Favorite thing: Located in the Canal District, at a busy Tram intersection. LEIDSEPLEIN is one of Amsterdam's popular centers for nightlife, with lots of outdoor cafe's, restaurants, cinemas, The Casino and the Lido Theatre. On the day we were there, it was a beautiful, sunny day, so locals and tourists alike were out in droves. You could also see many street musicians and performers. Quite a lively spot for sure.
The MUNICIPAL THEATER dominates the western side of the Leidseplein. The STADSSCHOUWBURG as it is known in Netherlands, is built in Neo-Renaissance style and seats 1200 visitors.
Highlights include the beautiful entrance, the Grand Stairs, the Velvet Red Curtains, Golden Chandeliers and magnificent wall paintings
Once leaving the Centraal Station the guide books say go to the right for a taxi. We walked out to Prins Hendrikkade, the main drag in front of Centraal Station, and looked to the right for a taxi. Of course it was Saturday Feb. 15, the day of the International Protest against the war in Iraq at Dam Square, and lots of black-clad crusties were mingling with the usual Saturday crowd, making it hard to get our bearings. We finally realized that you must make an immediate right after exiting Centraal Station, not go out to the Prins Hendrikkade. Having found the cab stand we got in the first cab, and headed toward our hotel.
Fondest memory: Our cabbie, who explained that he was from Morocco, had not heard of our little hotel, the Uptown Hotel, but he did know where Korte Leidsedwarstraat was, (which means short cross street off Leidsestraat), and our hotel was next door to Rookies Coffeeshop, which was easy to find.
We climbed the steep flight of steps to the reception at around noon and found out that our room will not be ready until 2 PM. We left our luggage at the reception desk, and headed back to Korte Leidsedwarstraat to explore the neighborhood. After stopping in at Rookies for a couple of hot chocolates to warm us up, and a stop at Rookies souvenir shop to check out the goods we headed for the Leidseplein (the square at the end of Leidsestraat) to look around our new 'hood.
Fondest memory: We did not realize how cold it was going to be and how tired we would be after missing a night's sleep. I never really got accustomed to the new sleep schedule(my wife had no problem however), but that's another story.
Sunday morning, clear skies, great expectations! After coffee, OJ, cheese, toast and boiled eggs at the Uptown Hotel buffet we decided to see how far we could walk (not really, just seems that way now). Walked down the Leidsestraat and just meandered through the Red Light district and downtown. No Women in the Windows in the Red Light District today, it's Sunday morning. We walked in the direction of the Hortus Botanicus, our goal. Stopped for a minute to get our bearings at the site of the Waterlooplein flea market, which was closed today (Sunday I guess). We stopped for a mango juice and a coffee at a nearby cafe, then continued to the Hortus Botanicus.
Fondest memory: It seemed really cold that morning. We were not really used to it, coming from 40-50 degree weather (fahrenheit!), but were bundled up well. The thermometer on the Leidsestraat said -3 C, which we figured was around 27 F, and there was a breeze going. The sun was shining, which was great, and the upside to the chill was that no matter how groggy or jet-lagged you felt, taking a brisk stroll into that breeze cleared your head and crystallized your thoughts.
After getting tired (or impatient) with the Canal bus we debark and get some pretty good felafels somewhere downtown. I am impressed with the fact that when you order orange juice in Amsterdam they generally squeeze it on the spot -- a good and nutritious treat! You get pita bread, felafel balls, and then all the extras you can pile on your small plate. Quite filling. Then back to the streets. We walked through one of the major flea markets at the Waterlooplein, a fun way to pass some time. The wind still chill, we stopped for hot chocolate at The Bluebird coffeeshop. Then back to the tram and back to the Leidseplein, then pick up a few simple items for our dinner in our hotel.
Fondest memory: Eating out for every meal can be difficult. It is even more so for vegetarians, as we are. We were grateful for the breakfast at the hotel, even though it got boring pretty fast. Lunch was usually a matter of grabbing whatever was close when we got hungry. Fancy and expensive dinners are fun, but a simple repast in the hotel room seemed right tonite. And we had plans for later this evening.
One of the most active places of Amsterdam.. At nights you can either spent it at bars in leidseplein or Rembrandts plein...
In the center you will find the bulldog with a coffeeshop section, nect to it isthe sports cafe.. A burger king is open tilllate hours nearby.. And just on the opposite side some small bars were standing..
Leidsestraat is always nice to walk through. Lots of people, shops (shoeshops i noticed recently), and the canals at your right and left.
Fondest memory: It´s good in all seasons realy.