Monday, 8 March 2010

Best Bars in Amsterdam

Brown Cafes
These traditional bars are all perfect for a beer, wine or liquors. Enjoy the typical brown cafe atmosphere.

Hoppe -- This is a friendly cafe dating from 1670. A local favorite.

De Engelbewaarder -- This brown cafe also serves food, especially known for its home made french fries and mayonnaise.

Het Molenpad -- This cafe combines an artificially designed old look with the typical brown cafe atmosphere. Its outdoor terrace is very nice during summer. Bar food is served.

Grand cafes
Many modern cafes try to adopt this designation, not all of them succeed. Some of the finest are:

cafe Luxembourg -- A Brasserie-style cafe that's different from most of the city's grand cafes. Less pretentious and more friendly. They serve soup, sandwiches, sate and other dishes.

cafe Americain -- Inside an art nouveau hotel this fantastic art deco dining spot is a treat for the eye. The food has a hard time matching up to the looks, but its a very nice place to see an be seen for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Trendy cafes
Trendy cafes tend to "be here today, gone tomorrow". Not these ones though.

De Jaren -- The cafe offers terraces with a view on the Amstel river. Very much appreciated in spring and summer. The cafe has a mixed clientele of locals, students and tourists enjoying drinks and continental snacks. Offers wifi internet.

cafe Schiller -- Next to drinks this fashionable cafe offers bar snacks and simple meals. Located at the Rembrandtplein, so lots of alternatives around if this one doesn't meet your needs.

Astrid is a local in Amsterdam and has been living there for over 20 years. Next to publishing about her city she also publishes the latest news on LCD and plasma televisions at

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Cheap Drinks in Amsterdam

There's a popular saying that Amsterdam is where you go to party and thus, it is no surprise that there are numerous places where you can drop by for your favorite drink. If you know where to look you can also have your drinks at equally tasty prices of course.

A good advice when walking around Amsterdam and looking for a place to drink, is to walk 100-200 metres away from any major tourist attractions. Chances are you will find a much more charming and inexpensive place to drink. Near the tourist attractions there are many places who got a good location, but unfortunately, the quality of the service and the prices are not good at all.

A good bar I can recommend is Weber Bar. Weber Bar is notable for its Art Deco design and idyllic atmosphere. Tucked away near Leidseplein, this intimate bar with its bright colors and sleek interior is a must-see for arty travelers. The bar has a unique design with its cheerful tiled mosaic contrasting the striking fur-covered wall. Be it a soothing beer or a classy cocktail, this is the place for you. Where is it? Weber Bar is situated on Marnixstraat 397.

Another charming bar in Amsterdam is Cafe Belgique. This rustic bar/pub well-known for its specialist beers from Belgium. As well as offering a variety of bottled beers as well as a select number of draughts (La Trappe Dubbel, Le Chouffe, Blanche de Namur), this cozy spot also boasts as one of the few pubs selling Vlo beer (one that is made specially for the Bierkoning shop). Prices range from Euro 2 - 4. Where is it? Cafe Belgique is situated on Gravenstraat 2.

Dirt Cheap Amsterdam is a travel guide that shows you how to have an inexpensive vacation in Amsterdam.. There's also detailed tips about where to drink cheap in Amsterdam.

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Amsterdam Pub Guide - The Best Amsterdam Cafes

A cafe in Amsterdam is the place to go for a bit of people watching while you enjoy a drink or two.

There are several different kinds of cafes, so you should make sure you know your terminology before looking for a place to visit. Most importantly, a cafe is not the same as a coffee shop where marijuana is sold. A cafe in Amsterdam is what you might call a pub elsewhere, and they serve beer and liquor along with the usual coffee, soft drinks, snacks and sometimes light meals.

Most cafes open in the afternoon (unless they serve breakfast), and stay open until at least midnight. On the weekends, many will keep their doors open until 3am.

Generally speaking, there are three kinds of cafes in Amsterdam: the brown cafes, designer cafes and grand cafes. Here are a few of the best ones of all three types.

Brown Cafes

Casual and comfortable, brown cafes get their name from the typical dark wood buildings. Locals often sit at a brown cafe for hours, like it was a room in their own house. Many of them are quite historic.

Cafe De Sluyswacht - Jodenbreestraat 1
This little cafe was originally a lock-keeper's house in 1695, and is a popular cafe even though the building noticeably leans to the side. Don't worry, the building is perfectly safe.

Cafe De Prins - Prinsengracht 124
Near the famous home of Anne Frank, this cafe is particularly popular with students. They have great food, and a terrace on the water.

Lokaal 't Loosje - Nieuwmarkt 32-34
A cafe for anyone exploring the Red Light District, on Nieuwmarkt square. It's a 200 year old tram depot, and they have a large numbe of beers to choose from.

De Bekeerde Suster - Kloveniersburgwal 6-8
A 16th century monastery gets a new life as a busy cafe. Plenty of artwork inside, not to mention a varied menu.

Designer Cafes

Unlike the dark down-to-earth style of a brown cafe, designer cafes are modern and stylish. For a hipper crowd.

Dylan - Keizersgracht 384
This cafe is in the lobby of the Dylan hotel, and is quite trendy. Guests for the restaurant are seated first so you may have a bit of a wait to get inside if its busy.

Cafe Diep - Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 256
You can find just about any kind of person at the Cafe Diep, from artists to businessmen. The couches are comfortable and the DJ plays a mix of music styles.

Finch - Noordermarkt 5
Retro and funky, the Finch cafe is near the popular organic food market in Noordermarkt. It's where the hip people come to relax.

Lime - Zeedijk 104
It's near the He Hua temple and the Red Light District, and a popular cafe to visit before hitting the dance clubs.

Grand Cafes

The last type of Amsterdam cafe is the grand cafe. They're classy, spacious and traditional. The menus are more diverse, and you can usually find open space to just sit and read.

Cafe De Jaren - Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20
You can find one of the loveliest terraces in Amsterdam at the Cafe De Jaren. It's right on the Amstel river. Has a good reading table, too.

Cafe Dante - Spuistraat 320
An art deco cafe that comes alive after the work day is finished. There is seating for a quiet drink, or for more rowdy conversation. An art gallery takes up the second floor.

Cafe Luxembourg - Spui 24
Their lunch menu is well-known, and the interior of the Cafe Luxembourg is classic and stylish. You can find a number of great Belgian beers to enjoy along with your meal.

Cafe Dantzig - Zwanenbrugwal 15
Behind the Waterlooplein market, the Cafe Dantzig has a large terrace over the river. Many politicians favor this cafe since it is near the city administration offices.

Arjen Koopman is chief editor of - the Amsterdam travel guide written by local residents who once arrived with backpacks in Amsterdam themselves. You'll find a more extensive Amsterdam pub guide at - Copyright: You may freely republish this article provided the text, the author name, the active links and this notice remain intact.

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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Ten Most Popular Amsterdam Attractions

The historic city of Amsterdam has many attractions that draw tourists from around the world. The city is filled with picturesque canals, museums, cafes and art galleries. But Amsterdam is more than just beauty and culture. The nightlife is second to none.

There are many things to see and do in Amsterdam, but here is a list of the top 10 attractions:

1. Cruising the Canals

The city center of Amsterdam is criss-crossed with 165 canals, some of them dating back to the 13th century. You can walk or bike through this part of Amsterdam, and explore the canals and more than 1,200 bridges. Traditional canal houses are common along the tree-lined waterways. It is a peaceful area, mainly because the narrow lanes don't allow for much automobile traffic.

2. The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is the place to visit for an unparalleled look at the Dutch Golden Age of artwork. The entire museum is under renovation, but there are still many open exhibits for more than 400 of the Dutch Masters. Paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Jan Steen are on display. The museum is one of Amsterdam's largest tourist attractions.

3. The Begijnhof

A 14th century court of houses surrounding an open garden is a lesser-known Amsterdam attraction. There is a Roman Catholic chapel in the compound that is also open to tourists. As a religious site, people are asked to be respectful when visiting Begijnhof, and even refrain from speaking while on the grounds.

4. Brown Cafés

What the Dutch call a "café", others might refer to as a "pub", and there are more than 500 of them in the downtown area of Amsterdam. These cafés are not fancy, and their name comes from the dark wood outside with cigarette stained walls inside. Some well-known ones are the Café Welling and the Café de Pels.

5. Anne Frank House

More than a million people a year come to see the house made famous by the ordeals of Anne Frank's family who hid from the Nazis here during the Second World War. The home is in it's original state, and is too small for any guided tours. Visitors can explore the house along with guidebooks instead.

6. Vondelpark

Known in the past as a hangout for hippies, Vondelpark is still a popular place for anyone wanting to get outside. On a sunny day, the park can be packed with people enjoying the sun, having picnics or reading by the pond. Inline skates are available for rent, and there are several places to get something to eat while you are there. During the summer, there are free open-air theatrical performances too.

7. Oude Kerk

In the heart of the racy Red Light District, is the oldest church in Amsterdam. Oude Kerk was built around 1250 AD and many famous Amsterdam residents have either been buried or married there. It's open to the public in the afternoons, so you can enjoy the beautiful Gothic architecture.

8. Waterlooplein

For a fun shopping experience, visitors to Amsterdam must find the Waterlooplein market. It's open Monday to Saturday during the daytime and is behind the City Hall (Stopera) building. You can find an array of vendors selling unusual items that include art, clothing, jewelry, and used goods. It's basically a huge outdoor flea market.

9. The Red Light District

A popular spot for nightlife in Amsterdam, where prostitution is legal. This part of the city is filled with all forms of adult entertainment, often advertised by scantily clad women in red lit windows. Though prostitutes stroll the streets, the area is actually quite safe and many people are just tourists checking out the unusual part of town.

10. Coffee Shops

These particular coffee shops in Amsterdam are the ones that sell marijuana and hashish, as well as actual coffee. There are over 200 such coffee shops in the city, and they are very popular with tourists simply because they are so unique.

Arjen Koopman is the editor of - the Amsterdam travel guide written by local residents who once arrived as backpackers in Amsterdam. More about things to do in Amsterdam is at - Copyright: You may freely republish this article provided the text, the author name, the active links and this notice remain intact.

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Amsterdam Red Light District Guide - A Short Walking Tour Of A Mysterious Yet Beautiful Place

The Amsterdam red light district is probably the most famous of all in the whole world but what exactly lies within this tiny and mysterious area?

Actually, this part of town contains some beautiful architecture and some of the most picturesque scenes in Amsterdam. Nearly all tourists who visit The Netherlands make a visit to the Amsterdam red light district and most find the experience incredibly fascinating.

The single biggest major landmark here is De Oude Kerk which translates as "The Old Church". This is not merely the oldest church in Amsterdam but is also the oldest building in Amsterdam. It dates from the 13th century and has seen fire damage and subsequent restoration but remains a beautiful building - not only are its exterior gothic features a joy to behold, but the interior also houses an impressive large organ. Rembrandt's first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, is also buried here.

Here in the Amsterdam red light district, prostitution has been legalised resulting in a safe environment for all - witness families and tourists alike wandering around enjoying the sights and sounds, and busy locals cutting through the numerous alleyways as short cuts en route to their final destination.

Speaking of alleyways, the Amsterdam red light district contains the smallest alley in the whole of Holland. Located right in the heart of the district, tourists are often bemused when first walking down Trompettersteeg - at its narrowest point, persons travelling in opposing directions must turn sideways in order to pass!

Canals dominate this part of town and the main drag is along a canal named Oudezijd Achterburgwal which, in my opinion, is one of the prettiest canals in Amsterdam. Come here at night and take a few pictures of your loved ones from one of the bridges - the red lights and reflections from the water make for a pretty picture.

Want to learn more about the Amsterdam red light district? Find out more about this beautiful and mysterious part of town, claim your free cheap Amsterdam hotel guide and discover what else Amsterdam has to offer at Amsterdam Review.

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9 Things to Do in Amsterdam That Don't Involve Coffeeshops, Museums Or the RLD

There are hundreds of things to do while on holiday in Amsterdam, but would you even have a clue what they were if you hadn't been before? Plenty of people talk about the red light district and the coffeeshops of Amsterdam. But really there is so much more to see.

Amsterdam is as beautiful as it is historical and memorable for those who have visited it. With parts of the city dating back hundreds of years, this cultural city has plenty to offer the visitors it receives year after year.

So lets have a look at this list of 9 things to do in Amsterdam, that won't lead you inside a coffeeshop,the red light district or museums:

Visit one of the many parks in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has plenty of beautiful parks all across the city, in fact visiting some of these parks isn't a case of travelling far out of your way. Nor will it cost you a a packet to visit them.

Vondel Park

The Vondel Park can be found at the south of the city near the Overtoom and Amsterdam Casino. A beautiful park with plenty of room to enjoy a peaceful afternoon or an enjoyable summer concert. For free

Artis Zoo

Artis Zoo is in the east of the city and just a few minutes away from the Central Station. As the oldest zoo in Amsterdam, Artis allows it's visitors to enjoy the many different types of animals it houses, as well as the hundreds of species of plants they have in their botanical gardens. With over 700 different species of animals at the Artis Zoo. You could spend an entire day looking around them all and taking photos.

Dam Square

Lots of people visit Dam Square every day for one reason or another. This central meeting point often has carnivals and other entertainment throughout the year. As it's in the middle of tourist town, expect the rides you want to go on to be full or the stalls you want to get close to busy.

Holland Festival

If your in the city at the right time of year, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the magnificent Holland Festival. Held every year, the festival shows some of Amsterdam's finest talents as well as their up and coming talent. Expect to be mesmerized by the performing artists as they dance and perform in what seems like a performance just for you. The Holland Festival is held in the month of June.

Queens Day

Queens day is held in April every year to celebrate the late Queen Juliana's birthday. People across the country dress up in the national colour of Orange and enjoy. Queens day takes part every April on the 30th and if your about at this time of year. You'll enjoy the feeling of fitting in with the locals. Beware of pickpockets and thieves at this festival.

Market shopping

Whether your visiting th Albert Cuypmarkt or the Westermarkt, be sure to pick up a bargain at these busy and bustling market places. The Westermarkt is located just at the end of the Raddhuisstraat behind Dam Square. While the Albert Cuypmarkt can be found close to the Sarphatipark in the south of the city and east of Vondelpark. These traditional style markets let you try Dutch delicacies and pick up a shopping bargain.

Canal Tours

Canal tours operate all over Amsterdam. The main place to pick up a Canal tour is from either Central Station or at the beginning of the Damrak. Tours last anywhere between an hour and 2 hours depending on which cruise you get on. Pizza and beer cruises are all available at these locations. Visit the city in the way its meant to be seen, by the water.

Oude Kerk

Ok so I said this list wouldn't include museums. But this is a church ;) . The Oude Kerk is in the oldest part of Amsterdam, namely the Red light district. With it's neo gothic style decorations. The Oude Kerk is the heart of the rld and can be found in the Oudekerksplein (Old Church Square.) This is the oldest church in the whole of Amsterdam. So expect to see some real history here.

Magna Plaza

Enjoy shopping in style while at the Magna Plaza. Located on Raadhuistraat, the Magna Plaza is one of the last remaining shopping malls in the whole of Amsterdam. Expect to pick up a bargain or two on this multi level shopping centre. If your feeling in the shopping mood, why not take a peek in the Swarovski crystal centre.

Enjoy Amsterdam in the none typical way that a tourist would. Look deeper into what Amsterdam as a city has to offer to the visitors that pay so much time,money and respect to this amazing city.

Dan is a traveller of Amsterdam and provides info on his trips and experiences in Amsterdam on the site Amsterdam Holidays

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