- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Perfect for the short-term traveler who insists on value and doesn't want to wade through or carry a full-size guidebook, this series selects the very best choices in all price categories and takes you straight to the top sights. Get the latest on hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, sports, shopping, and nightlife in a nutshell in ...
Perfect for the short-term traveler who insists on value and doesn't want to wade through or carry a full-size guidebook, this series selects the very best choices in all price categories and takes you straight to the top sights. Get the latest on hotels, restaurants, sightseeing, sports, shopping, and nightlife in a nutshell in these lightweight, inexpensive guides.
The city has 160 canals, with a combined length of 75.5 km (47 miles), spanned by 1,281 bridges. So the first thing you should do is join the 2 1/2 million people every year who take a ride around the canals on one of the 70 canal tour-boats. Why? Because the water-level view of those gabled canal houses and the picturesque bridges lends meaning and color to everything else you do during your stay. Amsterdam's 17th-century Golden Age becomes a vivid reality as you glide through the waterways that were largely responsible for those years of prosperity. You view the canal houses from canal level, just as they were meant to be seen. This is also the best way to see Amsterdam's large and busy harbor. (See "Organized Tours" later in this chapter.)
If You Have 1 Day
If you have only 1 day in Amsterdam, limit yourself in what you attempt. It's better to come away with a few good memories than to run around trying for a quick glimpse of everything. That doesn't mean you can't see a lot, however. The first thing you should do is invest an hour in a canal-boat trip. Don't worry for one minute about anyone who sniffs at this idea and mutters something about canal-boat tours being tourist traps. Maybe they are, but who cares? The view of Amsterdam from the water is the best you can get, and cruising is faster and a lot easier on your feet than walking. After the boat tour, you should grab a quick lunch. How about a broodje at a broodjeswinkel, or, if you're ready to jump in with both feet, a raw herring with onions from one of the many roadside stalls?
Next you might want to do at least part of one of the walking tours listed in chapter 7. You could start with The Golden Age Canals tour, along Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht, lined by stunning canal houses topped by step, bell, and other decorative gables, and crisscrossed by smaller canals with colorful houseboats anchored along their banks. Since you will have seen some of the main canals on your boat tour, you could instead try either the Old Center tour or the Jordaan tour. When you're finished with that, head for one of the "big four" museums: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, and the Anne Frankhuis. Take a tram if you're running short on time.
After the museum, it will probably be late afternoon and you'll be pretty exhausted, so I'd suggest returning to the hotel for a drink at the bar before dinner or a nap. Since you probably had a Dutch breakfast and a Dutch lunch, you might consider going for an Indonesian rijsttafel at dinner. Afterward, if you're still up for it, you really shouldn't miss having a drink in a brown café--your Amsterdam experience won't be complete without it.
1. Planning a Trip to Amsterdam.
2. Getting to Know Amsterdam.
5. Exploring Amsterdam.
6. Amsterdam After Dark.