Britannia Travel Classifieds
INTERNATIONAL DESTINATIONS ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB
 BRITANNIA.COM . . . AMERICA'S GATEWAY TO THE BRITISH ISLES SINCE 1996
Search Britannia

Press "ENTER"
CLASSIFIEDS ADVERTISEMENTS
CLASSIFIEDS  >  Amsterdam Travel & Vacations

Amsterdam Travel & Vacations
It cannot be denied that many young tourists, and some of the older ones come to Amsterdam for the coffeeshops. This can be a complex issue which is good to understand. Firstly coffeeshops are meant exclusively for cannabis, asking for other drugs is pointless because coffeeshops are watched closely by the authorities and nothing will get them closed quicker than having hard drugs on sale. Secondly, due to the constant lucrative stream of tourists many coffeeshop owners don't bother so much with quality anymore, and so there is a huge range going from little horticultural masterpieces to pure trash. A simple rule of thumb is; if the place looks good and well kept chances are their wares will be good as well. Amsterdam travel information, Amsterdam travel guide, Amsterdam hotels, Amsterdam vacations, flights to Amsterdam.

The 'Amsterdam' that most people know is the city centre, the semicircle with Central Station at its centre. It corresponds to the old city, as it was around 1850: its boundary is the Singelgracht canal, the old city moat. Three other major canals ring the old city; the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht, and the Prinsengracht, the latter of which runs alongside the roads Nassaukade, Stadhouderskade, and Mauritskade. These form the outer ring road around the old city canal system. Almost everything outside this line was built after 1870. The semicircle is on the south side of the IJ, which is called a river, but is more exactly an estuary. Going east from central station, the railway passes the artificial islands of the redeveloped Eastern Docklands. North of the IJ is mainly housing, although a major dockland redevelopment has started there too.

The river Amstel flows into the city from the south. Originally, it flowed along the line Rokin-Damrak. The dam in the Amstel, which gives the city its name, was located under the present Bijenkorf department store. The original settlement was on the right bank of the Amstel, on the present Warmoesstraat: it is therefore the oldest street in the city. The city has expanded in all directions, except to the north of the ring motorway. The region there, Waterland, is a heavily protected rural landscape.

Quite a few travellers visit Amsterdam to enjoy its famously tolerant attitude. Prostitution is fully legalized and licensed, and the sale, possession, and consumption of small quantities of cannabis, while illegal, is ignored by authorities under a policy of gedogen (tolerance). Unfortunately, some travellers take this to mean that one can pretty much get away with anything in Amsterdam, much to the detriment of the locals and fellow tourists. The city has made great strides, especially in the last few years, in preventing such abuses while maintaining its easy-going atmosphere.

Note the important distinction between the expressions "Coffee Shop" and "Café". The former is a place where there is a pot menu, and sometimes drinks. The latter is a place to have a coffee or a glass of wine or beer. Coffee shops generally do not sell alcoholic beverages. Cafés do, but they do not allow the use of drugs, even marijuana and hashish.

The best time of year to visit Amsterdam is surely springtime. April is best, since all the tulips will be in bloom. A daytrip to the Keukenhof and its surroundings in the west of the country is easy to do and a great way of seeing some more of the country. Every year on April 30 the Dutch celebrate Queensday (Koninginnedag), the birthday of the reigning monarch.

Some areas are teeming with tourists, and thus pickpockets, so keep your bag close. Announcers in trams and public buildings such as Central Station will warn about pickpockets, but don't rely on the thieves to wait for fair warning. A well known spot for pickpockets is around the 'Dam' square or the Red Light District.

Groups of women visiting the Red Light District at night might feel harassed in the aggressive environment, though this is said to be the safest area around because of the police presence. Keep to main streets and groups. The Red Light District is generally safe, and although the police have a fairly low profile there, don't cause trouble, or you might find plain clothes officers appearing out of nowhere. Do not take photographs of the prostitutes.

You may be approached by people offering to sell you drugs in the street. A firm refusal is enough. The selling of drugs in the street is illegal and often dangerous. When they invite you to see the goods, they can lure you into a narrow street and rob you. Near the central station and the shopping area, people might ask you about cheap hotels. Ignore it, since most often they will bring you to a hotel which is not cheap at all. It is not legal to do this. Also ignore beggars since they can be quite rude and giving them money is not allowed.

When on foot, do not use bike lanes as side-walks. Some bike lanes along canals or the Amstel river are treacherously like pedestrian paths, purpose-made for tourists. They are not. Their colour and the image of a bike on the ground will give them away. Vice versa don't expect cyclists to be kind to pedestrians: many consider the side-walk an extension of the road, to be used whenever it suits them. Watch out for trams coming out of nowhere. And know that on some roads taxis may (or just will) use the part of the road reserved for trams. When on a bike, be prepared for the erratic movements of your gable-staring fellow tourists near or onto the bike lane. Use your bicycle bell. That is what it is for and people (even tourists) quickly learn that it means to move out of the way. Bikes left in the street often get stolen, use a chain to secure them and make certain you string it through the frame and front wheel, and wherever possible some fixed thing like a lamp post.

Amsterdam Travel
Anne Frank House
Rijksmuseum
Artis
Van Gogh Museum
Filmmuseum
Bloemenmarkt
The Nine Streets
Royal Palace
Heineken Brewery
Red light district
Stedelijk Museum
Tropenmuseum
Anne Frank House
Rijksmuseum
Artis
Van Gogh Museum
Filmmuseum
Bloemenmarkt
The Nine Streets
Royal Palace
Heineken Brewery
Red light district
Stedelijk Museum
Tropenmuseum
Anne Frank House
Rijksmuseum
Artis
Van Gogh Museum
Filmmuseum
Bloemenmarkt
The Nine Streets
Royal Palace
Heineken Brewery
Red light district
Stedelijk Museum
Tropenmuseum
Anne Frank House
Rijksmuseum
Artis
Van Gogh Museum
Filmmuseum
Bloemenmarkt
The Nine Streets
Royal Palace
Heineken Brewery
Red light district
Stedelijk Museum
Tropenmuseum
Copyright ©2006  Britannia.com