Amsterdam unique sightseeing tips
Amsterdam unique sightseeing tips
(Photos courtesy of Lloyd Hotel)
If you’re looking for an unconventional hotel – even slightly eccentric – Lloyd’s in Amsterdam is it. Their slogan says it all:
“We believe that elements of surprise create unforgettable moments. Our iconic building provides spacious rooms in all shapes and sizes and literally every room is different. We welcome guests of all stripes, at Lloyd you can be yourself!”
Royal Dutch Lloyd shipping company built the hotel in 1920 along the IJ-quay from which their ships departed. Their passengers were mostly emigrants who headed for the US and awaiting their ship, stayed a few days at the hotel.
After Royal Dutch Lloyd went bankrupt in 1935, the building was used for a variety of purposes.
In 1996, the municipality organized a competition for new hotel plans. The Eastern Docklands were to become a prestigious area for living and working, with work of the best Dutch architects. Lloyd Hotel – by now a monument – reopened on 11 November 2004 as a 1-to-5 star hotel with a Cultural Embassy.
Soaked in history, the original staircase houses a permanent exhibition about Lloyd Hotel history. Admission is open, free and worthwhile to visit if you’re a history buff!
A fitting hotel that suits this city of liberal and open-minded thinking of long.
(Photos by Mirjam Bleeker, courtesy of SWEETS hotel)
A very different but equally unconventional concept is SWEETS Hotel.
A one-of-a-kind hotel located across Amsterdam, it consists of 28 different bridge houses that used to be the home of each bridge master who directed the boat traffic on that stretch of the Amstel river.
Each bridge house has been transformed into an independent hotel suite that accommodates a maximum of two guests. Innovative re-design with Dutch flair and creative use of small spaces make these two-person suites in top locations a fun way to experience Amsterdam like a local! For more information read my separate article here.
Café De Prins
Café De Prins right next to the Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht 124 is ever popular with locals, students and tourists alike. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner late into the night, it has its own authentic Amsterdam atmosphere, inside and out.
A new restaurant recently opened at the iconic Entrepotdok around the corner from the cozy Kadijksplein. Spacious and modern it has a lovely atmosphere, a great menu and quirky wine list. Chef Arvid cooks mainly with local and seasonal products and on an open fire. You might enjoy yourself here.
Near Amsterdam, Vuurtoreneiland (literally: Lighthouse Island) is worth the short boat ride from the city for a wonderful community meal at the open air island restaurant. Close to the lighthouse, you’ll be served food coming from the immediate surroundings using traditional techniques and wood fire only.
The atmosphere on a warm summer evening is second to none and the conversations inspiring with the other guests whom you’ve probably met already on the boat coming over from Amsterdam.
The restaurant is open from May through September for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday evenings. On Sunday, a sumptuous lunch is served.
The boat to Vuurtoreneiland departs from Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. The boat ride there and back and including dinner takes about four to five hours On site there is ample opportunity to experience the island. Reservations can be made through the website http://vuurtoreneiland.nl/
There are countless museums in Amsterdam and there is something for everyone like the Portuguese Synagogue where on occasion amazing evening concerts are held in candle light or Micropia Museum inside Artis Zoo, which will totally change your attitude about microbes (really!).
But if you’re into Dutch art and painters like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer and others, then the Rijksmuseum will make your heart beat faster.
The Honours Gallery is phenomenal and some of the most famous Dutch paintings can be viewed in amazing close-up in about one hour. As with so many art museums throughout the world, even the building architecture will inspire you!
Museum Our Lord in the Attic
Tucked away in the heart of Amsterdam’s inner city lies a small marvel: Our Lord in the Attic Museum: a uniquely preserved seventeenth-century house from the Dutch Golden Age. Explore the narrow corridors and climb the stairs to historically furnished living rooms, kitchens and bedsteads, leading ever higher to the attic with its 17th century Catholic church over three floors.
While it was prohibited to celebrate mass in the Amsterdam of the 16th century after Willem of Orange declared the state religion, the authorities turned a blind eye and tolerated many religious traditions provided they were practiced at home. The museum provides an authentic flavour of what secular and religious life was like in 17th century Amsterdam.
And the best way to get around in Amsterdam?
Decidedly the bicycle taxi! While it reminded me of the tuck tucks of East India, traffic in Amsterdam is not quite as chaotic as in New Delhi, but the advantage in terms of mobility and speed are the same. Elegantly winding its way around past throngs of tourist, traffic jams and through narrow passages, the bicycle taxi is a great way to see Amsterdam!
Whichever way you choose to visit Amsterdam, have a great time in this vibrant and exciting metropolis!
Leave a comment if you have other favourite places in Amsterdam you wish to share. Thank you!
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