Always try to go attended to the most famous city of the Netherlands, ..no need to suggest to take nice walks along roadsides. Lovely view of the main capital , just not as bad as it seems . The centre is more reliable . ** Beware of your own safety by entering the outside 'ring' of Amsterdam , cause of the criminal activities ** .
This marked walk of the Dutch Touring Club ANWB takes you through a polder (Middelpolder), located south of Amsterdam and east of Amstelveen.
The walk is about 10.5 km on paved road and passes mainly through pasture and along the river Amstel.
Along the way, next to the river Amstel, you will find a so-called "banpaal", a banning pole from 1625 AD that was used to mark the territory of Amsterdam for those banned from the city. Along the Amstel there are also some magnificent country houses.
The route is well marked with hexagonal signs with "Middelpolderroute", see the pictures. You can print the map that is among the pictures for reference.
Possible starting points:
The official starting point is close to Restaurant 't Klein Kalfje (http://www.restaurantkleinkalfje.nl/), Amsteldijk Noord 355, Amstelveen. You can go here if you have a car or a bike.
By public transport, you can pick up the route at point 3 (Bankrasweg, Amstelveen) on the map. Take tram 5 or metro 51 (GVB) direction Amstelveen from Amsterdam, get out at stop Zonnestein. Follow the Straat van Messina to the east, walk via Oostelijk Halfrond and the Machineweg to the Bankrasweg, which you follow to the south.
Another option is to take bus 165 (Connexxion) and get out at stop Machineweg. Bus 165 commutes between Amsterdam Zuid Station and Amstelveen bus station.
Please note that if you are between point 1 and 2 on the map (Kalfjeslaan) you have to take the bridge to the left just after the sports fields, this is not clearly marked.
When you reach the river Amstel, you have to go left to follow the route. However, you can make a little detour by going right, to the scenic village Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. There are many restaurants in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, some of them with a nice terrace at the Amstel river.
A great wat to get in to amsterdam is by train! Park at the airport and jump on a train that takes you into the heart of Amsterdam. The grasshopper coffee shop was fun and the food was great on the top floor ay Avitas. If you are traveling with children take note of the pillers with lights! my kids got an eye full before I relized were we were. Have fun, but do'nt forget he rest of Holland it is beautiful>and the food is wonderful tat sines
A bike route that shows different Netherlands landscapes and villages. Probably the most beautiful part is riding along the seashore north/south (depending on which direction you make the tour) with the wind blowing on your face. You'll go over the beauty of Broek in Waterland, Zuiderwoude, Uitdam, Ransdrop and Durgerdam. The people here usually don't speak English but the old men I met were really funny!
I got lost twice and ended up asking to old men who asked were I was from. When I said 'Spain' answered with a big smile and pointed the right direction.
You can get a detailed map of the trip in Mac Bikes renting shop (Centraal Station right side, or behind the chess players near Leidseplein square) for 1 € (yes, you are right, in Netherlands you have to pay for everything even for pissing on). Be careful when following the signs on the route map: sometimes it is not very accurate and it's better to follow your orientation (if it's better than mine). You have to cross a narrow river and pay a few cents for it.
See more pictures in travelogue.
The first thing I will always do after I get off the train at Centraal, is walk to frederic on Brouwersgracht and rent a bicycle. In Sept. '03 they were only 40 Euros/week.
Especially during good weather, what could be more fun than to rent a bike and go for a ride in & around Amsterdam?
There are lots of places to rent an affordable bike all over town.
Frederic rents the plain, simple old black bikes most Hollanders ride in the city, so you don't stand out like a tourist on your bright orange MacBike, inviting the junkies to trash and/or steal your transportation.
The VVV tourist info office outside Centraal station has bike path maps.
Even some hotels rent them to pick up and return it to the lobby (hopefully.... bicycle theft is so common in A'Dam it's almost comical... ).
In Amsterdam, bikes are given respect, their own lanes & traffic lights.
Just be cautious/careful & use your bell as the tourists not used to bike traffic won't see (or hear) you coming
If the sun's out and the wind isn't blowing hard, you will be in Nederlands-bicycle heaven.
The "frederic" website listed below is where I rented mine (BROUWERSGRACHT 78).
Make sure to get a couple good locks and lock it up tight to a bridge or something very sturdy
Doei. Pedal 2da metal.......ching!.... ching... ching....
I took a one-day country bike ride with Yellow Bike. If you love the outdoors, this is definetly money and time well spent. There were people from everywhere on this tour, and we had a great time for lunch at a little terrasse in a little village along the bike path. Our guide was very informative and spoke English and German.
One of the coolest things about Amsterdam is the fact that it is surrounded by farms and open country side. Looking at the below satellite picture you can see what I am talking about. If you are ever in Amsterdam rent a bike and cycle down the Amstel river; you will soon find yourself in the country side. This is a nice break from the trams, bars and bikes that seem to be everywhere. By the way you can see Schiphol Airport in this picture in the bottom left corner.
I dont know if lots of people miss out, but.. Rent a Bike! and cycle also out of town.. there are lovely routes just up north of the city (cross with the ferry).. Go nieuwendam, durgerdam, monnickendam.. marken (the latter two are a good way away *s*)
Its the typical dutch country you'll see.. *grin* cows and some mills and fields and old littl wooden villages..
Backside of the palace on Dam Square.
This building, presently a palace, was built as the city hall around 1650. In that time it was a huge building standing out several floors above the wooden houses. It has been built on over 18.000 wooden poles, since there's only peat and clay in the subsurface. What's really interesting to have a look at: at the backside of the Palace (where the shopping mall Magna Plaza is), a triangular setting of figures can be observed. If you look closely, you will see all the continents represented. That is, all the continents yet discovered: Australia is lacking! Look for the crocodile, camel, indian, monkey etc.
You know why they say 'money stinks'? In the red light district, there is the Old Church. It has been built on a sandy strip, a little higher than the surrounding city. This sandy strip was able to carry the weight of a building like this. Wealthy people could afford to be buried in the church, in the elevated sandy strip: above groundwater level. This caused decay of the buried bodies, which was an ever present odour. Poor people where buried in the lower areas, and often even lowered in the groundwater: no chance for decay, no smells... That is why money stinks!
Imagine: every street with 'gracht' in the name has been a canal as well. For the sake of traffic circulation, many of them have been closed. Try to imagine how the Rozengracht, Elandsgracht, Lindengracht would have looked like. By the way, the same goes for the 'wal': Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal etc.
The busy main shopping street in Amsterdam shows something special. Topography in Holland is nearly absent, so if present and asks for explanation. If you walk in Kalverstraat and look down the narrow alleys perpendicular to the street: the alleys go 'down-hill' (I know this must sound strange to many foreigners...). But in fact you can still see here that Kalverstraat started as an alignment of man-made heights to be protected from the waters of Amstel river, after which the city was named (Amstelredam, dam in the Amstel, became Amsterdam).
A small village now incorporated in the larger Amsterdam area. Although surrounded by new housing complexes, the old center is still nice to bike through. Here you can see one of the signs that marked the city-limits in the older days (see picture). People banned from town were not allowed to come closer to the city center than these signs.
Make sure to visit 'Brouwerij het IJ', a special microbrewery making the best beers of Amsterdam like 'Zotte', 'Struis' and so on. Another microbrewery is just south of Nieuwmarkt, called Maximillian. Serving decent food and excellent beers.
Take your bike and just outside the town the view changes.
green green green and still green and rivers, cows, blue airons and rivelets.