Amsterdam: Help me have the tourist experience on a Sunday afternoon
October 9, 2015 2:58 AM   Subscribe

A work trip I'm going on to the Hague finishes at noon on Sunday so I'm thinking of heading over to Amsterdam (where I will fly out of early Monday morning) to spend Sunday afternoon/night. I'm looking for recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and what to do and hoping for the full Amsterdam tourist experience and all it's infamous for, in a single Sunday afternoon/evening. Thanks!
posted by pick_the_flowers to Travel & Transportation around Amsterdam, Netherlands (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
For the full Amsterdam experience, you probably want to stay within the canal rings; maybe at De L'Europe if you want to go really fancy. Alternatively, there are quite a few hotels around the Vondelpark, especially around the northeast end.

For lunch or a snack, I'd get fries with mayo. There are tons of fry shops around, but I think the Manneken Pis on the Damrak between Centraal Station and Dam Square is pretty reliable (though I haven't been there in a while). I'd get dinner at Restaurant Blauw, a well-regarded Indonesian restaurant. My favorite Amsterdam restaurant is Burger's Patio in the Jordaan, which is nice if you want to experience a different neighborhood. If you like beer, definitely visit In de Wildeman, a beer bar that's not far from Centraal Station.

What to do really depends on what you enjoy. The major museums are open on Sundays, so you could visit those; the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh close at 17:00, the Stedelijk closes at 18:00. You might enjoy a canal tour (lots of options around Centraal Station); they're kind of cheesy, but a nice way to see a lot of architecture, and it looks like the weather will be clear and sunny on Sunday (hopefully). Leidseplein is popular at night, though I'm not sure what it's like on a Sunday evening. If you're looking for a coffee shop, De Tweede Kamer is a good one, and personally I enjoy the square nearby (Het Spui).
posted by neushoorn at 3:59 AM on October 9, 2015

It's been a while since I went to Amsterdam so I'm not sure how many of these things you can fit in an afternoon, but the highlights of my trip were:

- The Heineken Experience (basically an interactive museum about beer)
- Wandering around canals, and taking a trip on a canal boat (I went on one at night which was beautiful)
- The Sunflowers at the Van Gogh museum (I am not much into art so I didn't spend too long at the museums but there is loads more if that is your thing)
- The Sex Museum (hilarious - although might be a bit awkward on your own)
- Catch a tram! They are extremely fun and you have a good look at the city out of the window.

The only food I can remember was a kaassouffle - a cheese pancake - from a street vendor, not exactly a gourmet meal but definitely tasty if you are in a hurry.
posted by intensitymultiply at 5:25 AM on October 9, 2015

OK you leave the Hague at noon and take the train (from Den Haag Central Station - CS - or Hollandsspoor station - HS) to Amsterdam Central Station. It's less than 1 hour with a few stops on the way.

Let's say you're at the station by 1400 which should be OK. I'd stay at the Park Plaza Victoria which is right in front of Amsterdam Centraal. You walk there in 2 minutes, check in in five minutes and you've dropped your bags and are back out on the street by 1430.

Leaving the hotel, if you go to the right, you'll go past Damrak towards the Red Light District, but I would encourage you to go left, find your way to Spuistraat and head for the Jordaan District. If you want to visit a coffee shop Tweede Kamer is pretty popular with the locals (I see it was already recommended). And then, if you like fish, eat dinner here also on Spuistraat.

Don't bother with museums if this is your fist visit. Just walk around. The city is museum itself.
posted by three blind mice at 5:33 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Check out Tuchinski Theatre! It's beautiful, even if you don't see a movie.
posted by KernalM at 6:53 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

We were just there in May. A Dutch co-worker turned me on to for restaurant reviews - all of the places we picked on the strength of the reviews were great.

Recommend a canal tour - there are many, some shorter, some longer. But it's a great way to see the city in a short period of time.

We did an hour-long one which was great - felt like we covered a lot of sights in a short period of time.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:11 AM on October 9, 2015

I love Amsterdam, and Mr. antinomia and I go to the Netherlands about twice a year. Definitely wander around the canals. For something a little touristy but definitely delightful go to The Pancake Bakery for lunch or dinner. (Ah, cheese and onion pancakes with gloeiwijn (gluhwein), it's time to go back!) My favorite place for Dutch-style lunch is Singel 404, but it's everyone else's favorite as well so expect a line. And I second the recommendation to try Indonesian.

The Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh are also excellent -- but don't try to go to the Ann Frank house because the line is insane.

Personally, my favorite museum is the Rembrandt Huis (that's right, Rembrandt's actual house). Nice mix of art history and history history, and it's quick to go through. And finally I always stop in the Oude Kerk to see what they're exhibiting. Looks like it's photos from Pride right now.
posted by antinomia at 7:15 PM on October 9, 2015

Others are right in that you probably want to stay in the centre if you have only one night. However, on a business trip I recently ended up staying at the Westcord Fashion Hotel, which is on the outskirts of the city at the bottom of the Vondelpark and adjacent to the Rembrandtpark, but also on the way to Schiphol, so convenient for flying out the next morning. (Most trains from the south also stop at Schiphol, and it's just as easy to get off there as at Centraal station, if you stay on this side of town.) I found the centre of the city quite overwhelming, though admittedly I was there over a holiday weekend and so there may have been more crowds than usual. I was worried about staying outside the centre, but Amersterdam is actually quite small, and it was very easy to take the tram into the centre, and nice to be away from the crowds in the evening. Near this hotel is an amazing restaurant, an upscale rijsttafel/indonesian place called Restaurant Blauw. If you have a little money to spend, I also had a memorable tasting menu-type meal in a 17th century building at the Five Flies (Restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen).
posted by amusebuche at 10:36 PM on October 9, 2015

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