Tour around the city
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 2 of 3 › view all entries
December 1st, 2007 – by: tirsomaldonado
We finally got a panoramic city tour at Tours & Tickets (http://www.Tours-tickets.nl) which included a canal cruise for only 25 euros. The whole tour took around 2 ½ hours. It started very close from the Central Station, and from there we went to the Royal Palace, the Mint Tower, the flower market and we ended up the tour visiting a typical windmill.
Our tour guide spoke several languages and was quite funny.
All houses along the canals were so nice, what a beautiful architecture! Most of the building were very narrow with beautiful façades and not too high. The whole city is 1 ½ meters below the sea level and it is been built on a very sandy land so they could not use very heavy materials to build the houses.
We got lucky as in November the weather is not supposed to be so good. It was a very sunny day, although in the shade it was quite cold. When we took the canal cruise we passed by the Amstel Botel, which is a hotel on the water! It is a pitty we could not stay there… At 2pm we went to have a quick lunch as two of us were leaving at 6pm… After having lunch we still had time to visit a coffee shop. It was just different to the other places we had been to. The lights were green and Bob Marley was all over the place. From there, we went to the best street to go shopping. Its name is Kalve Straat, and it starts at Dam Saquare. If you look for it, you will find a Rabobank (a very rood word in Spanish ☺) in the corner.
We kept on walking and we ended up in the Flower market and parallel to this street we found the best street to go for dinner and drinks. I believe it was the gay & lesbian area. I read in Lonely Planet that Ámsterdam is the biggest gay destination in Europe with more than 100 gay and lesbian bars, cafés, clubs, shops and hotels. We found a loungebar at Regulierswars straat and we kept going down the street until we reached Rembrandtplein. In that square we found many exciting places. Our first stop was at ESCAPE. We thought it was a coffe place, but then we discover that in the second floor there was a chillout bar and in the third floor there was a club. It was still early, so I am not sure if it was an hetero or guy club. We ended up having a Kalua coffee and a nice snack based on different fried cheeses.
Then we went around the square to find new and exciting places… our second stop at Rembrandtplain was a place for ice skating. It was quite cold and there was a guy there skating and he was just wearing a t-shirt… and I am telling you, it was reaaaaalllly cold. In the middle of the square we found some statues representing Rembrandt´s master piece “The nightwatch” (1642). There we took some funny photos, although it was quite difficult without using a tripod. This trip has convinced me to buy a new lense ☺ I need a 50mm 1.4. I normally travel with a 17-85 IS 4.5 and it just cannot handle photos with not enough light…
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at ARC loungebar to have a cockatil. The place was a gay & lesbian place.
The Public transportations is very good and punctual, so we took the bus to go back to the hotel. By the way, you have 800.000 people riding bicycles like crazy ☺ It is a fact that really surprised me as the weather is not that good, but people still rides them. I even found a parking lot with hundreds of bicycles. I am sure Al Gore is quite happy about how Dutch people treat the environment ☺
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