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What can I do in Amsterdam?

CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
edited February 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm going to visit my sister for a couple of days while she still lives near Amsterdam and I'm looking for ideas on things to do from anyone who's been there. I'll be going alone and my sis will be working during the day so I'll have to find some way of entertaining myself. Any suggestions that wouldn't break the bank?

Casual on

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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    to the South of/behind Oosterpark is full of pissed off immigrants who haven't/won't assimilated, avoid that area.

    Other than that, the Rijksmuseum should be renovated and is a nice way to kill time. Vondelpark is nice and right near the museums, and you can take a boat tour on the Amstel river.

    You also have the Zoo to the SE of the main train station, and the Dutch Resistance Museum is right across the street. There's also a botanical garden right near their as well.

    TexiKen on
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    NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Rijks is one of the best museums in europe. Make sure to drop by.

    Coffee shops are fun. Hang out, smoke, make some friends.

    Rent a bicycle and cruise around the city. It's a lovely place.

    Have a picnic in a park. Read a book with a bottle of wine and some cheese.

    See Anne Franks house.

    Go the touristy area and shop around.

    Check out the red light district and look at the girls in the windows.

    Join a pub crawl at night.

    NotYou on
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    El Puncho McCrazy FistsEl Puncho McCrazy Fists Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Aside from the obvious, get really high, you should rent a bike. Sounds lame but it's hella fun. Explore the city, ride off into the country side and check out the windmills.

    Check out the Vincent van Gogh museum, it's pretty rad.

    Take a tour with New Europe it's free, they only work off tips. If you think the guy did a good job, give him a couple bucks, if not, screw it.

    Pub craws are fun, some are free, others cost maybe 5-10 euros

    Hope you have fun!

    El Puncho McCrazy Fists on
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    TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Take a tour with New Europe it's free, they only work off tips. If you think the guy did a good job, give him a couple bucks, if not, screw it.

    This. I can absolutely vouch for how great this tour is, ended up tipping her 10 euros because of how good it was.

    If you're in for something a little creepy, check out the Torture Museum there. It isn't very big, but it covers a few devices I hadn't seen before.
    In the same vein, check out The Amsterdam Dungeon. It's an interative history lesson with some pretty hiliarious moments :lol: Make sure you go in with a group of girls to get the maximum effect. Plus, they sell awesome (fake) finger-bone pens, I'm using it right now at work :)

    If you're going to visit the Red Light District in the evening and night just for a look around, a few pointers.

    1. Avoid the small alley ways that join together the seperate rivers, stick to the main footpaths. They might as well have a bright neon sign asking for you to leave your wallet with the next gentleman pocket you see, but thats likely where it'll end up.
    2. There are a lot of street drug dealers. Just breeze past and don't notice them.
    3. Don't bring a camera with you. Even if you don't intend to take any photos, the girls are likely to come out of their windows and throw the camera, and probably you, into the river.

    Just know that Amsterdam is about bending the rules as long as it's of benefit to Amsterdam. Things are implied there, and not always obvious.

    Keep your wits about you and you'll have an incredibly surreal time :lol:

    TeeMan on
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Sounds good I'll have to try some of that stuff out, how about transport is there anyway of getting around apart from walking and cycling like buses or tube trains?

    Casual on
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    NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    yea, there's a trolley/bus system throughout the city. You have to buy a pass to use em. Not worth the cost imho. I walked everywhere.

    NotYou on
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    WulfWulf Disciple of Tzeentch The Void... (New Jersey)Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah, its a good city for walking. The Heineken brewery tour is entertaining, and you get like... four or five beers and a glass out of it... though it is Heineken so :lol:

    Wulf on
    Everyone needs a little Chaos!
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Did you guys get around just speaking English or should I buy a phrase book? It goes without saying that I don't speak a word of Dutch.

    Casual on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I suppose a few phrases couldn't hurt. Ik zal uw fijnste hasjiesj, tevreden hebben.

    TL DR on
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    NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    everyone speaks english there. really, like, everyone.

    NotYou on
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    ChenChen Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Broken English, but English nonetheless. Some of my favorite phrases:

    I went over my neck.
    I came over it.
    How do you do your wife?
    The beer is up.
    Thank the cock for the dinner.

    Really though, in Amsterdam, almost everyone is competent.

    As for transport, there's the not so underground railway and tram. Take the metro for long distances and the tram for short distances. You'll have to buy a blue stripes card to use public transport which you can buy at any magazine store. I think 15 stripes cost €7.30 nowadays. Stamp 2 stripes for 1 zone and 3 for 2 zones with the yellow boxes. You can use the stamp for an hour as long as you remain in the same zone. Just show it to the driver.

    Chen on
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    Draco_AuricDraco_Auric Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    If you're looking for a short day trip you might want to check out Naarden. It's a tiny little town just out side of Amsterdam built on the remains of an old star fort. The fortifications and moat are still in really good condition so it's pretty neat to check out. The even have buildings built into the earthen fortifications, I ended up accidentally walking across some one's skylight while I was exploring the area.

    Draco_Auric on
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    And these pub crawls I would like to hear more about them? Is it just a bunch of strangers getting together? Is it expensive?

    Casual on
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    SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    A beer is usually around €2-2,50 for 0.2L, a bit more on the main streets perhaps. The "hip" bars are around the "Rembrandtplein" if memory serves. Going out to dinner starts at about €10 for pizza / pasta. McDonalds etcet. are everywhere of course. Coffeeshops won't be hard to find, if you are looking for such things. No more shrooms though, outlawed last december.

    It will be fairly chilly (Not as cold as the UK at the moment), but don't expect temperatures above 10C.

    The park mentioned earlier is the Vondel park, which is quite large and beautiful.

    Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh are the big hitters museumwise, Rijks is only showing part of it's collection due to extensive renovations though. The modern art museum (Stedelijk) is closed it seems, it's collection spread out over other musea (including Van Gogh) A guided canal tour will throw some basic all around history.

    Paradiso is a cool place to go out at night, it's a renovated church, concerts & disco's every night pretty much.

    If you are into Naval history, there's the VOC (East Indies companies) & Maritime museum in East Amsterdam. Been a while since I was there, they do have a replica of a VOC vessel outside I believe.

    In general, everything in A'dam is walkable within 30mins or so. Trams are nice if you are lazy, About €2 per ride no matter how you pay, or where you go. You may want to see if you can borrow a bike, it really increases your mobility and allows for some exploring, and the city is pretty friendly to them.

    Naarden is pretty nice, and a lot more quiet then A'dam will be. Some gruesome stories form the 80 year war (NL vs Spain, 16th - 17th century) are attached to it. It's 30mins by train, then another 30mins to walk to the old town (they didn't want a railway anywhere near their beautiful old town back in 1900), or a busride. It has a museum about the 80 year war, but I haven't been there for 15 years so I can't remember much. The trainride down would be about €8-10 for a round trip.

    Everyone under 50 will be able to at least understand what you are saying, but those not in retail or commerce probably won't have much experience speaking it only a daily basis, so expect the language to be mangled.

    SanderJK on
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    WulfWulf Disciple of Tzeentch The Void... (New Jersey)Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Oh, and I just recalled... If you need to use the restrooms in a place... yeah even if they are public restrooms, either be prepared to feign total confusion while old women chase you with a dish labeled 'Tips' demanding mandatory fees for using the head D: Or just run faster than they can. Worked for me and my friends :lol:

    Wulf on
    Everyone needs a little Chaos!
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    If you visit the Anne Frank Museum be prepared for up to a 2 hour wait if you get there late. You might not get in even. The Van Gogh Museum is incredible, go. I rented a bike for the entire time I was there and was able to get everywhere pretty easily, the transit system is great for getting to and from Schipol. I stayed out in Amstelveen and loved visiting Amsterdamse Bos.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Wulf wrote: »
    Oh, and I just recalled... If you need to use the restrooms in a place... yeah even if they are public restrooms, either be prepared to feign total confusion while old women chase you with a dish labeled 'Tips' demanding mandatory fees for using the head D: Or just run faster than they can. Worked for me and my friends :lol:

    That's good to know, thanks. :?

    Casual on
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    TeeManTeeMan BrainSpoon Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Casual wrote: »
    Wulf wrote: »
    Oh, and I just recalled... If you need to use the restrooms in a place... yeah even if they are public restrooms, either be prepared to feign total confusion while old women chase you with a dish labeled 'Tips' demanding mandatory fees for using the head D: Or just run faster than they can. Worked for me and my friends :lol:

    That's good to know, thanks. :?

    And if you can't find a restroom, resist the temptation to piss in a dark corner on a building.

    Trust me on this one :P When you see them you'll know haha.

    There are open air urinals on the river in the RLD.

    TeeMan on
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    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Casual wrote: »
    Wulf wrote: »
    Oh, and I just recalled... If you need to use the restrooms in a place... yeah even if they are public restrooms, either be prepared to feign total confusion while old women chase you with a dish labeled 'Tips' demanding mandatory fees for using the head D: Or just run faster than they can. Worked for me and my friends :lol:

    That's good to know, thanks. :?

    There are also bathrooms that you are required to pay to use and they won't care if you play dumb American, they'll expect their money.

    VisionOfClarity on
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    PongePonge Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You could go visit the Heineken brewery. It's like a tiny little theme park (with 1 or 2 'rides' and some info about beer. You get 3 or 4 tokens on entry that you can exchange for beers along the tour at the bars and you get a free gift at the exit (normally either a half-pint glass or a bottle opener).

    Fun way to spend an hour or so.

    Ponge on
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    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I've heard (though I haven't tried it) the thing to do is not to rent a bike, but to buy one off a bum (there are a lot of bums and some sell bikes) for a couple euro. Incidence of bike theft is pretty high, and rest assured, this one will get stolen back. So in the end, it's kind of like renting one for cheaper.

    oldsak on
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    oldsak wrote: »
    I've heard (though I haven't tried it) the thing to do is not to rent a bike, but to buy one off a bum (there are a lot of bums and some sell bikes) for a couple euro. Incidence of bike theft is pretty high, and rest assured, this one will get stolen back. So in the end, it's kind of like renting one for cheaper.

    Lol.

    So I buy one off a bum and leave it somewhere when I'm done safe in the knowledge it'll get nicked and end up back on the bicycle black market? This place gets weirder by the second. :P

    Casual on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Casual wrote: »
    oldsak wrote: »
    I've heard (though I haven't tried it) the thing to do is not to rent a bike, but to buy one off a bum (there are a lot of bums and some sell bikes) for a couple euro. Incidence of bike theft is pretty high, and rest assured, this one will get stolen back. So in the end, it's kind of like renting one for cheaper.

    Lol.

    So I buy one off a bum and leave it somewhere when I'm done safe in the knowledge it'll get nicked and end up back on the bicycle black market? This place gets weirder by the second. :P

    It's true, that's why you don't see a lot of nice bikes in Amsterdam (if you do, they keep it inside their house and are riding without stopping somewhere). They are all old 1940s bikes. There is one group that does nothing but find bikes in the city, even fishes them out of the rivers.

    You can rent a bike anywhere, but they won't get mad or give you crap if its stolen. It's 5 euros more for insurance.

    TexiKen on
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    saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I would say Anne Frank is a must. It is one of the most powerful experiences I've had travelling the world. Worth the wait.

    saint2e on
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    LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Don't do this:
    LewieP wrote: »
    Man, I need to go to Amsterdam.

    My friend who went there, told me that at the hotel he went to, every day a freshly rolled joint was laid out on their pillow.
    !

    !

    LewieP's Mummy on
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    Count FunkulaCount Funkula Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I think the real question is:
    What CAN'T you do in Amsterdam?
    :)

    Count Funkula on
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    Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Don't do this:
    LewieP wrote: »
    Man, I need to go to Amsterdam.

    My friend who went there, told me that at the hotel he went to, every day a freshly rolled joint was laid out on their pillow.
    !

    !

    I want to live here.

    Namel3ss on
    May the wombat of happiness snuffle through your underbrush.
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    CasualCasual Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Don't do this:
    LewieP wrote: »
    Man, I need to go to Amsterdam.

    My friend who went there, told me that at the hotel he went to, every day a freshly rolled joint was laid out on their pillow.
    !

    !

    Noted.

    Not gonna happen either way though. I'm not interested in weed and never have been, plus the last thing I need is for that to show up in a test.

    Casual on
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