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Trip List by tumblingweed

Solo female in Amsterdam, late April 2006

8 Jun 2006  
4.0 of 5 bubbles based on 16 votes

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Amsterdam, Lisse
  • Category: Recent trip
  • 1. Amsterdam
    Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    I was a solo female on my first overseas trip from the US and had only 4 days in The Netherlands in late April. Used TripAdvisor to help research stuff (which was very helpful), as well as several guide books and other web sites. Arrived at Amsterdam Central station from Bruges about 6 PM (3.75 hrs/39 Euro). Station was busy but well-signed in English. Bought a strippenkaart from red machine (6+ E) and hopped on tram right in front of station. The conductor kindly gave me literature re: trams and announced my stop. After checking in at Hotel Abba (see TripAdvisor reviews) walked around the immediate neighborhood to get my bearings, used a map and compass, but got turned around a bit anyway which was good - because I found Vondelpark, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum! Stopped for a bite to eat, many affordable restaurants to choose from. Witnessed a domestic dispute in front of a large hotel, after hearing lots of yelling and screaming saw the guy actually grab the girl, wrestling with her - several other family members or friends separated them-so much drama! Walked on a couple blocks when suddenly this tiny police car came up on to the sidewalk very fast passing from behind me and only about 2 feet away...the guy was running up the sidewalk from behind me and they stopped him. I had just moved to the side trying to stay out of the way and was waiting, not wanting to pass by them so close. In a couple minutes the police had him calmed down, so me and a couple other people walked on by. Also ran across a coffeeshop in Leidseplein area and bought a small bud (10E) which lasted me for over a week. Smoked a little and suddenly my map began to make more sense! So returned to hotel by 9:30 or so, still light outside.

  • 2. Amsterdam Historical Museum

    Got the best nights sleep since I'd left home, slept in until almost 9 AM! Walked thru the flower market then stopped at the Amsterdam Historical Museum, which I highly recommend. Bought a Museumkaart ticket there (forget the cost, maybe 25 E? great value anyway, lets you into almost all museums in Holland, good for 1 year). At the museum there's a nice timeline of the history of Amsterdam and Holland, interesting information on early orphanages (many orphans post-plague), how poor were cared for and lepers; also was impressed by armor display and info re: Dutch East India Company.

  • 3. Amstelkring Museum (Our Lord in the Attic Chapel)
    Museum Ons'Lieve Heer Op Solder, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    Then on the Our Lord in the Attic-surprised at how ornately beautiful alter is, you can see how it retracts into the wall when needed to be hidden. Actually ended up spending a couple hours here.

  • 4. Keukenhof
    Keukenhof, Lisse, South Holland Province

    When I left there the weather was so pretty that decided to go to Keukenhof Gardens. Was an easy train ride to Leiden (less than 4 E), then a bus that takes you right to the entrance (15 or 20 E, I forget the price of bus/garden combo ticket). Wandered around there for 3 1/2 hours, and that was without stopping in the several buildings where displays are set up! Had an ice cream and coffee only, food is very expensive there, OK to bring your own picnic. MANY flowers in bloom, absolutely wonderful afternoon/evening. I think if you ride on the right side of the train going there that you see the most flower fields-tremendous colors!

  • 5. Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum
    Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    Was back in A'dam by about 7:30 PM, so visited the Hash & Hemp Museum, which has some interesting old photos of US hemp farming and also some Dutch farming methods and displays of hemp products (plastics even!). After that I walked about a bit more but was getting a blister on my foot, so took the tram back to room.

  • 6. Dutch Resistance Museum

    Much less walking this day, the trams are great! Went to the Dutch Resistance Museum where I learned a lot despite large and loud school groups. It sounds as if the Nazi party were so insidious at taking control that the resistance was a bit delayed in retrospect. But when the Nazis began to conscript Dutch men ages I think aged 16-40? as well as Jews as a workforce, the resistance gained more momentum.

  • 7. Waterlooplein flea market

    Stopped at another coffeeshop to take a little break, but a kind of creepy guy wanted to visit with me, so left as soon as I could decently get away.Then walked over to the Waterlooplein flea market and bought a couple souvenirs, was much larger than I had expected.

  • 8. Museum Het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House)
    Museum Het Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt House), Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    Next stop was the Rembrandt House, which by this time of day was too crowded for me to really enjoy, but guess you can't be at all places when they first open! The old house itself was well worth seeing. After that walked/trammed to the Anne Frank House-had neglected to buy ticket ahead of time and line was long, so stopped at a Chinese place and had a great dinner (13 E, so splurge for me, but worth it).

  • 9. Anne Frank House (Anne Frankhuis)
    Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    Went back to Anne Frankhuis and line still long at about 6 PM, but only took about 15 minutes. Maybe I was just getting tired from so many museums, but I didn't get much out of it personally. Back to hotel to rest my feet after stopping at a supermarket for a few supplies. At some point this afternoon another creepy guy approached me near a tram stop, tried to tell me to get on the wrong tram (his), asking was I married, did I have a phone- yeah, real creepy! But being broad daylight and lots of people about had no worries, just felt like must have been a sign on my back "calling all creeps"!

  • 10. National Museum (Rijksmuseum)
    Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    This was art day! I can't imagine if the whole of the Rijksmuseum was open because the Phillips Wing alone is incredible. Had no idea of the shear immensity of the building, would love to return when the renovations are complete.

  • 11. Concertgebouw
    Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    After about 3 hours at the Rijksmuseum went to the nearby concert hall for the Wednesday free lunchtime concert. Didn't catch what the music was, but was very dramatic with the full orchestra, even a harp. Entertaining to see the conductor giving a violinist instruction!

  • 12. Van Gogh Museum
    Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    Best part of the day for me was the Van Gogh Museum-he had such a short career, sad. Both the Rijks and Van Gogh art museums had good audio guides and both were crowded, probably because they're so great. After dinner somewhere in Leidseplein, which I had to visit one more time, back to room to turn in early for flight to London next morning.
    Had a great time despite my limited days there, hope to visit Amsterdam again. Only next time will be sure to see more of Holland!