I would like to discuss the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. Very famous for their controversial add campaigns, it is one of the most popular budget hotels in town.Located in the centre of Amsterdam, it is very near to the State museum, Van Gogh museum and the Leidsche square and in walking distance of Dam square. It can be easily reached by taking trams 1,2, 5 or 16,24 and 25 from Central Station and get off at the Prinsengracht. The hotel only has dormitories. These dormitories will have 4, 5, 6 or 8 beds. If going in high season the hote...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

Hans Brinker Budget Hotel
Kerkstraat 136
Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 (0)20 622 06 87

De Stuisvogel

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Restaurant

Quote:
One of my favourite restaurants in Amsterdam is the Struisvogel (the Ostrich). Perhaps because this is the first restaurant where I took my girlfriend for dinner, but more probably because of the refreshingly original menu en the extremely reasonable price. The small bistro-like restaurant is located in a basement on the corner of the Keizersgracht and the Wolvenstraat. After descending from a small and steep set of steps, you will enter a pleasing, somewhat crammed room. When you haven’t made a reservation you will probably have to wait. In fact, this can be quite agreeable when you sit at the bar, drinking a very special Amsterdam beer from brewery ‘t IJ. When you are taken to your sea...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

De Stuisvogel
Keizersgracht 312
Amsterdam, Netherlands
(020) 423-3817

Quote:
Alfonso's is one of my favourite pre-drink restaurants as it is quite near to a few of my favourite bars. The two floor restaurant is nothing fancy. The interior is like most in Amsterdam: pretty plain, a few cliché items on the wall, in this case Mexican ones and small tables. Waitresses are mostly students, as in most restaurants here. This means the quality of the service varies. In general, if you act nice and make a few jokes, you’ll get excellent service. Actually, come to think of it, almost everything is pretty much cliché in this restaurant, even the menu. Taco’s, burritos en fajitas are well represented. The quality of the food on the other hand is excellent. It’s simple and tasty and it fi...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

Alfonso's Mexican Restaurant
Utrechtsestraat 32
Amsterdam, Netherlands
020-6259426

Mister Coco's

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Restaurant

Quote:
Mister Coco's is an all you can eat restaurant at the Thorbecke square, right next to the Rembrandt square. It's a bit sleazy and dark and the food is far from great. They advertise themselves with the slogan ‘Lousy food and warm beer’ and they aren’t really making a joke. My arteries start clogging up just writing about it. But if you are in the mood for unlimited eating Coco's is you're place. You can choose from unlimited spare ribs, unlimited chicken or a combination of both for only € 9,95. You have to order side dishes if you want to eat anything else but meat. For the record breakers among you: the record is standing firm at twelve serving (I quit after just three). Suave real Amsterdam men ser...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

Mister Coco's
Thorbeckeplein 8
Amsterdam, Netherlands
020-6272423

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

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Attraction | "Stedelijk Museum"

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
This museum of modern art has had quite a few impressive expositions. A few years ago Dutch Queen Beatrix even composed one. She proved she is a great art lover with an impressive knowledge of modern art. It is rumoured she is a relatively good sculptor herself. It really depends if the museum is worth a visit. Some expositions are simply horrible. This has much to do with disputed director Rudi Fuchs. Sometimes he has a stroke of genius, but on other occasions he blunders completely. Recent example is the exhibit of the works of actor Dennis Hopper. Though a fine actor, he is not a very inspiring artist. The biggest blunder was the restoration of the painting ‘Whose afraid of red, yellow and ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 10, 2002

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Paulus Potterstraat 13
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 CX
31 (20) 573 29 11

Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag)

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Attraction | "Queens day"

Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag) Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Queens day, or Koninginnedag, is a national holiday. On the 30th of April, we celebrate the birthday of the queen, or actually, the queen-mum. The celebrations in Amsterdam are the biggest, though. Don’t make any plans when visiting Amsterdam on this day. Normal life ceases completely. All offices will be closed, public transportation within the city centre grind to a hold and trainloads of visitors will flock towards the city. You won’t be able to do anything else, but that isn’t bad actually. Celebrations start the night before as more and more people hit the streets and start partying. The general idea is that you buy a few beers from a vendor. He’s the one carrying three hundred beers...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 10, 2002

Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag)
Centrum (vondelpark)
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1071 AA
None available

Artis Zoo

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Attraction

Artis Zoo Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
The small city zoo Artis, in the middle of Amsterdam is definitely worth a visit. The name comes from the one remaining gate of three. It used to be ‘Natura Artis Magistra’; nature is the teacher of the arts. It was founded in 1854. Since then a lot of changes took place. Now there even is a planetarium, a geological museum, a zoological museum, a greenhouse, an impressive aquarium (my personal favourite), and a Savannah with zebra’s, antelopes and other Savannah dwellers. Upon entering you almost immediately come across one of the main attractions, definitely for the kids: a big monkey-rock. On this rock a few dozen Japanese macaques scurry around. There are always some cute young monkeys monkeyi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 10, 2002

Artis Zoo
Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
Amsterdam, Netherlands 1018 CZ
0900-2784796

The Glasses Museum

Attraction

Quote:
Not far from Dam-square, hidden in an alley-like street, you can find the national museum of glasses. This museum isn't to be taken too seriously but for someone who is visually challenged it is probably as amusing as the only-left-handed store in London is for lefthanders. It may not be a real cultural highlight of Amsterdam, but unlike other quasi cultural activities as the Sex Museum, Torture Museum or Hash Museum, all of which I thoroughly loath, this mini-museum is worth a visit. I discovered this spot a few years ago when I was roaming the city practically blind, after having lost my glasses in the sea. Actually I was on my way to my regular optician at the Rokin, when I suddenly thought ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

The Glasses Museum
Gasthuismolensteeg 7
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Museumplein (Museum Quarter)

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Attraction | "Come out and play..."

Quote:
A little energy left? Join in a game of soccer! When the sun breaks through the clouds, Dutch people come out of hiding and go outside. Most of them prefer to sit on a terrace and drink a coffee or a beer, but quite a lot of them look for a small stretch of grass, lay down there coats as goalposts and start playing soccer. Usually, if you ask, you can join in. But mind you! Play is pretty fanatical. In the parks, that is Vondel park (near the Leidsche square) and Oosterpark (next to the Tropics museum, trams 3, 9 and 14 stop there) and on the vast lawn of the Museumplein (behind the Rijksmuseum) the big boys play. Friendliest is the Amstelveld, squeezed in between the Prinsengracht ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 12, 2002

Museumplein (Museum Quarter)
South of Leidseplein
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Strippenkaart Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Quote:
Public Transportation in Amsterdam, the Trams. Public transportation in Amsterdam is pretty good, especially when travelling within the old City centre, the ‘Grachtengordel’. From almost any spot in this three-quarter of a circle you can reach a Tram-stop within five minutes. Maybe this isn’t such a feat when you realize you can cross the diagonal of this circle in about 30 to 45 minutes on foot, but still. This year the dented and familiar yellow trams will be replaced by state of the art new ones. During the week, on normal hours, Trams aren’t extremely crowded and you usually can sit down. This is quite comfortable as Tram chauffeurs tend to accelerate en decelerate very quickly. If yo...Read More