Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Lucha Vino

Heading to Amsterdam

Posted by Lucha Vino, Apr 10, 2013.

I am going to Amsterdam the week of April 22nd.  I wish I could have been there for the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris Roubaix bike races.  But, what can I say? At least I am going to get a week to experience a part of the world I haven't seen before.

This is a work trip so I will only have evenings for exploring.  What tips do you all have for food, wine and adventure in Amsterdam?



Reply by jtryka, Apr 13, 2013.

I was there in 1996, so there have likely been many changes, but we had some fun at the Heineken brewery, and so many good restaurants, including many ethnic places (we went to an awesome Argentine steakhouse one night, and there are plenty of bars to enjoy.  I would take a river cruise in the evening as I think that would be as much fun during the evening as during the day.  But there were many things we did that are not evening activities, like seeing the Van Gogh museum or the Rijksmuseum, or the Ann Frank house, but then again, evenings are perfect for walking through the red light district LOL!  

Reply by sparktospace, Apr 14, 2013.

I was just there for 10 days.....ask questions and I shall answer!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 16, 2013.

So I'm late to the party here, but I was in Amsterdam last summer for a few days.  We actually stayed in Leiden, which is about 25 minutes or so by train from Am'dam.  Leiden was great for us because we have kids and could stay near the train station and not have to haul our stuff around. Leiden is the university town and also birthplace of Rembrandt--we spent quite a bit of our time there.  There are lots of nice restaurants on the Rhine (Rijn in Dutch) in Leiden--it's a canal city and people orient themselves by those canals.  Days will be pretty long, so you have lots of light hours to explore wherever you are.

The usual things--Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum--are well worth seeing in Amsterdam if you have time.  I also poked my head into wine shops while I was there, but can't say the wine culture was a big part of things, as far as I could tell.  In Amsterdam there are lots of restaurants of all types, but some of the best known are Indonesian, since it was a colony, and there are many immigrants from that country.  One good thing about being there while American colleges are in session still is that you avoid all the college yahoos who go there on pot tourism.  The laws have been changing, but it was just obnoxious to stand in line to see the Anne Frank House and hear "educated" American youth who knew very little except that they were going to check this off on their list of things to do before going to a coffeeshop. 

Reply by Lucha Vino, Apr 17, 2013.

I've heard lots of positive recommendations for Indonesian food so I will do that for sure.  I'm not sure what my evening schedule is going to look like, but I will be sure to get my hosts to show me around to the "good places"

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 17, 2013.

One thing you are going to love--you'll see it as you take the train from airport--is how people get around on bicycles.  The country is very flat and there are dedicated bike trails next to the train route.  Amseterdam is really busy and crowded and the streets are not as easy to navigate on bicycle, but in Leiden everyone is on bikes, not just the college students.  People into their seventies are flying around on these cruiser bikes--it's flat so you don't need gears, although you do see some three speeds.  Most of the bikes aren't all tricked up like here--you will see people going on their racing bikes weekend mornings and so on, but there are hundreds of old bikes in varying conditions from rusty to rehabbed for every fancy racing bike.  Not that they don't care about bike racing--I'll email you a photo from a bookstore with lots of books on bike racing and their local heroes (it was TdF time when I was there, as you may recall).

We had to get used to looking out for the bikes when we walked in Leiden, because everyone else has conformed to them, but you don't hear them coming.  On the other hand, it made the city quieter and less congested with cars, and you have to love that.

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