Amsterdam with its gingerbread houses, narrow canals, bridges and bicycles creates a wonderful mood and the perfect backdrop for romantic walks. You can spend hours walking around the city, studying its absolutely fantastic architecture and enjoying the atmosphere of freedom and creativity that Amsterdam is so famous for. Although the most common means of transportation in the city is bicycle, we advise you to rent a car to drive around the Amsterdam area. Outside the city, many beautiful places are hidden where you can quickly and comfortably get by car.
Schiphol Airport ( Amsterdam is Schiphol Airport then ) - download scheme
IATA code: the AMS
Location: 9 km southwest of Amsterdam
Official website: www.schiphol.nl
Background: +31 20 794 0800
car rental in Amsterdam airport car rental companies offer such as Avis , Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, Sixt, Europcar, Thrifty and others. The airport has several short and long term parking lots of different price categories. You can use the Smart Parking service and rent a parking space in advance.
The palace was built in the middle of the XVII century and was originally used as a city hall. Before his appearance, large houses were not built in Amsterdam, since the marshy soil simply could not stand them. The palace architect - Jacob van Kampen - decided to take a chance and built a solid platform, laying on it wooden piles 18 meters long. The experiment was a success - the palace has been standing firmly in the center of Amsterdam for several centuries and is considered the main architectural monument of the capital. Do not be surprised when you do not find the magnificent front door to the palace: after the Anabaptists (participants in the radical movement of the Reformation era) stormed the town hall in 1535, demonstrations and street strikes often took place in Amsterdam; a narrow passage, replacing the front door, protected the building from the rebels and made it more impregnable.
De Nieuwe Kerk, Dam www.nieuwekerk.nl
The main church of the Netherlands, it is here where the coronation ceremony of the monarchs takes place. The church burned several times and was repeatedly restored, its current interior belongs to the Golden Age. A unique organ was established here, created in 1655: musicians from different regions of the country still come to Amsterdam for it. We advise you to look here at a concert of organ music (tickets begin to be sold half an hour before the concert). Now the church does not hold services, it is used for exhibitions, lectures and even antique fairs.
Gabriel Metsustraat 13 www.vangoghmuseum.nl
Amsterdam's most famous museum, which owns the world's largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings. Here you can see such famous works by the artist as “Sunflowers”, “Bedroom in Arles” and “Potato Eaters”. The museum also exhibits works by contemporaries of Van Gogh: Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Paul Signac, Pablo Picasso and some others. Next to the museum is the Rijksmuseum, founded by the King of Holland Louis Bonaparte and owning a wonderful collection of works by Dutch masters of the 15th – 19th centuries. By the way, in the nearby Museum Square you will find a red and white inscription “I amsterdam”, which has become the same symbol of the city as bicycles, narrow canals and small bridges.
Prinsengracht 267 www.annefrank.org
In the shadow of the high bell tower of Westerkerk stands a small house with a secret extension, in which from 1942 to 1944 a Jewish girl Anna Frank, the author of the well-known diary “Vault”, was hiding with her family. The Franks House remained the same as it was at that time. There is practically no furniture here, as it was confiscated after the whole family was deported to Westerbork concentration camp. On the walls are preserved photographs of movie stars that Anna herself hanged; on the wallpaper in some places even pencil marks are visible - these are the parents noted the growth of their daughters. There are always a lot of tourists in the museum, this is one of the most visited places in Amsterdam, so we recommend that you book your tickets online in advance.
Oosterdok 2 www.e-nemo.nl
The largest science museum in the Netherlands, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the author of the Pompidou Center project in Paris. Most of the museum exhibits are made from improvised materials specifically for visitors to touch, twist, twirl and use simple examples to study complex physical and chemical phenomena. In special laboratories, you can independently conduct experiments and feel like a great inventor. NEMO constantly hosts lectures, exhibitions and screenings of science films. From the roof of the museum offers the best view of the historical part of Amsterdam.
A small town north of Amsterdam with a population of about 2000 people. For many centuries, it was isolated from the mainland of Holland, and it was possible to reach it only by boat. In 1957, a highway was built connecting Marken with the mainland, and this largely changed the lifestyle of the city. However, this secluded place managed to maintain its unique atmosphere and unique architecture, which captivates everyone who comes here. The houses in Marken are lined up along the port and painted green and white, and the bright red awnings and raspberry geraniums on the windowsills make them look like toy houses. An original city, where you should definitely go by car for a few hours to enjoy the local architecture and have a bite to eat in the cafe overlooking the picturesque harbor.
Half an hour on a rental car - and you will find yourself in the capital of the province of North Holland, where you can hide from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend the whole day in a calm and cozy atmosphere. Be sure to stroll through the central square of Haarlem (Grote Markt) to see the famous Meat Rows, built at the beginning of the XVII century in the style of the Dutch Renaissance. In the square you will also find a monument to the Dutch book printer Laurence-Janson Coster, who, according to some historians, invented a typewriter between 1426 and 1440 and thus got ahead of Johannes Gutenberg in printing. If you arrive in the Netherlands in April, be sure to come to Haarlem for a flower parade - you will not see such a spectacular sight anywhere else.
Gouda is the cheese capital of the Netherlands. In summer, cheese fairs are held on the main square of the city, where farmers from neighboring villages come and bring perfectly even cheese heads. South of the Market Square is the medieval quarter with neat little streets paved with cobblestones. Here, in the church of St. John (St. Janskerk), you can see magnificent stained glass windows, and in the opposite building of the former Katarina Gasthuis hotel you will find paintings by the impressionist artists of the Hague school.
Delft is famous for its blue and white faience, which has been produced here since the 17th century. An old collection of Delft ceramics can be found in the Lambert van Merten Museum, located in house No. 199 in the Old Town district. Having reached the main square of Delft, you will see a beautiful town hall and a monument to the lawyer Hugo Grotius, whose work formed the basis of modern international law. Many souvenir shops and cozy cafes are open here, where you can have a cheap and tasty lunch. The fastest way to get to the city is by renting a car, which you can leave at one of the local parking lots.
The history of The Hague began in 1230, when the Earl of Holland Floris IV built a small castle on the spot where the city is now located; instead of the original castle now stands the Binnenhof palace complex, where the parliament and the government of the Netherlands sit. In The Hague, you should visit the Mauritshuis Museum, where you can see the works of Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as the Municipal Museum (Gemeentemuseum), which presents a collection of works by Pete Mondrian. By the way, not far from the Municipal Museum you will find a white booth: looking through the glass, you will see a bust of Stalin, and next to it - an old-fashioned pink lamp and a small Dutch herring. Absolutely absurd, but funny installation created by two Russian artists in 1986.
Ceintuurbaan 282–284 www.ctamsterdam.nl/
In the Pijp area, a former movie theater has a nice place called Coffee and Coconuts. A three-story cafe with high ceilings, large windows, light furniture and many trinkets on wooden shelves - Coffee and Coconuts is so cozy that you can stay here for a few hours and not at all regret the time spent. The cafe serves breakfast around the clock, so if you suddenly want lunch with cereals with fruit or scrambled eggs with bacon, then you know where to go. Order herbal tea and go up to the third floor, where you can lie on soft padded stools and enjoy delicious doing nothing.
Leliegracht 46 www.steakrestaurantamsterdam.nl
In a quiet street not far from Anne Frank's house, there is an excellent restaurant with Argentinean steaks. The meat is cooked on a charcoal grill and served with fresh vegetables on large beautiful plates - it looks so delicious that even vegetarians may be tempted to break all their vows. We recommend trying a Black Angus beef burger and ordering a coconut panacotta for dessert. If you are lucky with the weather, it is best to take a table on the street to have lunch with a pleasant view of the canal.
Prinsengracht 381 www.envy.nl
For lunch or dinner with wine, we recommend going to the Envy restaurant: the narrow dark room of the restaurant, furnished with minimalistic black and gray furniture, creates a special mood and does not distract from the main character of Envy - food. Try creamy risotto and steak tartare, and if you want something easier, then order a cheese plate and jamon - with these dishes the wine will sound even brighter.
Egelantiersgracht 12 www.t-smalle.nl
Dutch genie Genever is best tasted in the “brown cafe” (bruin café), so named because of the smoke from the sediment on the walls and ceiling. One such place is the antique-styled bar 't Smalle, which opened in 1978 in a former warehouse. They say that the first owner of the premises in the XVIII century was engaged in the manufacture of an underground genie. In 't Smalle, it’s cramped, but cozy, the bar is somewhat reminiscent of a junk shop with all its charming baubles on the shelves and faded photographs on the walls. The bar adjoins the terrace overlooking the canal - in warm weather, we advise you to take a table here.
Kinkerstraat 56 www.jacketz.nl
In Amsterdam, on every street you can find trays with french fries: it is the main street food here, you can neither hide nor hide from it. In case you want to try potatoes with some other sauce, we recommend Jacketz Cafe, which serves fragrant baked potatoes with various fillings: you can choose something vegetarian, or you can try topping with beef or salmon. The portions are large, one potato is enough to feed even the most hungry traveler. Order a bottle of local beer and you will get a hearty and pleasant dinner in a purely Dutch style.
Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
+31 20 678 7111 www.okura.nl double room - from € 274
Amsterdam's tallest hotel is located in the De Pijp district, one kilometer from the Museum Quarter. Okura offers spacious, traditional-style rooms with a minimum of detail. Tired of taking a long walk around the city, you can relax with a massage at Nagomi Spa. The hotel has four restaurants, three of which are awarded Michelin stars. We advise you to drop in Japanese Yamazato and try roasted eel, while in Ciel Bleu you should drop in to enjoy the magnificent view of Amsterdam from a height of 23 floors.
Prins Hendrikkade 33
+31 20 719 7200 www.artotels.com double room - from € 233
The art hotel is opposite the Central Railway Station, within walking distance of the main attractions of the city. Numbers are executed in muted gray-brown tones using interesting details in a decor. The hotel has a 5 & 33 complex, which has a late-night restaurant, bar, library and gallery of modern art. The price includes fitness center and pool access.
+31 20 523 0080 www.hoteltheexchange.com double room - from € 107
Design hotel by the central square - Dam Square. The interior of the rooms was developed by students of the Fashion Institute of Amsterdam, so the rooms turned out to be very different: there are rooms with simple white walls, and there are completely crazy rooms with tiger bedspreads and huge flamingos on the walls. The extravagant design is balanced by minimalist furniture; some rooms have small balconies. Breakfast is served all day at the nearby Cafe Café - don’t forget to get there for pancakes with jam or oatmeal with honey.
Prinses Irenestraat 30
+31 20 811 7090 www.citizenm.com double room - from € 94
Having entered the Citizen M hotel room, the first thing you will see is an XL-sized bed, which, as in the movies, you can jump into the run and drown in soft pillows. Above the bed is a large window from wall to wall, if you blind it, the room will plunge into a pleasant twilight. It offers guests free Wi-Fi and the ability to watch movies for free upon request. The hotel lobby resembles a library: wide bookcases with books and albums on modern photography, long tables and soft sofas. There is also a bar on the ground floor where you can go for a cocktail in the evening.
Oostelijke Handelskade 34
+31 20 561 3607 www.lloydhotel.com double room - from from € 88
The hotel is a former prison built in the 1920s. Most of the rooms are decorated in light colors and beige furniture. There are retro-style rooms: aquamarine walls, white window shutters, vintage lights and slightly shabby bedside rugs. Some rooms even have hammocks and swings. At Lloyd, you forget that you are in a hotel: it seems as if you suddenly found yourself in a country house somewhere on the coast. The on-site restaurant serves Dutch and French dishes made with organic products. If you are traveling on a rented car, you can leave it at a nearby paid parking.
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© Ellina Rudenko, 2015