08.12.2013 - Travel

Amsterdam – a tale upon the Amstel

In Western Europe are lot of fabulous cities. Some immerse you in the frenetic urban rhythm, while others give peace and comfort. But Amsterdam combines both, and more. Bright, stormy life and magical at the same time capital of the Netherlands will impress even the most capricious tourist. Water. Bridges. Red glow… Fabulousness on the border with the mysterious pretentiousness – it’s a great city for a holiday at any time of the year and in any mood.


 Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland. The city was founded at the mouth of the Amstel River on the North Sea more than seven hundred years ago.

Amsterdam can be attributed to those cities that are not contaminated by modern buildings. The historic center of the capital of the Netherlands looks the same as it was five centuries ago. It was then, in the XVI century, Held a large restructuring of the city and the wooden buildings were replaced by brick. The style in which rebuilt Amsterdam, called “Dutch Renaissance.” Also, in a lot of buildings in the baroque style, such as the Royal Palace, built in the second half of the XVII century.

During a walk through the maze of narrow streets of the city, you can enjoy a wonderful mix of architectural styles, and the outside of the old town you will find a real mix of modern architecture. But no matter where you were in Amsterdam – you will be everywhere in and around the water. Hundreds of channels and thousands of bridges across them. Amsterdam so called Venice of the North.

When to go

Amsterdam is fascinating at any time of the year. It’s beautiful to ride on icy canals in winter and celebrate together with the whole country Queen’s Day in the spring, have a cycling race in the summer and shelter in a cozy cafe at autumn chill…

Winters are not as fierce as ours, as the temperature rarely drops below freezing, spring usually comes early, and the summer temperature is 25 °C, the fall of the rain, but summer does not leave the city until October.

Holidays in the Netherlands:

  • 1 Jan. – New Year;
  • March-April – Good Friday;
  • March-April – Easter;
  • 30 Apr. – Day of the Queen;
  • 4 May – Memorial Day;
  • 5 May – Day of the liberation of the Netherlands;
  • 40 days after Easter – Ascension of the Lord;
  • 25-26 Dec. – Christmas.

Getting there

The most effective and comfortable travel option of Ukrainian cities in Amsterdam today or air travel. Low cost airlines Wizzair and AirBaltic offer round trip tickets cost from 100 euros.

Where to stay

The tourist infrastructure in Amsterdam is high, however, and the price level – too. Then you and the five-star luxury hotels, such as Hotele De l`Europe, and rooms for 6-10 people in hostels, like Bob Youth Hostel. Hotels and hostels are located mainly in the center of the city. Prices for a single room in the hotel grow from 80 euros. The beds in hostels – from 18 euros. The cost of housing is increasing during the Christmas holidays and the day of the Queen Netherlands. To go in winter to Amsterdam is much cheaper than in the warm season, because fewer tourists, so the prices are going down.

From where does Amsterdam start?

No matter how you decide to go to the country of tulips – by bus, car, plane, train… Most likely, your familiarity with Amsterdam will start from the main train station. It was here all the buses arrive for international flights, express trains from the airports, subway trains. Next to it is the sea-port… In short, it is from here that the Amsterdam for its thousands of visitors.

Amsterdam train station was built in the late XIX century and designed by Peter Kaypers, an architect who worked in the Gothic Revival style. He also is known by another small capital of the Netherlands, the National Museum. But back to the train station. Today this building and its area is restored. But the work that has been going on for several years, does not interfere with residents and visitors. If you do not plan your trip perfectly, or are afraid to wander around the city, be sure to look at the information office for tourists. There you reward cards and give advice on how to get comfortably to your hotel or any other place in Amsterdam.

Walking around Amsterdam

To begin to explore the city on foot is better. Arrange a couple of hour-long walk through the neighborhoods of the capital and is not afraid to get lost, that’s impossible. Old Amsterdam, the center is built so that wherever you go, you still go back to where started their walk. This boardwalk will allow you to please feel than the city lives. Here you can drink tea in one of the cafes, or to continue their first date with Amsterdam by boat. This kind of tour is available in almost all year round. Organizers water tours offer a variety of routes. Prices range from 15 euros/hour to 33 euros/4 hours.

Awheel

After walking should change to a more popular transportation Netherlands – a bicycle. Every day on the streets of the city appears more than 400 thousand bikes. This figure makes the city the first in the world in the number of two-wheeled mode of transport. Amsterdam fully equipped for bikelovers, then you and the special paths and traffic lights, and parking lots. The city is literally living on two wheels, so to try yourself in the role of local and save your time, no doubt, to bike. Such entertainment will cost you 7-10 euros per day.

The four main channels of Amsterdam

The most popular among residents and visitors alike – the main street Damrak with a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, the central Dam Square and its surroundings. However, these places – not the best route by bike. Most pleasant ride along the canals Singel, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Kaizergraht (main channels around the Old Town).

Near the Singel is the so-called Nine Quarter streets are narrow and charming lanes are filled with vintage shops and cozy cafes. Another stop on the route is bound to become the flower market, which are located here since the XIX century. The variety of colors and scents will give a spring in the most overcast day of autumn.

Passing one of the blocks and drive to the Herengracht canal, you will come across luxury houses in Amsterdam. Each house is an original work of art. Look at the manor between the Herengracht and Keizergraht, and you move away from the noisy main street, along which the last of the main canals, the Prinsengracht, located a lot of museums, including the Anne Frank House, the largest Protestant church in the city, Long Yang, the church Vestererk in which Rembrandt was buried; Gomomonument, the world’s first memorial dedicated to sexual minorities who have suffered at the hands of the Nazis…

Bike tour should start in the morning, then you will have the opportunity to eat freshly-baked pastries and fresh coffee, and the day will be free to visit museums or galleries.

Cultural minimum program

Amsterdam – it is dozens of museums. In order to attend all you have to spend a week in the city, and not even two. The most popular is Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands, which are kept in the treasury of the works of famous Dutch painters. And while much of the halls now under construction, though we do not recommend this place to get attention, as well as the following two – Museum of Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Queue length to the last strikes, so it is best to plan your hike in the morning routine.

By the way, about the queues. None of the sites of Amsterdam does not collect as many tourists as the Anne Frank House museum, so it’s best visit less popular among visitors to the city, and in no way worse Museum of Jewish history. In addition, in Amsterdam there are many rooms, which are exhibited by young artists. Prefer a minimum program to turn into a maximum? Then you are on the road www.amsterdamsuitburo.nl. On this portal you will find a lot of useful information about museums and a discount card for their visit.

In Old Amsterdam, no high-rise buildings, but there is one building, which is visible from the city on the palm. Therefore, if you still have energy after the museum trips, go back to where it all began. At the railway station, harbor, there is a center of science and technology Nemo, a roof terrace with a magnificent private cafeteria.

After a busy day in the rhythm of Amsterdam should be a break from the rest (pardon the pun). The variety of dishes is amazing. Catering establishments are open until midnight, almost no day-night, so plan your evening meal so that then still have time to walk around the city at night, lit by flaming red.

Nightlife in Amsterdam

Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, and the use of marijuana is decriminalized. Despite extensive harassment of rights by the state, the drug trade and prostitution are still calling card free of Amsterdam.

Lindsay Dee is the largest red light district in Europe. There are dozens of brothels, adult theaters, sex shops. Coffee houses are scattered throughout the city. You can freely buy marijuana or hashish and other types of soft drugs in institutions (coffeeshops). Less commonly found in smartshops – places where other than grasses, you can legally try hallucinogenic drugs. Interestingly, in most coffeeshops can smoke pot, purchased or brought, but you can not puff regular cigarettes.

After walking around the neighborhoods adult entertainment can continue the night in one of the local clubs. Although this nightlife here is not as violent as in Berlin or London, though a few places worthy of your visit – Club Paradiso and Melkweg. By the way, these are the places most often play their concerts international stars of rock and pop music, who are visiting the capital of the Netherlands.

Night in Amsterdam ends about three. At this time, the city becomes a bizarre and magical at the same time so if you are plunged into a fabulous dream that became a reality.

Arthur Guziy