Need to know
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Country information you need to know (if you don’t want to look like a blond girl)
With less than 1 million inhabitants and 3.5 million tourists a year, this guide will help you discover Amsterdam.
The only country in the world where you can ask a cop with a big joint in your hand where the hookers are.
Welcome in Amsterdam
Welcome to Amsterdam, the city where almost everything is possible. Amsterdam is not like other capital cities as it is more an urban village where you can walk and bike to the best parts of town within a day or so. Famous for over the counter sales of hashish and Van Gogh, but once you go deeper, there is so much more to this glorious city. We hope you will go out and experience the fantastic attributes of Amsterdam.
When visiting Amsterdam for the first time, exploring the center of town and a bit further beyond will be enough to get you started. However, if you are one of the more adventures types or the die-hard visitor, Backpackers on High Heels will show you the hidden spots and the absolutely not to be missed hotspots, which will make your stay unforgettable.
Some visitors will not pass the center, though Backpackers on High Heels will take you to the other parts: the Soho of Amsterdam, the Latin quarter of Amsterdam and point out the best places for eating, drinking, lounging, shopping, dancing and cultural hotspots.
Even though Amsterdam is smaller than other metropolitans, there are a lot of neighborhoods. The city counts 14 different parts, but not all are worth going to.
So therefore Backpackers on High Heels gives you the details of the stylish ones that are worth exploring further. CLICK HERE
Beaches & Parks
Since a few years Amterdam has their own city beaches; strand as they call it. A great place for sunny days to feel the sand under your feet, drink a cold glass of Prosecco and enjoy the beachy-city-feel. The real deal is about half hour by train at Zandvoort / Bloemendaal but for the quick need of sand these surrogate beaches are just as good. Blijburg is the only spot where swimming is safe, diving into the water on the other locations are at your own risk.
Open all year. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Besides sand there is a huge restaurant with a cocktail-/ loungebar. The wide beach provides a panoramic view over the IJ. So change the high heels for flip-flops, get into your hammock after playing some beach-volleyball and enjoy the bbq.
Route: from Central Station: walk towards Haarlemmerplein, and direction of Nassauplein. At Nassaupleinturn reight over the bridge. Before the viaduct go right to the Houtmankade. At the end of the Houtmankade turn left to the Tasmanstraat. After 400 meter wou find the Stavangerweg at your right side.
Public transport: Bus 48, direction Station Sloterdijk. Stop: Spaarndammerstraat or Bus 22, direction Zaanstraat, Spaarndammerbuurt. Stop: Spaarndammerstraat.
Strand Zuid City Beach www.strand-zuid.nl
In the oh-so-hi-so south part of town is a classy beach. At the back side of the RAI, in the Beatrixpark. A child friendly beach, so bring your Ipod, terrace, hammocks, beach chairs and lounge sofas. So put on your D&G bikini, order a Prosecco, lay down and relax. Strand Zuid for chic and stylish lunching and dining on the beach, but no swimming.
The local way: come by boat. Otherwise take tram 4 direction Rai Stop: Europaplein
Blijburg aan Zee is the hippie-variation of the city beaches. This city beach is the biggest 250 x 40 meters. Blijburg has their own bay-watch, only without the red bathing suites.
Perfect Blijburg day: get a tan, enjoy a diner at the beach and dance under the stars at the camp fire. There are many life performances and themed party’s organized here, so look at the internet site for the agenda.
Public Transport: tram 26, Last Stop or Bus 359, Stop: IJburg Ruisrietstraat
Bilderdijk Strand www.bilderdijkstrand.nl/
The Bilderdijk Beach has a surface of 4.000 M2, and is open 7 days a week from 10 to 10.
Public Transport: tram 13,17, Stop: Bilderdijkstraator Bus 170 Stop: Elandsgracht
AMSTERDAMSE BOS www.amsterdamsebos.nl/
The Amsterdamse bos (woods) is a recreational area just out at the south side. The woods are artificial fed in the 30’s, partly as a solution raising unemployment due to the economical crisis. It is huge there is open-air a theater, a goat-farm, over 50 km of cycle paths, it is an ideal place for horse riding, fly kites and bird watching. There is a pancake house and you can rent canoes and bikes or just swim.
Public Transport: Bus 66, 170 & 172, 199 stop: Van Nijenrodeweg
Paviljoen Aquarius is a truly hidden hotspot with a stunning view on the Nieuwe Meer. A romantic pavilion for diner, lunch or just a drink. Best accessible with bike or by ferry from the Amsterdamse Bos. TIP: Ferry to Aquarius 15th April till 15th October for 1 euro
www.rederij-oeverloos.nl takes you across the Nieuwe Meer to Paviljoen Aquarius.
Just outsitde the city there is the famous/ notorious Backpackers Original Ruigoord. A hippie art village / colony. A nature reserve located in the harbour area. A backpackers original spot with many activities during the year.
Public Transpot: Bus 82 Stop: Abberdaan. Orientation: direction Haarlem, Westpoort
The Vondelpark opened their gates in 1865. Thirty years later bikes were allowed in the park, in the beginning only in the morning but nowadays there are more bikers than trees. The Vondelpark is the ultimate hangout for picnic, walking, running and every Friday there is for FREE The Friday Night Skate (at 20.00 in front of the Filmmuseum (16,5 km) ). There are 4 Spots for drinks: Blauwe Theehuis, Vertigo / Filmmuseum, Vondeltuin and ideal for children 'T Melkhuisje. In the summertime there are free concerts and dancing classes at the Openlucht Theater. There are tennis courts, a youth hostel and once a year there is a Golf tournament. The Vondelpark is a beautiful park where bikes, dogs and skaters try not to hit each other, a meeting point for friends, amateur soccer players, drunks, homeless and gays at the Rosarium. There are two playgrounds and one pool for the little ones. The backside in the summertime is the overdoses of people, it is a fight to get a spot for you picnic basket.
Amsterdam has 28 parks, but there are only 2 worth going. The central located Vondelpark and more to the west the Westerpark. The park dates from 1890. The park and their historical buildings, including the westergasfabriek, were thorough renovated a few years back. They are nowadays used for creative and cultural events. The hole concept, the park and his industrial buildings gives a modern and spacious feel. The Westerpark is a hip and urban place for everyone. There is a cinema (Ketelhuis), tennis courts, hip restaurants and café’s.
NEED 2 KNOW
There are places in the world where the service is worst, like India. But the Amsterdam attitude will not always give you a warm welcome. There are restaurants and café’s which location and reputation is so good, they don’t bother. Because the know the locals will keep coming back. Too hip and too popular is deadly for the service. But there still are places where you are served with a friendly smile.
First thing you need is a Strippenkaart.
For trams, busses, the metro and even the train used in the city.
You can buy the Strippenkaart in a local shop or supermarkt. There are blue ones and red ones. You need the blue one, cause the reds are only for the elderly and the students.
It is also possible to buy a ticket inside the tram or bus, but they are more expensive.
For explanation about the strippenkaart See: www.gvb.nl
There are also daycares for sale for unlimited travel; 24hours cost 7 euro’s
Download the PODCAST www.gvb.nl
This little bus takes you for only 1 euro from Waterlooplein - Prinsengracht - Centraal Station - Oosterdok. Every 12 minutes during office hours. Just wave the little bus to stop wherever you want.
Recently Amsterdam has their own Tuk Tuks, an ideal way of traveling with a Asian feel.
You can call them or just wave them down at the street. Costs are 3,50 a person riding in a zone.
For more information: www.tuktukcompany.nl
Another way of odd transport is the bike taxi. Ideal for short distances, comfortable and slow so you have enough photo opportunities. Prices are about 45 euro an hour. More information? Click Here
The ferry’s are free. FERRY FROM TO
In 1621 there was the first pleasure cruise, welcoming Queen Elisabeth Stuart of Bohemia into the city. Treating visiting royals and VIP's to a cruise on the canals became a tradition that lives on till today. From Winston Churchill to the Beatles and Nelson Mandela, almost all our famous guests have made their acquaintance with the city from the deck of a canal cruise boat. Nowadays it is no longer an exclusive Royal privilege. So climb on deck and enjoy.
There are several tour-operators all with different routes.
There is a big variety of cruises:
TIP: For the sporty types pedal on a 4-seater boat:Spent a week in Amsterdam with friends they showed me through their beautiful city, including a lucky narrow escape from a water equivalent of the Dodi and Dianna crash - we had hired a little boat thing that we paddled ourselves to navigate the canels with. In one particularly busy canel that was lined with cafe's along the waters edge, a big tourist boat decided to pin us to the wall as it went past - much to our horror and embarrassment. There were however, a number of tourists on the boat who thought nothing of our predicament and preceded to take photos of us pinned to the wall. Not pretty, but we all lived to tell the tale, though we could laugh about it which was a bonus!
For more information about the Canal Bike; click HERE
Another (more stylish) option is to rent a boat. At Boaty you can rent an electric boat for a day of only an afternoon. For 89 euro you have see Amsterdam in the most stylish way.
Brand New in Amsterdam, the red tourist bus. Every other European city have them for ages and finally there is one in Amsterdam. A good alternative for the canal boat, especially when you are afraid of water. This is high and dry. Different routes, different languages. Well, you know the drill. 1 hour 16 euro www.touristbusamsterdam.com
I AMsterdam CARD
See more - Save more - I AMsterdam Card
Visiting Amsterdam and want to take in the culture, nightlife, events and restaurants the city has to offer? The I AMsterdam Card is your key to the city! A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to a world-renowned museum, a boat cruise along the charming canals or a sampling of the local delicacies. All this and a whole lot more is included with your I AMsterdam Card. The I AMsterdam Card consists of a chip-card, a public transport ticket, a full-colour guide and provides over 30 free and 20 discounted offers on major tourist attractions and restaurants.
• Free use of public transport: includes trams, buses and underground of the GVB public transport system. Important: not valid for train travel, including to and from Schiphol Airport.
• Free entrance and discounts at: Museums , Attractions , Restaurants and a canal cruise.
The I AMsterdam Card costs €33 for 24 hours, €43 for 48 hours and €53 for 72 hours
Cultural Boost For all the museums and other cultural highlights go to: TO DO
There is a lot to do in Amsterdam. Like: Ice-skating: Jaap Eden hal Climbing: Klimmuur Squash: Squash city Swimming: Zuiderbad Horse riding: Hollandsche Manage & FridayNight Skate Golf: see Vondelpark & much more. For more Sporty go to: TO DO
Children For all kinds of adventure and places for the little ones go to: TO DO
Out of the City
For more information go to the homepage: BEACHBIKE
Be careful while biking on the tram tracks Watch: MacBike Amsterdam Safe Cycle Guide on YouTube
B. on High Heels Bike tour: COMING SOON
Backpackers on High Heels SPECIAL SELECTED Personal Shopping experience
Hilda Moolhuizen is a personal shopper, she knows everything and anything about fashion and style. If you are looking for an ultimate personal shopping experience go to her website and treat yourself at an unbelievable shopping day.
Reguliersdwarsstraat – gay street
Amsterdam is one of the world's gay playgrounds—the world's first nation to recognize same-sex marriages and the Reguliersdwarsstraat is gay-town. On summer nights the area becomes one giant street party.
And for the colder days the über gay HotSpots are: