"Amsterdam and Surrounding Area" Amsterdam by leecouk12324
Amsterdam Travel Guide: 10,383 reviews and 21,831 photos
Bikes. Bikes. Bikes. Gay Pride floats on Canal. Strong smells of Hash coming from Coffeeshops. Beautiful Architecture. Humour. Feeding Heron on Herengracht. Parrots in Vondelpark. White Beer. Jenever (special Dutch drink). Sun, wind and rain - these are just a few of the things you can expect to find in Amsterdam.
We went here for 1 week from the 6th to 14th August, 2010.
I had been several times before but have never done so much cycling and covered so much of the city before - so being here 1 week we had 3 main tours outside of the city and spent the rest of time exploring Amsterdam and getting around the city like the Amsterdammers do - on the bike (fiets).
Although in the past i have used Trams for getting around and this can be good fun and something new if you do not have Trams in your home town or city - but nothing beats the bike for getting around - and really any bike will do - even a single geared bike - but if you was going for a single geared bike i would go for the company Yellow Bikes or the Stayok bikes from the Youth Hostels - because the Mac Bikes seemed very slow - i mean every kind of bike was always passing them.
Well - for myself i brought my Folding Ridgeback Attache from England with its 20" wheels and 7 gears (although in Amsterdam i only needed gear 6 and 7). Well the bike is nice in Dutch Black and really looks in place in Amsterdam.
Maria hired a Gazelle dutch style (i think 5 or 7 gears) from Damstraat Rent a Bike - she was very happy with this bike and the price was 79 Euros for 6 days rental - only a couple of mins from Dam Square.
Be aware that to take a bike on the train in Holland you have to pay 6 Euro - the bike ticket lasts all day but very expensive if you only make one trip. However a folding bike is free on the trains and i was able to take it on the trams too - so if you dont mind riding bikes with smaller wheels then you may want to look for a place in Amsterdam that hires such bikes - such as a Dahon (Dahon being a very popular brand although not found in Amsterdam yet - found Dahon hire in Barcelona and London but not Amsterdam).
Buy the way a 20" wheel folding bike will ride much like a normal bike - especially bike such as a Dahon.
Maria did very well in finding a fantastic place to stay at the Hotel Casa 400 in Amstel - it is only 2 mins from the Amstel Station and well wherever we were in Amsterdam at night it was normally only 10 or 15 mins cycle ride home.
Trains are very frequent to Amsterdam Central also and the Tram no 12 reaches here were at the Concerthall/ Museumplein you can connect onto many other trams or you can walk from Museumplein to Leidselein also - 5 mins.
We were lucky to have a room with a beautiful view of the Ringdijk Canal - a very beautiful canal in very few boats come down here so the Water Lillies come all the way accross the canal.
DO's and DON'TS;
DO cycle Asmterdam and the surrounding area.
DONT wear a cycle helmet - you will look very silly here
DO watch out and listen for Scooters (Bromfiets) on the cycle lanes
DONT think Bikes or Bromfiets will stop for you when you step onto the cyclepath (ie when walking - the cycle path is strictly only for cycles and scooters.
DO keep your money very safe at all times - especially around the Markets and busy Train Stations - the pickpockets are very advanced in Amsterdam
DONT carry money in pockets that are easily accessible or in Bumbags (Fannybags in USA) - your money will be away.
Do bring a Waterproof and Windproof Jacket - especially if cycling - and it can get very windy along the coast.
- Pros:Beautiful. Bike is king
- Cons:A little expensive.
- In a nutshell:Amsterdam is nice but do get out into countryside - get a bike - become one of the locals
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