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View Diary: Baltic Photo Travelogue Part 1 - Amsterdam (Photo heavy) (52 comments)

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  •  Thanks for showcasing my new new home! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotac

    I especially enjoyed seeing "our" windmill array (it looms up near where we live) and the Bimhuis. Moved here earlier this year and really, REALLY loving it!

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures. Sorry you missed Pride, it's a bit of a madhouse in the day and an insane party at night, but fun...

    A few A'dam tips and answers for questions below...

    If you'd like the "cruise experience" on a budget, take the ferry over from Harwich in the UK. It comes in at Hoek of Holland, and you can be in A'dam in about 2 hours -- train runs right through the tulip field area and via other major cities. Or, bring your bike, there are cycle paths between cities as well as in them. You can continue on to Norway etc. as well via the Hoek. If I had to make a short list of 5 companies that I think provide great service and a great product, Stena Line Ferries would definitely be on it. Their rail/ferry/bike package is perfect :-)

    Can you buy COFFEE in an Amsterdam coffeeshop? Yes, of course, we like our coffee! I recommend De Republiek on the west side. De Dampkring or De Tweede Kamer in the city centre are also good. For coffee (and weed). Just be aware that some coffeeshops are takeaways, some cater to obnoxious tourists and are priced accordingly, and some are more like a neighbourhood bar.

    The Artis Zoo is a great place to go if you come out of season for tulips, fantastic floral displays and landscaping as well as fascinating animals. In the summer there are often concerts there in the evening. I'm generally not a big fan of zoos, especially when it comes to big cats (who often look miserable) but they are clearly trying hard.

    For something free and fun to do, check out the parks on the west side. Westerpark (where the old gasworks are) stretches on into another park, and then joins on with the De Bretten nature preserve. Within this row of parks there are three tuinparks, where people like me live part of the year in a tiny house on a garden plot, in a community of gardens. These range from arty and wierd to picture-perfect, and you're welcome to have a look around at almost any of them during the daytime. Westerpark has a great Sunday market and is a super place for a picnic.

    If you want to see live music, BE SURE to check the listings at the Bimhuis--which is right by the ferry terminal. It has one of the best sound designs and most fantastic nighttime views ever seen in a music venue, and is well programmed with a variety of jazz and jazz-related music ("world music," improvised, electronic etc., even if you think you don't like jazz chances are they will have something on that you will enjoy).

    Oh yeah--and getting out of Amsterdam is cheap and easy. Haarlem is a superb day trip, especially when the boermarkt (farmer's market) is on, so are the coastal dunes.

    Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
    "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

    by expatyank on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:30:47 AM PDT

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