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Old 03-08-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Coffee shops in amsterdam...no...holland!

I woule just like to say, Amsterdam is NOT the only place to buy weed in Holland!!! But talking to most backpackers it would seem this way... that's where they're all heading.
There are coffee shops all over holland, even in fairly small towns. Well, not where I am living at the moment, but the nearby town where I catch the train from definitely has at least two. I'd say you can bet that if it's big enough for a train platform, it's bit enough for a coffee shop.
So go somewhere else in holland, instead of or as well as Amsterdam! It's kind of dirty and not very... dutchy... anyway. (Not dissing A'dam, just that big cities always seem to be a watered down version of the rest of the country)
You might as well see some other places considering that holland is so small and easy to get around. It is 187 times larger than Australia for instance... ...good fact to know.
Actually the only coffee shops I have been to were in amsterdam. Um yeah. Oh well.
Just something to keep in mind!
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:05 PM   #2
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That's so nice to read ! Noone seems to care for the Netherlands but Amsterdam. So, will you share with us more of your tips ?
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:11 PM   #3
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It would be great to hear any specific suggestions on cities close to Amsterdam that travelers can easily get to and would discover the real Holland.

I would have loved to have gone outside of the main touristy Amsterdam when I was there, just didn't really know where to .

Thanks, Lux .
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:04 PM   #4
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Just for the record when I head over there I plan on not spending more than a night or two in A-dam. I want to go up and visit Friesland where my name and therefore family comes from.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:01 AM   #5
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Haha TheJake, ok you pass the test.
Of course you have to see amsterdam, it's so iconic. And all anyone knows about holland. Or maybe Rotterdam at a pinch. But the dutch people I know hate Rotterdam. Some never have/ never will go there. It has overtaken The Hague as the most dangerous city in holland. It was bombed in world war 2(?) so most of the nice city centre is gone. It is full of modern architecture. Of course, if that's your thing, it is very interesting. there are some very strange buildings there. Also a great art gallery.
The hague (den haag) is also pretty famous. "The girl in the pearl earring" is in a pretty dodgy little gallery here. I got in for free by saying I was under 18. It also has the escher museum. The guy who drew all those trippy pictures of lizard patterns and hands drawing themself.
15 minutes from Amsterdam is Haarlem. Easy to do a day trip to there. Or, stay there and do a day trip to Amsterdam.
Maastricht is right at the bottom of holland, wedged in between belgium and germany, in the middle of brussels and cologne. i think it was 4 hours from amsterdam. That is the longest train ride I've ever done in holland. It is a weird place, very different to the rest of the country. I was there for carnaval, they have an extra week of celebrations there. I think they just party a lot more there!
Utrecht is a fairly large city, like half an hour from amsterdam, but quite nice old buildings. There is a big church tower you can climb and see all the pretty patterns the rows of houses make. It also has unique canals, i'm pretty sure the only place in holland where they have little paths on either side at water level, where you can walk next to the water, and eat at some nice restaurants.
Amersfoort also about half an hour from either utrecht or amsterdam. Dutch people would probably think i was weird recommending you go to this town. But that's the point. I love this town. I went on a canal tour here, MUCH better than in amsterdam. It is on a small open air boat, and you have to duck going under some of the bridges! It is given in dutch, but they give you a piece of paper with english descriptions and pictures of what to look at. It was also a fortified town I think, so part of the wall is still intact.
My favourite place in the Hoge Veluwe. If you like riding bikes, come here. It is the largest nature park in holland. There is drift sand and other cool stuff to see. In the centre is an art gallery(yeah, all i really now about any place is what art you can see here...) that is absolutely amazing!!! I thought it was better than the van gogh museum in amsterdam. It has a lot of his work including some really famous pieces, and also a lot of other great artists. If yo uare only going to one gallery, make it this! It is kind of shitty to get there, but worth it.
Sprakenburg is a very little town, i got laughed at when i said i wanted to go there. Some locals still dress in traditional clothing, especially if you go on "Sprakenburg Dag"- sprakenburg day. I caught a bus there from amersfoort. It was like a big market, with displays of traditional methods like making fishing nets, and crocheting the cool hats they wear. Sprakenburg days are on wednesdays in july I think.
And everywhere you go you will see water!!! Coming from australia I really had to adjust to how green and wet it is here! Any town you go to will have cool canals. When you catch a train from one town to another, just get off at a random place in the middle and have a look around.
Other places worth thinking about are den bosch ('s-hertogenbosch), Groningen, Delft, Gouda. Friesland sounds awesome, the frisian islands especially. But now I am saving money for finally leaving holland next month, I hope! 11 months is enough! Acually I should have done more in that amount of time. I guess I was too busy escaping holland every chance I got! You might as well though. Booking not very far ahead, I went with eurolines to Paris and Berlin, both about 60 euros return. Go overnight and you save on the night's accomodation. Booking far in advanced makes it very cheap. I've seen journeys advertised for under 10 euros.
If you'll be here for a while get a museumkaart... free entry into museums it is about 15 euros for youth. And for 55 euros a train dicount card, you save 40 percent on train journeys. You save money very quickly with this. Especially travelling in a group, because up to 4 people can use the one card for a discount!!! I think this is pretty awesome and worth considering.
If you come to holland with ryanair, you will land at eindhoven. This is quite an industrial town. It is about half an hour from den bosch. Basically I find it very inconvenient and annoying. Next time I'll try with easyjet, which leaves from amsterdam.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:03 AM   #6
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Oh wow, i didn't realise how much i wrote! I guess after going on 11 months here, i've accumulated enough random info to bore everyone several times over by the time I get home!
"Arrrghhhh don't talk about Holland AGAIN. Nobody cares!!!!!!!!"
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:03 AM   #7
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Excellent tips, Lux !

I shall visit Hoge Veluwe next time I'm in The Netherlands. Thanks for filling us in !
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:45 AM   #8
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Niceone, this is just the kind of information I was looking for. I'd always wanted to find another city to go to saying your going to Amsterdam always gets you funny looks around here.

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It's kind of dirty and not very... dutchy... anyway. (Not dissing A'dam, just that big cities always seem to be a watered down version of the rest of the country)
That's exactly the way we see Dublin in Ireland sure everyone still calls it the pale from when it was a walled city to keep the Irish out.

I'd seen a budget travel show on Rotterdam and they said it was good but Maastricht looks like the one for me, all these places have coffieshops right? :D
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:35 AM   #9
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As much as I love A Dam, I'm very excited to stay in Haarlem. We will be in Haarlem 3 days, and with the 5 days in A-Dam, we are planning on taking day trips to other areas. Thanks for the advice
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:49 AM   #10
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Coolies, feel free to ask for any more advice. I feel pretty clever knowing so much about one country. As long as no actual dutchies come along and prove me wrong...

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That's exactly the way we see Dublin in Ireland sure everyone still calls it the pale from when it was a walled city to keep the Irish out.
Yeah my irish friend warned me away from dublin, I ended up staying with him in Athlone. But it's mostly the people who live in or are from that place that have a problem with the capial or main tourist city. Although I am from Canberra and I like it. What other capital cities have farms and kangaroos?! Yet I still haven't met any travellers with good things to say about it. It is apparently boring and artificial.
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:15 AM   #11
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Wow louse ! Thanks for sharing !

Do you have any suggestions as for typical meal/drink, cultural events, or other dutchy activity ?
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:27 AM   #12
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Here's the big question. How can I get dutch citizenship. Or at least go live there long enough to learn the language. There should be some kind of re-entry acceptance for us lost dutch souls in america....
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:32 AM   #13
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OK Jake, you can stay for 90 days, after that you have to leave for 90. If you want to try, within I think 5 days of arrival, you can apply for a temp. residence permit. Many things involved in getting one, but if you do the legwork and acquire the documents they want, you can get one. After 5 consecutive years of temp. res. permits, they will issue you a permanent res. permit.
Check this article out, a little lengthy, but fun to read with tons of info.
Later
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:33 AM   #14
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Oh yeah, the article, bongs hits oops
http://www.postwarmedia.nl/howams_pg...alivehere.html
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Old 03-09-2007, 08:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJake
Here's the big question. How can I get dutch citizenship.
In Ireland they give out citizenship to 2nd or 3rd generation ex pats. I don't know if they do that there but if you've got some Irish in you, you could get the EU passport and live where ever you like in Europe.


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Originally Posted by Louse
I ended up staying with him in Athlone.
I got stoned for the first time in Athlone! It was weed to which is unusual for Ireland. I dissapeared from the club for 2 hours and they found in in the middle of a roundabout staring at a statue. I thought I spent the night outside a hotel talking to drunks.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:55 AM   #16
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Wow louse ! Thanks for sharing !

Do you have any suggestions as for typical meal/drink, cultural events, or other dutchy activity ?
Food- poffertjes(mini pancakes), crepes, chips with mayonnaise or sate sauce (sate sauce is delicious!). They're also famous for their licorice. You can get sweet or salty, but even the sweet stuff might be too gross for many tourists. They have belgian waffles here too. And a chain called australian, that sells homemade icecream and belgian chocolates
Oh and hagel slag (chocolate sprinkles) on your bread. spread butter on first for it to stick to. Or it is also great on peanut butter sandwiches. WARNING: I can't eat peanut butter without it now!

OMG best dutch biscuit ever- STROOPWAFELS... it is a huge flat biscuit made from two waffles stuck together with caramel in the middle. Delicious and addictive! A pack of 10 can cost around 1 euro.

Dutch food in general has a pretty bad reputation. An average meal here seems to be potatoes, meat, and one other vegetable. There is a lot of indonesia food though given holland's history with Indonesia, as well as turkish and chinese from immigration.

I mainly know about sweets and snacks. I either eat at home or when I am travelling around I buy bread from an Albert Heijn.. a fairly cheap supermarket that also has "food to go" outlets at train stations though the food costs a bit more here.

Drinks, I don't know... I don't really drink much... I know, I fail at being a backpacker and an aussie.

Activities: They have weekly markets in all dutch towns, you have to check which day of the week. Cheap clothes, fresh fruit and veggies, random other stuff, snoepjes (sweets) and best of all, FRESHLY MADE STROOPWAFELS! The markets wil generally be on the marktplein

Amsterdam is known for waterlooplein market, but there are lots of other ones. I found Albert Cuyp market the other day on the way to museumplein. The way is signposted, like all the tourist attraction in all the towns.

Canal tours are great, especially in smaller towns/ anywhere that is not amsterdam. Or just walk next to the canals.

You have to ride a bike when you're here! The bike path network is extensive and awesome.. just don't accidently end up on a highway riding next to cars like I did! well, we're allowed to in australia....

Um, I can't think of any more typical dutch things. Oh, I just asked the dutch mum and now I feel really stupid- dutch things: Windmills, Tulips, Clogs!!!! I can't believe I forgot those things! Tulips are best to see in April. When you fly in you see giant patches of colour on the landscape, this is fields full of tulips. There is a flower market in amsterdam to buy bulbs, for US citizens you can get a special certificate so you can take them back home. There are really cool soft clog bedslippers you can buy. The cheapest I've seen was at Albert cuyp markets for like 10 euros or in a normal shoe store rather than tourist places for 20+

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeTurk View Post
I got stoned for the first time in Athlone! It was weed to which is unusual for Ireland. I dissapeared from the club for 2 hours and they found in in the middle of a roundabout staring at a statue. I thought I spent the night outside a hotel talking to drunks.
I got stoned for the first time in Berlin, despite having been in holland for 7 months prior!!

I have no idea about getting dutch citizenship. I'm pretty content with my joint aus/british.. cheers dad for coming from england! Now I have a key to europe...
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:46 PM   #17
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I add my vote for Maastricht! My girlfriend and I were there a few months ago and had a wonderful time. It was strange, the city had a feeling that everyone was happy and just so cheery. Yes, we might have been a little high, but really, it had an incredible atmosphere. Even the old folks hold hands here, the dogs seem to be happy, and if you giggle at a flower or something silly the people laugh with you, not at you. I strongly recommend Maastricht.

So funny I found this post, because I was thinking about other places to go in the Netherlands. I get out of the Army next Friday, and my girlfriend and I were planning on going to Maastricht that weekend, to have an all around good time, but also to smoke completely risk-free for the first time in four years. But since we're already been there, is there some other nearlby city that we should spend the weekend in? Although I do want to smoke, it's not my main priority, so all recommendations are welcome. But I don't feel like spending forever in the car, so somewhere in the south/east portion of the country would be preferred.

Suggestions please! And is anyone going to be around here this weekend?
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:10 PM   #18
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Do you want to stay in Holland? Because Maastricht is really close to both Cologne and Brussels.
So, looking at a map of Holland to refresh my memory... eindhoven is close but it is quite an ugly city, well it has a lot of modern buildings and not much of interest. At least according the lady in Maastricht who wanted us to stay in her town longer!
But Den Bosch (´s hertogenbosch) is also close and quite nice I think. I think they are famous for a certain pastry, its like an eclair but in a ball form. So a big chocolate ball filled with cream. Maybe you should go to den bosch and eat that. But I think Cologne or Brussels would be closer!!!
I havent been in that part of Holland much actually. But yeah. Hope that helps, and enjoy your trip!
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:13 PM   #19
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Oh wait, I just reread your question and you want to know where to spend the weekend... I thought you were asking about day trips. Anyway....
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:36 PM   #20
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I've already been to Cologne and Brussels several times each, but within the Netherlands, I've only been to Amsterdam and Maastricht. We'd like to be in the Netherlands somewhere, call me a silly pothead or whatever, really I'm not, but this is one of those things I have to do. You get out of the military, you have to indulge in some sort of vice since it's now acceptable again, right?

Hmmmm . . . . . thinking . . . . the orginal plan was to go back to Amsterdam, but I've been there many times and it's really nothing new. So something closer to home would be better. (home is now Luxembourg)
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