Amsterdam

Lodging

  • Hotel Keizershof [Keizersgract 618 (off Spiegelstraat) /tel: 020-622-2855 / fax: 020-624-8412]: Small, homey and inexpensive hotel near the swinging Leidseplein.
  • Hotel de Filosoof [Anna van den Vondelstraat / tel: 020-683-3013 / fax: 020-685-3750]: This hotel, which is located near the peaceful Vondelpark, has rooms decorated according to different philosophical motifs.
  • Amstel Botel [Oosterdonskade 2-4 / tel: 020-626-4247 / fax: 020-639-1952]: Near Amsterdam's Central Station, the botel offers simple rooms at reasonable prices. Be sure to ask for a room on the top floor, canal side for a better view.

Dining

  • The two great areas for eating in Amsterdam are around the Leidseplein (with hundreds of restaurants along Leidsedwarsstraat and Lang Leidsedwarsstraat) and the Rembrandtplein.
  • Het Gasthuys [Grimburgwal 7] serves generous portions of traditional Dutch cooking.
    Those looking for an inexpensive and filling meal should go to the Pancake Bakery [Prinsegracht 191], which serves crepes loaded with your choice of fillings.
  • Bojo [Lange Leidsedrarstraat 51 / near the Leidseplein]: an cheap and informal place to try Indonesian food for the first time. For a mini rice table try the Longtong Ramses Special for only 11 euros.
  • Dr. Donald Cornelius of Molloy's Social Work Department recommends Restaurant Het Melkmeisje [Zeedijk nr 19 / Tel: 020-6250640], which he says is "Dutch cooking with a light touch, serving fish and meat dishes well seasoned with interesting sauces, vegetables and starches served in family style."
  • Dr. Cornelius also recommends Tempo Doeloe [Utrechtsestraat 75 / Tel: 020-6256718], which he claims has one of the best Indonesian rice tables in Amsterdam---"a complement of sixteen dishes from hot to scalding reflecting an appreciation of the Dutch colonial past."

Sights

  • Dam: Amsterdam's Central Square. Dominating the Square are the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk (new Church), which often houses temporary exhibitions.
  • Anne Frankhuis [Prisengracht 263]: one of the most moving sites in Europe. A must for anyone interested in the Holocaust.
  • The Heineken Brewery [Stadhouderskade 78]: offers a cheesy "Heineken Experience" which includes three beers and a free gift.
  • Begijnhof: To get to Amsterdam's charming 18th century Begijnhof walk down Kalverst and turn onto Begijnensteeg.
  • Jordaan: This artsy area of Amsterdam, which is filled with interesting cafes, shops and antique stores, is bordered by Prinsengracht, Brouwersgracht, Marnixstr and Lauriersgracht. It is located just to the west of the Central Station.
  • Amsterdam's Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) is loacted along Singel Canal (between Muntplein and Koningsplein).
  • One of the most interesting architectural areas of Amsterdam is the Gouden Bocht (Golden Bend), the stretch of Herengracht between Leidsestraat and Huidenstraat.
  • Red Light District: Although this area, for obvious reasons, is considered one of Amsterdam's most popular tourist sights (expect to see little old ladies from Missouri wandering about with their cameras), you are strongly advised to avoid this area at night, since it tends to be filled with seedy characters. In the middle of the Red Light District on Oudekerksplein 23 is the Oude Kerk (Old Church), which, as the name suggests, is the oldest place of worship in Amsterdam.
  • If you need a peaceful place to relax in Amsterdam, stop into the Vandelpark, which is located a few blocks east of the Van Gogh Museum.
  • One of the nicest ways to see Amsterdam is by taking a boat tour. Boats leave from points opposite the Central Station and near the Rijksmuseum (on Stadhouderskade).

Arts and Museums

  • Rijksmuseum (State Museum) [Stadhouderskade 42]: This museum, which is one of the most important in Europe, houses an extensive collection of Dutch paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries as well as works by other European masters.
  • Van Gogh Museum [Paulus Potterstraat 7]: For Van Gogh fans this museum is an absolute must, since it houses the world's largest collection of the artist's works.
  • Rembrandthuis [Jodenbreestraat 4-6]: The great Flemish painter lived in this house for over twenty years.
  • Sex Museum [Damrak 18 / near the Central Station]: a surprisingly tasteful exhibition on all aspects of human sexuality. (And I mean ALL!) Recommended only for those over 21 years old.
  • Another off-beat museum to try is the Torture Museum at Single 447 [near the Flower Market]

Night Life

  • A wide variety of bars and dance clubs can be found around the Leidseplein and Rembrandtsplaein. The most famous dance club is Escape (Rembrandtplein 11-15).
  • The Jordan area is renowned for its "brown cafés" with their rich wooden furniture and smoky ambiances.
    For a Jazz experience try the Bimhuis [Oude Scans 73-77].
  • In the Vondelpark is the Filmmuseum, where you can watch classic films in the theaters art deco cinema. 

Shopping

  • The big shopping streets in Amsterdam are Kalverstraat, Utrechtsestraat and Nieuwendijk, which are loaded with an endless string of popular stores.
  • The Magna Plaza is located in the old post office behind the Royal Palace in the Dam Square and has a huge variety of stores.
  • An Antique Market is located at Elandsgracht 109 and sells just about everything. It is open Sun-Thurs.
  • An art market is held every Sunday at the Thorbeckplein.
  • The Waterlooplein Flea Maket is open Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4pm and has tons of inexpensive junk.