Amsterdam shopping

Amsterdam-shopping

Amsterdam is a great place for shopping, especially for antiques, books, diamonds, and curiosities. You have to adjust your Amsterdam shopping according to the weekend, so that you can start right after the shops open up at 1 pm on Mondays till 6pm, and from 9/10 am to 6pm from Tuesday to Friday. Enjoying night shopping, say until 9 pm, is also available but on Thursdays in most shops. But everyone closes on Saturdays at 5pm to catch some hours of the week end!  Some supermarkets are an exception to the timing schedule and stay opened until 8 or 10 pm. Cars are banned to enter many roads in the city center, the thing which is in favor for pleasant shopping! But don’t get me wrong, you will still find busses, trams, taxis and bicycles, so watch out!

Let’s start at Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat which is a pedestrian area of about 1 km, and full of shops, this is the area for your shopping in Amsterdam! There is nearly no traffic there, only a constant stream of tourists, students, scholars, excursionists and locals! You’ll find there mainly clothes (more specifically sportswear), music and gift shops with that special Amsterdam vibe. Let’s go to the famous Dam square, the most important square in the center of Amsterdam, where you can find Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat road. More shoes, clothing, bags, gift shops, cards, perfume, and the usual coffee shop, local and worldwide famous fast food chains (some of them have more than one branch in the very same road!) and ice cream salon!

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Amsterdam Join a Dutch family for dinner

ThePotatoEaters-vangogh

If you visit Amsterdam, you can’t miss a very popular Amsterdam area there called “De Pijp” (or “The Pipe”). This area is known for its long houses built in the 19th century style. Although long as I just mentioned, the houses are small as a pipe drawer! That’s why the area got that strange name.

What is even more surprising about these Amsterdam’s houses are their back yards. They have big gardens (as if compensating the pipe houses!) with big and beautiful old trees. Some of these gardens are somehow ‘hidden’ by large plants; these are the gardens that allow you to join the family who lives there, after reservation, for an original Dutch dinner with Dutch food!

But you should accustom your eating clock a little if you are European. That’s because in Amsterdam the Dutch eat their dinner very early at about 6 p.m. , so you should consider skipping lunch! Potatoes are the favorite of all times. Even the famous artist Van Gogh expressed the Dutch’s habitual eating of potatoes in his famous painting ‘The potato eaters’ !

You will probably be served a dish which is a mixture of smashed potatoes and vegetables. As a garnish, the mixture will be shaped in a ring manner and the central gap will be filled with what they call ‘jus’. Jus is a mixture of butter, the fat of the meat and water.

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Parking in Amsterdam

Parking-amsterdam

Traffic jams are a trademark to European cities. The traffic tip that is European-wide spread is: don’t take the car if there are other options!
In Amsterdam, there authorities try to make their best to solve the problem of the crowded city center, to solve the traffic in Amsterdam. They offered to the people, whether residents or tourists, to leave their cars in free parking areas and use public transport to move around Amsterdam.

 

 

Yet, if you still have to go downtown with your car, then get ready for paying! The whole parking in Amsterdam spaces are managed by parking meters. That’s why if you intend to stay longer than a couple of hours it’s recommended to buy a parking ticket. Amsterdam Parking tickets are available in day or week options.

As for a day ticket, it is divided into day (morning) tickets and night tickets. The day/morning ticket is valid in the entire city from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., but not afterwards! It costs around € 26. To park in the evening you need the other day option which is the night ticket which is valid from 7 p.m. till midnight. But the price here is not for the entire city, it varies depending on the part you wish to park in. However, it ranges from  € 4,40 up to € 17,60.

A week ticket for the entire city costs € 158,40.

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The Queen’s day

Amsterdam is a very culturally rich city. It has witnessed many festivals and events along history. In 2008, a total count of festivals revealed that there are around 140 festivals in Amsterdam per year!
The most prestigious event is the Koninginnedag or the Queen’s Day. It’s not just a local event being celebrated in Amsterdam by its people. It’s a national one! Many Dutch come to the city from various cities to join the local Amsterdam residents there celebration.
It is that day that turns Amsterdam to a big market place! Many shops offer discounts and free offers in the occasion of the Queen’s Day. Also there are many music concerts that are held in the same day to make the celebration ‘sounds’ even more nice!
But you may ask yourself, what day in the Queen’s life is celebrated? Is it her birthday, or maybe the day she headed the thrown? Or even her marriage day?
Actually there are 2 Queen Days in the Dutch history! Originally, the day was celebrated as the birthday of the Queen. But later on, and up till now, they decided to change it to be celebrated on another birthday which is that of the late Queen-mother (Juliana). This was for 2 main reasons in my opinion. The first is to preserve the memory of the late Queen, which’s a formal reason. The second reason is that the new date, April 30, is expected to have a better weather!
The government is very sincere in celebrating the Queen’s day to the extent that if April 30 happens to be a Sunday in a year, Koninginnedag is celebrated on the day before which is April 29!

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Getting around

airport

Amsterdam

Of course, every traveler knows which method is best for his energy and strength. We are pleased to enjoy Amsterdam on foot, to explore all peaceful and meandering views not too struggled to walk and relax in one of the channels (thanks to the sun that we have in the three-day visit!). There is a tram rail that seemed efficient (but we have not tested).
It might be an idea to rent a bicycle (though if you can find among the thousands parked!) But do not recommend the car (really “cumbersome” and not very agile in the centre). For more willing ones (even in summer) suggest – why not? – The pedal … we spotted someone and should be fun to navigate channels so people…
Point out (for having tested positive outcomes) the shuttle service from the airport to major hotels: Connexxion Airport Hotel Transfer. Witness also the excellent punctuality of the trains (although only tested in the stretch Amsterdam-Utrecht).
In any case for any information on transport, please contact the Tourist Office in Amsterdam (a white building opposite the station). Before leaving, however, see the website Visit Amsterdam and in the detail page on transport. Other useful info in general on the sites mentioned below.
The paper Amsterdam (The Amsterdam card) offers unlimited use of public transport, a boat trip on and free in almost all the city’s museums. You can choose between several options: for 24 hours (cost € 33 in January 2005) to 48 (cost € 43) and 72 (cost € 53). Evaluate whether it can serve … You can buy at the Tourist Information Office in Amsterdam (Stationsplein 10, opposite the Central Station), within the Central Station (stop tour to the track 2), airport (Holland Tourist Information, hall 2 arrivals) and in many hotels.

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Netherlands

events

film

Travelers who have planned to take a tour of the Netherlands in 2009 will be just in time to witness the country’s major events. These events from historical events to cultural events are all a great way to have fun.

The International film festival is considered as a major event in the Netherlands. The celebration will be held from January 1, 2009 to February 28, 2009. This usually attracts the top names in the world of film and many film buffs. Rotterdam provides a quality range of an international independent, experimental and innovative visual and cinema arts. This festival supports an independent film making through screening and identifying quality movies from the entire world. This is the site to discover new film making talents. Also included in their festival agenda are social events, debates, and visual art exhibitions.

As you visit Netherlands, you may take pleasure in witnessing the Cannabis Cup that was conducted annually. This significant event happens every November yearly. All participants are judges of the Cannabis, which take tour from booth to booth sampling cannabis while selecting their favorite.

One of the most excellent historical events in Netherlands is termed as the Windmill Days. This has been held at the open-air museum and renovated old village of Zanstreek, near the north of Amsterdam. It is open to the people from the month of March till October.

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Amsterdam Science and Technology Center (NEMO)

Amsterdam Science and Technology Center (NEMO)

Amsterdam Science and Technology Center (NEMO)

Many cities throughout the world have their own version Science and Technology Centers, where visitors can come in and learn about science and technology through hands-on exhibits. The NEMO Science and Technology Center in Amsterdam has a constantly changing set of displays and experiments available and it is a perfect place to take the children to learn about how the world around them “works”. Of course, people of all ages can enjoy the facility and the informations that can be discovered in NEMO Science and Technology Center.
NEMO Science and Technology Center is located within walking distance of the Central Station and get there by Metro is the easiest way. It is a terrific place to spend a good portion of the day, especially if you are traveling with your children. NEMO Science and Technology Center building also has a curious an architectural style, with a large unique trapezoidal structure, painted in a vibrant green that stands out like a beacon amid in the old-world architecture of Amsterdam.
Location: Oosterdok 2 Amsterdam 1011 VX

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