Destinations – Amsterdam

amsterdam canals mytravelswithmymum.com

Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Everything in Amsterdam is easy to get to, either by wandering down quaint roads, boating down canals or by trams and buses.
Of course you can rent bikes but as Elderly Traveler I wouldn’t recommend it, I tried for 5 minutes and rode into a tram track and face planted it on the road.

The Amsterdam central train station is just that- central.

 amsterdam_central_station mytravelswithmymum.com

From here you can walk through the city, its the interchange for trams and buses and a starting point for many canal cruises.
Amsterdam earned its name of “Venice of the North” because it has so many canals, and it is on the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
The canal cruises, lasting from an hour to day, half day and evening are a relaxing and pleasant way to see the city.
When we last visited in July 2014 there were 4 companies based near Amsterdam central train station and the prices didn’t differ by much.

A Tip- If there are crowds, book a ticket for a time slot then turn up for that time. Turn up early to get in the front of the line to get better seats.

Museums
To see every museum in Amsterdam can take days. So pick your museum to plan your day around.
The most popular are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Both are well worth visiting.
We took the bus or a tram to the museums from Amsterdam central train station – the bus 170 towards Uithoorn via Amstelveen and the number 2 tram towards Nieuw Sloten.

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We also walked to the Anne Frank House, it is a must-see. It takes around 20 minutes to walk from the Central Station to the museum. Trams 13, 14 and 17 and buses 170, 172 and 174 stop nearby, at the ‘Westermarkt’ stop.
Anne Frank’s house is easy enough to spot because even though it’s not even 9am the queue to get in is already over 100 people long.
The first room that you go into is an empty room except for a TV on the wall. This plays a video outlining the story of the house and the situation that made the house famous. Most people watching are in tears before the film clip is even half way through.

A TIP – Buy entrance tickets online.
I bought tickets on-line before we left Australia so we are able to bypass the line (you have to nominate a day and time of visit), we just walk to a separate entry door; ring the bell and we’re in.

It’s convenient, and it saves a lot of queuing time.
Each visitor must have a valid ticket showing a unique barcode, which will be scanned. You must print your tickets as clearly as possible, and  keep them carefully. You can print the tickets in black and white or colour.
There is only a limited amount of online tickets available for each time slot. If its peak season every day and timemytravelswithmymum.com can be sold out months in advance. We planned our Amsterdam stay times around when I could get tickets.
During regular hours, you can always visit the museum and buy a ticket on the spot. When we were leaving the entry queue was approximately 2 to 2.5 hours from the door. There are very few seats and can be warm. Plan ahead.

 

 

After you have seen the main museums then there are the remaining 50 different museums.
There are museums dedicated to cats, torture, brothels and… carnal knowledge… just to name a few.

Shopping

 amsterdam markets mytravelswithmymum.com
There are 12 daily outdoor markets, 15 markets which are open one or two days of the week and several markets which open on a certain days.
Waterlooplein Flea market is a big outdoor bazaar, best for the second hand clothing and full of general bric-a-brac.
15 minutes from the Dam square, east. Located behind the Red Light district, near the Rembrandt house. By tram: 14 from Central Station (stop: Stadhuis)
Antique Center Antiekcentrum Amsterdam (previously De Looier) is an antique market, which takes almost the whole block of houses between Looiersgracht and Elandsgracht – all of them under one roof, as this is one of the few covered markets in Amsterdam.
 amsterdam markets mytravelswithmymum.com

Visit the Flower Market – Bloemenmarkt _ remember Australians can not bring in bulbs to Australia
Albert Cuyp street market for bargains on food and clothes

Diamond shopping. Top-notch stores such as Gassan and Coster offer visitors tours to explain the process of cutting and polishing diamonds, with a stop at the end to peruse their dazzling collections.
Coster Diamonds is conveniently located in the centre of Amsterdam, right between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

The Heineken store is has more than 250 unique products and a Beershop. The Heineken store is between Rembrandt square and Waterloo square.

Producers of traditional Dutch cheese have so many beautiful cheese shops around the city.
I bought a ‘hunk of cheese ‘ for a picnic later.

amsterdam pot

 

Coffee Shops

A Tip – Watch that it is a cafe not a coffee shop you venture into. Coffee shops offer ‘herbal’ products along side the coffee.
The Netherlands has a special tolerance policy on soft drugs. There are about 200 pot coffee shops in Amsterdam

 

Everything in Amsterdam is charming; and so many photo opportunities.

It was lovely to sit at the canal side bars or cafe and watch the world go by .

amsterdam-central-station-building

 

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About mytravelswithmymum
Traveling the world with my nearly 80 year old mum, The Joys and Challenges of traveling with an elderly traveler. Travel Hints, travel tips and destination guides for the traveller. I hope you enjoy reading our adventures and get some travel inspiration from them too

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