I’m going to Amsterdam in about 2 weeks. I’ve travelled alone before, but i’ve never been to Amsterdam and I’ll admit i’m a bit nervous about it. (Then again, I’m considering extending my stay there to 3 full days instaed of 2 to make sure I see everything.)

Has anyone here been there? Did you have fun? I’m not into clubbing that much anymore, but I enjoy lively pubs and bars.

I spent 3 months there last year with work. I loved it. I would move there in a heartbeat if I was offered a permanent move.

It’s a fantastic city. Lots to do and great bars. They don’t have big bars as a rule they have small places.

My favourite was Cafe Belgique which is just off Dam Square. It’s a great little(I mean little) Belgian bar with fantastic beers. Be warned though most are very strong.

Coffeshops(the smoking kind) are nice and cool. Most are non alcoholic shops but some seel alcohol still. Many bars allow you to smoke but don’t sell. Cafe Belgique is one of them :wink:

3 days is a good amount of time for A’dam as it isn’t a large city.

Things to see.

Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum

The 3 things above may mean a bit of a queue though so be warned.

The Heineken tour isn’t that bad and the Red Light District is a late night walk. Just ignore the guys that mumble to you about coke and E and you’ll have no problems.

It’s a very safe city to walk around so I wouldn’t be too concerned about safety but obviously since it’s a city don’t walk around with your wallet in your hand etc. :wink:

You will love it, I guarantee it. One of the most beautiful, relaxed and cool places I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Oh and if you’re a meat eater Cafe De Klos is a must. Nice pub with amazing ribs. Close to Leidseplein which is one of the main tourist areas and somewhere you will be. Also in leidseplein you will find Boom Chicago which is a comedy club. It’s an American groupo who run it and it is also a must visit night time show.

I was in Holland for a week in April – stayed in Haarlem, which is about 15 miles from Amsterdam, so we went in a couple of times. Great city – I felt completely safe as a woman walking around alone. The great thing, for a relentlessly monolingual person like myself, is that everyone speaks some English, and most people working in shops, museums, etc., are pretty damn fluent.

The Rijkmuseum is currently in the middle of a major rehab, but they do have a “greatest hits” exhibition up in one wing.

I had several people recommend taking a canal tour, and definitely would have if I’d had more time.

There are a few Dopers (including, but not limited to, Coldie and Heloise) in or near Amsterdam – I was able to meet up with the two of them. We had lunch and walked around a little bit, but they had other plans for that evening so were unable to give me the full tour, which they were perhaps more disappointed about than I was.

It’s an amazing city – you’ll love it.

The Boom Chicago site also has some very good primers for the city as well.

I was there with the family for a week or so in April. Nice city to see though dirtier than some other European cities.

It’s easy to get caught up in the smoking and sex shop thing but there’s a lot of good family stuff there, too. The floating flower mart is good, though at the time we were there they wouldn’t ship to the US. There are some great parks to scene-make in if that’s your thing and some shopping that’s different than anything you’d normally see.

It’s a good time.

Wow! thanks for the quick replies, all. I guess I’m wary of being bored once I’m alone there. But with thethings you all wrote and what I’ve researched online I’m thinking of extending my trip from 23 to 26 august to 22 til 26 august just to give myself some additional time there. I’ve heard the lines for museums can be long, but I can relax at an outdoor cafe and watch people for hours also.

As I said i did three months, most of it alone. Lots of tourists, students there in bars so what I did was sit at the bar and chat to people/staff. Never felt lonely at all.

Oh and I had the lovely Heloise cook me a fantastic dinner in her and Coldie’s. Good times.

You can get museum tickets at the VVV (the tourist office) which is located just across from the Central Station.

A friend and I did this last year for the Van Gogh Museum - the queue for tickets at the musuem was pretty long before the museum opened. Having bought our tickets already meant we were able to walk straight in when the museum opened.

Search these boards, Jolly Roger. There are some great threads with pointers for Amsterdam visits around.

The Hotel Victoria across from the Central Train Station has a bar that is usually full of expats. As well as a nice friendly bartender Derek Fisher. (If he’s still there)

There is lots to do. I’ve been to the city many times I even once took a day tour in and around Amsterdam and found out more that I did on my own.

A Must is Anne Frank’s house.

Hmmm…I booked a room at the Hotel De Korenaer. it was cheap, and it doesn’t look like a palace, but then, I’m not picky and I really just need a place to sleep it off. I’ll look for Derek, though.

I might get jealous if i meet a lot of expats though. For some reason i’ve always been happier in Europethan i have in the US. (But then again, I’m from…ugh…Delaware…)

Actually change that. I had to swtich hotels to the Damrak Inn. The suggestions here and the prodding of my coworker convinced me to change my flight to leave a day earlier and thus change my hotel bookings. The original hotel wasn’t avialable at those dates.

Still, both hotels seem to be in the same area, so I’m happy.

That hotel looks fine. In fact inspried by this thread I’ve just booked a 3 day mid-week break there next month :smiley:

Still? They were fixing that when I was there 4 years ago.
Amsterdam is a really cool city (and not just because of the prostitutes and weed). In addition to the Rijkmuseum, I would recomend the Heinekin brewery and the Van Gogh Museum. Or just walk around checking out canals.

I’m not interested in prostitutes and I can’t do weed s I guess i’ll just have to settle for sightseeing and drinking. :slight_smile:

There’s always 'shrooms :smiley:

I appreciate all of the advice I’ve gotten in this thread. I’m flying tomorrow for amsterdam. I plan on getting a pass for the trains and buses for a few days if possible and if anyone has any info on that please let me know! I hope i have a good time!

I haven’t been there for almost 14 years, but the public transit tickets are a good idea. I picked one up for the length of my stay. I’d start walking and when I as done, I could just catch a ride back.

I’ll second taking a canal ride. Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s a good way to see lots of city while someone else explains what you are seeing.

Just enjoy yourself. Have a wander about the Jordaan, smoke some weed, drink some beer. I will say that a canal trip - although very touristy - is just great! Buy some flowers. Lie in the Vondelpark. There’s a great pub at the top of the Red Light District - near the old church although I think that the locals call it the new church - table service and it is one of the world’s great people watching venues. There’s another great pub on the corner behind Teasers that is also great for people watching. If you find yourself in The Doors on the Singel, say hello to Daniel for me. And the Rokerij. The Gray Area too. Possibly Abraxas. And get a breakfast in Barneys on the Harlemerstraat.

I spent a couple of days there about … ohh… 15 years ago. Loved it. Nice people, and no problems with speaking English only. Stay out of trouble!