"God made the Dutch, but the Dutch made Holland" Top 5 Page for this destination Amsterdam by jo104

Amsterdam Travel Guide: 10,233 reviews and 21,443 photos

Amsterdam

I have had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam 7 times without going to a coffee house - seems almost unbelievable!! (then again who wants to be stoned out of your mind in a beautiful place like this)

Being South african I find comfort in the gabled facades of the houses, the language & the friendliness of the Dutch.

I always find myself relaxing & smiling walking along the canals seeing the houses slanting awkwardly.

I am lucky enough to have a close friend living in the Albert Cuyp district which is becoming quite trendy. Unfortunately the Sarphati plaza is not open for the general public but by invitation only. I have the advantage of finding choice places off the usual touristy trail. My friend Han is a wonderful host. Han Epskamp wrote the music & lyrics for come back group Mai Tai hopefully soon to be a big hit over here ... listen out for his single "Don't forget to live" A super star in his own right!!

Visit history

Everytime I visit I see something new, learn something new & generally have the best time. On my August 2006 visit I learnt about the Calvanists were a fanatical Protestant movement who roamed from city to city under the nickname geuzen (beggars), mudering priests, nuns & Catholic sympathisers smashing papist idolatry in churches. Catholics were forced to worship in these clandestine churches. So seeing one of these churches was a real experience not to mention a return visit to the Begijnhof.

This past visit April 2007 I learned more about the architect Michel de Klerk whose unusual artistic style of residential buildings caused much controversy.

Amsterdam is divided into certain areas - Medieval centre, Western Canal belt, Jordaan & Western Isles, Nieuwmarkt Neighbourhood, The Plantage, Eastern Islands & Oosterpark, Oud Zuid and I can say I have visited all these areas but it takes a while!!

A previous visit here co-incided with Sail 2005, unfortunately we were not able to get near any of the ships due to sheer volumes of people. On the saturday evening we caught the fireworks display.

At the moment parts of Amsterdam are being dug up for a new metro which will create a rapid connection between Amsterdam-North, the city centre and Amsterdam-South, unfortunately not only does it look like a building site, residents claim their foundations are sinking.

Do get outside of Amsterdam

Everytime I visit I try and get outside of the city, so far I have been to Hoorn, Vollendam, Gouda, Edam, Alkmaar, Den Haag, Den Bosch, De Efteling and Utrecht.

Most of the pictures on this page are my own although some photo's are curtesy of my friend & my official photographer Rich, now turned VT'er Tingles

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:outspoken, gables, narrow houses, canals, frites en mayo
  • Cons:tourists only going to smoke it up in coffee shops
  • In a nutshell:More then just coffee shops, red lights & bikes
  • Last visit to Amsterdam: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 9, 2007
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Reviews (100)

Comments (44)

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Jo, Thanks for dropping by at my Amsterdam page. Funny enough I paid a short visit yesterday to the Capital and soon I will put up more photo's. I got my seven bridges: cdn3.vtourist.com/6/1369653-... (hidden in an Amsterdam T-logue). BTW How are things at your side of the globe? PJ

    • jo104's Profile Photo
      Jan 26, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      Ugh matrimonial problems almost right from the start :-(

  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Your Amsterdam page looks great. I am short of time right now but I will come back to see more of it when time permits. Meanwhile i have just picked out a few of the places that I hope to see when I make my first visit to Amsterdam this coming May.

    • jo104's Profile Photo
      Jan 25, 2014 at 1:57 AM

      Oooo its my favourite place if I can help in anyway let me know also do contact pietvJan he is a local legend in netherlands

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    Safa-lass, First time I'm viewing your Dutch pages. Nice observations of the architecture :-)

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    OK Orange shirt. You have the Dutch fever! PJ

  • June.b's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    I should have read your Amsterdam page before heading there last month, there are lots of stuff I've missed w/c I've realized when I saw your pages. Have fun!

  • mumymama's Profile Photo
    Dec 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    I would prefer to be naughty - to be taken back to Spain :) Thank you for wonderful tips!

  • nhcram's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Excellent pages Jo. I can unserstand why you love the place xx

  • Oct 7, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Thank you for the photo! I visited "Our Lord in the Attic" several years ago (before the Internet!)--what a treat to see it again! --Bodin

  • zuriga's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2008 at 8:46 AM

    You were right, Jo. Your pages on Amsterdam are wonderful! I can't wait to go back again. It was good to see you Saturday...enjoy NYC.

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Great tips and photos! Unfortunately, I didn't visit Amsterdam on my latest European trip. Thanks for visiting my new Maastricht and Roermond pages! If you like to shop, you will like Roermond. Cheers from NJ, Bill

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