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UAL747
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Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:52 pm

Hey guys,

United is currently running a Europe promotion for roundtrip from the US for only 40,000 miles. I have 39,894 at the moment, and I had to buy an additional 1,000 miles to get over 40K, the airline wouldn't budge.

Anyway, I'm thinking about hitting up Amsterdam. I've never been there and was wondering:

1. What are some really nice hotels. I'm planning on going, IF the seats are still available (takes 48 hours for those miles I bought to hit my account), Mar 19-23. I'm looking at around or below 200 bucks a night. I really like unique and trendy places, not really into the older places. They are great in historical value, and if one comes cheaply, I would stay in it, but I do enjoy the "W" style hotels.

2. What do you recommend doing/seeing while there? I don't really want this to be an expensive trip, other than the hotel part, but as far as something to do for my birthday, etc. (Shameless plug, but it IS my birthday today! So this is my present to myself assuming things go well with United).

3. How does one get from AMS to downtown?

Any advice and/or recommendations would be awesome!

Thanks guys!

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
swiftski
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:55 pm



Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
1. What are some really nice hotels

https://www.yotel.com/360/index.html

Not so much "really nice" but "really niche"

Worth looking at. Have used them at LHR and LGW - great setup.

Just do it for one night - your last night, ideally.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:18 pm

Not from AMS myself so I won't give you hotel tips. However, I can tell you going from the airport to the city should be done by train. It is the fastest and cheapest option. A taxi will be considerably more expensive and with traffic will probably take longer to.
Attamottamotta!
 
skytrain
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:32 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
I really like unique and trendy places

How's this for trendy?    I think this place starts at around 70 Euros/night.

Although, having put it out there, I'm not too sure how close it is to the touristy bits of AMS. If memory serves, it's in the business/financial area of the city - not too far from Schiphol though! Depends just how Central you want to be!

Skytrain

[Edited 2009-03-11 16:37:03]
 
eric
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:45 pm

Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam

About 5min walk from the central station, stayed there the last few times in AMS. Very good service (and cute bell boys). Pricing out at $203 at Priceline p/n. Just make sure you ask for a canal view.
n
 
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OA260
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:04 am

Train runs from AMS to Centraal Station every 15-20 mins and is fast and reliable.

A nice hotel is the Swiss Hotel . Its around $150 a night and is a good location between Dam Square and Centraal Station.

http://www.swissotel.com/EN/Destinat...rdam/Hotel%20Home/Hotel%20Home.htm

Also the Krasnapolsky Hotel at Dam Square . Its around $180 a night .

http://www.nh-hotels.com/nh/en/hotel...tel-krasnapolsky.html?type=gallery

Lots to see and do in Amsterdam. Take a water taxi tour along the Quay in Damrak Street. They do a one hour tour of the Canals for around $10 . Well worth it when you first arrive just to get your bearings.

There is a wax museum at near Dam Square also.
 
UAL747
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:30 am

Yay! Everything worked out on United and I WILL be in Amsterdam from the 20th-23rd of March. Anyone living in the area who wants to get togther, let me know!

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
UAL747
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:10 am

I'm staying at the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam....was a good price on hotels.com, therefore, that's where I will be, anyway, let me know if you are in the area!!!

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
DFW13L
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:18 am

Happy Birthday UAL!

Have fun!
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
eric
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:21 pm



Quoting Ual747 (Reply 7):
I'm staying at the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam....was a good price on hotels.com, therefore, that's where I will be, anyway, let me know if you are in the area!!!

UAL

Very good choice, you won't be dissapointed. The hotel is not too far away from the Red Light District and as it is close to the Central Station, plenty of connection choices by public transport. Although you can ask the hotel to send you a car, I'd recommend using the train as it is equally as convenient.

It depends how much you would like to spend for food, and I'd be happy to give some recommendations. I suggest you go to the new public library built a few years ago. Decent food on the roof terrace, very cool design and great views of the city.

For a bit more "seedy" GLBT stuff, I'd venture to go to Flyertalk in their GLBT section as there is a wealth of information there.
n
 
rwsea
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:43 am

Amsterdam is a wonderful city, you will love it. You're in a good location. Like other historical cities of Europe, a lot of the appeal is just walking around and seeing the historical buildings, picturesque views, and just taking it all in. English is widely spoken, and there's lots of places to just hang out (pubs, coffee shops, etc.).

I really liked the Jordaan neighborhood for good restaurants and pubs, in addition to the nice canal views. The red light district of course is definitely entertaining - you'll walk through there a couple of times I'm sure. The Anne Frank Huis and Rijksmuseum are must-sees, and there's lots of other museums around too. For food, the Spui area, Jordaan, and some of the quieter canal-side streets are great. Leidseplein is nice to walk around but the restaurants there aren't so great. Also, it looks like you're staying near Dam Square. There's a grocery store at the square if you want to save some money on food, drinks, etc.

The train from the airport to the city couldn't be easier. That's what I'd recommend. Schipol is a great airport.

Also, I used the Rick Steve's book when I went. I think that's the best if you want to know about some of the less touristy-places and want to learn a bit about the culture of Amsterdam.
 
alfa75
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:11 am

The train is a great way to get to Centraal Station. A taxi costs about 35 Euro from the airport to the city.

I know you said you don't care for older places but this place was nice. Borgmann Villa Hotel. http://www.hotel-borgmann.nl/ It is next to Vondel Park and right next to the British Consulate. (Opps I just noticed you booked your hotel!) Quiet neighborhood well within walking distance to the Van Gogh museum, http://www3.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp and the Rijksmuseum, http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/ When we were there over Christmas in 2007 they were remodeling it so it was not completely open. they should be done by now. For the Van Gogh museum, order you tickets online before you leave the US, you will save yourself a wait in a long line.

Do you like beer? If so you have to go to Cafe Gollem, there are two so make sure you go to the one at this address. It is a tiny street that you could easily pass.

Raamsteeg 4, Trams 1,2,5 and numerous buses pass nearby. A short walk from Spui, in-between Spuistraat and Singel. http://www.cafegollem.nl/default_EN.asp

Check this place out. Hotel Bazar. Albert Cuypstraat 182.
http://www.bazaramsterdam.com/read/ams_en/1441 There is a restaurant downstairs that serves middle eastern food. It was quite good. You also get to walk through a great street market to get to it. http://www.albertcuypmarkt.com/

I know this is an odd question, but do you like cats? If so check out the Poezenboot. It is a cat shelter on the Singel Canal. Stop by a make a donation. http://www.poezenboot.nl/poezen_uk/welkom.htm

Do you like classical music? (Some people do) Check out theConcertgebouw. Across the street from the Van Gogh Museum. http://www.concertgebouw.nl/English

There are also some great churches to check out. And of course there is always the Red Light District! Quite depressing if you ask me.

If you get to Haarlem, not a long train ride, go to Wilma & Albert's Steak House. http://www.wilma-alberts.nl/

We did all of this and more in the same amount of time you have so don't fret you will certainly find stuff to do.

By the way, we found time to get to Cafe Gollem three times! Go for the La Chouffe. http://www.achouffe.be/en If they still have N'Ice (a seasonal) get that.

[Edited 2009-03-12 21:13:04]

[Edited 2009-03-12 21:13:52]

[Edited 2009-03-12 21:15:27]
The best things in life aren't things!
 
jonjonnl
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:44 am

Hi there UAL and happy birthday!

There are many things to do in A'dam and surroundings.
You can start by walking around town and just exploring the canals.

You should get a map and then walk along the Rokin (large street in the continuation of the main street than runs from Centraal Station called Damrak) towards the South. You can also choose to walk on the street running parallel to this one full of shops called Kalverstraat. Once you get to the Munttoren you can visit the flower market along the Singel. Then turn left and continue South through the Leidsestraat (with the trams and the shops) until you reach Leidseplein. If you're straight and into busy places you should definitely visit this square at night too.
Cross the Leidseplein and turn left on the Singelgracht along the small warf and then cross the bridge towards the Vondelpark. You can visit the park and then you can time some time to visit the P.C. Hooftstraat, which is the posh street with all the designer shops and where the Dutch famous people go for coffee and shopping.
Here nearby you find the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. As well as the Heineken Experience so if you're into drinking beer you should visit them.
Then return to the Stadhouderskade and continue until the Hobbemakade and then go South until you reach the Albert Cuypmarkt. This is a large market and I think it's there every day.
You can then go North through the Vijzelgracht and Vijzelstraat and you can explore the Spiegelkwartier as you do so.
Again, if you're straight you may go to the Rembrandtplein in the evening. There are a lot of clubs and bars here. Studio 80 is nice and is located there.
Nearby on the Reguliersdwarsstraat there's my favourite Italian restaurant called Saturnino. This street is also the gay street and if you're gay you should visit the bar Arc (very trendy with electronic music and good looking people). The bar Soho is also nice but has a pub atmosphere. The best gay club in town is the Exit also on this street.
On another evening you should visit de Wallen (the Red Light District). It's quite near your hotel. Just walk around and explore the streets but be careful with dodgy dark alleys especially if you're on your own. You should also visit Chinatown just north of the Red Light and the Nieuwmarkt square where during the day you can also sit down and have a coffee.
If you're into little shops with modern stuff and designer clothes at a reasonable price you should visit the streets between the Leidsegracht/Singel/Prinsengracht/Raadhuisstraat. These form a rectangle and the little canal streets within are full of nice shops.
Another interesting museum, if you're into science, is the NEMO. It's located near Centraal Station, to the East of it. Also nearby you find the Dutch Seafaring Museum and you can visit it and then visit an actual ship from the Dutch West India Company.
There's much more... the Madame Tussaud, Anne Frank House, the Gay Monument, the Royal Palace, the Hermitage, the Artis Zoo, etc. You can look in a city guide for these.

A short trip from Amsterdam: Haarlem, Utrecht and Lelystad, the latter with the Aviodrome, the Dutch Aviation Museum!
Haarlem and Utrecht are really nice cities and in Utrecht you'll find the tallest building in the Netherlands, a church tower called Dom [I should make some publicity for my city!].

I hope this helps. Let me know if you want more info on any of these topics.
Take care
J.-j.
joão in ams
 
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BNE
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:10 pm

Happy birthday UAL747; so I think I am a day late.

Train from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal is Eur 3.60 takes about 15-20 minutes.

Taxi from to/from the airport is 35-40 Euros.

When you go collect your bags and go through passport control you can buy a ticket from the vending machine or from one of the ticket counters. I suggest you go to the local counter as there are separate counters for intercity and long distance, who will direct you to the other counter.

The train station is right below the passenger terminal; there are trains that go into the city and there are others that by pass the city altogether. Usually there are trains every 20-30 minutes into the city.

One thing you notice about Amsterdam is all the bicycles and trams; trams are reasonably cheap. You can buy a ticket for one journey or go to the shop that sells the StripKarts(spelling) basically a tag with about 10 segments on it.

Suggestions once you are there.

Go and do a canal tour; there are a few around; where they take you around and some stop at different locations so you can get off and take a look around.

Not sure if you if you have read the Diary Of Anne Frank; there is a museum of where the family was living during the 2nd world war.

There is a few other museums to go and have a look at as well: the name escapes me now. I did have a look at Nemo museum near the Centraal station.

One thing that Amsterdam is noted for is the Red Light District and the Coffee Shops. Red Light District is always worth taking a look around.

Enjoy your few days in Amsterdam.
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JRadier
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:38 pm



Quoting BNE (Reply 13):
StripKarts(spelling)

Strippenkaart, however, I would recommend the GVB dayticket which will give you (I think) unlimited access to tram, metro and bus. Far easier.
 
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seemyseems
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:26 pm

I have one... fly KLM!
seemyseems in ATL
 
vandenheuvel
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:48 am

Those GVB daytickets are rather expensive. Unless you are going to use it a lot, a strippenkaart will be cheaper. If you buy a GVB dayticket, it will only be valid on GVB buses, trams and metros. This covers most of Amsterdam, but there are more bus companys. Strippenkaarten are more complicated to use, but will allow you to travel on all of these companys.

The GVB ferrys behind the Central station are free of charge. You can just enter one of these boats.
 
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seemyseems
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:45 am

The Anne Frank museum would be a place of interest, I wouldn't mind going myself, but we always stay in another part of Amsterdam. Beethovenstraat has a good choice of shops, hotels and restaurants.

Den Haag (The Hague) is close too, theres a lot of history round there and its where the Dutch royal family live.

Make sure you try siroopwafelen, amazing and so is the coffee.

Sam
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vandenheuvel
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:11 pm

I didn't expect this much Amsterdam experience on this forum. Only one thing, its stroopwafels.

I have one thing to add to my previous message. Those strippenkaarten are not valid on the dutch railways. You need to buy seperate tickets for that.
 
HT
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:03 pm



Quoting BNE (Reply 13):
Train from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal is Eur 3.60 takes about 15-20 minutes.

&

Quoting BNE (Reply 13):
you can buy a ticket from the vending machine or from one of the ticket counters.

When using the ticket vending machines, use code 1000 for Amsterdam Central Station. Futher steps to select the correct ticket are: "Vol tarief (full tariff)", "enkele reis (oneway ticket), "allen vandaag gelding (valid only today)"

All machines operate on Euro coins, but not all (to my experience) accept cards (credit card, european banking cards). AFAIK at the counter cou can pay by credit card, even if it is rather unusual in these parts of Europe to pay such small bills by credit card.
It might be wise to get your hands onto some €-money asap.
In case you arrive hungry, there is a Burger King on Schiphol Plaza above the railway station. Usually they accept USD in cash and give change in € (even though it is on a fairly bad exchange rate, it can be a source to get some € coins ...).

Quoting UAL747 (Thread starter):
2. What do you recommend doing/seeing while there?

Did I miss it, or has sofar nobody recommended "Spotting at AMS" ?
There is a visitors terrace free of charge above the terminal. Access is left of the supermarket opposite Burger King.
Other locations can be found on http://www.schipholspotter.com/ in section "Spots".

In case you have not been to A'dam before, I honestly recommend to do the most touristy thing once: Take a cruise on the canals known as "Grachten" ; if available, this is also very good at night !

-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
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seemyseems
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:36 pm



Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 18):
Only one thing, its stroopwafels

I know, I just read it off the Gouda's Gilde package.
seemyseems in ATL
 
ipodguy7
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:27 pm

Im currently in Paris, but am going from Paris- Amsterdam on Thursday and we have just rented apartments in Paris and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam we have 2 Canal Apartments.
AA/DL/NW/CO/UA/US/B6/AS/AC/FI/NY/EI/BD/BA/AF/AZ/DY/SK/QF/JQ/JL
 
UAL747
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:24 am

Guys, sorry to have started this thread and give you this news,

My mom is having surgery on Wednesday, therefore, I'm not going to get to go to AMS this weekend.....sadly...

However, United has reserved my ticket for further use, so, this gives me more time (and money) to plan ahead and perhaps stay at a nicer hotel, and perhaps meet up with some people in the area. I'm thinking Late April/Early May....

Sorry again, but thanks for all the suggestions.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:18 am

UAL, when you do go to AMS, be very cautious of pickpockets, esp. near Rembrandt Sq.

When I was there in August, some little shit ran off with my wallet, took EUR200 from it, but (thank God), left my credit cards, debit card, hotel key card, driver's license and such (doubt he could use my AB driver's license anyway). Police managed to catch the guy down the street and give my EUR200 back, so this tidbit had a happy ending.

As many have said above, take a canal tour (just don't piss off the swans), walk around the Red Light District (and bring cash, if y'all are into that sorta thing), go to the Anne Frank House, check out the Aviodrome, Dam Sq., and all that fun stuff. If you want convenience and such, take the trams. Cabs get a little expensive if you're using them all the time.

Also, from Schipol, as many have said above, take the train. Really convenient, puts you at Centraal Stn, with easy access to Dam Sq. and all that jazz.

Hope that helps,
Nik
I need a drink.
 
petertenthije
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RE: Things To Do In Amsterdam/Hotels Etc.

Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:18 am



Quoting UAL747 (Reply 22):
I'm thinking Late April/Early May....

Try to include 30 april if you can as that is the birthday of the queen's mom. Great parties all around. Failing that, the 5th of may is liberation day and you will also find many concerts and parties. Include both if you can spare the money.
Attamottamotta!

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