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Places to Go in Amsterdam

rhysonsax

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My wife and I are planning a trip to Amsterdam in the next few months. Any tips on good places to go, things to do (probably including jazz venues, saxophone shops, places to eat, maybe places to stay) and how to get around ?

Rhys
 

MikeMorrell

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Hi Rhys,

I'm sure that (like everybody else) you'll have a wander around the city centre, through the red light district and along the canals. But I suggest getting outside the inner centre too. Either by walking or a couple of stops by tram or bus, Streets like "Beethovenstraat" in Oud-Zuid (Old South) have shops, restaurants and bars too fewer tourists get there (it's 5-10 mins walk from Museumplein at which point most tourists head back to the centre).

Waterlooplein's flea market is a tourist attraction but streets close by (like Jodebreestraat) have some nice small cafes/bars too.
The 'Jordaan'' is another area which many tourists only get to the edge of to visit the Anne Frank house or the Cheese Museum. But it has some interesting streets too.

If you have more than a couple of days, you might want to take a trip outside Amsterdam, for example to Monnikendam and/or the former island Marken. Marken is 45 mins bus ride from Amsterdam station and stops in Monnikendam on the way. These are tourist spots too but less busy and with a very different atmosphere than Amsterdam. Alternatively, Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden are all about 45 mins train ride.

The BIMhuis and Bourbonstreet are 2 better known places to hear jazz. Some others (often 1 night a week) are listed here.

The Anne Frank house used to have long queues to get in but you now need to buy tickets online for a specific date and timeslot in advance so the queues are probably per timeslot.

Let me know you've fixed dates. I'll see if I kind find some good music to listen to. My daughter lives in Amsterdam. I'll ask her for tips on where to eat/drink.

Cheers,

Mike

PS. These days you'll need a chipcard to travel anywhere on public transport in NL. This page explains the different types and where you can buy them.
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
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4,732
Amsterdam Winds (sax shop)- just south of the vondelpark, Café alto (slightly cheesy jazz bar), The Bimhuis (more arty jazz venue), dinner at Captian Zeppos (very good eateries hidden down a back street near the red light district- well worth tracking down), If its stil lthere - Boom Chicago comedy club is good, as Mike says- the Waterlooplien market is worth a visit.... also simply strolling round the Jordaan area is lovely...
 

Wonko

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439
One interesting sight (IMHO) is the church in the attic. A hidden church (at a time their religion was forbidden) that was built in the attic of 1 citizens house and the 2 adjoining workers houses.
Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder
If by chance you would be interested in Chess, you could go to the Max Euweplein. A nice little square with a large chess-board that you can play. And lots of little shops, and an Irish pub where we had a nice lunch a few years ago. It's close to the Vondelpark, which is also a very nice place to go.....
My personal recommendation would be to rent a bicycle, that is the best way to get around and see a bit more than most tourists
 

Andrew Sanders

Northern Commissioner for Caslm
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One interesting sight (IMHO) is the church in the attic. A hidden church (at a time their religion was forbidden) that was built in the attic of 1 citizens house and the 2 adjoining workers houses.
Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder
The Church in the Attic is well worth seeing, made more interesting by being situated in the red light zone. Quite an eye opener for my then eighty year old Mother.
 

rhysonsax

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Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far - that gives us lots to see and do.

Not sure about the cycling as I have heard that Amsterdam natives can be a bit "interesting" in their behaviour and visitors may find it difficult to cope.

I was wondering whether @milandro or @mrpeebee would have some good suggestions, including for saxophone shops and jazz venues that are reachable from Amsterdam.

Keep the suggestions coming !

Rhys
 

Wonko

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439
Not sure about the cycling as I have heard that Amsterdam natives can be a bit "interesting" in their behaviour and visitors may find it difficult to cope.
Rhys
Well, in my experience they cycle in the same way that we do here in Belgium. It all depends how often you cycle in daily life. If you're not used to cycling, I suppose you could find it challenging.
 

rhysonsax

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Well, in my experience they cycle in the same way that we do here in Belgium. It all depends how often you cycle in daily life. If you're not used to cycling, I suppose you could find it challenging.

I was speaking at a conference last week and got talking to one of the other presenters who is a researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He lives and works in the city and his commute to work is by bicycle beside the canals. It was him that warned me about cycling styles. I would certainly give it a go, but pretty confident that my wife won't.

Rhys
 

Halfers

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It's been a long time since I've been to Amsterdam, but I seem to remember there was a Sax Museum quite near to the Central Station. Some very odd instruments as far as I can recall. Well, I think it was called the Sax Museum, anyway..
 

griff136

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1,049
We did the Anne Frank museum last yr, bought tickets online and were given a time slot for attending, turned up and went straight in, there was a huge 3 hour Queue for those who didn't pre book.
As far as jazz goes, try Cafe Alto ( candy Dulfer's Dad plays here a lot) or Bar Nel ( brasserie Nel) where there is jazz a few nights a week the house band when I went there were monster players, students from the conservatoire, the food was good too.
And of course you must visit canal street.

i was lucky enough to be based at the Marinekazerne in Amsterdam for 4 months when I served in the Royal Marines.
 

mrpeebee

Senior Member
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400
Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far - that gives us lots to see and do.

Not sure about the cycling as I have heard that Amsterdam natives can be a bit "interesting" in their behaviour and visitors may find it difficult to cope.

I was wondering whether @milandro or @mrpeebee would have some good suggestions, including for saxophone shops and jazz venues that are reachable from Amsterdam.

Keep the suggestions coming !

Rhys

Rhys, cycling in Amsterdam is a very nice way to explore the city in a fast way, but it can indeed be challenging (read very busy, you need eyes and ears everywhere!). If you are a regular cyclist it shouldn't be an issue. But the historical center of Amsterdam is not huge, you can reach all area's by walking too within 30 minutes and public transport is good (busses, trams).

The City has a huge number of musea about all kind of topics. Search the internet for what is close to your interest. Huge ones like Anne Frank and Van Gogh can be very very busy, so reserving in advance is advised. The 'Rijksmuseum' is (IMO) the best one in town, it has all great works of the 17th Century (and earlier and later stuff too), when Holland was a World Power (until the English took over!). But smaller musea can be much fun too, for instance 'Huis Van Loon' (a channel house from the 17th Century) and for your wife 'Tassen museum Hendrikje (Museum of Bags and Purses. Herengracht, Amsterdam), the largest collection of bags and purses in the World. It could be wise to check for an Amsterdam card if you want to visit a lot of musea, that could save you some money.

For music stuff we have some threads on SOTW with more information, see below links:
In Amsterdam now for three nights, sax shops and jazz clubs I should see???
Amsterdam Recommendations?? Jazz gigs/Sax shops??
The Bimhuis is the most famous jazz club, but in the summer they have less concerts. It's also not cheap. A nice jazz café is Café Alto, by friend Rinus Groenveld plays there every Wednesday evening and it's free entrance (http://www.jazz-cafe-alto.nl/).

You can find food and drinks all over the place, the places around the bigger squares (Leidse square and Rembrandt square) are well know area's (but also busy and not always the best quality). Just check the cards in front of the Restaurants and decide based on that.

I don't know how long you stay, but close to Amsterdam we have other interesting stuff too. It all depends on your available time and interests of course. Feel free to shoot me a pm if you want to know more. I don't live in Amsterdam, but am close at 20 driving minutes distance. If time and agenda's allow we could meet.
 
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