Things to do in Amsterdam
In the summer you will find talented people performing music, comedy, magic, juggling, etc. all around town, but especially in areas where people congregate like the Leidseplein, Vondelpark or Rembrandtplein. These artists are usually very entertaining and it’s worth a few minutes time to relish the street scene. You’ll probably be asked to donate something and it’s only right if you enjoyed the show. These people are often foreign travelers and this is how they earn money to stay on the road. Busking can be long hard work for little reward.
It’s not only fun, but a convenient and inexpensive way to get around. If you’re going to just ride for one day, get a day pass from the tram conductor or at a vending machine in any train station. You can also purchase “strippenkaarts”with spaces to be stamped by the conductor as you ride. Most rides within the city are in one zone, and take two spaces on your strippenkaart. Each additional zone requires one more space to be stamped. Many trams rely on the honor system, with little clock punchers that you stamp your card yourself with. There… Continue reading
Amsterdam is world famous for its gay scene, and the Dutch tolerance allows it to flourish. In 1998, Amsterdam hosted the Gay Games and the city paid millions of guilders to help sponsor and promote the games. Thousands of people participated in the athletic events and tens of thousands more came for the party! Although it wasn’t successful financially it certainly had a positive impact on the gay community. Warmoesstraat in the Red Light District, Reguliersdwarstraat, and Kerkstraat are popular gay scenes with bars, clubs and cinemas. Straight Dutch often mingle with the gay crowd, since they like a good… Continue reading
The Jordaan District of Amsterdam is very popular with artists and students, sort of a Greenwich Village. Built during the early 19th century boom days it was an area for low income workers to live. Neglected for decades, it was scheduled to be demolished in the 1970s to make way for new development, when the neighborhood came together and protested the plan. Now the area is being restored as yuppies take over. The Jordaan is mostly residential with cafes, restaurants, antique shops, and bookstores. The small amount of traffic in the area makes it very quiet and pleasant to stroll around.
The biggest rave of the year is Dance Valley, held in the countryside in mid summer. Almost a… Continue reading