Unique Places in Amsterdam

  • A modern reflection of those narrow buildings
    A modern reflection of those narrow...
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  • Beautiful mosaic
    Beautiful mosaic
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  • Interior
    Interior
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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Amsterdam

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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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    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Visit Amstelveen

    by Pijlmans Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    Amstelveen is one of the suburbs of Amsterdam. In contrast to Amsterdam, Amstelveen is one of the "greenest" cities of Holland.

    There are quite some activities for children, and possibilities for recreation.

    Ladies, the shopping center is the biggest in the region!!! (Sorry guys...)

    Amstelveen can easily be reached by tram 5 or metro 51 from Amsterdam.

    On the picture, Amstelveen is the rectangular shape in the middle, surrounded by green, with Amsterdam in the north. The Amsterdamse Bos (forest) is located to the west of Amstelveen.

    Please check out my Amstelveen pages for tips about Amstelveen!

    Amstelveen

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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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    In de Wildeman: a wonderful small bar

    by ingridf_nl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    Following in Monet's footsteps

    by Rachael71 Written Aug 12, 2004

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    In the late 19th century, Monet visited Amsterdam to paint. One of his most famous pictures is of the Zuiderkerk from the Groenburgwal (here's a link to a copy of it).

    The area he painted has barely changed as you can see from the photograph. The church and the bridge are just the same, but he must have changed the perspective to get them both into the picture the way he did - I couldn't manage it with my camera!

    This area of the city is very charming and quaint, and is well worth visiting - there are some lovely little streets and shops and, if you are a keen photpgrapher, some great photo opportunities. Monet knew all the best spots I guess!

    Monet's view - Zuiderkerk
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    Take in a movie, in DUTCH!

    by LolaSanFrancisco Written Mar 27, 2003

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    On my last trip I got so comfortable with the Dutch I actually thought I was learning to speak it. This however is wrong.
    I was walking by a movie theater one day and saw in Plain English: “This is Spinal Tap”. So that night I went. I’ll be god damned if that movie was dubbed in Dutch! That was probably one of the funniest thing I ever did while on vacation.

    Ik ban Spinal Tap
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    NIEUWENDIJK A'DAM

    by RoyJava Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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 ...

    nieuwendijk-street-amsterdam
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    The Hortus

    by Boca24 Written May 16, 2004

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    The Hortus is the Botanical Garden in Amsterdam. We came across this buy accident. This "living mesuem" dates back to 1638, it has some amazing items. A must see is the butterfly house. It house as a variety of rooms to display plants from a variety of climates.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel

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    Excellent A'Dam travel journals at Noe Hill

    by davequ Updated Mar 2, 2005

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    One of the best travel journal websites I have found is Noe Hill.

    The writing is flawless and extremely interesting and informative as they share their experiences in Amsterdam, Paris/Loire, their home town of San Francisco.. etc. These well-written travelogue "essays" are accompanied by some great photos. Check this site out. I love Noe Hill.

    One journal there I recommend is entitled "Dutch in 3 weeks" by Louis H. Bryan, one hell of a writer. (ahendley used to login at VT and has excellent Venezia pages and photographs at Noe).

    UPDATE: 8/19/04:
    Just received a letter and this new photo from Louis himself.

    This made my day and I am looking forward to seeing more from Louis and the boys at Noe Hill.

    UPDATE: 1/31/05: Had a fabulous lunch of dimsum in San Francisco this weekend with Louis. Finally met him, and he is even more fun in person.

    Louis is now updating his new journal "Amsterdam by Segway" here:
    Amsterdam by Segway by Louis

    Louis (in mijn slecht, sh#&ty Nederlands):
    "Mijn vriendelijke groeten en ik wens u 100 jaar van gezondheid en geluk.."

    Great ADam travel journals from Louis and Noe Hill
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    • Theater Travel

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    Holland Casino

    by BlueBerry_7 Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Located right on the beach in Zandvoort, the Holland Casino is the place to be if you like gambling.

    This is one of only 10 legal casinos in Holland, with roulette, blackjack, and more. The dress code here is "correct" (collar and tie for men), and the minimum age is 18. You'll need your passport to get in. Casino Zandvoort opens daily from 1:30pm to 2am. Entry costs Dfl 6 ($3).

    Holland Casino
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    Theatre history

    by vpeter Written May 20, 2007

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    I Nederlands Theater Museum (Dutch Theatre Museum) you can see the Dutch theatre history.
    You can see beautiful old costumes from plays etc.
    The museum is three very old buildings on the Herengracht and has several beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings.
    After your tour you can, if it is nice weather, relax in the backyard and sip your coffee from the theatrestaurant.
    You sit in the middle of the city and hear nothing from the traffic. Delicious.

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    Windows 1

    by leics Updated Apr 5, 2013

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    Swanet told me that the numerous variations on the windows over front doors on canalside houses were also a way of marking the address. I suspect this may have become fashionable when the stone carvings were though a bit 'passe'.

    Now I've made a second visit, and also visited Delft and Leiden, I think the system was that particular shapes were used, but not repeated, in any one street. The patterns could be repeated in other streets. So, for example, you'd be looking for 'the house with two circles' (probably drawn for you) in e.g. Laangestraat.

    Whatever, it is truly amazing how many variations of straight and curved lines can be made. There are also often little 'golden' additions, which I assume were used to make further differences when the street was particularly long and needed more variations.

    Again, it is well worth taking the time to notice these windows as you walk the canals. Some still have their huge sticking-out circular glass sections where once a candle or lantern would have been placed.

    More windows in the travelogue

    Related to:
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    • Photography
    • Architecture

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    Out of the way Coffeeshop ...

    by Docu2001 Updated Jan 26, 2003

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    Yo Yo is a friendly, neighborhood spot to chill ... It is way off the beaten path ... so no screaming teenies. It is a grown-up, laid-back kind of place. The apple pie is amazing and the selection of things smokeable is just about right ... all are organic.

    Yo Yo is a short walk away from the Albert Cuypmarkt - a daily open-air street market which is worth a visit. The market has every kind of fish and cheese and bread and thingy ... and on a very cold Amsterdam morning, you might even want to pick up a pair of long cotton underwear for less than 5Euro.

    Yo-Yo
    2E Jan van den Heijdenstraat 79
    De Pijp District
    AMSTERDAM

    Yo Yo

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    American Consulates Office

    by littlesam1 Written Jan 14, 2003

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    Here is where you do not want to have to go when in Amsterdam. Here are the guys in hats proudly displaying their just issued new passports. After having one of our bags stolen on the train ride into the city we had to apply for new passports at the American Consulates Office. Three days later we were the proud owners of new passports. Legal again...what a relief.

    Got 'em

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    H.H. Petrus en Pauluskerk

    by leics Written Apr 6, 2013

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    I stumbled upon the Roman Catholic church of Saints Peter and Paul quite unexpectedly whilst having my last wander around central historical Amsterdam before taking the train to Schiphol for my flight back.

    Kalverstraat is shopping...shopping...shopping, filled with national and multi-national chains stores as well as individual upmarket shops. Not somewhere I intended to linger, so it was pure chance that I happened to wander the section which included ‘Der Pappegai’ (The Parrot’).

    Why ‘Der Pappegai’? Well, there were times in the past when Roman Catholicism could not be practised inthe Netherlands (as in the UK) and the original church was hidden in the garden of the bird-trader’s house which once stood on this spot. You can see the parrot on one side of the entrance portal, with a statue of St Joseph on the opposite side.

    By the mid-1800s Roman Catholics were free to practise their religion and the building you can visit now dates from that time. The architect was one Gerrit Moele who did a great job of creating a neo-Gothic church light enough to be built on Amsterdam’s soft soil. The entrance portal is really quite small, so the width and lofty heights of the church within comes as a great surprise.

    There is some lovely stained glass within the church but my eye was particularly caught by the beautiful mosaics in the entrance portal, created by Antoon Molkenboer, and especially by the figure of Mary Magdalene (who is, the church website tells me, supposed to represent a worldly woman and the materialism of Kalverstraat).

    The church invites you in for ’15 minutes of calm’ and I did think it would be a lovely place to sit and ponder for a while, regardless of religion (or lack of it).

    If you visit on a Sunday you will hear Gregorian chant at the 1030 and 1215 Masses, which are both in Latin.

    Beautiful mosaic Interior Entrance on Kalverstraat Stained-glass The parrot...
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    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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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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