Amsterdam: outside of museums and cofee bars, what is fun?
November 18, 2004 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm leaving for Amsterdam in less than two weeks. I've been to the museums, I know which coffeebars I like. Where fun is there to do? Winston? That hidden anarchist's bar I can never find? Stampot at Haesje Claes?
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Anarchists bar: are you talking about the one with the armored door, no windows, no obvious sign & a collection of ETA slogans & anti-pope stuff on the walls inside? Usually pretty crowded at night? If so, I believe that's over by the Nieuwe Kerk.
posted by aramaic at 2:23 PM on November 18, 2004

You may have already done this, but if you enjoy beer you could tour the Heineken brewery. I did it a number of years ago, but for a tiny sum they showed us all around, bombarded us with drinking propaganda, and then released us like a pack of dogs into a beer hall where we could drink as much as we could guzzle in about fifteen minutes. Then they release you, drunk as a skunk, back out into the street. Possibly the best $2 I've ever spent.
posted by jess at 3:49 PM on November 18, 2004

Amsterdam is great, but the Netherlands is a big wonderful country, one of the best for a social tourist; even if you yourself are not social, they make it so easy to meet people and expand your horizons. You might enjoy heading out of town to the Hague, Delft or wherever. It changes as you go. What a great country. Enjoy.
posted by caddis at 5:01 PM on November 18, 2004

--wander around the pijp (there's a big flea market) and jordaan neighborhoods.

--go to the island(s?) behind the train station

--daytrip to Kroller Muller museum (train to bikes, inside national park) or Rotterdam (great museums, funky modern architecture) or the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague (girl with pearl earring, vermeers, etc--wonderful)
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on November 18, 2004

I'd definitely have some poffertjies. mmmmmmmmmm
posted by Eekacat at 5:27 PM on November 18, 2004

i lived in amsterdam four years ago, and have a couple of recommendations:

1. the supperclub. get a couple friends together, wear socks you can bear to show others (you'll be removing your shoes), relax on a bed, and eat a reasonably great (and long) prix fixe meal with some fine wine. not too pretentious, and the music may be great if you like downtempo/electronica. kind of tough to find; make sure to get good directions. caveat: i was there four years ago, YMMV.

2. rent a bike and don't miss the vondelpark (beautiful and eerily quiet-ish this time of year) and the jordaan.

3. the cat boat ("de poezenboot") was charming to me as a child.

4. if you like models/miniatures/architecture, check out madurodam in the hague (den haag). it's (a great deal of) the country replicated in exhaustive detail on a 1:25 scale. again, haven't been there in years, but it's pretty cool.

5. there is a 'jenever' (gin) tasting bar in the centre of amsterdam; i forget the name, but ask around-- most locals know what it is. this might be it.

6. DO NOT MISS your opportunity to eat at a FEBO (food from the wall). please, please have a kroket for me. when intoxicated (which is remarkably often), i truly miss amsterdam.
posted by mireille at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2004

oh-- sorry, i guess i 'second' the jordaan (and for that matter, i wholeheartedly second the kroller-muller)...
posted by mireille at 6:36 PM on November 18, 2004

I wholeheartedly third the Kroller-Muller.

And I agree -- get out there and look around. Haarlem is a charming little town (about fifteen minutes from A'dam by train) with a great cathedral. Plus, Frans Hals was born there, and there's a nice museum of his work. And the weekly market around the cathedral is interesting.

And I've never seen anything quite like the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the largest plant and flower auction in the world. (More than 20 million flowers a day...most of the world's flowers come through here.) It's near Schiphol airport, and I'd go there as early in the morning as possible. (Take a nap later on.) Gigantic rooms with little trucks pulling trains of carts filled with flowers, auction rooms, et cetera. It's really fascinating.
posted by Vidiot at 9:37 PM on November 18, 2004

Two weeks, hmmm.

If you encounter strange black guys giving you candy don't freak out, it's tradition.
posted by sebas at 10:47 PM on November 18, 2004

And if you just want to see canals and walk around a nice typical Dutch city without the tourists go to Utrecht.
posted by sebas at 10:49 PM on November 18, 2004

Sorry to spam your question, but here is the event list of Amsterdam.
posted by sebas at 10:56 PM on November 18, 2004

I'll second the FEBO recommendation, with one caveat: it must be late, and you must be drunk. FEBO is the White Castle of the Netherlands.
posted by ruddhist at 1:15 AM on November 19, 2004

It might be worth noting that there's a lot of construction going on these days in Amsterdam, so seeing more of the country than just the capital wouldn't be such a bad idea. A new subway line is being built right across town from Central Station down to the southern edge of the city, so a lot of the city is (or appears to be) gutted. In addition, both the National Museum (the Rijksmuseum) and the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (the Stedelijk Museum) have chosen to use the next year or two to upgrade their facilities, so they're either closed or showing only a very select portion of their collection.
posted by ar0n at 1:36 AM on November 19, 2004

I haven't been in the Winston in a while, but it used to be a favorite of mine and probably hasn't changed much (judging from the way they did their business, slightly different than other places in Amsterdam, specially when it comes to door policy: basically, they tend not to be complete jerks). It is a small, smokey, packed and fun as hell disco-bar with regular live gigs as well.

Kashmir in Jan Pieter Heijenstraat is a very large and very cool coffeeshop/bar/lounge with few, if any, tourists.

In the Pijp, eat at the Frans Halsstraat, which possibly has the highest amount of excellent restaurants per linear meter in Amsterdam. Balti House, Waaghals, Zen Sushi and Witte Uyl are superb, with Drie Frienden, Quinto and Carol's a notch down but still great, along with several other ethnic places (this Spaniard recommends skipping the tapas place, though). Prices on these places go from fairly cheap to fairly expensive.
posted by magullo at 4:28 AM on November 19, 2004

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