Amsterdam – A Popular Place

August 30, 2009 on 3:49 pm | In Europe travel, Netherlands travel, things travelers need to know | Comments Off

Amsterdam attracts a lot of visitors and its popularity is reflected at ThereArePlaces by the incredible traffic that we have on our Amsterdam pages. Amsterdam is known to many as a party-town and one which caters to having fun, but if you are going there for tourism, you have to scratch below the surface to find the character of the city.

On our first visit, we thought the city was gray, dismal and continually rainy. Its canals, we thought, were not especially scenic, its numerous bike riders would just as soon run you over as to slow for you, and some of its food high-priced and tourist-bland. Well, on our second trip, we confirmed that it does rain a lot in Amsterdam, so go with the flow. Yes, the city is fairly bland in a visual sense, but very functional. No, the canals are not scenic, but they are a convenient and novel way to get around the city. The food – well you have to search for the places the locals eat, so ask a few and you will find some wonderful places for food, drink and fun.

The crown jewels of Amsterdam’s attractions are the Anne Frank Huis and the Van Gogh Museum. Just these two attractions make a trip the city worthwhile and when you throw in the Rijksmuseum, the Heineken Experience, the floating Flower Market and several other of the city’s attractions you will find Amsterdam growing on you. Of course, if you are looking for a youth oriented town to party in – this is the one to visit!

Centraal Station in Amsterdam is the transportation hub for the city

We have updated our Amsterdam Guide with some new attractions and created a second section on touring tactics, including shopping, advice on hotels, dining tips and more. Why not take a look? Even if you are not planning on a trip to the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport is one of the major hubs in Europe and you can often arrange your flights to give you enough time for a quick trip into town for some fun sightseeing. In fact, if you are interested in doing this, see our section titled “Just a Day” for information on how to maximize you time.

Just one final thing – those bike riders will run you over! In most streets there is a specific lane reserved for bike traffic – don’t step into it when they are moving or you could become huburger (human hamburger). Before you complain you should know that bikes have the right-of-way over pedestrians in the Netherlands.

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