Architecture along the canals
Seven thousand houses determine the extraordinary architecture along the canals. Most houses were built in the 17th and 18th century and each period has its own gable. Walking along the canals and admiring the different architecture.
Amsterdam..i felt like i knew...
Amsterdam..i felt like i knew before i visited it.
In a way, that was true, but it was better than i expected, although i found the Red light district even worse than i expected.
I love the area around the Amstel and the Jordan. That wasn't planned, but i was there for the Royal wedding!! That was brillant, people were enjoying themselves on the street and singing Dutch traditional songs (there was techno music too!!)
Only problem was that on this day, the tramways were not running since most od the street in Central Amsterdam were bloked off.
The currency used in the Netherlands is the Euro expressed as EUR or €. (To remember the list of countries use the phrase "Baffling pigs").
Euros are divided into 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. There are notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros
The Dutch Guilder is no longer usable. You have to exchange old coins and notes in a bank.
There are many places to change money in town. Post offices usually give the best rates. The GWK at Central station is also good. Compare rates carefully at the exchange offices in town. Hotels are usually an expensive way to change money. Banks can be slow. There's an American Express on the Damrak, and a Thomas Cook on the Dam.
Credit cards are not as widely accepted in the Netherlands as in many other lands, but it's getting steadily better. Always enquire first if you intend to pay by credit card.
If you have an ATM card (a card for getting money out of a machine in the wall) it will most likely work in the Netherlands (indeed throughout Europe), so you don't need to take traveller's cheques. Check with your bank before leaving though. Such cards, certainly if they have a Maestro logo on them, can often also be used for direct debit payments in shops (shops that display the blue "PIN" sign, which is almost all shops).
Like in all big cities the world round, there are cheats looking for an easy target. A typical trick in less reputable establishments is, if you pay with a note, to give you change as if you tendered a note of one denomination smaller (for instance to give you change for 50 euros if you give them a 100 euro note) and then pretend it was a mistake if you notice. The best way to avoid this happening is to speak the value of the note as you hand it over ("100 euros"), so they can't claim not to have noticed.
760000 inhabitants in...
760000 inhabitants in Amsterdam have about 700000 bikes. Parkings for these vehicles are really big (one of them you can see on the picture). Actually bikes are everywhere. They can be fastened by chain to railings in the street, locked thoroughly. Sometimes locks on a bike are much more valuable than the bike itself. Nevertheless, bike stealing is very widespread. There is a special place in Amsterdam where stolen bikes can be sold. The price for such a bike is 20$, no more no less, because this amount is required to relieve a drug-thirst. One more thing on the subject of bikes: every year about 15000 two-wheeled vehicles are pulled out the city's channels. How do they get there? Curiously... Solid men in expensive suits driving by bikes. Such a phenomenon I've seen only in Amsterdam.
If you're a beer drinker, you...
If you're a beer drinker, you are definitely going to want to pick up some different bottles of beer at De Bierkoning(The Beer King). They have an enormous beer selection- 850 special beers and glasses according to their ad. Americans be warned, though. Everything is sold warm (except for one small cooler) and by the single bottle. I actually found this to be advantageous because I could sample several different brands and varieties. I stopped by several times on my vacation and took a few bottles home with me. The Belgium beers are the best! Located behind the palace- Paleisstraat 125