Visiting Amsterdam in November
April 22, 2013 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Visiting Amsterdam (hopefully) over the 11/9 weekend - what to do?

Visiting Amsterdam with one of my friends 11/6 - 11/10 and am looking for things to do. We are already planning on the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and the Van Gogh museum but would like to hear other things to do or experiences visiting Amsterdam in November.

Any other advice is appreciated, we may or may not head to a coffee shop or smartshop.
posted by lpcxa0 to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, The Netherlands (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Have some comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot. Also, it'll probably be a bit chilly, so have a warm jacket/layers.

A canal tour can be a great way to see the city (from a nice angle). You may want to plan this half-way through a day to give your feet a rest.
posted by el io at 1:34 PM on April 22, 2013

I would consider a day-trip to the Hague - it has some great architecture and (something I haven't gone to but is certainly on my list) the Escher Museum.
posted by el io at 1:37 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Begijnhof is worth a visit. I also enjoyed the Amsterdam Museum (they dropped "Historical" recently), once I got past the modern, interactive exhibit (which didn't have much content) and got into the rest of the museum. The Tropical Museum is also worth a visit: it's the old Colonial Museum, now expanded beyond Dutch colonies in southeast Asia and South America.
posted by brianogilvie at 1:43 PM on April 22, 2013

Go for walks through some neighborhoods and admire the architecture - and go see the Begijnhof, it's really pretty (do a Google image search on Begijnhof Amsterdam and you'll know what I mean)!

(On preview: Seconding the Begijnhof.)
posted by amf at 1:47 PM on April 22, 2013

Yes, do see the Begijnhof. But I will also second the idea of a day trip to the Hague. (I'm biased because I used to live there, but it's a fascinating city and well worth the short trip.)
posted by trip and a half at 2:01 PM on April 22, 2013

You will want a covered canal tour not only to give your feet a rest but also because it will inevitably rain. Visit the Ij Brewery, if you like to see how beer is made. The Stedelijk Museum if you like contemporary art. There are a number of good beer bars, if that's what you like... So far, most people have given you fairly standard answers about what to see. Can you be more specific about what you think you might like to see?
posted by knile at 2:36 PM on April 22, 2013

I know it's going to be November and likely chilly and rainy at least some of the time, but what absolutely *made* my Amsterdam trip for me was renting a bike. Biking around Amsterdam was one of the best experiences of my life; it's what the locals do (something like 1/3 of all trips made in Amsterdam are by bike), the infrastructure is clearly marked, and there are tours and rental places up the wazoo. I rented a bike from Mike's Bike Tours (whom I went with among the plethora of choices because they specifically said "Yes, we have bikes for short people!"). It's really easy to just follow the locals' lead if you find anything a bit perplexing, too.

Also, eat poffertjes (little puffy pancakes covered with powdered sugar) and (spek)pannekoeken (bacon pancakes) and stroopwafelen (waffle-cookie caramel sandwiches) and frites met oorlog (fries with mayo and sate sauce). And save some room for a rijsttafel dinner one night (a traditional Indonesian dinner).
posted by Pandora Kouti at 2:54 PM on April 22, 2013

If you're into this kind of thing, have a cheese sandwich (super aged gouda, preferably) and try the pancakes with lemon and powdered sugar. Yum.
posted by ktkt at 5:03 PM on April 22, 2013

Last I was in Amsterdam, we rented a little tin boat with an electric outboard, and just cruised around the canals. There were only two of us, but you could comfortably have had four or five in the boat. Was great fun. That was in Spring, though.
posted by pompomtom at 5:13 PM on April 22, 2013

It will be cold and rainy outside and overheated and steamy inside, so wear layers and something water-resistant (don't get stuck buying one of those Holland-themed plastic ponchos from a souvenir shop!).

I'd invest in a week-long disposable OV-chipkaart, which will allow you to hop on the trams when it gets too rainy or your feet get too tired. You can get them at the GVB office in the white building across from the main entrance of Centraal Station.

If you like beer, I agree that you should visit Brouwerij 't IJ. You should also visit the beer bar In de Wildeman.

The coffeeshop that I always take visitors to is the Tweede Kamer, which is just off het Spui (which, by the way, is pronounced "spow"). The tiny espresso bar just across from it is really good, too.

If you're religious, you might be interested in Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder, which is a former Catholic church hidden inside a couple of canal houses. It's located on the edge of the Red Light District. You might also be interested in the Bijbels Museum and/or the Jewish Historical Museum.

Restaurant-wise, I always recommend Burger's Patio, which is in the Jordaan, not far from the Anne Frank House. You can also check Amsterdam Foodie for more recommendations.

Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx (also located near Spui) is supposed to be the best fry shop in Amsterdam, but the Manneken Pis on the Damrak is also pretty good. They've just introduced a gimmicky "wietsaus", a sauce that's supposed to taste like pot.

Other good cities for day trips are Utrecht (the Dom, shopping, canal tours), Haarlem (nice town square, the Jopenkerk brewery and bar), and Leiden (Hortus Botanicus, the National Museum of Antiquities.)
posted by neushoorn at 12:13 AM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

As an Amsterdam local, can I just say: please only rent the bike if you're already comfortable riding bikes. Otherwise we *will* hate you, glower at you, cut you off and laugh when you fall over.

On the off chance that it's sunny in November, take a walk in the Vondelpark. Go shop in the Haarlemmerstraat or in the Negen Straatjes. I wanted to say 'Check out Time Out Amsterdam for cool stuff to do' but it seems they've gone bankrupt. Huh. Well anyway, check out their archive for cool stuff to do; most of Amsterdam is still here. :) Take a free ferry over the IJ and see an old movie at EYE, the Amsterdam film museum. See what's playing in Paradiso or the Melkweg. See if there's a good Ajax game going if you like football (soccer).
posted by Skyanth at 3:00 AM on April 23, 2013

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