When you take the train from Schiphol airport in around 12 minutes you arrive to Amsterdam centaal station and the cost of travel is 3,20 Euro..
Centraal station is definitely one of the most important sites of the city.. Though the picture was taken during some repair works.. Th building itself has a wonderfullooking..
Right opposite Centraal Station is the Tourist Information Office - the VVV - and Smits Coffee House. There are also landing stages for all the canal boat companies here.
The VVV is good if you have arrived without pre-booking your accommodation, as they will help you find some. You can also pre-book museum tickets here. You won't get a discount, but it does mean that you can jump the queues and go straight in.
After visiting the VVV, go downstairs to Smits Koffie Huis. Smits has been around since 1919 and I gather it is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the area. You can sit on the terrace with a coffee and watch the river traffic. I also recommend the ice-cream that contains the orange liquer, it has quite a kick!
Favorite thing: This is the place to go when you want to know anything about nothing and nothing about everything. You book your accommodation and tours here and ask the people at the VVV anything you wnat and they will gladly oblidge. What alovely crowd. Do not try and sleep here at the station however, they will chase you immediately
The main busy street leading away from the Central Station is called the Damrak. It is bustling and a bit overwhelming for the inexperienced Amsterdam visitor. After walking with the crowds for a block or two--I pleaded with Becky for a quick stop at the outdoor cafe so that we could plan our further venturings. We eventually decided to forasake the busy Damrak and steered eastwards into the narrow alleyways which comprise the Red Light District and its environs.
This photo shows the small canal, also known as Damrak, from which the many canal boat tours originate. We did not choose to take the time necessary for a boat tour feeling that we were better off on foot.
By the time we reached Holland, it had been almost 16 months since I had last been on the European mainland, and I only felt like I'd really arrived back here when we got to Amsterdam Central.
Firstly, there were smokers everywhere! Smoking has been banned in many public places in Britain, so I had forgotten what it was like to be surrounded by them. Furthermore, when walking around just outside the station, we noticed there were quite a few people smoking some of the stronger stuff too. I had read that this was mostly confined to coffee shops - actually, over the next few days I discovered it more or less was - so this was an initial surprise. Party on!!
We started around 8:30 AM for the 3 1/2 hour drive to the airport in San Francisco. Got there with no traffic jams, parked our car with Skypark, shuttle to the airport, checked in our luggage, cleared security (not very intense, thankfully), got our flight at 3:30 PM, and away we go! Landed in Amsterdam around 11 AM, literally walked through Customs, and here we are at Schiphol Airport! Things looked a little familiar, since we had been here two years ago. We got some money and train tickets and boarded a very crowded train, with half of our luggage in my lap, to Centraal Station.
Fondest memory: When you get to Centraal Station you know you are in Amsterdam. It is an awesome building completed in the late 1800's, kind of new for Amsterdam!
Wear comfy walking shoes and don't forget something for the aching legs and feet. We walked for hours and hours. Luckily, there is a good tram/bus system and friendly taxi drivers.
Fondest memory: Watching the tram pull away leaving me behind as my friend Annette went in the front to pay.
Fondest memory: This is the scene outside the train station, with lotsa tram stops. Hey look, I got a model to pose for my picture strolling with her huge luggages, and me waiting in the cold and taking pictures... brrrrr.... :-p
Not a must,but a moment of silence when you arrive by train in Amsterdam,Centraal Station:the waitingroom
'Wachtkamer 1e klasse'in a magnificent Art-Deco style,
and a nice cup of coffee.
Our own little 'Chinatown' : Zeedijk and Nieuwmark,
and of course the 'Spiegelkwartier'in the neighbourhood of the 'Rijksmuseum', a little walk of
5 minutes and you are in the center of many galleries,
with a great offer of art,cheap or expensive
build in 1889 by architect Petrus Cuypers.
He also design the Rijksmuseum.
The station is build at an island, at the harbour of Amsterdam, one of the largest harbours of Europe.
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