Amsterdam for the Queen's Birthday

Amsterdam's wild celebration of the Queen's birthday.


Amsterdam for the Queen's Birthday

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

Flea markets everywhere; people-watching; partying til dawn for the hardy;

Side trips to the Keukenhoff Gardens, the Madurodam, and Utrecht${QuickSuggestions} Watch out for the bicycles - they stop for noone.${BestWay} Walking; tram; canal boat.


Owl Hotel

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

The Owl Hotel is a charming (three star) establishment, and this was my third stay there in seven years. Just a couple of blocks away from the bustle of the Leidesplein, the Owl is on a quiet street. The rooms are clean, small by American standards, and immaculate. Our room had a private bath. The breakfast room overlooks a postage stamp sized garden, alas, the non-smoking phenomenon has not arrived in Holland, but we survived the German couple next to us with their foul smelling fags. The staff is friendly, helpful, and English speaking. Four nights for two cost just under $400 and was darn well worth it.
Owl Hotel
1 Roemer Vischerstratt
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sama Sebo

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

Sama Sebo is perhaps the best known Indonesian Rice Table establishment in Amsterdam. Just a block or so from the Rijksmuseum, this venerable establishment is a must. Imagine twenty-four small dishes of rice, vegetables, and meat on skewers (various kinds, including goat). Everyone should try this experience at least once.
Sama Sebo
P.C. Hooftstraat 27
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1071 BL
+31 20 662 8146

Queen's Birthday Celebration

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

Awesome. Queen Beatrix of Holland has a birthday in January, but celebrates it on April 30 (the birthday of her mother, the much loved Queen Juliana). This year the 30th was on a Sunday, so the celebration was Saturday. A couple hundred thousand extra people crowded into central Amsterdam during this day. Every major, and a few minor, streets were lined with vendors selling everything under the sun. People were dressed up in orange gear (after the House of Orange), and wore funky, wild, orange and purple hats. Public transport grinds to a halt on this day, except for the canal boats. Even the venerable trams do not run in the inner city. It is like a mini mardi gras which lasts only one day, and must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. We are going to do it again in a couple of years.
Queen's Day - Queensday (Koninginnedag)
Centrum (vondelpark)
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1071 AA
None available

Kukenhof Gardens

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

The last week of April, some seven million bulbs are at their peak in the famous Kukenhof Gardens, about 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam. It has to be seen to be believed - acre upon acre of manicured grounds, trees, ponds (complete with swans), and everywhere beds of flowers, mostly tulips, but other bulbs as well. Rhododendron and Azaleas well.

Peak spring bloom only lasts for a couple of weeks, and the end of April is the most reliable time.

There is a summer flower season, as well, but it could not possibly compare.

The attached photos, taken on an overcast day, do not begin to do the place justice.

Kukenhof Gardens

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Madurodam

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

The Madurodam at Den Haag (the Hague) is a miniature city spread out over some five acres. Famous buildings and landmarks of Holland are created in exquisite detail. To give you an idea of scale, the spire on a miniatue cathedral came to mid-thigh. There is an airport in miniature, a habor complete with automatic loading of ships, and model trains running throughout. Flowers were everywhere. It has to be seen to be believed.

This spring there was an indoor exhibit of ice sculptures, huge things, including buildings and monuments. Truly amazing (and cold - they give you special gear to wear while walking thru the display)

Madurodam
George Maduroplein 1
The Hague, Netherlands
31 (0)70 416 24 00

All About Amsterdam

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by JohnR on September 11, 2000

Amsterdam has been my favorite city since my first visit there in 1993. It is a friendly place (most of the people speak at least some English). There is so much to see and do, ie.:

The State Museum (Rijksmuseum), the Van Gogh Museum, the Ann Frank House, the diamond district, and the famous Red Light District.

Near the Red Light District is the Church of our Lord in the Attic, a series of 17th century townhouses, which a full scale church in their shared attics - catholics worshiped there during the Reformation, it was pretty much an open secret at the time.

Many small streets spread out from the Leidesplein and are lined with restaurants of almost every ethnicity imaginable.

Don't leave without sampling a Dutch Pancake (wafer thin with choices of ingredients).

Getting about town by Tram is a snap - they seem to run everywhere, and most of the tram lines converge on the Central Station.


http://www.igougo.com/journal-j1632-Amsterdam-Amsterdam_for_the_Queens_Birthday.html

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