Unique Places in Amsterdam

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Amsterdam

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    Huis Bartolotti

    by leics Written Feb 28, 2010

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    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. :-)

    Huis Bartolotti From the other side....pity about that tree!
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    Within the 'Stopera' 2

    by leics Written Feb 28, 2010

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    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?

    Amsterdam..and its new Metro line. Sea-level and Amsterdam Those glass columns
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    The Homo-monument

    by leics Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    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.

    Homo-monument
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    Name-stones.

    by leics Written Feb 20, 2010

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    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!

    Moon and ?
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    Lindburgh Day Trips

    by darkjedi Updated Sep 5, 2009

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    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.

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    Dolphinarium

    by jo104 Updated Aug 13, 2009

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    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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    The world's thinnest or smallest house

    by leafmcgowan Written May 2, 2009

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    Claimed to be the narrowest house in the world, it is most certain the thinnest in all of Amsterdam is located at Singel 7. It is just a meter wide (3 1/2 feet), barely wider than the front door. Its a false illusion though, only the front facade is so narrow as behind that it broadens out to more normal proportions. The real narrowest house is at Oude Hoogstraat 22 between the Dam and Nieuwmarkt. It possesses the typical Amsterdam bell gable and is 2 meters (6 1/2 ft) wide and 6 meters (20 feet) deep. Its closest rival is 2.4 meters wide (7 3/4 feet) wide which is nearby at Kloveniersburgwal 26; this is the cornice-gabled Klein Trippenhuis, also known as Mr. Trip's Coachman's House which faces the elegant Trippenhuis at no. 29, which, at 22m (72 ft.), is the widest Old Amsterdam house. This was done in all of these cases to escape high taxes which the Dutch imposed based on the width of the house facade. A common evasion tactic still made life difficult.

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    Old Masters of Amsterdam

    by leafmcgowan Written May 2, 2009

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    Amsterdams Historisch Museum Exhibition: Old Masters of Amsterdam 6 March–9 August 2009 Amsterdams Historisch Museum (AHM) (Amsterdam Historical Museum).
    Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 359 * 1012 RM AMSTERDAM
    This special exhibit tells the fascinating stories about the formation and growth of the rich collection of paintings owned by the city of Amsterdam. With over a thousand works painted before 1800, the city of Amsterdam has one of the world’s finest collections of Old Masters. It includes some of the best works by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Ferdinand Bol, Jacob van Ruisdael and Govert Flinck. This exhibition tells the story of the different ways in which the city acquired these paintings. These paintings exemplify Dutch Golden Age artistry. During the Dutch Golden Age the painters received monetary compensation for painting their subjects. Where the subject would appear was based on how much they paid. If someone paid a high price, they would be "front and center" in the painting, and often depicted in a favorable pose and in high-status clothing. If they didn't pay enough they would be in the background, hidden, or only a half face or with a silly grin drinking a pint of beer. The exhibit was fabulous. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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    Leaning Buildings

    by leafmcgowan Updated Apr 30, 2009

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    Many of the buildings along the canals are "leaning"Because the buildings have "winches" atop them and for years, this is how residents move their furniture in and out of the upper floors, the buildings have been pulled forward to support the weight, and actually are "leaning". This was done so hoisted items don't hit the walls. Some say the City is taking steps to remove "winching". Some say they are built that way to let the rain run off of them. Because you were "taxed" based on the width of your house, many houses were built "thin" and therefore had small doorways and stairwells going to the upper floors. Winches installed to move up larger furniture. Some of the buildings lean of "old age" and settling on sandy soil, lacking proper pillars, or rotting columns/supports.

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    Delta Project

    by csordila Updated Apr 18, 2009

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    Due to an unfortunate combination of the very high tide, the low atmospheric pressure and the strong storm a big part of Southwest-Netherland got under water on 1st of February 1953. This disaster, in which many hundred people lost their life, made it necessary to close the Southwestern sea spurs as fast as possible.
    The Delta Works, the biggest sluice valves of the world is a massive system of dikes, sluice gates, and storm-surge barriers that can be open and closed, to keep the sea apart from the river water flowing from the mainland and to prevent large sea waves from reaching the shores. Delta works is considered to be "the eight's world wonder".
    However, many scientists think that the construction of Delta Project due to climate change and sea-level rise is in no way the final siege in the battle against the sea.

    You can visit to the Haringvlietdam and the Oosterscheldam and see the seawater swirling beneath you. Near the last dam, there is an interesting place called the Delta Expo, where it is introduced, how Dutch people overcame the North Sea.
    You can relive history of the flood disaster, of the building of the dams, and of the conquering of the sea areas. The nearby Water Park is a big fun for kids.
    It is an experience you will never forget and highly recommended you go there.

    Opening hours from April to Oct daily 10am-5.30pm; €18.50;
    from Nov-March Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; €12.50
    Website Water Park: http://www.neeltjejans.nl/index.php/en/home
    Address: Neeltje Jans island, Burgh-Haamstede
    Directions: Zeeland, about one hour and a half driving from Amsterdam on N57.

    Oosterscheldam
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    Amstelpark

    by Pijlmans Updated Feb 26, 2009

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    The Amstelpark is a big park in the south of Amsterdam, enclosed by the Europaboulevard, the highway A10 and the river Amstel.

    The Amstelpark offers a broad diversity of things to do, for adults but also for children. A wide variety of trees and and flowers can be found here, as well as several kinds of animals like squirrels.

    Things to do and see in the Amstelpark:

    - Playground and farm for kids (http://www.speeltuin-amstelpark.nl/)
    - Midget golf (http://www.midgetgolf-amstelpark.nl/)
    - Pony rides for kids
    - Tour by small train, April-October daily from 10.00-18.00, in the winter on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11.00-18.00)
    - Labyrinth
    - Mill (Riekermolen).
    - Glass house (Glazen Huis) with exhibitions
    - Gallery Papillon
    - Rhododendron Valley with 8000 rhododendrons of 139 species
    - Garden with endangered local plants (Heemtuin)
    - Butterfly Garden
    - Rose Garden (Rosarium) with 160 different species of roses
    - Dahliarama with different kinds of dahlias and other plants
    - Japanese Garden
    - Conifer Garden
    - Orangerie with exotic plants.
    - Cafe De Hop
    - Restaurant Rosarium (http://www.rosarium.net/).

    The main entrance is at the Europaboulevard, opposite to the A.J. Ernststraat. The park can be reached with busses 69, 169 and 148, or by train/metro/tram to RAI station. For info about the Amstelpark: parkwachterij@zuideramstel.amsterdam.nl

    Playground in the Amstelpark Amstelpark Playground in the Amstelpark Playground in the Amstelpark Midget golf in the Amstelpark
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    Record Friend

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Oct 3, 2008

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    Note: Staalplaat at Staalkade 6 is out of business.

    From the Waterlooplein market go East along the Zwanenburgwal and take a left into the SINT ANTONIESBREESTRAAT (direction Nieuwmarkt).

    One more records shop to conclude is RECORD FRIEND Grammofoonplaten at the Sint Antoniesbreestraat 64. It's in a hidden basement, but with a nice collection of records and grammophone gear and maintenace equipment.

    Maybe a visit to MUZIKAT at the SINT ANTONIESBREESTRAAT 3 is a good finish of this trip, but it really is up to you. There are more record shops in Amsterdam outside the the center. I leave it up to you to find them. I'm sure you have spent already too much.

    Record Friend Ex Staalplaat Record Friend
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    Chet Baker Memorial

    by yooperprof Written Sep 10, 2008

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    Maybe it's just because my name is Chet - and also because I love his melancholy trumpeting and singing - but I couldn't come to Amsterdam without seeing the hotel where Chet Baker's life ended in 1988. He was staying in this rather shabby hotel on the quayside in 1988 when he fell out of his second floor room onto the pavement below.

    An autopsy showed both cocaine and heroin in his bloodstream. Chet battled drug use for decades - like many jazz musicians.

    The Prins Hendrik Hotel is at 52-57 Prins Hendrikade.

    man with a horn
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    Where do you go if you need a didgeridoo real bad

    by Foundryman1 Written Aug 25, 2008

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    To the Red light district?-get you mind out of the gutter! To a coffee house?-nope! How bout the smart shop? No my friends- you go to Aborigininal art & Instruments ! because a didgeridoo is a musical instrument!

    I doubt I could ever find this place again as I found it by accident.I stopped in an open doorway to get out of the rain and change a memory card in the camera.Looked over my shoulder and here there is this wall filled with dozens of didgeridoos.Watched some guys practice for a while and met the owners -very nice folks.

    Paleisstraat 137
    1012 ZL amsterdam
    tel 31 (0) 20 4231333

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    Not easy to find but worth it

    by Charlotte121 Written Jun 18, 2008

    Hotel de Goudfazant is a restaurant (and not a hotel) located at the IJ in Amsterdam Noord. It's big and industrial but cosy at the same time. The staff is friendly and the wine/ food is very good and not expensive. The seats at the window provide a spectacular view of the IJ . During the summer there is a big terrace at the water.

    Take the free ferry behind the Central station, direction Meeuwenlaan-IJplein.

    Address:
    Aambeeldstraat 10 H
    1021 KB Amsterdam (Noord)

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Amsterdam Off The Beaten Path

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If you want to discover the Amsterdam hidden gems, best visit one of the local tourist offices first. They have great walking- and cycling routes booklets that will lead you to the most surprising...
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