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Amsterdam in late August (fingers crossed)

Peabody

10+ Posts
After several cancelled trips to various locations, I have a good feeling about getting out this August. We will be ending a cruise in Amsterdam and plan to spend 4 nights there. We have visited Amsterdam on day trips passing through but never actually spent a few days there. So we have taken canal trips and visited the big museums including Anne Frank House. We are there from early Friday through mid-day Monday and are staying at the W which is not too far from the train station. Any recommendations on how best to spend our time in Amsterdam or on a possible day trip outside of Amsterdam? Good restaurants? Many thanks for any advice or suggestions!
 

Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
If you want some relaxed shopping, head out past the Museum Quarter, to PC Hoofstraat and surrounding roads. It's much less touristy, with a good range of shops.

Vondelpark is a large park and very actively used at the weekends. It's pleasant to walk through whether busy or not. In general I find walking the canals on a sunday morning is a joy, with the bustle replaced with calm serenity.

Whilst it's not a great market IMO, the Albert Cuypstraat market is still a decent experience, with some enough good stalls to hold interest.

The 9 streets house some great little shops and there is a pleasant vibe about these roads (runstraat, herenstraat etc.). You'll find classy, bohemian and specialist shops here, none more specialist that the toothbrush shop! On Runstraat is the wonderful cheese shop Kaaskamer, with an international range (including smoked mozzarella - the wet stuff, not scamorza) last time I went, but also some fine local cheeses. Whilst in the city, try (and buy if ok to take home) some of the wonderful local mustard and dill sauce. Other countries do it, but we've always been very impressed by what we've tasted here.

In terms of bars, shops & restaurants, don't ignore the suburbs and visiting them gives a different (and generally more relaxed) experience e.g. one place many years ago that had a fine selection of Dutch and Belgian beers, decent food and a lively but convivial atmosphere.

If you've not been on previous trips, I would recommend an early-mid evening walk around the red light district, when it's relaxed, popular and convivial, so you can think about this different approach to other countries, but even then, keep money / valuables safely tucked away from pickpockets. It's not somewhere I'd return to, but I liked the way it made me think about whether open and regulated, or hidden and unregulated is the right approach.

Finally food. It's been so long that any recommendations would risk being out of date. Hence general comments.
- Loads of different cuisines available. This can be good and bad. We had a lamentable meal in an Italian restaurant, but have had other good meals in Portuguese, South African etc. restaurants as well as a better Italian out in the suburbs (Lairessestraat from memory)
- In particular we've really enjoyed eating at an Ethiopian restaurant off Overtoom that I lost the address of, but we retraced our steps through memory. I *think* this is it: https://www.lalibela.nl/ with the wonderfully fluffy pancakey flatbreads and very flavoursome food. Very relaxed and friendly as well. Note though that the menu looks different, but it's been plenty of years since we've been, so understandable.
- Whether unlucky or not, the Indonesian food hasn't excited me in Amsterdam, though some may argue Ristaffel is Amsterdam's cuisine!
 
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Peabody

10+ Posts
Ian and Eleanor - Thank you so much for the responses!
I actually just told my husband last night that we need to include the "church in the attic" on our To Do list. Your pictures are wonderful.
Ian, your detailed response is great. We are not really shoppers as a rule but that toothbrush store is going on the must see list! And once you mentioned the cheese stop, my husband's enthusiasm soared. And I love the idea of a Sunday morning stroll on our own along the canals. We are early risers and really love seeing a city as it wakes and fills for the day.
One thing I know we want to do is go back and look at the gable stones on the side of the museum. We did a walking tour that rushed by these and would like to take some time to really see them.
 

Mark

100+ Posts
I knew Ian would chime in, I have his list of restaurants he recommended from another forum from 2016.

Otherwise this was a fun thing to do in Amsterdam
Dam Boat Guys also check out the link to guide to surviving the Dutch under the Dam Good Stuff tab. Maybe a little off color, but is hilarious,

Free walking Tour of Amsterdam the guides do expect a tip

In Amsterdam
Restaurants we enjoyed very much
Restaurant Johannes
Restaurant Breda

Another persons notes, but it is right on canal and upu can sit outside, we enjoyed the stop
stam cafe, de Engelbawaarder at Klovensburgwal 59 http://cafe-de-engelbewaarder.nl/home-en/ and sample the beers
Fabulous selections, mostly from Belgium. Great place with wonderful staff. Good and reasonable food as well. t`s such as great place with good people and ownership. It`s the neighbourhood bar from heaven. The food is surprising really good. Fresh, good attention to quality and priced just above break even [for the students nearby at the U of Amsterdam]. Even the snacks in the day time are winners. Every Sunday, from 4.30 to 7.00 PM, (execpt July and August) our jazz band

There is a cheese shop also on the same straat across from the Nieuwmarkt plus a nearby good one, The Cheese Factory Warmoesstraat 56.

If your beverage request includes wine, go to Cave Rokin at Rokin 60
. We did stop in here and is a nice shop.

Information below may be a bit dated. Our trip was in 2016

Day trips
Harlem
By train
Trains from Amsterdam Central Station to Haarlem's beautiful station run numerous times an hour departing from track 1 or 2.
Franz Hals Museum
Groot Heiligland 62
2011 ES Haarlem
11am - 5pm
admission fee includes a free audio tour in English, French and German Free w/ Iam pass
http://www.franshalsmuseum.nl/en/

Grote Market

Grote Kerk

Corrie Ten Boom House

Barteljorisstraat 19, 2011 Haarlem
tours 10, 11:30, 1:30, 3:00
Specific times and languages of tours vary, so always check the clock in the alley
https://www.corrietenboom.com/old/information.htm

Molen de Adriaaan windmill
Papentorenvest 1A
http://www.molenadriaan.nl/en/
Saturday 10.30 to 17.00
A visit to the mill offers a 45 minute guided tour by an experienced guide.
Prices (including guide): Adults €3,50


Leiden
http://www.visitleiden.nl/en/see-do/experience
De Valk Windmill Museum € 4,00
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10.00 - 17.00

The Leidse Loper (Leiden Loop) is a self-guided city walk around the historic city centre of Leiden. Believe it or not but the street plan of Leiden has hardly changed since the 17th century and this walk will ensure you don’t miss the best bits. The Leidse Loper route is indicated by signposts around the city but you can also purchase a guidebook at the tourism office across from the train station.

A Colourful Market
On Wednesdays and Saturdays the streets of Botermarkt, Vismarkt, Aalmarkt and the Nieuwe Rijn come to life with the street market. Whether you are looking for fish, flowers, cheese or just want to people watch this is the place to be. Glimpses of the historical city as you shop sure don’t hurt either.

The Hague
Mauritshuis Musem
http://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/visit/plan-your-visit/ Not in Amsterdam
Welcome to the Mauritshuis! The Mauritshuis is home to the best Dutch paintings from the Golden Age. The compact, yet world-renowned collection, is situated in the heart of The Hague. Masterpieces such as Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt, The Goldfinch by Fabritius and The Bull by Potter are on permanent display in the intimate museum rooms of this seventeenth-century monument.
 

SMJ

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
I was there in 2017, and found out that you can take a public bus to Edam, Volendam and Marken; small towns in the "waterland" area just outside Amsterdam.
Sort of an all day ticket.
The bus station then was at the back of the railway station and up one level.
Then, it cost me E10 to go between each town, paying the driver; and I got a ferry over to Marken from Volendam as I'd just missed the bus to there.
Then bus home from Marken.
Lots to see, and eat! Plenty fish restaurants.
Also, just lovely to see the countryside, the harbours and the smaller towns.
I think I left around 10 am and got back to Amsterdam around 5pm.
 

Peabody

10+ Posts
Thank you Mark. Lots of good info there. I am working my way through it, considering all your suggestions.
SMJ - I saw your post and that is really what got me thinking about a day out of Amsterdam. It sounded like a great day trip. Thank you!
I realize we need to edit our plans. I had been thinking 4 days but really it is 3 days we have to tour. My initial thought is we spend Friday in Amsterdam and plan to do some walking, visit the cheese shops, stroll through the 9 streets area, visit the church in the attic and have a nice lunch somewhere. I need to sit and map this out to see what is doable.
Saturday - a trip outside of Amsterdam. We are torn between the "waterland" area as described by SMJ or a train trip to Delft or Haarlem.
Sunday - stroll the canals in the morning and maybe pick up a guided walk in the afternoon.
Monday - we plan to head to the airport early and try to visit the flower auction before we leave.
My husband says I enjoy planning the trip as much as the trip itself and he, for once LOL, isn't wrong!
Thank you all for the ideas and input.
 

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