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  • Writer's pictureLaura Peters

Amsterdam Anytime

After a little offspring tourism in March 2023, I booked a flight home out of Amsterdam. Luckily, I have a dear friend who lives there around the corner from the Anne Frank House. Since my friend now has a dog, we ended up taking the giant German Shepherd on long walks at the beach and in a forest. We had some time in the city before and after visiting the Vermeer Exhibit, so I gathered a few good tips. Here they are.

1. Get out of the Tourist Zone as quickly as possible. The Zone is anywhere close to the main train station. Unless you love tourist trinkets like little wooden shoes, keep moving.

2. If you eat red meat, you will love Café de Klos Kerkstraat 41, 1017 GB Amsterdam This restaurant is also a cozy local bar to have a beer. If you are with a few people, get there by 6:00pm to more easily get a table.

3. Have a meal, a drink or tea at Café American -

It is only a five minute walk to Café de Klos.

Café Amercain's Tiffany windows.

Ambiance on steroids.

4. Visaandeschelde Restaurant is a fabulous seafood restaurant - It is pricey and you will need a reservation, but it is worth it. The food is memorable.

5. I ate at Momo Restaurant four years ago. My local friend said that it is still great -

6. The museums in Amsterdam are all wonderful, you can't go wrong. You may need to book tickets in advance.

7. You might be there at the height of the tulips. Ask at your hotel where is best to see the tulips. I don't know if the botanical garden would have a lot of them or not. Trip advisor has ten recommendations - I missed the tulips by three weeks. The tulips reached peak beauty two weeks after I left. My friend saw them from a private plane.

8. Canal Tours are a lot of fun. Do a little research and you'll find one that suits you and your group. Some of the smaller boats can go on smaller canals and see more interesting things.

9. The Anne Frank House is a tourist mecca, of course. You will need tickets in advance if this kind of thing interests you. The house is in a nice neighborhood to walk around the canals. When you get even a block away from it, the tourists vanish.

10. Always remember to watch out for bicyclists! They have the right of way and they are moving fast.

11. Your Über app from the USA will work in Amsterdam. I don't know if you're an Über fan, but this was terrific news to me. I used Über a lot, as well as the excellent tram system. We also drove around town in a small electric car called a Biro. This remarkable little vehicle can be parked anywhere, even on the sidewalk. Look online to see how to rent one for the day.

12. I’m a big fan of walking in the neighborhoods of Amsterdam. People don’t pull down their curtains so you can glimpse the joy of Dutch life.

13. If you long for a day at the beach, be sure to check out Parnassia aan Zee. This glorious long beach is a tram ride from Amsterdam or a lovely drive through the Dutch countryside. I wish we had had the time to explore Haarlem which is the original for which the New York area was named.

14. The forest we visited, Het Amsterdamse Bos, is frequented by many dog walkers and hikers alike. It is under the flight path to Schiphol, one of the busiest airports in the world, so don’t really expect complete tranquility in the idyllic setting.

15. An American friend of mine was in Amsterdam shortly after I was to see the Vermeer exhibition. She recommended a hostel, Stayokay Hostel Amsterdam Vondelpark, for the thrifty minded. She said that it is in a great location, a few blocks from the Rijksmuseum, Cafe Americain, Cafe Klos. An easy ride from the central station once she found out which tram to take and where to get it!

For extra good tips, I’m always a fan of the 36 hours in a city articles from the NY Times. Here's the one for Amsterdam:


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