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Must See in Amsterdam??

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Memphis, Tennessee
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Must See in Amsterdam??

I am doing my first out of the country trip with a friend who insisted Amsterdam be on our list. While I can plan Italy for days, I've never really had a large interest in Amsterdam which is making it hard for me to point things I should check out. I know about the coffee shops and red light district but I'd like to know if anyone else has any places you feel are must see sites or attractions in Amsterdam. I did read that theres a Van Gogh museum and Ann Frank museum that caught my eye, but what else should I consider not missing?

Ho Chi Minh City...
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1. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

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Maryland
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2. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Take a look to the right-----top questions.

These will be VERY helpful

What to do, neighborhoods, scoring a cheap hotel, airport stuff, etc etc

After you have looked at those you will have a better idea. And if you tell us your interests we can offer even more specific suggestions.

How many days and what dates?

One thing to add to your list right off------a canal cruise. About 75 wonderful minutes.

Now do a little reading

Memphis, Tennessee
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3. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Yeah I've read those which is how I found out about anne frank. My friend is a party person so she's all about the coffee shops and stuff where I'm more into the cultural aspects and scenery of places which I know Amsterdam will be very scenic. Canal boat trip is now on the list. I didn't think of that as our final stop is Venice. Also we are going February 20th and Amsterdam is our first stop including london rome and ending in venice for carnival.

Amsterdam, The...
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4. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Amsterdam has so much more to offer than its 'foreign image' of sex and drugs.

When foreigners (who haven't been to Amsterdam) ask me where I live they always give me a look of pity or like: hmmm she must be a drug addict. But Dutch people are usually jealous of me living in this fantastic city and I have to say it still feels like a gift every day.

Beautiful 400 year old canals and gabled houses, museums with world reknowned artist's paintings (don't forget Rijksmuseum), museums about resistance during the war, and about colonial past, and though you may not believe me, even a big succesful museum of Bags and Purses.

Apart from that, lovely parks, bike riding in or outside the city (amongst windmills, farms, lakes, meadows, quaint little villages with old wooden houses), cool bars with a great choice of beers, some even Amsterdam-brewn (Columbus/ Brouwerij 't IJ), a small city beach and other cool bohemian outdoor hangouts, loads of festivals and cinemas, good restaurants with cuisines from all over the world. And the city itself also has inhabitants of about 180 nationalities.

A guidebook or a google search could tell you a whole lot more. Most guidebooks also have good 'top suggestions' or itinerary suggestions. So does the website www.iamsterdam.com > see What to do, and click around some more.

And find the Tripadvisor post 'Amsterdam blues.. Help!' just to see how people fall in love with this city and don't want to leave.

Have fun!

Cecilia

Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Edited: 7:44 am, December 07, 2013
Maryland
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5. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

If you have read the top questions of what to do as well as the other links provided I am not sure what you are asking.

Pick those that interest you. Ten pick some that interest your friend.

Coffeeshops are an interesting experience. For the non smoker as well. Don't be afraid of spending some time in one sipping a coffee.

Then go to a museum

Then stroll the interesting RLD

Then go to another museum

Compromise and enjoy

And while the are indeed many things to do in town of interest many of us came the first time for drugs and sex.

Those are in fact what Amsterdam is famous for. That and cheese. :-)

But truth be told not a lot of first time visitors come just for the cheese.

Best advice------just plan on walking the great city as much as you can.

Winter Haven...
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6. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Like many other European Cities (but even more so) the shining star of Amsterdam is Amsterdam itself. You can walk from one end of the city center to the other in 30 to 40 minutes. You are going in February so it will be cold and it will be getting dark early. No matter. I prefer off season to avoid the crowds and enjoy a slower pace doing what I like to do.

First be sure to book lodging anywhere in the canal ring area (grachtengordel). Should be no problem getting what you want that time of year. Before going, try to book tickets for the Anne Frank House on line so you can go right in and not have to stand in line. Then wait to get there before trying to make specific arrangements for "must sees". That's another of the great things about Amsterdam in that more than any of the other places you are visiting (and any place in Italy) you can let the city come to you. An added benefit of flexibility is you can go indoors if the weather is bad and can do a "wander" if the weather is good.

Try to take your canal cruise fairly early on. Seeing the city from the water gives you a different perspective and allows you the chance to pick out spots you can go back and see later.

Do make an effort to see the Van Gogh - along with Florence's Uffizi it would be one of my two favorite museums simply because it so manageable. Then you get to see up close so many originals of paintings you have seen all your life. Climbing my list of favorite museums is the Hermitage. Set along the Amstel River it offers another opportunity to view masterpieces at a relaxed pace. Exhibits change on an ongoing basis with works on loan from the original Hermitage.

Very few singular sites embody a nation's heritage and culture as the Rijksmuseum does for the Netherlands. Recently reopened after ten years of renovation, a visit no matter how long the duration is in order. Make up you mind when to go after arriving in Amsterdam. Head straight for the Night Watch and then make up your mind what you want to see from there.

If after seeing the Anne Frank House you want to experience more of Amsterdam's WWII history, be sure to go to the Resistance Museum. If you want to see even more, the Jewish Quarter is close. There are some incredible goose bump experiences to be had. This is my favorite website to get started (use Google Translate if you need it):

http://www.hollandscheschouwburg.nl/

Looking past culture and heading for fun, be sure to take in the Brown Pubs. In many people's opinion, they far surpass their more famous cousins, the English Pubs. In general the people are friendlier (trust me when I tell you that almost everybody in Holland speaks English) and you will be meeting and talking to people from all over. This is a pretty good list to get started with:

10best.com/destinations/…

My favorite is not on that list (right across the canal from the Anne Frank House):

http://www.deprins.nl/en/

I am always spot on with MrJohnMD and his views on Amsterdam's coffeehouses. Even if one is not interested they should make an effort to take them in. They have a vibe and a feel you can not experience anywhere else in the world. This is the best website (with its interactive map) to fill you in on the etiquette, the different ways to consume cannabis, and for reviews of the different Shops (even though some are dated):

http://www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/Map.html

Like John suggested, go to a shop, tell the budtender you would like a strain that will make you feel good walking around, partake, and then go explore the city or take in a museum.

Most people like you have heard a lot more about counties like Italy than they have about the Netherlands and Amsterdam. It is only natural therefore as they look to start making plans for a trip that they have more interest in those places at the outset. Personally I like the idea that you are going to Amsterdam first as it will set the stand by which you will judge the rest of the cities.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to come back on and ask. Meanwhile, HAVE FUN!

Memphis, Tennessee
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7. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

WOW thank you so much. I am really now starting to get excited about Amsterdam. I will definitely going to hit you up if I have any other questions. I'm very excited for the canals and the museums.

Wake Forest, North...
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8. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Geis.....don't worry about the overlap for Venice. The canal cruise in Amsterdam is much better and really more of a canal guided tour. Managing the canals in Venice is more of a taxi service to get you where you want to be, or a rather expensive gondola ride that I passed on. Though the comparisons of 'Venice of the North' are correct, there are many differences. And ddavis put it correctly......Amsterdam itself is why we go!

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Amsterdam has more canals and more bridges than Venice.

The historic city-centre of Amsterdam (UNESCO World Heritage) is the largest historic city-centre of Europe. Larger than Rome, Paris or Prague.

Moreover, Amsterdam is (contrary to Venice) a real-living city.

London
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10. Re: Must See in Amsterdam??

Hi - I went to Amsterdam for four nights last October and loved it. It's a great place to just wander, especially in the canal belt. I agree that a canal boat trip is pretty much essential but I would also highly recommend the Rijksmuseum. When I went last year it was still showing the temporary collection, whilst the main museum was still being renovated. That collection was in itself the highlight of my trip, so if you are into art I would say that the full collection is bound to be a must. If you are into classical music then you have the main concenrt hall (Concertgebouw) plus the new one on the Ij, where I heard the Bach orchestral suites having got cheap last minute tickets: was fantastic! (Plus, you got a free glass of wine in the interval.)

I stayed in the museum quarter, near the Vondelpark (nice place for a stroll, incidentally), which was delightful. You can walk everywhere very quickly, but if you need public transport I can report that it is superb; I never waited longer than a few minute for a bus or tram.

I was disappointed by the very central area, round the red light district (which is in fact only a few small streets), which felt a bit sleazy - but has some of the oldest and most impressive buildings. But,

overall, Amsterdam has a lovely laid-back feel, is very beautiful and well worth visiting.