We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

Which Amsterdam hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
UK
Level Contributor
329 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

Hi,

After asking lost of questions previously, we are now putting an itinerary together for our trip in August (29-31). This is our 20th wedding anniversary trip - no kids!!!

We want to have a good walk around the city to take in the sights (except the red light district), see some live music if possible and take photos...daughter has also asked me to take pictures of The Fault in Our Stars locations; apart from Anne Frank's house, where was it filmed?

We would hope to return in the next couple of years with the kids, so don't feel the need to cram everything in, in one trip. Is it easy to avoid the red light district? I didn't realise the hotel was quite so close when we booked!

Aug 29 Fri, arrive mid day, train to hotel (Amrath), canal tour in open top boat. Lunch, wander around the city on foot, maybe go to a brown cafe/pub, then have an early dinner - rijstaffel for 1 vegetarian and 1 non-vegetarian - any recommendations - could be near hotel or anywhere within around a 2km walk? Most options seem to be for 2 people eating the same menu.

After lunch or dinner see any Uitmarkt events in locality (pref music). If no suitable events, what's worth visiting for free/low cost.

Aug 30 Sat, Morning, or as long as it takes - Rrijksmuseum - how long should we allow if we want a good look around? Picnic lunch in the park. Dinner, Middle Eastern some where near the museum area, suitable for veg and non-veg? See any Uitmarkt events in locality (pref music).

Aug 31 Sun, Anne Frank House - will book - how long should we allow to look around? Flight back in early evening, so will need to get back to hotel and pick up luggage before departing by train. Any ideas on anything we should see in the area?

Compared to other itineraries I have looked at, ours seems quite sparse. If there is anything else we really should see, that isn't too expensive, without rushing around to fit it in, please do say.

We would like a leisurely break though, as this is our first break away from the kids in 15 years!

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

"this is our first break away from the kids in 15 years!"

Wow, you should really do that more often! :-)

If you really want to avoid the Red Light District (which I can imagine) it's probably best to have a map in which it is marked. Basically it's only a couple of streets full of coffeeshops, neon signs, windows with working ladies (and a few working men). You may also run into a few windows with working ladies along the start of Spuistraat and the very start of Singel (from Prins Hendrikkade side), but that's easier to just walk past, less full-on than Oudezijds Achterburgwal for example.

Wandering around is great in the Jordaan area and the canal belt.

You can have a small version of rice table (rijsttafel) per person at Kadijk on Kadijksplein which is 10 minutes walk from your hotel. A laid-back cafe-style restaurant with vegetarian options as well as meat options. You will just get about 4 or 6 different small dishes on one plate, whereas a traditional rice table is served in the middle of the table, all kinds of small dishes on metal things to keep them warm. Most of the traditional rice tables with meat also contain quite a few vegetarian dishes, but I can imagine you'd be afraid there isn't enough (or too much meat for 1 person). Kadijk also serves other types of main dishes, for example chicken satay (peanut sauce). And the desert called spekkoek is yummie. Heavy, sweet cake in thin slices.

Uitmarkt takes place on Museumplein and Leidseplein. Museumplein will have free performances all day long, from music to theater to dance to comedy. http://www.uitmarkt.nl/uitmarkt/english

Rijksmuseum: for me 1.5 hours was enough, after that I cannot absorb / process any more new info / art. But I think people on average like to spend 2 or 3 hours there, some even 4. It is huge, and very impressive, both the art and the architecture / colors of the walls.

For your lunch you could decide to just eat food from the stalls that are part of Uitmarkt. There will be seats and tables. Or go to the Albert Heijn supermarket on Museumplein (near the concert building) and eat your picknick on the grass of Museumplein if you can find a part that is not occupied by the Uitmarkt, or in Vondelpark.

For middle eastern dinner you could try Bazar on Albert Cuypstraat, which is also where the Albert Cuyp market is until about 4 or 5pm (lots of stalls will be clearing off during that last hour... good time to buy cheap fruits or flowers). The Lebanese food at Beyrouth is also great. The decorations are quite tacky, but the staff is friendly and the food cheap and very tasty. But Bazar is more conveniently located when coming from the Museumplein area. And personally I like their food, but reviews are a bit mixed. Read them and make up your own mind.

For Anne Frank House I'd say between 1 and 2 hours, depending on how much time you spend reading everything, and whether or not you do the interactive quiz about freedom of expression versus the right to be protected from discrimination, at the end of the museum (if they still have that).

On the last day:

- You could climb Westerkerk tower next to Anne Frank House, lovely views over the 400 year old canals and houses, see my report in post #28 here: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188590-i60-k69566…

- if you have time left and you want to take a walk near your hotel, for example you could explore Entrepotdok, Plantage Kerklaan, Plantage Muidergracht, Rapenburg... quiet, picturesque streets.

- Or take a free 2 minute ferry from the north side of Central Station to EYE film institute, a funky modern architectural building which is a museum (which you don't necessarily need to enter and pay for), cinema, restaurant / cafe with great views, shop. Get the ferry saying 'Buiksloterweg' to get there.

- Or go to the SkyLounge bar of DoubleTree hotel and have some coffee on the roof terrace on the 11th floor, giving you great views of the city. Drinks are expensive, but coffee gets a free refill (which is non-existent elsewhere in Amsterdam, except IKEA ;-)).

Have fun!

Cecilia // Amsterdam

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/amsterdam_tips.htm

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
9,109 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

My first tip would be to forget about the Red Light District. If you don't worry about it, it won't be a problem. When you arrive at your hotel, ask what direction it is and then walk the other way when you walk out the door.

The "Fault in Our Stars" had 2 or 3 sequences filmed in front of the American Hotel on the Leidesplein. I am not positive but am pretty sure the park bench they sat on was here (it was on the Leidsegracht):

http://goo.gl/maps/oyR6X

Try this place for Rijsttafel for one and a vegetarian meal:

http://www.maxrestaurant.nl/

The Uitmarkt events center around the Museumplein which is about 3 km or a 30 minute walk from your hotel. I would download the app as this site suggests:

http://www.amsterdamsuitburo.nl/uitmarkt/

This page suggests there are 450,00 people expected over the 3 days with some 2,000 artists scheduled to perform on 30 stages. It might take a LONG time to get into the Rijksmuseum on Saturday. As for lunch in the park, you might consider the Vondelpark and not the Museumplein.

www.iamsterdam.com/en-GB/Ndtrc/Uitmarkt

For a Middle Eastern meal near the Museumplein, try this place:

http://bazaramsterdam.nl/

You mention Brown Pubs and an interest in music. Here is a place featuring live music most nights:

https://www.facebook.com/molentje

Edited: 05 July 2014, 01:24
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

By the way as for Uitmarkt: I'd say stick to the outdoor performances where you can just walk up and see them, and go away if you don't like them. There are lots of indoor performances as well but the Uitmarkt is so popular nowadays, that people sometimes wait in line for an hour, just to see a 20 minute sneak preview performance. :-/

UK
Level Contributor
329 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

Thanks for the tips.

Yes I think the outdoor events (weather permitting) will suit us best. Those restaurants all sound great. Just the sort of places we like. Should we book in advance? I think we'll probably eat early (around 6 or 7 pm) so that we can enjoy the evening after our meal, wandering around and watching some Uitmarkt events.

Cecile thanks for all those ideas on other places to visit too.

Winter Haven...
Level Contributor
9,109 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

For a Friday night in Amsterdam during high season and the Uitmarkt you should book at least a few weeks in advance.

UK
Level Contributor
329 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

Thanks. Will do then.

7. Re: Laid back itinerary ...enough or not for a weekend?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 07 July 2015, 06:17