Some time to kill in Amsterdam

ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
So, I've got a business trip to Amsterdam coming up, and I'm padding it a bit on each side to give me some time to spend in the city.

What are good tourist things to do, oh collected wisdom of the PA forums?

Things I am Definitely Interested In:
  • History!
  • Anne Frank's House
  • Dutch navy stuff
  • Old art and architecture
  • Walking everywhere

Things I am Definitely Not Interested In:
  • Red light anything
  • Smokin' up
  • Gettin' high
  • Driving
  • Weed

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Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin

Posts

  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    for "old art" There's the Rijksmuseum, which is filled with dutch masters, and golden age paintings - with stuff like the Rembrandts the Nightwatch, and Vermeer's Milkmaid - going through that entire museum will take you a day or more though... but the "hall of fame" where the most iconic pieces are you can go through in an hour or two depending on how much you focus per piece.

    Amsterdam is pretty easy to walk in or take a tram, if you're staying near the canal districts aka the centre.

    Amaryl on
    ElvenshaeLoveIsUnity
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    <-- Dutch.
    Museums:
    Go to the Scheepvaartmuseum for naval history. It is a gorgeous museum that was renovated recently. https://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl

    On the museum square we have multiple museums, with the Rijksmuseum housing many historical collections and many world famous 17th century masters. The tourist office is useful to figure out which ones are up your alley http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting

    Anne Frank:
    Hey she's world famous, the house is crazy popular. When you're going there accept that it's just a small house (you've read the diary, it makes sense). You will be standing in line for quite a while. Plan accordingly.

    Architecture:
    Amsterdam is famous for the 17th century city centre, when you walk from landmark to landmark you will walk by plenty of old buildings. There are small museums housed in some of them. Amsterdam is also home of some of the prime examples of the Amsterdam School, there's the Olympic Stadium (only guide group tours you have to book in advance, but you can still visit by yourself and grab a drink in the bar. Then there is the Beurs van Berlage in the city centre. More information about architectural attractions: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/what-to-do/architecture

    Just walking about:
    Recently the Negen Straatjes is the place to be, it's all very tiny and full of overpriced coffee and refurbished furniture, but it's nice to walk around. You'll be out of the streams of tourists too, which is pretty nice in and of itself. Info: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting/areas/amsterdam-neighbourhoods/centre/9-streets . Amsterdam is pretty easy to navigate, so if you just want to walk around just stick to one of the main canals and enjoy the view.


    Getting around:

    The whole city centre is easy to traverse by foot, but there's also a very sturdy public transport with tram and metro lines on nearly every corner. Google Maps works like a charm to get about.

    When going by foot please realise that cyclists are literally everywhere and are very dominant. They will knock you over if you don't get out of the way in time. Also: trams are driven by homicidal maniacs, I am 70% certain they get paid extra for hitting pedestrians.

    Avoiding stuff:
    The Red Light District is easy enough to avoid, weed is not. There are many people smoking on the streets and dozens of coffeeshops selling weed in the centre. In my experience smokers don't annoy other people much, they're mostly just lethargic and don't pay attention to where they're going. *shrug*

    Enjoy!

    ElvenshaeZilla360
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    rijksmuseum x10

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    AldoElvenshaeLoveIsUnityZilla360
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    Rent a bike and ride it around, possibly outside of town. That was one of my memorable experiences in Netherlands in general. Be careful about other bikers though, if you are riding too slow, they'll yell at you. If you walk into a bike lane, they'll hit you and you'll be responsible for any damage to their bikes or even worse personal injuries.

    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

    Elvenshae
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Awesome suggestions, everyone! Thanks!
    Aldo wrote: »
    Avoiding stuff:
    The Red Light District is easy enough to avoid, weed is not.

    Yeah - sorry if that came off weird. It's just I'd mentioned the trip to a couple of people already and one person started telling me about their favorite shops and, yeah, that ain't me. I figured I'd just head it off at the pass :D

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    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    If you are any kinds of interested in beer going to the Heineken factory is a fun little tour. Doesn't take up much of your time.

    There is so much to do there. My wife and I used to take the train up there once a month when we were living in southern Netherlands.

    Besides listening to @Aldo you could just buy one of the tourist books at the book stores.

    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
    Aldo
  • BloodycowBloodycow Registered User regular
    edited September 2016
    Oh and I forgot, I know that you like aviation and WW2 stuff ;)

    If you have more then a day in the Netherlands try to get to the museum in Overloon, its like an hour and half by car and I'm sure you could catch a train if you don't have a rental. I took my dad there, it is one hell of a museum.

    Bloodycow on
    " I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.”
    ― John Quincy Adams
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Bloodycow wrote: »
    Oh and I forgot, I know that you like aviation and WW2 stuff ;)

    If you have more then a day in the Netherlands try to get to the museum in Overloon, its like an hour and half by car and I'm sure you could catch a train if you don't have a rental. I took my dad there, it is one hell of a museum.

    By train+bus.. Departure from Amsterdam Central Station it takes 2.5 hours by public transport to get to the entrance and a roundtrip costs €48. Although it is a great museum (with everything you wanted to know about Operation Market Garden) it is a bit too far out of the way for most tourists.

    Maybe a museum like https://www.verzetsmuseum.org/museum/en/exhibitions/permanent_exhibition is easier to plan around? You could also visit Rotterdam (direct trains leaving from Amsterdam CS takes 1hr10min and roundtrip costs €30.20), which was bombed and subsequently burned in the early days of the Blitzkrieg to push the Dutch government to surrender (it worked).

    Elvenshae
  • honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    If you want to see the Anne Frank house be there as early as possible, probably even a bit before they actually open. The line can get get several hundred metres long.

    Rijksmuseum also has historical fashion and arms in the basement. Close by is also the Van Gogh museum. For historical architecture check out the city centre with the palace.

    Also just take a walk along the canals.

    Elvenshae
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    If you are sure you want to visit something, you can buy e-tickets in advance and skip lines.
    I think the Amsterdam advice is mostly covered.

    websites:
    To find out how to get anywhere in the Netherlands by public transport, use the website 9292.nl It predicts price, time, it tracks delays and if there is construction that will lengthen the journey.
    https://www.iamsterdam.com/ is the tourist website for Amsterdam and an excellent resource.

    Musea:
    The civilian airport museum is called Aviodrome and is near Schiphol.
    The main military museum is in Soesterberg, a former military base. https://www.nmm.nl/ about 40km from Amsterdam but a bit finnicky by public transport, about 90mins from Amsterdam Central Station.
    There is a navy museum in Den Helder, which is also the main dock for the Dutch navy. It's about 75mins from Amsterdam CS. Never been there though.
    The main civilian maritime museum is in Rotterdam https://www.maritiemmuseum.nl/

    Cities closeby:

    Within an hour of Amsterdam you have a wealth of options to visit elsewhere. Amsterdam is a great city to visit but at times it can feel overrun by tourists. Getting on a train to one of the other hubs can get you to many interesting places.

    Rotterdam was already mentioned, and I would recommend it mostly for post WW2 architecture. It's one of the biggest planned experiments in urban planning, and they often take more risks on architecture than you'd do if you are adding buildings to a 500 year old city centre.

    Den Haag is the seat of government as well international institutions like the Peace Palace, has a typical old Dutch city centre, and has one of the most popular beaches in Scheveningen. While it'll probably be pretty cold by the time you get here, not everyone lives close to sea.

    Utrecht is a very history rich and old city, that is also one of the most prosperous currently. It is student and yuppie heavy, and caters to that crowd, with endless coffee bars and restaurants.

    Naarden is a tiny city that still has it's medieval layout with the walls and moats 90% intact, and a museum about the defense structure http://www.vestingmuseum.nl/ Learn the history about how it was built up, neglected in peacetime, useless with new war technology and quickly overrun at least 2 times!

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
    Elvenshae
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Amsterdam info I posted in the travel thread a few years back:
    Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis for the best lunch pancakes you'll ever eat, and
    Brouwerij 't IJ for a great local brewpub on the eastern side of Amsterdam.
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    Elvenshae
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