The old seat of the Dutch West Indies Company (W.I.C) was built in 1623. It was already given up by the company in 1648 and has been used for many purposes since then. Today, it houses a restaurant (Piet Heyn Kelder) and rooms for parties and meetings. The courtyard in the middle of the building is worth a short visit - and its free. There you can also see the statue of Peter Stuyvesant, the last mayor of New Amsterdam before the city was captured by the English and named New York. Address: Herenmarkt 93 - 99, near to the Anner Frank huis.
It would take too much to put this "tip" under "Local Customs" because of its coffeeshops and the cannabis you can get there, familiar with all locals. The Nieuwendijk is one of the oldest shoppings street in Amsterdam with some good shops today. Included C&A, H&M, We, shops for shoes, knick-knack, some good fast-food restaurants, and Tip De Bruin, a tiptop design boutique. When reaching the Nieuwendijk for a walk to Singel (canal street) you'll pass the notorious area where the shops look like colorful, exotic places, with a touch out of the 60's. They include the tainted tea- & coffeeshops, so famous for its liberty today ...
In 1787 opened this neo-classical building its doors (by Jacob Otten Husly designed), which was especially built for the Felix Meritis Society. It was a society of the citizens of Amsterdam for the advancement of arts and sciences and was founded in 1777.
In the past Mozart, Edvard Grieg and J. Brahms gave here concerts.
After abt. two decades to have housed here Dutch Communist Party (since 1946) it got back its cultural function and today houses here A European Centre for Arts and Sciences.
It shows us in a realistic way how we will live and work in the future. You will be guided through various rooms in your future house (kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, etc). The high tech, which we know only from some science fiction films, you can see here with your own eyes.
Tickets must be reserved first, groups Monday through Friday and individual visitors (like family) only in weekends. Please ask for details in your hotel.
There is a great little theatre/restaurant along Haarlemmerdijk. The movie theatre is called "The Movies" and the restaurant "Wild Kitchen". Both have a fantastic atmosphere.
You can have your cake and eat it too by reserving ... Dinner first, they call you when your movie is about to be shown.
The food is fantastic and both the restaurant and the movie theatre have a great atmosphere. It is worth reserving for either/both to make sure that you can get in.
The bar at the restaurant is also great...
This is one of the oldest bars in Amsterdam.
Totally unique in Amsterdam, is that it has a non-smoking room. In de Wildeman serves over 200 different beers. It is tiny and busy, it may take a while to get served, but overall the atmosphere is very nice. If your feet are aching, and you want to have a very good glass of beer... stop here.
It has been something that my husband has wanted to do for along time. Finally in 2010 we got to go to the Cannabis Cup. We actually had tickets two years ago but we left early and really didnt get to see too much of it. It is an experience but I dont think its worth it to go again. Once is enough.
First of all the tickets go up as high as 250Euro to attend the Cannabis Cup. We didnt pay that much butI would have been pretty bothered if I did. I dont think it was worth it. Two years ago the music lineup was better and probably more worth it. This year it was kind of weak and in my opinion not worth the money. Also the earlierthat you buy the tickets for the Cup the cheaper it is but you dont know who is going to perform until a month or less before it opens. By then the tickets are pricey. I also didnt like that after you puchase the tickets and you get you confirmation email thats all the communication you get from Hightimes. They dont send you follow up emails with information asto whats going on. Its pretty much up to you to search on different linksto see the music lineup and other things. We got alot of info from people we met on the street wearing their judges badges. Had we not talked to people we met we would have never known that there was a free shuttle that runs through out the day and night from near the Centraal Station to the Powerzone daily. The first time we went to the Powerzone we paid about 20 euro. I told my husband that we need to figure out the metro/bus schedule because I refuse to pay that again for one way! We were also a little disappointed when we went to the Powerzone. For some reason we thought the function would be much bigger. When we finally were able to get in after over an hour waiting to get into the Powerzone the staff was very friendly and helpful butthings were not very organized. We recieved quite a fewfree things like a t shirt, a hemp bag, map of about thirty three different coffee shops that are in the Cannabis Cup competition, a grinder, and a fewother things. With your judges pass that you wear around your neck you will be identified as a judge. Some coffee shops will give you some free samples or other goodies. Barneys on Haarlemmerstraat 102 gave away the most goodies. Not surprisingly they also were big winners. They gave away tshirts, boardshorts, free cannabis samples, stickers, etc... Other shops gave discounts on cannabis to the judges and some coffee shops did nothing but let their product speak for itself. Robs opinion was that the cannabis at Barneys wasnt the best at all. Maybe people just liked all the free stuff. Definitely a great marketing technique.
So you get a booklet that tells you where all the coffee shops in the competition are at. As a judge you have to try to go to as many of these shops as possible and sample theproduct that they have entered in the competition. On the last day of the Cannabis Cup you go back to the Powerzone and submit your vote.
In the evenings the music venue isnt at the Powerzone but at the Melkweg. This was cool because it was very close to where we were staying. This is also where the winners of the Cannabis Cup are anounced on the last day of the Cup.
You can also buy a day pass to the Cannabis Cup if you find yourself in Amsterdam during the Cup days.
Well we have done it and now I am over it. It was an experience but once is more than enough.
Go back North via the AMSTELVELD (for the men there is a public toilet, the so-called KRUL). Go left into the UTRECHTSE STRAAT, where you'll find CONCERTO at nrs. 52 to 60. It's one of the oldest and most reliable record stores in town. They still have records (also buying them), but for hard to find CD's this is the place.
Opposite at nr. 105 you find GET RECORDS.
We were on Sunday afternoon in Oosterpark open air Roots Festival (it was free to the public). This year was on 17th-20th June. The park had 5 different concert stages -one very big one. Through the walking pathways there were more than 200 food and art craft stands from all over world. First we visited these exhibits later on had some dutch beer and got high a bit. The ambiance was wonderful, a lot of young people dancing enjoying smiling... The food was very good, we tried local fish snacks and later got some fries and some indonesian food. If you plan your trip on summer try to coincide with this festival, you won't regret it:)) It's an absolute fun!
A magnificent brick confection at Herengracht 170-172, its facade covered with cherubs and urns, swags and swirls.
The architect was one Hendrick de Keyser, and the house was for one Willem van den Heuvel (important in the West India Company). Van den Heuvel inherited a load of money from his Italian uncle, so adopted his name......which is why the house is called 'Bartolotti'.
The house dates from the early 17th century and, sadly, there is no public access to its interior.
But it does have its own page on the Dutch Wiki. :-)
The other thing I found inside this massive complex was a rather excellent display showing just how Amsterdam developed, how it is kept alive and (a bit scarily) what the sea levels are.
To find it, walk right through the Musiktheater foyer and ticket office area (from the side nearest the River Amstel) into a long corridor, then turn right.
All along the wall is an installation showing buildings and strata, and there are also displays explaining the archaeology and history of settlement within the area.
And there are two huge glass tubes set into the floor. One shows the sea level in two dutch towns (Vlissingen and Ijmuiden)....well below my knees (and I am small). the oter shows the height of the great flood of 1953, far above my head.
Rather chilling for me. The 1953 flood (a storm surge) caused great loss of life in the UK as well as the Netherlands. I wonder if better precautions have been taken in the Netherlands than in the UK to prevent it occurring again?
I have a feeling that many people do not realise that it was not only Jews who were persecuted and sent to concentration camps by the Nazi regime: gypsies, the mentally and physically handicapped and homosexuals also suffered the same fate.
To the rear of the Westerkerk you will find Amsterdam's monument to the homosexuals who suffered and died during the Occupation. It is the world's first, and comprises three pink granite triangles (homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles on their clothes).
The artist is Karin Daan, and the inscription reads 'Such an infinite desire for friendship' (Jacob Israel de Haan, a Dutch writer).
Worth seeking out on your way to or from the Anne Frank Huis, which is also to the rear of the Westerkerk.
I'm sure there must be a proper word for these rather lovely carvings, but I don't know what it is.
When most people could not read, these carvings were placed on the front of buildings so they could more easily be found.
I've seen them in other part of Europe too although, weirdly, we don't have them in the UK.
Amsterdam was full of them. all types, and many from the early-mid 1600s. Well worth keeping our eyes open and looking up as you wander the canalsides.
I saw so many I've had to make two separate travelogues about them!
When I arrived at Amsterdam I went straight to the Tourist Info office outside the station and asked about day trips. They booked me onto a trip to Vollandam, Marken and Zaanse Schans the next day with a company called Lindburgh, based in Damrak just 200m away. They have a small shop there where other tours can be booked. My trip departed at 10am and returned about 3pm. Cost 27 Euros. It was good value for money I thought and certainly took you to some interesting places and the guide certainly knew what they were talking about. My only compaint was that it was a little rushed and you might not get to see everything at the sites you visit. Also be aware that not all trips operate on all days so plan ahead with what you want to do.
A treat for children and adults alike is a day trip to the Dolphinarium in Hardewijk. The park has been open for over 40 years and has now been hailed as Europe’s largest marine park. It is open during the summer months from mid February to end of September and you are welcome to spend the whole day at the park enjoying the daily shows. A timetable of shows is given at the entrance detailing the times of the shows for the dolphinarium, stingray & sharks, walruses, seadogs and seals. There is several playgrounds for the children and being right on the beachfront a paddle in the sea is quite pleasant.
In July 2009 they celebrated the birth of baby dolphin Luna and Rif who you can view in the aquarium and take pictures without flash. There is something very spiritual about the dolphins, we decided to see the show twice and no 2 shows are the same.
All of the shows are conducted in dutch with the exception of the seal show which is done in mime, it really doesn’t matter if you can’t speak the language as the animals are the stars of the show also you can ask any questions you have after the show in English. There are several restaurants dotted around the park most selling frites with mayo but you can enjoy a healthy sandwich. There are also kiosks to purchase ice-cream, beer, coffee and stroopwaffels.
Cost Adult Eur25, children Eur22.50 extra Eur1 in July & August
Parking Eur6 park open 10am – 5pm & 6pm in August.
Strandboulevard Oost 1, 3841 Hardewijk
Travel: Amsterdam Centraal – Amersfoort Intercity Amersfoort – Hardewijk (direction Zwolle) Stop trein journey time approx 1hr cost 2nd class return full fare Eur21.50. Bus to Dolpinarium 144, 147, 148 we travelled on a novelty bus 2 strips.
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