Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hookers and History - Amsterdam, Netherlands

We couldn't go north to Germany without first stopping in on Amsterdam.

Where we will sleep

Camping Zeeburg (Campsite)
How long? 4 nights
Check in? Before 1pm, which is very important! This awesome campsite doesn’t take bookings, saying there’s ‘plenty of room’ – with one catch – it’s generally full by 1pm. We’ll be aiming to make the 6 hour trek in one go, getting up at 5am and leaving asap.
Check out? Not specified. We’ll be heading 5 hours east to Wacken, Germany, leaving Amsterdam around 7am to be there by 1pm.
How much? €19 per night (2 adults, small tent, 1 motorbike)
Why we chose it? Free wifi, swimming pool next door, 15 min cycle to the city. The biggest pull was that the campsite is surrounded by canals and you can 
hire a kayak to explore!

What we want to see

Anne Frank Huis – The famous house where Anne Frank stay hidden during the war.
€8.50 admission
Opening hours vary but will be 9am-10pm when we are there in August. It is apparently much quieter after 6pm so we will probably go in the evening.

Van Gogh Museum – The man needs no introduction. Hundreds of painting and examples of his lifes work, all in one place.
€14 admission
Opening Hours 10am-6pm everyday and until 10pm on Fridays.

Artis Royal Zoo – Artis is home to the Big 5, an aquarium, underwater views of the amsterdam canals, a butterfly sactuary and gorillas!
€18.95 admission
Opening Hours vary but will be 9am-6pm when we are there in the Summer.

The Red Light District. Because it has to be done.

The FREE walking tour by New Amsterdam Tours. Their parent company, New Europe Tours, offers tours throughout many European countries, including 13 walking tours through major cities, which are completely free. The tours are apparently very good, as the guides are paid nothing but the tips they receive on the day, so they work for their supper, and they do it well. The Amsterdam tour is 3 hours long and departs Centraal Station at 11am and 1pm or National Monument at 11.15 and 1.15pm. See the website for a full list of the sites you see!

What we are expecting

I’m not sure why by I expect lots of huge trees, I expect cloudy skies… I expect cobblestones along the canals and I expect to be completely wrong. I think Amsterdam creates a giant contrast in my head, the place of art and culture and history seems like a completely different place to the one with prostitution and drugs. I’m really curious as to how the two worlds in my head combine in real life.