Amsterdam Lonely Planet vid

You gotta do the boat trip!

Amsterdam stories

Hi everyone,

if you're off to Amsterdam at any time this year, we'd like to hear your Amsterdam stories when you return. Did you find any cool new stuff over there that we haven't heard about yet? Nearly get run over by a bicycle or fall in the canal and get a soaking?

Amsterdam is our favourite city, and we want to hear as much as possible about it, so whether you're landing at Schiphol and getting a taxi into town or the ferry to Amsterdam, we'd love to hear all your travel experiences.

We're particularly interested in hearing about new bars and restaurants that you recommend, as well as general new info on the city.

Amsterdam - stuff to do this month

If you've done the usual tourist stuff in Amsterdam and you're looking for something a bit different in March 2011, how about the Unheard Film Festival.

It's an unusual idea - letting people find out how sound affects perception of  films. Included in the programme we have " Amsterdam noise rockers The Moi Non Plus orchestrating David Lynch's Eraserhead" - definitely worth investigation.

Elsewhere in Amsterdam this month we have the Reduced Shakespeare Company doing the complete works of the bard in vastly abridged form. 

Amsterdam always has plenty of cultural events going on, so if you've done the Van Gogh Museum, your boat trip round the canals, and all the other big tourist stuff - there's plenty more to keep you amused and amazed.

Oudjaarsdag - New Year's celebrations in Holland

Scotland is rightly famed worldwide for its Hogmanay celebrations, and every year we see the television coverage of people (or 'revellers' as the TV calls them) in Times Square, fireworks lighting up the sky over the Thames in London, and so on.

But what about New Year in or favourite city, Amsterdam...?

Here are a couple of links giving us the lowdown on the Dam's celebrations: - champagne and fireworks...

iAmsterdam - and parties galore

Amsterdam is of course the party capital of the world, so it's no surprise that it gets into the mood for the final big party of the festive season. Just make sure you don't start the party too early on the ferry over or you'll have no energy left for the night itself!

Amsterdam Christmas links

Here are a few links to sites with info on Amsterdam/ Holland at Christmas (Kerstfeest): - interesting stuff about Dutch Christmas customs - Sinterklass and all that.

GoAmsterdam has some pretty cool pictures of Amsterdam during the holiday season.

iamsterdam picks out the 12 best Christmas holiday events

... and has a guide to Christmas markets and festive shopping in the city


Amsterdam news

Some news from Amsterdam this week about Schiphol, according to a report in the boss of Schiphol told the Telegraaf newspaper that "Schiphol would prefer to be without holiday traffic. It has less value for us".

I'm not sure that he meant all holiday traffic though - my guess is that he meant having budget carriers go elswehere in the Randstad or maybe a city further inland but not too far away. After all it's not like every holiday visitor to Paris goes through CdG is it?

Amsterdam - da dreaded de Wallen!

Amsterdam's known for a few things that - ahem - don't get talked about in polite company. A lot of these things take place in the old town area of De Wallen.

But there's more to De Wallen than red lights and smoky cafes. De Wallen is also the oldest part of Amsterdam - one of those European places that when you see it for the first time looks like something from a historical film. Taking pride of place in De Wallen is the Oude Kerk, consecrated in the early 14th century - if you're a bit of a church spotter, this one is a must-see and one of my favourites, up there with St Pauls in London and the Sacre Coeur in Paris.

Getting to Amsterdam:

The city is easy to get to by air or sea, with a world-class airport, Schiphol, that's so vast it almost feels like a town in itself. Schiphol is a short distance to the city centre by taxi.

Amsterdam's easily accessible if you want to sail there, with ferries to Holland crossing from the UK to IJmuiden, a short drive from the city.

And of course if you want to get there by rail, Amsterdam is very well placed for people training it in from France, Germany and beyond.