A Weekend In Amsterdam

October 19, 2011 Netherlands 2 Comments 10,612 Views

Impressions Of A Weekend In Amsterdam.

When thinking about Amsterdam, what are the first three thoughts that come to you mind? Most people will think of these: Red light district, pot & liberality. Yes, it’ true that these distinguish Amsterdam but there is much more to this fantastic city. A couple of months ago, I decided that I wanted to go to Amsterdam again; for one weekend. I was really looking forward to it, and my friend Ines joined me. Even though it was going to be a short trip (arrival Friday night 10pm, departure Sunday morning 6am) we were excited to go there. Here are a couple of impressions & tips of “the Venice of the North”.

Hotel tip.
  • The Times Hotel – not the cheapest place (also not the most expensive) but a really lovely little design hotel. The neighborhood is fantastic (see the first photo below) & the staff is very friendly and helpful. We were upgraded to a canal-view room which was designed in the “old vs. new” style (wooden beams, crooked walls, flat screen TV, huge ceiling – we were right up in the tower -, trendy decoration & very modern bathroom). It was really cosy & homey and I can only recommend it.
Shopping tip.
  • There are so many cute little shops in Amsterdam but one really stood out: “Het Grote Avontuur” is an amazing vintage shop. Walking into the store almost felt like being beamed back in time straight into the 50’s. You’ll find furniture, posters, magazines, textiles, interior decoration, kitchen gadgets and heaps of other stuff.
  • If you’re looking for flower seeds, bird houses or herbs & spices, the flower market is the right spot for finding these. Even if you’re not a gardener it’s a great sight worth seeing.
Food tip.
  • Few words are enough for this one: Find an Indonesian restaurant! Yummy ;)
The Begijnhof is one of the oldest inner courts in the city of Amsterdam. A group of historic buildings, mostly private dwellings, centre on it.
The Begijnhof is one of the oldest inner courts in the city of Amsterdam. A group of historic buildings, mostly private dwellings, centre on it.
Cycling is a fun, efficient and easy way of getting around Amsterdam - just like the locals do.
Cycling is a fun, efficient and easy way of getting around Amsterdam – just like the locals do.
Walking along the canals in Amsterdam is especially cool in the morning. Then you'll get the chance to see the beautiful reflections.
Walking along the canals in Amsterdam is especially cool in the morning. Then you’ll get the chance to see the beautiful reflections.
Be it at breakfast, on sandwiches, cut in cubes and served with mustard, or even fried in a croquette, you can find an excuse to eat cheese any time of day.
Be it at breakfast, on sandwiches, cut in cubes and served with mustard, or even fried in a croquette, you can find an excuse to eat cheese any time of day.
Flowers - tulips in particular - in Amsterdam can be found in different forms; here you see tulips made out of wood.
Flowers – tulips in particular – in Amsterdam can be found in different forms; here you see tulips made out of wood.
And my camera was with me all the time ;)
And my camera was with me all the time.
Did you know?

You’ll find it on almost every house – whether it’s 400 or 4 years old – in Amsterdam: hooks – or as they are called in Holland “hijsbalk”. Beams stick out of the façade usually above the roof window. They are no historic artefacts; these hooks are still used today. The stairs in the houses of Amsterdam are extremely small and steep, therefore you (most likely) won’t be able to carry bulky things up the stairs. Instead you borrow a cable winch, fix it onto the hook and heave cupboards, pianos, etc. up through the window into the apartment. To prevent that these items hit the façade, the houses used to be built a little bit bent-forward.

Hooks can be found on pretty much all the buildings in Amsterdam.
Hooks can be found on pretty much all the buildings in Amsterdam.
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“Impressions Of A Weekend In Amsterdam.”

  1. Cool article!
    I found some good econimal priced houses for a short stay through “Amsterdam apartments vacation”. Maybe something for your next trip? Good travels:) !

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