Another great sport in Amsterdam is leisurely strolling along the many grachts (canals) and watching zillions of large and small, fast and slow boats float by.
Since both my boy-friend and I enjoy being around water, we had a great time gracht walking and boat watching. Not only will you find interesting architecture along the grachts, but also many interesting, cheerful and colorful boats with equally cheerful and colorful boaters on the grachts. Often the boaters will wave at you and in most cases they'll happily wave back if you wave at them first. And if you get tired of walking and just want to watch boats, you'll usually find benches or other comfortable spots at a gracht to sit down and to continue your boat watching. If you're a life-on-the-edge person, you may prefer sitting on the edge of a gracht and dangling your feet above the water surface while boat watching.
Watching boats always makes me hungry (especially since many of the Amsterdam boaters always seem to be eating something delicious on the deck of their boats), so it's a good idea to bring a picnic lunch and beverages. Happy relaxing boat watching!
Equipment: Any picturesque gracht (and almost all of them are) will do. You can't miss them, in fact, if you're not cautious, you'll be able to fall into one without problems.
The former East side of the Amsterdam harbour has been transformed into a new suburb with outstanding architecture and wondeful living environment.
A 6 km walk from the Central Station will take you along some amazing new buildings and some historical leftovers in this part of Amsterdam.
The first landmarks leaving from the station are:
-Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ
Take a left across the Jan Schaeffer bridge to the Java Island.
Both sides as well as the inner corridor offer interesting views.
The small side canals gives unespected look throughs and have a total of 9 special designed little bridges.
At Loods 6 at the North side there are some trendy art shops.
At the East side of the Java Island there are buildings with names like The Black Widow, Barcelona, Piraeus and the Emerald Empire.
Via the Verbindingsdam we arrive at Sporenburg with the bulky Whale building.
To the East the diagonal gardens are surprising.
Via the Python bridge we enter Borneo Island.
Return via the Southside, the Entrepot harbour.; the most interesting part of the island.
At the Panamalaan 2 more interesting new buidings, Batavia and Hoop, Liefde en Fortuin can be found.
Go West via the Oostelijke Handelskade and admire the Lloyd Hotel and have a drink at Club Panama.
Equipment: Walking shoes (maybe rain gear) and water.
The great things about Amsterdam is that so much is walkable. Exploring the Amsterdam hofjes sure will improve your walking condition.
The Begijnhof is well-known with it's wooden house and English church.
But dis you ever visit these hofjes:
-Hofje van Brienen
-Claes Claesz hofje
-Hofje De Zeven Keurvorsten
-Hamer en Brouwershofje
-Liefde is het Fondament hofje
If you visit Amsterdam for the first time, an option is a guided tour.