Traditional dutch food

traditional dutch food

I would like to give you some Amsterdam and Dutch recipes. We like to eat pea soup, brown bean soup, hustpot and Amsterdam cheese (real old cheese.
We in Holland really love cheese. A dutchman eats 17.5 pounds of cheese a year..:)

Here a few recipes:

Hutspot

Ingredient:

1 kg winter carrots
1 kg potatoes
500 grams onions
1 beef bouillon cube
Smoked sausage
Pepper and salt

Preparation:
Boil the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, meanwhile cut the onions into pieces and winter carrots in strips. Boil the carrots and onions along with the beef bouillon cube about 20 minutes.
Pour the aardapplen and add to vegetables together in a pan and coarse pitch.
Then heat the smoked sausage. Then the stew seasoned with pepper and salt.
The smoked sausage may separately or in the stew should be.
A delicious meal when it’s freezing outside.

Stratenmakertje with cheese for 4 people

Stratenmakertje is an old Amsterdam for half or whole bread that is cut horizontally and invested. The bread should be replaced with puff pastry, we have a contemporary fish dishes.

Ingredient:
8 slices puff pastry
6 sludge tongues
Thicket dill
300 grams grated Old Amsterdam Cheese
1.5 dl milk
2 teaspoons mustard Amsterdam
4 bunch tomatoes

How do you make it:

Preheat the oven at 220 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry slices and prick them with a fork. Bake them in + / – 10 minutes on the grid (it gives them a nice stripe pattern) to a nice brown color.
Bake or boaster the sludge tongues until they are cooked and fillet them. Heat the milk and dissolve it the grated Old Amsterdam on until a smooth sauce arises.
Add the mustard to the sauce again. Cut half of the forest dill finely.
Place puff pastry on a slice of the sludge sole fillets. Sprinkle with the cheese sauce and sprinkle with half the chopped dill. Lay then again on a slice of puff pastry. Pour here the rest of the sauce and decorate with the remaining dill sprigs and sliced dill and thinly sliced tomato stoned.

Dutch Pea Soup

Ingredient:
500 grams split peas (Silvo)
500 grams shoulder chop
250 grams marbled bacon
1 onion 
* 1 large leek
1 celeriac with foliage
1 winter root
1 potato
1 smoked sausage (350 grams)
3 liters of water
Maggi aromatic
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

The onion paper. Cut the leeks into thin rings. Peel the carrot and potato and cut it into small cubes.
Cut the foliage of the celeriac, and this was cutting the leaves finely.
Cut the outer road of the celeriac and cut the celeriac into small cubes. Smoked sausage cut into slices.

Put the split peas with water, chop and bacon in the pan and bring to the boil. With a skimmer off the foam creation.
With the lid on the pan 45 minutes the soup gently boiling. By stirring occasionally.
The vegetables, potatoes, meat and selderieblad add to the soup and 1.5 hours gently boiling.
By stirring occasionally. The meat from the soup creation, remove bone and cut meat into pieces (evt. remove rind). The meat and smoked sausage in the pan, and another 30 minutes to gently simmer. Soup to taste with salt and pepper, Maggi and aromatics.

Enjoy…

Life with the Dutch – an expats survival guide

life with dutch

The Dutch, as a nation are known for many things – windmills, tulips and canals are probably the most famous of all, but for an expat to survive in the Netherlands, they need to think like the Dutch and more importantly the need to know what the Dutch will be expecting of them. Luckily The Netherlands is known as being one of Europe’s most international cities and as so, millions of expatriates call the land of tulips and windmills home and since there are so many foreigners, most expats fit in with relative ease.
One other thing which the Dutch are known for is for their high levels of tolerance and they are very tolerant of other religions, opinions and customs. Their unmistakable tolerance has made the country, one of the most preferred countries for expats who are known to adjust swiftly and fit in easily. As if to show their tolerance to newcomers, the Netherlands are one of the few countries that will allow resident expats to vote in local elections and what’s more this may soon be extended to the national elections.

On the flipside of the country’s tolerance – strangely enough, individual Dutch people may not seem to portray the same levels of tolerance as those which have been adopted by their home country. Many expatriates find that the Dutch come across as being arrogant and are of the belief that their way is the right way. For an expatriate to survive, they are urged to remember that often the so called arrogant persona of the Dutch is often incorrect. By and large the people of the Netherlands are driven by a number of strong and firm attitudes and even though they may appear to come across as disinterested in others, their high levels of tolerance or their ‘live and let live’ beliefs dictates to them that what people really want is to live in peace and if they maintain their own privacy and they honour the privacy of others they will be able to achieve this. It may be due to this that some foreigners notice that the Dutch don’t go out of their way to engage in conversations with strangers and since they view personal space as being so important, their homes are private places or sanctuaries and few ‘outsiders’ are invited to their homes.

The Dutch at Work

One thing that the Dutch strive for is an egalitarian society, and in the country no person is treated as a servant, and everyone, no matter what job they perform or what income they earn, expects to be treated with dignity and respect. In the Dutch workplace, top executives do not wear different clothes or own more expensive cars than their employees – in such a classless society there is no need to flaunt wealth or possessions.

When it comes down to business, expats need to be modest to succeed. If you are familiar with the saying that the Dutch invented business on a global scale, this is not an exaggeration. Most Dutch people are motivated to work by a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement and not necessarily by money – as such, they have strong work ethics. It may be for this very reason why as many as 8,000 multinational companies have setup their European headquarters in the Netherlands.

As a nation, the Dutch are well organized, competent, practical, pragmatic, and punctual and in the business world they drive a hard bargain. To do well in the world of trade and commerce, it is important to make business appointments well in advance, and when made, these appointments should not be changed or postponed on short notice. Being punctual is a necessity and tardiness is often viewed as being incompetent or worse untrustworthy. The Dutch prefer to get down to business almost instantly and are not know to engage in small talk. Secrets or devious strategies are not tolerated and as such, negotiations and business deals are always straightforward. Many expatriates may find that the Dutch take time to make decisions; the Dutch prefer to reach agreement with all parties before making a firm decision.

The country has a high standard of living, and unemployment is only about 7%, a low figure when compared with other European countries. The unions are a lot weaker than they once were, and more people are opting to work as independent contractors.

Life in the Netherlands for expats

Foreigners are not restricted from buying property either to use as a personal residence or as an investment. Property ownership however does not guarantee being granted residency in the country. Expats will find out that housing is often difficult to come by and it is relatively expensive. Buying property entails transaction costs, and the expat should not consider purchasing property unless they plan to stay for at least four or more years. Depending on where the expat originates from, they should expect the homes to be smaller than they are used to. If they are from Europe, they may not be too surprised but if they are from the United States for instance, they may find the houses are smaller and more costly.

Most Dutch people are proud of their homes and they often leave the curtains open to show them off. Live-in domestic is rare and not usually the norm, but it is possible to source part-time people to come in an assist with cleaning.

Even though many Dutch people are able to speak English well, it is considered worthwhile for a foreigner to learn at least conversational Dutch. It will come in handy when communicating with trades people, postal workers etc.

With so many locals speaking English so well, many expats may believe that they have a lot in common with them, or actually see them as being very similar to them. This is not the case; the Dutch have their own set of unique priorities, beliefs and quite formal social traditions that may take time to become accustomed to. Thankfully the Dutch are quite forgiving of mistakes that foreigners do make. One of the worst errors or faux pas an expatriate can make is to pretentiously display wealth, and to be a braggart.

For the foreigners who are eager to make friends in their new home, they should feel free to take the initiative and invite the neighbours in for a coffee. For such an invitation, a Dutch host would tend to accept a 10:30 am invite. Often such a ritual would be to offer the guest a cup of coffee and a pastry, a second cup with another pastry, and when done, they would expected to leave.

If attempting to come up with a few suitable topics for discussion among newly made Dutch friends or work colleagues, sport makes for a good topic of conversation. It may be the case that the Dutch are seen to be a liberated nation – they are however, not comfortable talking about sex or prostitution, nor drugs. The fact is that the Dutch are not keen about having earned the reputation for being unrestrictive and promiscuous, and they often believe that their nation and their high levels of tolerance is misunderstood by other countries.

Royal family of netherlands

Royal Familiy of netherlands

I get a lot of questions about the Netherlands. Is it a republic or a monarchy. Why the color orange? What is Queens Day? With Queens day we celebrate the birthday of our queen.

The orange of the Netherlands (royal family, football, pennant etc.) we owe to Willem of Orange. When he was eleven years, he was the owner of the principality of Orange in France.

The territory was the subject of a half century quarrels between the Netherlands, France and Germany. Louis XIV (16e), the French Sun, decided that the area in Orange France heard.

In 1713 the country was officially Orange with France in 1732 were united and the fathers of our house the royal title, Prince of Orange. Noble title of father to son, so generation after generation, the title prince of Orange passed.

Now Prince Willem-Alexander is the prince of Orange.

Below our Queen and the crown prince with his family. 


Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of Orange-Nassau (Baarn, 31 Jan, 1938), Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld, since 1980 reigning Queen of the Netherlands.

In 1966 she married Claus von Amsberg.

They had a good marriage with much love until he died in 2002.
He was loved by the people. He was a good father and he is still missed by his family.

They had four sons ( Willem Alexander, Johan Friso and Constantijn). We were happy that a boy was born who would be king. After 100 years queens finally a king.

Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand (Utrecht, April 27, 1967) Prince of Orange, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer Amsberg, the eldest son and heir of the Dutch queen Beatrix. He is officially known as His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange

On March 30, 2001 fiance is the crown prince with the Argentine Maxima Zorreguieta.

Máxima Zorreguieta (Buenos Aires (Argentina), May 17, 1971), since her marriage Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, the wife of Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange. Officially, its full designation Her Royal Highness Princess Máxima of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Mrs. Van Amsberg, but in everyday language, she simply Princess Máxima

It was sensitive for us that he wanted to marry Maxima. Because of the controversial past of her father, Jorge Zorreguieta, who has been sitting in the government of Argentina during the military dictatorship (1976 – 1983) under General Jorge Videla.
Which forced thousands of people disappeared.

Under intense pressure Zorreguieta father decided not attend at the marriage. When Prime Minister Kok also promised that the presence of senior Zorreguieta in the future no obvious thing would be, the licensing law adopted by parliament.

During their marriage cermonie 2002 Maxima wanted to hear a tango (goodbye dad) from argentina. Every time I hear the music I get emotional, because of her tears for her father. Click here if you want to hear the Tango 

This couple has three daughters.

Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. 

Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria (Den Haag, December 7, 2003), Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, the eldest daughter of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima

Alexia Juliana Marcela Laurentien (Den Haag, 26 Jun., 2005), Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, is the second daughter of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima.

Princess Alexia after her sister, Princess Catharina-Amalia third in the Dutch line of succession to the throne

Ariane Wilhelmina Máxima Ines (Den Haag, 10 Apr, 2007), Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, is the third daughter of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima.

Princess Ariane is fourth in line of succession to the throne

It is predicted that the queen will stop in 2010 and then Alexander would be King.

Bikes in Amsterdam

bikes in Amsterdam

If you are visiting Amsterdam for the first time you will be amazed by the number of bikes on the streets. Holland is a flat country so a bicycle easily gained its reputation as a convenient and reliable means of transportation. Going to work or to school by bike doesn’t involve here any hills to climb so the journey is not that exhausting. It all makes perfect sense but the extent to which bike riding is practiced in the Netherlands can surprise almost any tourist.
What is more, a Dutch cyclist can enjoy a perfect system of bicycle paths. The infrastructure is surely one of the best in the world. The lanes that bikes are supposed to use are clearly marked with red color and are strictly respected by local pedestrians and car drivers. Even the most complicated junction is not a problem and if you follow all the signs you can be sure that the motorists will pay attention to where you are going and usually give way to you. It is simple – they are cyclists themselves.

All parts of Amsterdam are accessible by bike. Even crossing the water is not a problem since the ferries are capable of transporting cyclists with their bikes. Also other Dutch cities can be easily reached by bicycle with an impressive network of bicycle paths connecting all villages, towns, and cities. Therefore, the Netherlands is a dream destination for people traveling Europe by bike.

Practical tips:

Some say that a visit to Holland simply does not count if you have not experienced bike riding. It seems to be something essentially Dutch so you should find out for yourself what it is like. There are however a few things that you should keep in mind.

Traffic

The pace of a tourist will be significantly slower than the speed at which the local people are commuting. This can be annoying for the locals and intimidating for tourists. You can imagine that stopping in the middle of the street in order to take a picture can not always be appreciated by your fellow cyclists. Make sure that you are not obstructing the flow of the traffic by stepping of the bicycle and moving it away from the bicycle path when you want to have a break. On the other hand, don’t be scared of the cars and people in bikes – they are used to the situation and have a lot of experience with this kind of traffic. Generally, you can count on their understanding.

Night cycling

The Dutch police is very strict about riding a bike at night with no lights. You will be fined even for not having one of them (rear or front one). To be safe make sure that the lights are not blinking as this is not welcome by the police either.

Parking

Finding the right place to park your bike is not always easy. Amsterdam is quite a dense city flooded with countless bikes that all have to be put somewhere. There are of course bike racks and railings all over the city but finding the vacant one near your destination may be a struggle. Be prepared for leaving your bike even a couple of blocks away. Also, be careful where you are parking it – illegally parked ones may be removed. To get yours back you will have to pay a fine first.

Bicycle theft

This is the biggest downside of having a bike here as thefts are quite common. You may not be a victim even if you are living here for a couple of years but the problem is there. Therefore, it is advised to always to fasten the bike to something firm (e.g. a lamp post or a fence). Dutch bicycle usually have at least two locks. Also, the locals are used to using old bikes on a regular basis and the new, expensive ones only during the weekend trips.

Helmets

Don’t bother. Only police wear them because it is part of their uniforms. In other cases a helmet is very unusual even for children. It may seem irresponsible but the rate of accidents is low mainly due careful driving.

Renting a bike

If you want to get the taste of riding a bike in Amsterdam renting one seems like an obvious choice. Using a rented bike you can be sure of its condition and enjoy riding a well taken care of bicycle. Prices star from 5€ (for a couple of hours). All the companies have two rates – the basic one and one including insurance (against theft). Always bring proof of identity and 50 – 200 euros or a credit card that can be used as a deposit.
You can choose from different kinds of bikes for rent. The basic model is a town bike with back-pedal brake. If you are willing to pay a bit extra you can go for a luxury town bicycle with handbrake and gears. Some companies can also offer transport bicycle, tandems, bicycles with children’s seats and accessories. All the bikes have two locks.

Some bike rental companies in Amsterdam:

Mac Bike
Mike’s Bikes
Rent A Bike Damstraat
Star Bikes

Buying a second hand bike

If you are staying in Amsterdam for two weeks or more you may also consider buying a used bike and they reselling it when you will be leaving. By doing so you are getting a bicycle for your whole stay for the price of one or two days of renting one. Plus you will be able to say that you actually owned an authentic Dutch bike while visiting Holland.
What you need to look for is a bike shop that sells second hand bikes (in fact most of them do). Shops like that can be found even within the city center. You can get a basic one-gear model for around 100€ without difficulty. Later on you will get for it 70-80 €. Keep the recipe as the shop that sold it to you will be also eager to buy it back (feel free to ask in advanced about it – it is a common practice). Remember to buy also a decent lock that can be resold as well in your chosen bicycle shop or market at Waterlooplein or Albert Cuyp Straat.

How To Stay Safe In Amsterdam

stay safe in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a reputation as one of the most liberal cities on the planet. However as with any other major city, the visitor to Amsterdam should be aware of what not to do!

Read on for 5 practical tips on How To Stay Safe In Amsterdam.

Before you dive in to this post we want to assure you that Amsterdam is one of the safest cities you will ever visit. Being aware of possible pitfalls will go some way to insure you’ll remember your visit to Amsterdam for all the right reasons.

1. Be Careful Where You Point That Camera

Any tourist worth their salt will obviously be keen to capture all Amsterdam has to offer. From the historic canals to the magnificent architecture, the Dutch capital has more than enough to keep any avid snapper happy.

The one big ‘no-no’ here is taking photos of the prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Neither the ladies who occupy the red light windows of the city or the bouncers who protect them will take kindly to anybody taking pictures. Even if you try to explain the artistic merits of your photos!

2. Beware The Bike

At the last count there are almost 500,000 cyclists in Amsterdam. No surprise then that biking is THE number one means of getting around the city.

As the bike is king in Amsterdam this naturally makes the pedestrian the pauper. Do not walk on the cycle paths for any extended period. Even better, stay off them all together! They are usually well-marked with red tarmac and should be treated as you would treat any road or highway.

If for some reason you find yourself walking on a ‘fietspad’ (bicycle lane) don’t be surprised if you are accosted by irate cyclists. Also keep in mind that the ringing of a cyclists bell is akin to the horn of a car; basically a warning to get out-of-the-way!

If you intend to take the plunge and see the city on a bike, it is advisable to do so with an experienced tour guide.

3. Do Not Buy Drugs On The Street

Whatever your views on drugs there is no getting away from the fact that many tourists come to Amsterdam to get high.

The rules here are very simple! Only ever use licensedCoffeeshops to buy marijuana. Only use marijuana on these licensed premises or in a private residency. Otherwise you will be breaking the law.
And never, under any circumstances, purchase drugs on the streets.

Buying drugs on the streets is illegal, dangerous and downright stupid. Don’t do it!

4. Do Not Use Hotel Or Taxi ‘Runners’

If for whatever reason you arrive in Amsterdam without having pre-booked either a hotel or taxi, the most useful advice is not to be tempted by hotel or taxi ‘runners.’ They will see you coming and more often than not leave you at best severely out-of-pocket.

Yes, they may have a convincing tale to tell but as always, if something sounds to good to be true, it usually is. You will be quoted low and charged high (or worse!).

Don’t fall for it!

Book your hotel in advance and if you need to take a taxi, ONLY ever use an official taxi operator.

5. Do As Any Traveller Always Should

Be prepared and use your common sense!

Pre-arrange travel insurance. Never carry more cash than needed. Using a credit card? One is enough. Never leave your luggage, bags or other belongings unattended. Make colour copies of important travel/ID documents.

There is no foolproof formula on how to stay safe in Amsterdam but if you Plan, prepare and be aware, your visit to this wonderful city will be one you’ll never forget and for all the right reasons!

Do you have any tips on how to stay safe in Amsterdam? Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section.

Historic Amsterdam

Leaning houses Amsterdam

As well as bringing you our regular (and popular!) series of Amsterdam travel hints and tips, our aim is to also develop Erasmus Amsterdam into a quality information and content resource for everyone visiting and staying in Amsterdam.

In this, the first of a brand new series of Historic Amsterdam articles, we will be delving into the past of the Dutch capital city and discovering how the city’s unique history and heritage impacts on the modern-day metropolis.

The City Built on Wood

It’s probably hard to imagine a city with a population of over 800,000 being built on foundations of wood.
This is however exactly how the ingenious people of historic Amsterdam worked around building a place to live on reclaimed land.

Huge wooden stilts, actually entire trees up to 20 metres long, driven down through the swamp-like ground and into the firmer sediment below, were used as the foundations to support homes and buildings of the city.
Anchored in pairs with a gap of just 80cm between them, heavy supporting beams were fixed on top of the stilts and layered with several blocks of stone, before being sealed with a water-resistant mortar of lime and sand.
Inevitably, some of these wooden foundations have become a victim of the conditions and as a consequence, a number of supports have subsided. Giving certain buildings of historic Amsterdam an eccentric and peculiar ‘lean.’
Yes, tilting and sinking houses are a modern reality in historic Amsterdam.

Modern-Day Threat To Historic Amsterdam

However, it may not be age alone taking its toll on the foundations of the Dutch capital. The centuries old city centre could be facing a modern-day threat.
Climate change.
Some experts believe the knock-on effects of longer dry periods could be critical to the well-being of historic Amsterdam.

A drop in water levels which in turn exposes the wooden foundations, leading to dry rot, decay and crumbling of the supports, could be the No. 1 threat to some of Amsterdam’s most treasured houses and buildings.

As yet, there is no scientific evidence linking global warming and a drop in Amsterdam’s water levels. One thing is certain however, the city council are concerned enough to have included a link between climate change and the sinking buildings of historic Amsterdam in their Structural Vision for Amsterdam 2040.

The leaning houses of Amsterdam are woven into the fabric of the city and with a two-pronged preservation solution; replacement of wooden stilts with concrete and a diligent watch on the water levels within the city, visitors will be able to enjoy the dancing houses of historic Amsterdam for generations to come!

Have you visited Historic Amsterdam and its Dancing Houses?* We’d love to hear from you!
Likewise, feel free to share this and other Erasmus Amsterdam posts on your social media channels and don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us about your experiences of the Dutch capital.

Basic dutch phrases

basic dutch phases

Top 11 most useful Dutch phrases for a trip to Amsterdam
Whenever you are visiting a foreign city its always nice to be able to use some of the mother tongue as a gesture to the locals which is invariably always appreciated, you may even get better service because of it. So, with that in mind here is our guide to the basics:

Could you please tell me…?

Kunt u mij alstublieft zeggen…?

Can you help me,please?
Kunt u mij alstublieft helpen?

Thanks a lot
Hartelijk bedankt

Good Morning

Goedemorgen

Good afternoon
Goedemiddag

Good evening/night
Goedenavond

My name is…

Mijn naam is…

Hi, How are you?

Hallo, hoe gaat het?

See you

Ik zie je!

Where can i find a taxi-stop?

Waar vind ik een taxi standplaats?

Can you tell me how to go to…?

Kunt u mij vertellen hoe ik bij….kom?

Here’s a link to Google Translate so you can try even more phrases… English > Dutch

Dutch phrase books
If you are looking for a good book to take with you here are a few that are the best value for money;
Dutch Phrase Eyewitness Travel Guides (BEST)
Collins Dutch Phrasebook
Periplus Essential Dutch Phrase Book
AA Dutch Phrases Book Series

Dutch translation iPhone apps
We have recently brought iPhones and here are some of the best apps we have found.
Odysseytranslator.com (BEST)
Coolgorilla.com/talking-dutch-phrasebook
Journals.worldnomads.com/Learn-Dutch-with-WorldNomads-Dutch-Language-Guide
Lonelyplanet.com/mobile/audio-phrasebooks

Good luck! or should we say… Veel success!

When to travel to Amsterdam

When to travel to Amsterdam

Planning to go to Amsterdam this vacation and want to make the best out of it? Then do make the right choice of visiting this happening tourist destination when it is best to do so. When we frequent an attractive during a crowded season, often we may find that much of fun is spoilt on account myriad hassles. Read on to know when is the best time to visit Amsterdam and that too at a lower cost.

The Best Time to Visit Amsterdam

Though visiting Amsterdam is a pleasure anytime round the year, but for those who really want to explore most of all things that Amsterdam has to offer, should plan their visit between April and September. This is the duration when the days are longer and temperatures are tolerable in Amsterdam. However, when visiting Amsterdam in this period, be prepared to have a change in weather anytime, as the weather here is always unpredictable.

The Cost Effective Time to Visit Amsterdam
For shoppers, the best time to visit Amsterdam is between late October and early March excluding the holiday season in December. This is the time of the year, when tourists can fetch really good discounts in shopping all their favorite stuff in Amsterdam.

Visiting Amsterdam in Spring Season

In case you plan your visit in the Spring season that lasts from March to May, you can explore the following places and celebrations.
* Enjoy a stroll in the beautiful Keykenhof Gardens blooming in March.
* Enjoy a bike ride amidst the blooming bulb fields in April.
* Enjoy celebrating the biggest holiday Queen’s Day in April.
* May is the month when huge crowd begins to flock in Amsterdam.

Visiting Amsterdam in Summer Season

During Summer season, you can check the following options while touring Amsterdam.
* Celebrate the top two summer festivals, namely Amsterdam Roots Festival and Open Garden Days in June.
* Relish the delicious alfresco cuisine and shop in the semi-annual sales during July, the warmest month of Amsterdam.
* Enjoy watching the world famous gay pride parade on canals in the Grachtenfestival of August.

Visiting Amsterdam in Fall Season

Make the most of the Fall season by indulging in the following during your Amsterdam Tour.
* Explore all your favorite spots in Amsterdam during the less crowded month of September.
* Watch out for the Amsterdam Marathon and be a part of the Amsterdam Dance Event in October.
* Get the feel of the nightlife of Amsterdam by checking its Museum Night in November.

Visiting Amsterdam in Winter Season

Visiting Amsterdam in Winter season is a true bliss for the following reasons.
* Celebrate festivals like Christmas and grab seasonal trips in December.
* Pick up the lowest travel fares and huge discounts in shopping stores during the month of January during the Amsterdam’s semi-annual sale.
* Watch out for Amsterdam in its true romantic feel during the month of February.

How to get to Amsterdam

how to get to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a major European portal and can be reached via plane, bus, train, car, and ferry (if you are prepared to drive from one of the ports) making it extremely accessible.
We have provided an quick Expedia widget on every page of this site so it is as easy for you as possible to find out the prices of a trip in about 5 clicks! Feel free to use that (which to be fair is one of the cheapest places we have found for Amsterdam breaks) or browse the rest of this section to find out more info on all the ways to get to this great city.

Driving to Amsterdam

Driving to Amsterdam is pretty straight forward, however when you enter the city itself prepare to find driving and parking a challenge. We would strongly advise against it but if you do chose to drive into and around the city you will find yourself in narrow winding streets, expensive parking, and construction issues.  Here are some essential tips to make your driving excursion and enjoyable and safe as possible:

Look out for bikers and pedestrians. They are everywhere in Amsterdam. They always have the right of way and they know it.
Always drive on the right side of the canal. All streets in the canal ring are one-way on the right side.
Use caution when approaching intersections, especially at canal bridges where there may not be any traffic signs whatsoever. Treat them as a four-way stop.
Be prepared to wait behind unloading trucks. You should not have to wait longer than 5 minutes but this is the way it works in Amsterdam.

Parking in Amsterdam

This is a very expensive place to park and if you looking to snag a free parking space you might want to reconsider unless you have a deal with the hotel you are staying with. Blue ticket machines for street parking are readily available throughout the city at a rate of €2.60 per hour between the hours of 9:00 and 23:00.

Ferry to Amsterdam

If you have your ‘sea legs’ then this can be a fun way to go but in our opinion the least favoured mode unless you have plenty of time to travel. Typically a boat/train route involving time, money, and possibly seasickness, if at all possible we would advise holding out for cheap flights and saving your cash to enjoy the city. However, if do want to go by ferry here are some ideas:

Scandinavian Seaways DFDS (Newcastle to Amsterdam)

Ferry service from Newcastle to Amsterdam. Journey with DFDS Seaways takes 15-16 hours. Sailing at 5:00pm arriving next morning in Amsterdam 9:30am. You may opt for a romantic cruise break, 2 nights accommodation in cabin, with a coach transfer to the Amsterdam city center and a sightseeing tour included. This line now offers themed cruises, for example a Comedy cruise with 3 comedians, whilst taking this route. Check out the website for more fun options.
www.dfds.co.uk

Port address in Amsterdam:

DFDS Seaways, Felison Terminal, Sluisplein 33, NL 1975 AG, IJmuiden, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 255 546650
www.dfds.co.uk

Stena Line

Harwich to Hook of Holland with easy rail and road connection to Amsterdam.
Daytime sailings from Harwich to Hook of Holland aboard the Stena Line Superferry ‘Stena Britannica’. Sailing at 09:00 daily and arriving at Hook of Holland at 16:15 Dutch time. There are bars, two restaurants, children’s play area & WiFi.  Cabins are optional and are half price on the day crossing.
Sail overnight from Harwich to Hook of Holland aboard the Stena Line Superferry ‘Stena Hollandica’. Sailing at 23:45 daily (though you can board well before this and retire to bed early) and arrive at Hook of Holland at 07:45 Dutch time.  All passengers get a private cabin with en suite toilet & shower, soap, shampoo, towels and all bedding provided.  A bar & two restaurants are available, as well as WiFi.
www.stenaline.co.uk

P&O North Sea Ferries

Hull to Rotterdam with easy rail and road connection to Amsterdam.
With night sailings on two luxury cruise ferries, you can enjoy great onboard entertainment and delicious food choices on board the P & O ferry from Hull to Rotterdam. Comfortable ensuite cabins ensure a restful crossing . Check in 90 minutes before the 9pm departure (either way).
www.ponsf.com

London to Amsterdam by train + ferry

This is the cheapest & most leisurely way to go, with combined train+ferry fares from as little as £29 one-way from central London to central Amsterdam or any station in the Netherlands.  You take an early morning train from London to Harwich, Stena Line’s daytime ferry to Hook of Holland, then Dutch trains to Amsterdam, arriving early evening.  It means an early start from London, not everyone can get into London in time to catch it.  Eastbound, it runs Monday-Saturdays only.

Train (Amsterdam Central Station)

Amsterdam has a fantastic international train service operating in and out Central Station in the heart of the city.  Our advice would be to book in advance to enjoy the best rates, and if you live in Britain why not go on the Eurostar.  This option also means you could drive your car however, you won’t need it when you arrive due to the size of the city.  Once in Amsterdam all other destinations in Holland are located no more than 2.5 hours from Amsterdam by rail. Rail passes and other discounts are widely available and reservations are highly recommended.

Train from London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

If you are in the UK and want to visit Amsterdam this is the high-speed daytime option taking just 5 hours 36 minutes city centre to city centre (compare this with around 4½ hours by air in total)  with a wide choice of departures and no sea crossing involved.  A comfortable & relaxed way to travel, especially when compared to flying. Book early for the cheapest prices which start around £69 one way.
For full details go to www.eurostar.com
Once you reach Amsterdam you reach the real heart of the city Centraal Station which is also as the biggest public transport transfer spot, serving not only visitors to Amsterdam, but also city inhabitants. Every day 250 0000 people go through the Amsterdam Centraal Station.

Trains to Brussels, Paris, Cologne

Amsterdam has convenient fast train connections with other European cities as Brussels, Paris and Cologne. None of leaving from Amsterdam trains is fully High Speed yet, but the line to Brussels is presently under construction, and beyond Brussels Thalys trains travel as High Speed at max. speed of 300km/h (190 miles/h), reaching Paris in only 1h 22 min. Even now, it takes only ca. 2h30 to get by train from Amsterdam to Brussels, thus you may with ease visit Brussels during your stay in Amsterdam.

Trains to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Local trains to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport during the day depart each ten minutes from platform 14a or platform 15. Night trains to the Airport depart from other platforms – please check the airport train schedule for the correct departure time and the platform number.

Fly (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol)

The easiest way to get to Amsterdam is undoubtedly by plane into the main airport, Schiphol. This airport is serviced by all main operators worldwide but our advice would be to watch out for bargains from one of the budget airlines such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet.
Schiphol Airport just 14km outside Amsterdam is the biggest and busiest airport in Holland.  It is also one of the major European airport transit hubs efficiently handling over 40 million business and tourist passengers per year. The Dutch national airline, KLM, is based there and is the largest airline group in the world. Over 100 other airlines fly into Schiphol too, among them over twenty budget airlines offering cheap flights from many European countries.

Amsterdam Airport train station

Once you have flown into Schiphol Airport  the best way to get into Amsterdam is train which departs from platforms located underneath the Schiphol Plaza and can be reached by either escalators or lifts. As well as a fast and efficient train schedule into Amsterdam Central Station, there are also direct trains from the airport to other parts of the country. The International trains, including the Thalys, south to Brussels and Paris also stop at Schiphol station.

Amsterdam Airport for visitors

If you have a few hours to kill before a flight you are in the right place as Schiphol is not just an international airport; it can be classed as a tourist attraction all by itself.  This commercial centre is open seven days a week and offers a great shopping experience, as well plenty of food and beverage outlets. There is also a huge open-air observation deck on top of the passenger terminal building with fantastic views of this busy airport. You can even visit the national aviation museum Aviodome signposted on the approach to the airport.

Unexpected Amsterdam

unexpected amsterdam

Amsterdam as any other world-class city can suffer from a somewhat clichéd perspective. Sex and drugs, tulips and canals, clogs and windmills – in Erasmus Amsterdam, we’ve come up with an antidote to the usual stereotypical view of the Dutch capital city: our selection of unexpected Amsterdam…

Amsterdam Ice Bar

As the name suggests the XtraCold Amsterdam fits the unexpected Amsterdam bill. The ice Bar is constructed exclusively of well yes, ice. Ice bar, ice stools, walls of ice and ice glasses are the norm, as is the refreshing temperature: -10 degrees Celsius!!

On arrival, visitors are supplied with thermal clothes and gloves, although after one or two tempting Vodka cocktails, we’re sure you’ll soon be feeling that warm glow inside!
For those who fancy a beer, XtraCold Amsterdam also serves a range of the best lagers and beers.
Served extra cold, obviously!

Rijksmuseum Schiphol

Uniquely, the Rijksmuseum Schiphol is the first Art Museum located within passport control. The museum which has hosted two or three new exhibitions each year since opening in 2002, welcomes 150,000 visitors annually, including both visitors to the Netherlands and transit passengers who can enjoy a taste of Dutch art and culture without actually entering the country!
All of the artwork exhibited at Schiphol comes from the world-renowned Amsterdam Rijksmuseum collection.
Discover unexpected Amsterdam at Rijksmuseum Schiphol. Open daily from 7 am until 8 pm, admission is free with a valid boarding pass.

The Bicycle Hotel

With getting on 500,000 cyclists in Amsterdam what could be a more fitting than a stay in The Bicycle Hotel?
Hire bikes at the very reasonably priced hotel and explore the Dutch capital and surroundings on two wheels. Situated within peddling distance of major attractions such as the City Museum of Modern Art, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, the hotel is the ideal base for you to explore all Amsterdam has to offer..
The Bicycle Hotel staff will happily give you all the information and tips you’ll need to experience the city as exactly as Amsterdammers do!

Tourist Save The World

You wanted unexpected Amsterdam, you got it!
If you want to explore Amsterdam on a guided tour with a difference make Terra Futura the unexpected Amsterdam excursion for you.
Terra Futura’s Amsterdam Save The World Tour is based on ‘socially responsible tourism,’ where you can discover Amsterdam whilst ‘making the world a better place.’
Terra Futura’s ambition is to build good deed tourism throughout Europe and you can do your bit by joining them on their weekly Tourists Save the World tours.

Do you have any unexpected Amsterdam stories? BlogAAH! would love to hear from you!