A walk downtown passing by DAM (central square), seeing the ROYAL PALACE, CENTRAL STATION and DAMRAK – the busy street full of stores and in January with winter sales and good prices.
LEIDSEPLEIN is a square with lots of restaurants and people walking by. What caught my attention was the number of restaurants with Argentinian meat – good quality and price.
VONDELPARK is the biggest park and even with all that snow, there were a lot of people walking their dogs, having fun with their kids, cycling and ski walking – a sport I had never heard about. The lakes almost frozen and the ducks crowd in what was left of water.
JORDAAN – the quiet art district, where you find the famous canals surrounded by traditional houses, including Anne Frank’s.
RED LIGHT DISTRICT – lots of coffee shops, sexy shops and the famous window shops with hookers – go at night to feel the atmosphere. It is pretty safe, there is all kind of people who go just for fun.
FLINKSTRAAT and CUYPSTRAAT markets have typical food, clothes and cool new and second-hand stuff. Here, souvenirs cost a lot less than in the shops downtown. The market on WATERLOOPLEIN Street has the same style and is closer to the city center.
At RIJKSMUSEUM I met new artists like Arcamp, and at Van Gogh it was possible to visually understand the life of the most famous Dutch painter, I saw paintings from all his artistic periods. FOAM FOTOGRAFIEMUSEUM contains modern things from the photography world.
Accommodation – STAYOKAY VONDELPARK HOSTEL – € 28/person, discount for members. We stayed in a room with 2 bunk beds and bathroom, just for the 2 of us. Breakfast was the best, all sorts of things including nutella. The atmosphere is nice, full of Brazilians and Heineken pints 50% off. The down side was that we did not have community kitchen, we could not eat in the room and the internet was paid.
Other option is the houseboats. All furnished, running water, sewer system, cooking gas and telephone. There are lots for rent, more expensive than hostels, but my friends who chose to stay on housebots loved the experience and did not even feel the cold from the canals.
I AM AMSTERDAM CARD is great for those who want to visit museums, specially the 3-day pass. You get free transport, discount in restaurants, boat rides and free access to most museums. You should check out the places you want to visit, the price and see if the card is the best way to go. They can be for 1, 2 or 3 days. Look for the block letters; they are never in the same place. I found it at MUSEUMPLEIN.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
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