Friday, January 27, 2006

Amsterdam next weekend


Last night M and I purchased trains tickets to Amsterdam for next weekend. We are now trying to decide what to do while there. Does any one have any "must sees?" Please do not recommend the Red Light District because as two gay men I don't think we really care to go there. :) We have read some information about Amsterdam and we are thinking about going to the Rembrandt Museum, Van Gogh Museum, the Heineken Brewery and the Albert Cuyp market. However, we are open to any and all suggestions. Can you recommend your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, club, pub, cafe or whatever. We are leaving Saturday morning and will return Sunday evening. Luckily it is only a two hour train ride. We are going to eat breakfast on the train and check into our hotel once we arrive. That reminds me: What is the best hotel? Does anyone have a small bed and breakfast they've tried and wanted to share a good tip? Thanks in advance everyone.

12 Comments:

Blogger Queerbeet said...

try google with "gay bed and breakfast amsterdam" or "gay amsterdam" only

7:16 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I've only been to Amsterdam once. I was shown around by local Dutchies. I'd advise going to the local tourist info area. You can get some good pointers I'm sure and a map.

I'd also make a point of it to ride one of the small boats down on a canal. It's fun and a great way to relax and see the city. I loved that!

I know there are some cool shops near the red light to check out. I only went during the day because my friends insisted we see the RLD.

I wish I could give you more hints. I just remember Nijmegen which has hills and great great shopping. Oh you might try trip advisor!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

The tour agent in me found some good top sites to see quickly... And it was the National Museum (Rijksmuseum) which I saw - SEE that!!!

Here's a top list. (not mine)

Anne Frank House (Anne Frankhuis), Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
National Museum (Rijksmuseum), Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Keukenhof, Lisse, Noord-Holland
Red Light District, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
National Museum of Modern Art (Stedelijk Museum), Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Dam Square, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Amstelkring Museum (Our Lord in the Attic Chapel), Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Sauna Deco, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Artis Zoo, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland

B&B's look into
Suite 259, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland (4 stars rate)
And more

And this link

Really I highly recommend this site. Even after living in Switzerland, I took advise from some people and loved what they had to say.... :)

(I think P and I are going to have to plan a visit!)

8:58 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Yup - all of the highlights I would recommend have been recommended!

11:50 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

your trip sounds great! take lots of pictures:)

12:18 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

James, I am gonna make this quick because I just spent an hour typing you a great response that has somehow manage to dissapear. So here we go again..... I love Amsterdam and if you say yes, (Dear James and Matt, please say yes.)I would love to join you on your journey.(HINT HINT)( I can't talk the wife into going again with me, and she sure as hell won't let me go alone. Perhaps with you and Matt I'll get the OK). Yea, shes afraid of me going to "THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT". Just between you and I, I'm a strait guy and the red light doesn't even begin to look good to me. Ewwwwww, hookers!! I do admit that I have walked that street with the wife and I just didn't see the big attraction. Ewwwwww hookers! I have been to Amsterdam 5 times now and all my visits were in the dead of winter. Remember to dress warm, 'cuz the cold there will cut a man like a knife and make him want to cry. I did cry!! Once you get off the train there in the central station there is lots of info booths that you can use to book you a room of any size or at any location. I have heard that Amsterdam has a great gay community as well as a jumping nightlife, I just don't know any more info on that subject. I have stayed at 5 different hotels in Amsterdam, and in my oppinion the best was the big boat hotel that is really close to the Central Station. When you leave the Station turn left and you cant miss it. As far as things to do and see, Im afraid that all I can offer is this. If you have ever seen a wax figure of any kind, then don't bother seeing the Madame Tussaud's wax museum. I saw the one on pier 39 and this one was just as boring. (Honestly, how many times can you say "oooohhhh Thats soooo real?) My wife and I went to see the Ann Frank Museum the last time we were there and we, (O.K.... I,....was really fascinated with it. Try to see the movie before you go just so you can give me your impressions of the movie and the real world house. Another thing we did was to take a canal tour of Amsterdam. That was really really cool. So maybe your wondering what I did during 5 visits to Amsterdam (Or, as I call it,.... Mecca!) Yup, I was studying coffeshop architecture. The coffee shops in The big "A" are world famous. So beautifull and so interesting.It is just a shame that when I was acctualy in a coffee shop I always forgot to order coffee. James, if your looking for info on the coffee shops that sell very little coffee, then Im your huckelberry. I know ALL of the coffee shops and have a wealth of info regarding each and every one. Feel free to contact me with questions regarding the coffeeshops of Amsterdam. Hey!!! Enjoy the big A and feel free to contact me regarding anything.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Definitely a canal-boat tour, James, (day or night) and we'd recommend the National/Rijksmuseum if you can only go to one. We toured the Anne Frank house and were very moved...and it's right on one of the scenic canals.

Have a great weekend and tell us "everything" once you return!

12:39 PM  
Anonymous magnus said...

Trust me, Red Light is a good place for gay men. There are a few bars in the Warmoestraat. Further, it is the oldest part of Amsterdam, so if you lift your eyes above the level of shop- and girl windows there is a lot to see.
The most beautiful museum is situated in the Red Light. It is the Amstelkring or also known as 'Our Lord in the Attic'. I think that that one paired with van Gogh and mabye van Loon would be more than enough for a short trip like yours.

Do not go to Heineken. It isn't even a brewery any more. Instead go for a beer at Brouwerij het IJ, an Amsterdam micro brewery. Try their Ijwit.

Enjoy.

11:57 AM  
Blogger alala said...

I went with my 8-year-old son a few years ago (so no Red Light District for us!). We really enjoyed the canal tour and the Stedelijk (modern art museum). We also liked Nemo (the science museum) and the Artis zoo a lot, though that may have been because one of us was a kid.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

I've been to Amsterdam more times than I can count, but I don't have hotel recommendations since I always stay with a friend.

However, I second magnus's comment: Do NOT go to Heineken. It sucks. You pay 5€ for a tour of a non-functional factory. The only upside is that the tour comes with beer. The downside is that it's Heineken.

I do suggest that you try out Boom Chicago-- http://www.boomchicago.nl/ -- it's a Chicago style comedy club in the heart of Amsterdam. Do not go for the food, just for the comedy.

Be sure you bring your passport--even though you're within the Schengen group, I've had both Dutch and German immigratioin come through the train.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Sparky said...

Also, make sure to see the Vermeer pictures, whereever they are at the moment (they travel through the museums - last time I went, the National museum had them, but make sure).

I second the notion that the REdLightDistrict might be a good idea for gay men, too - specifically the Erotic museum. They have all kinds of weird shit there ;).

- sparky

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Tim said...

As a lot of Amsterdam highlights have already been mentioned I'd simply like to add a little one:

Don't forget to go to a "Friture" (also called "Snackbar") and order "Frites Speciaal" (also called "Patat Speciaal") - french fries with mayonnaise, ketchup (I'd suggest curry ketchup) and fresh onions. It's a typical snack in the Netherlands and it's really worth a try. Further more, they have delicious "Frikandel" (a kind of fried sausage, also available as "Frikandel Speciaal") and "Kroket" there (a fried something with either meat, mushrooms or asperges in it). If you don't like the "speciaal" kind of french fries, you can also try them with different sauces, for example with "pindasaus" (peanut sauce) or plain "fritessaus" (mayonnaise).

And if you don't like my suggestions, just check out the numerous Asian restaurants all over the city. You can enjoy specialties from the former Dutch colonies there...

However, have a nice meal! :-)

12:49 PM  

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