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Going to Amsterdam - what to do?


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#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Greg_Y

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Posted June 30 2002 - 06:26 AM

Or, should I say, what not to do? Posted Image

I'll be leaving for Amsterdam next week, staying for about a month. I'm going with some other crazy Americans who've been there before but I'm looking for recommendations on what to do while I'm over there?

The best restaurants? The best "coffee" houses?
What about cool things to see and/or do? Museums?
I'm not into the stuff that's overly touristy and I prefer natural sights to man-made creations, although I do enjoy museums also.

Also, how's the Melkweg (Milky Way?)? There's a concert I'd like to see there right after I arrive (Ratdog.)

Thanks!

#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted June 30 2002 - 06:43 AM

[quote] Also, how's the Melkweg (Milky Way?)? [quote]
A certain American magazine with the initials of "HT" (and it's not Home Theater) has a lot of good things to say about that establishment.

I would love to visit Amsterdam, the most free city in the world.

And, of course, the best thing about Amsterdam is that it is the home of HTF admin Cees Alons. Posted Image

#3 of 29 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 30 2002 - 09:13 AM

That ain't all it's home to.........Posted Image




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#4 of 29 OFFLINE   Steven K

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Posted June 30 2002 - 09:47 AM

Oh, I can think of a kind of "bar" that I'd like to visit in Amsterdam...

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted June 30 2002 - 12:35 PM

duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude
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#6 of 29 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted June 30 2002 - 12:37 PM

Posted Image
No comment.

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#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted June 30 2002 - 02:34 PM

Trying to get this thread back on track... I've never been to Amsterdam, but when I do go (and I WILL go, oh yes, I will) Number One on my list of things to see will be the Anne Frank House.
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* No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough.
* No good movie is depressing, all bad movies are depressing.

#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Richard_T

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Posted June 30 2002 - 03:37 PM

You have to go to the Van Gogh museum. Simply a must see. Just stay away from the waterfront at night. It's really a nightmare down there. The Hard Rock coffee house as well as the Bulldog are great coffee houses. The "menu" is huge! There's also a small coffee shop called the Tie Stick (not sure of the spelling of "tie") if you look of the bar, you'll see a 2 dollar bill I signed when I was there last. Hope it's still there. Also check out the Heineken beer tour. Very cool. There's also a museum of sex and torture you could go to if you were so inclined. ENJOY
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#9 of 29 OFFLINE   CharlesD

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Posted June 30 2002 - 03:39 PM

I'd second the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank Museum. Both are very impactful in their different ways.

#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Matt Krapf

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Posted June 30 2002 - 05:57 PM

Having done the "Month in Amsterdam" thing, I can say that you HAVE to get a day or two outside the city. Maybe 3.
Vollendam, and Haarlem would be good, but trust me when I say that motoring in the farmlands just outside(within 1 hour radius)is fantastic.

The rivers and canals that are so prevalent inside the city seem to extend well into the country-side, if less frequently. The windmills, churches, houses, and restaurants provide many opportunities to experience "Holland", without having to go too far from the city.

In the City: Having been there, I can suggest the Rijksmuseum. I wasn't so impressed with the Anne Frank house(given the lines, and minimalist exhibit).
I've been to the Museum of Sex and Torture, and it was actually cool...if underwhelming.

As a landmark, if you make it to the Planet Hollywood(which has alternated between shut-down and open in the few times I've gone) you're well situated to see SEVERAL spots I recommend in the Rembrandt Plein...
Planet Hollywood for a dose of US culture.
The Tuschinsky Theater, if you time it right. I missed it last time, but my EXCELLENT hosts regarded it highly.
Smokey Cafe - Light-hearted beer and Pool hall, but also a cool safe place to try out some plant products other than tobacco. Posted Image
The Bloemenmarket(Flower Market) and surrounding shopping can be cool. It's also next to the Hotel Jolly where I stayed once.

Working your way back North from that area, towards and on the Rokin(street name)...Catch Dam Square and the Royal Palace. The Nieuwe Kerk(New Church) is amazing. as are the shops and pubs on the walking street(mall) behid the palace.

Further up the Damrak, approaching the Central Station, are the other 2 hotels I stayed at. The Renaissance, and the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. Both have great restaurants, but TRUST ME, the Renaissance has a Brown Cafe that's small and cool, and a resaturant across the street that kick's ass. I cant recall the name of it. Posted Image

All along the Damrak is a tourist haven/trap depending on your perspective. The whole right side of the Damrak leads into the "Red-Light District". Don't be afraid of this district. It's a lot of fun finding restaurants, brown cafes, shops, churches (see the OudeKerk), and many other distractions unique to the area Posted Image .

Suffice it to say you should have a great time.

If you want, I can give you the number of a top cab company, in case you need lifts anywhere. They're really the best, imho, and usually pick you up in Mercededes'. This is very common there, but these guys' service-level is the bomb.


Lastly, the one BLIGHT I'll mention about Amsterdam that you should be VERY CAREFUL about is...petty theft. Anything left alone in public for even a few seconds(not kidding) can or will be stolen. My friend even had her laptop taken from right at her own feet as she picked up some croissants and coffee, at the bakery. If you can't keep what you need over a shoulder, around your neck, or in a pocket, don't take it. This isn't the same as pick-pocketing, but that happens too, on the trolleys.


Dude, have a great time. Let me know if you want that limo service's number.

Wanting to preserve their privacy, just in case, I also want to thank the family that played host to me one day while I was there in 2001. It was great to see them again, after so long. Proof-positive of the value of the HTF Meets.
Regards,
Matt

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#11 of 29 OFFLINE   Jared_B

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Posted July 01 2002 - 02:53 AM

Do people that don't smoke pot go to Amsterdam? I mean, if one doesn't want to, and doesn't want to be exposed to it, is there any reason to ever go there?

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Shane Gralaw

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Posted July 01 2002 - 04:04 AM

Well, I would avoid The Bulldog- it's the TGI Fridays of the coffee houses. Very clean, corporate nice-nice atmosphere that seems to attract lots frat types. Grey Matter is a nice little hole-in-the-wall coffee house with good weed, but this place is tiny, so not so good for hanging out. There's a coffee house that's pretty cool called "Hill Street Blues" that most Americans seem to avoid cuz of the uncool 80's reference name, but it's really laid back and has a terrific back room with some crazy graffiti and some comfy couches for lounging. As for non-coffee house stuff, the Sex museum has cheap admission and interesting exhibits and is worth checking out. The Torture museum next door is less exciting- it has few exhibits but as long as you're there you might wanna check it out. There's a swell little bar well off the beaten track called the Absinthe Night Bar where you can chase the green fairy while eyeing the strange decor. If you're tired of getting a chemical high, you can stop by Koan Float and trip out naturally in the floatation tanks. As for shopping, there's lots of cool stuff to be found in the resale shops, but if you're feeling a little kinky, there's no shortage of quality rubber/leather gear to be found- the best probably being Demask where the merchandise is a little pricey, but incredibly well made. As others have noted, watch out for pick-pockets and never never NEVER buy any drugs from the dozens of dealers who will approach you in the streets. Also, if you do smoke pot, please be respectful and only smoke out in those places that allow it (you will see some restaurants with a sign near the door with a no pot leaf logo). Be careful and have fun!

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted July 01 2002 - 04:10 AM

[quote] Do people that don't smoke pot go to Amsterdam? I mean, if one doesn't want to, and doesn't want to be exposed to it, is there any reason to ever go there? [quote]

I don't know what to say about a statement like that without violating all kinds of HTF rules. If anyone out there really believes it to be even partly true, may I suggest that you start traveling and see the world for yourself.

Now to answer the posters question: I very strongly recommend going to a concert at the Concertgebouw. The place has the BEST acoustics and is a temple to music in every sense. If I lived nearby, I'd go there twice a week.

And for everyone dumping thousands of dollars on the latest audio tweaks to your sound system, the next time you get the urge, buy a plane ticket to Amsterdam and spend a week at the Concertgebouw. It just might change your life.

One more tip about traveling to Europe: Unless you are going to the beach, Summer is the WORST time to go. Air-fares are triple, hotels are double and all you'll find there are other American tourists. In many countries everything from good restaurants to all kinds of cultural institutions are closed for the entire month of August. September/October is a perfect time -- the weather is generally very good and the natives have come back and the tourists have gone home.

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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   John Sturge

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Posted July 01 2002 - 05:21 AM

I'll test the waters, and re-edited my post.

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#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Jared_B

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Posted July 01 2002 - 06:24 AM

[quote] I don't know what to say about a statement like that without violating all kinds of HTF rules. If anyone out there really believes it to be even partly true, may I suggest that you start traveling and see the world for yourself. [quote]
Ok, let me re-phrase that.
My wife and I do want to go to Europe at some point, and we'd like so see as much as possilbe while over there. Many people I know have gone to Amsterdam and loved it, but they were...well potheads (for lack of better term). We don't want to be exposed to anything that would make us fail a drug test over here, so should we avoid Amsterdam? Or, is there enough to see and do while being in a smoke-free environment? (my wife also has trouble breathing when exposed to smoke of any kind).

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted July 01 2002 - 06:53 AM

[quote] (my wife also has trouble breathing when exposed to smoke of any kind). [quote]

You will have all kinds of problems in Europe because of tobacco smoke. Non-smoking sections in restaurants and other public places are SLOWLY starting to appear, but as a practical matter, most restaurants in most European countries have cigarette smoke everywhere.

By contrast pot in Amsterdam is very easy to avoid -- it is centered in clearly marked "coffee shops" and they in turn are mostly in the red light district, away from museums, good restaurants, the Concertgebouw, etc.

For what is worth seeing in Amsterdam check out a good travel guide like Time Out or the "green" Michelin guide.

Good luck!

Ted
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#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Anthony Moore

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Posted July 01 2002 - 06:53 AM

I went to Amsterdam for a little over a week and had the time of my life. It was one of those life experiences that you just don't forget. Im 21, and went to Amsterdam in March while we were out for Spring break. Amsterdam can be described in one word: Amazing. Everything in Amsterdam is amazing. The scenery, the people, the pot. I do not suggest the Van Gogh museum AT ALL. Not worth the $20. I suggest the Rijksmuseum (spelling?). It has a multitude of great paintings by very famous artists. As for cafe's, nothing is better than HOMEGROWN FANTASIES. It has some "spacecake" that will knock your socks off. My advice: eat it at a time you dont plan on moving for about 8 hours. You'll see what I mean when you try it. You HAVE to try it! Also a great atmosphere and a cool bathroom. Another cafe to try is De Dampkring. It has some stuff called AK-47 (another one that will knock your socks off). My main advice for visiting cafes is to walk around and visit them all. They all have their own cool atmosphere. Also, I dont recommend the Frank house. Not much to see there, really. On a closing note, I liked Amsterdam so much I'm going to finish off my last semester of schooling there in 2003. Well, if i can think of anything else , and im sure i will, ill post again. If you have any questions, BMoore09@aol.com
Anthony Moore

#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Anthony Moore

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Posted July 01 2002 - 06:56 AM

ok, after actually reading all of the posts, I see youre not into the "smoking." So , sorry for all of that bad advice. I guess I'll leave my previous post alone for others who are curious.
Anthony Moore

#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Joseph_W

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Posted July 01 2002 - 03:02 PM

I took my wife and two teenage sons (ages 12 and 16, at the time)to Amsterdam two years ago. The flights in and out of there were too low to pass up. We spent three days, all on public transportation. We passed up coffee shops there just like we do bars everywhere else. We enjoyed the tulip gardens, boat rides on the canal, endless miles walking up and down the vaious streets. Even checked out the Red Light district (on Saturday morning, of course). The place is clean and the people are great. We loved it. Joe

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Matt Krapf

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Posted July 01 2002 - 03:58 PM

Just looked back, and realized that my rambling post had one simple sub-text...

Amsterdam is fantastic!

I guess I really want to go back more than ever, now. Posted Image
Regards,
Matt

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