Mybarrow Guide to Amsterdam


 



Amsterdam

View of one of Amsterdams canals Now as a city I love Amsterdam so I thought I would expand the mybarrow site a little to include a brief guide to help any one thinking of visiting. Amsterdam is a very relaxed safe city without the traffic and hassle of most others. I use the internet to research my proposed trip, for the hotel I use booking.com. For the flights cheapflights.co.uk and the restaurants toptable.

Manchester

KLM airlines operate from Manchester and I would always recommend a direct flight as opposed to a stop on the way as generally there is not a great difference in price. To book a flight I suggest you check out cheapfights .com as the price will depend on what time and the day you go. You will be able to compare and check out the best price to suit. Our last flight cost £153 each return and I would recommend you fly out early around six am and return mid afternoon. If you do go early I would also recommend a stop over at Manchester as you will get your parking included and you will start the holiday fresh. The hotel we last used was Bewleys, its located on the airport and represents good value for money. Always check there web site to see if they have any special offers on. There are many other hotels so just pick one to suit you and represents the best value on the day.

The Flight

If you go with KLM the price will include a light snack and the trip to Amsterdamís Schiphol airport is a quick hourís hop. With KLM you can check in via the internet prior to departure and they send you an easy to use link to do so. They also send one for the return journey so itís worth checking the day before return when you are in your hotel.

The Transfer

After you have landed and cleared customs you head for the station that is part of the airport and purchase your ticket to Grand Central Station. It last cost €4.40 one way and the kind man or lady at the desk will tell you the platform you need to go to. The trains are every 10 minutes from early to midnight and the journey will take around 20 minutes.

Grand Central Station

Once at Grand Central you will leave via the main front door and now is the choice of how to get to your hotel. If your hotel is in the Dam square area it is only an easy ten minute walk up the road but for other areas it will be around 25 minutes plus so you will be best to either get a tram or as a first time visitor it is easier get a taxi from the rank just outside. Donít be tempted to accept a taxi if you are approached as you walk along to the rank as the chances are it will not be of the official type. Always ask the price before you set off from the station as they are always more expensive than the one you can get the hotel to phone for you on your return. It is usually around the €20 price from the station but when you return it will be around €10 from Dam area, and €15 from Rembrant and Leidesplein areas.

Getting Around

Make sure you have good comfortable shoes as you will end up walking for miles. Beware of Amsterdamís bikes there are thousands every where and they have right of way. All the pavements have cycle lanes on them so before you cross roads or change direction stop and look left and right to make sure you are not stepping in the way of a bike. The other thing to beware of is the trams that are silent as they approach. You can catch a tram to get around if you wish and a few useful hints are listed below.

Trams

In general when we go to Amsterdam we walk everywhere as itís so easy to get around and its fun to come across the splendid hidden magic gems of the city. The next best way to get around is the reliable and efficient tram system. The cheapest way is to pre buy a strip of tickets or you can pay on the tram if you want. Free tram maps are available and the routes are also shown on the tourist maps. The tram system is divided into zones and you pay per zone but in general travelling around the tourist attractions you will not leave the centre zone.

Shopping

Amsterdam has a fine selection of shops stretching down long streets. Every range of shop and price is covered and many of the designs of cloths are not in the UK so you can get something out of the ordinary for that special occasion back home.

Attractions

This is a list of the few places I have visited while in Amsterdam and by clicking each link you will be able to check out a brief report. When you go to Amsterdam it is always best to try and plan your days as there is so much to see and do it will not be possible to fit everything in. Remember to get to your chosen destination early or better still at opening time to avoid the queuing and crowds. One visit to Amsterdam will not be enough and after the first you will be drawn back to see more.


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