Friday, 14 September 2012

VISIT: A Saturday in Amsterdam XX(X)

Amsterdam is quite a lovable city. And I'm not saying this because of my love to drugs and prostitutes, because I like neither of them, but because of the things you can see there. So when I had the chance to get a free ride home from there I got myself a ticket for an awfully early train to the Dutch capital and went there. Even though the train was quite cliché with more than one group of semi-grown up guys carrying their beer cases (filled with full and empty bottles... at 7 am).

Anyway, just in case you get an opportunity for a short trip to Amsterdam here are a few things you can do:






Check out the markets

After following my posts for a while you will probably know that there is no city trip without visiting a market. So for Amsterdam I went to two (actually planned to see three, but one time my plan was wrong and it did not take part on Saturdays), one being at Waterlooplein, where you find Vintage pieces for affordable prices and lots of bicycles, a market as like it. It takes part from Monday to Saturday (no guarantee there) and it was worth the visit. The second one was the Albert-Cuyp-Market in the South of Amsterdam, which is more of an "classical" market with groceries and miscellaneous things, I believe markets like represent a cities flair best, so make sure you check this one out. I loved drinking the awesome smoothies and you should look out for the really good fabric stores along the way, because there I got quite good bargains.

Walk down these streets

When you look into any guide to Amsterdam searching for "alternative" shopping streets they will advice you to go to "De 9 Straatjes", nine little streets filled with quite a lot of independent stores, offering (Vintage) clothing, and nice cafés. I really like it there, but it is still quite touristic and the prices for clothing a bit too much, so I never bought anything, window-shopping is the way to go.
Quite close to these streets is the district Jordaan which is also one of the more alternative parts of the city where you find nice little locations, when you do not have that much time walk at least along Rozengracht and Elandsgracht, but checking out the smaller streets around is definately worth the effort.

Visit these museums

Amsterdam is full of museums like every bigger city, but when you do not want to stay in a museum for the whole day I advice you to check out the Houseboat Museum, a lovely example for the typical boats in the canals all around the city. The entry fee is not too high (I got in for free because I am as tall as a child, damn) and you get to see something special.
Since I am a sucker for history I was quite keen on seeing the Anne Frank House where this sadly famous girl hid with her family during the Third Reich. I remember it as really good presented by especially creating a feeling of anxiety after seeing the narrowness of the room the whole family had to stay in. When you want to go there you should try to go quite early to avoid the queue because the place is always packed with tourists.

Have some good food

I am always surprised how close the Nieuwmarkt is to the lovely restaurant / café  Latei. While the first is packed with coffee shops (the ones selling not coffee, but other substances), souvenirs and Asian restaurants, the Latei seems to be completely different. You can buy nearly everything you see there (apart from the cat) whether it is your chair or a nice pair of shoes and the food is really good. Especially when its one of the evenings when they have Ethiopian food, I believe it is mainly on the weekends except some weeks in the summer...

This seems a lot, but one great thing about Amsterdam is that everything is really close, you can reach every location by simply walking around and even on the way you will see nice places, so its always also worth the walk. For all the Germans in the west: There are quite good train and bus deals to the city (hint, hint xP)




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