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Two days in Amsterdam - what to see and do. Advice please.

(28 Posts)
whostolethesocks Fri 25-Sep-15 07:12:26

I'm off to Amsterdam with my 13 year old. Any advice on what to see and do and where to eat, etc. obviously Anne Frank's house and the Van Gogh museum are on the itinerary but any other advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Onykahonie Fri 25-Sep-15 20:15:19

Rijksmuseum and a canal cruise are worth doing. If your teen likes spicy food, go for a rijsttafel (set meal with lots of little dishes) at an Indonesian restaurant for something different; I can recommend Puri Mas.

clam Fri 25-Sep-15 20:39:22

I can't stress highly enough the need to book tickets for Anne Frank in advance online. Don't know when you're thinking of going, but we went in May half term and the queues were around 3 hours long. Such a luxury to walk right in! It's such a small museum that the online tickets get booked up at least a couple of months in advance but some do become available last-minute.

A canal cruise (hop on/hop off) is very useful for getting an overview of the place, particularly if you get one with a commentary.

The flower market is good, and there's a tiny little pancake house up the steepest staircase on the planet (Upstairs Pannen Koekenhuis?). You have to book in advance for that too though, as it only seats about 10 people.

We hired bikes from a place by the station and cycled down the Amstel river path all the way to a sweet village (OuderAmstel) south of the city, passing a couple of "real" windmills on the way. It's all so flat that it wasn't a hard ride at all.

MedSchoolRat Fri 25-Sep-15 20:54:11

Are you going in October half-term time?

I like the Modern Art museum. If it's open, the Tropical Medicine Museum building is A M A Z I N G.

I'd hire a pedalo boat if I went with my 13yo.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Fri 25-Sep-15 20:58:13

There is some fabulous stuff in the Rijksmuseum. Agree about the canal boat cruises (we went to & from the Anne Frank house that way) & buying advance tickets online. I went with DD1 in July last year; even then most places weren't mad busy, except the van Gogh Museum.

We walked about a lot. It's just lovely. I wish I was going again smile

Clayhead Fri 25-Sep-15 21:00:22

Have they read/seen 'The Fault in our Stars"? If so, you can spot some of the locations, they're all central. The Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum are two of them and you can find others, including THE bench which is at the junction of Leidsegracht and Herengracht.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Fri 25-Sep-15 21:05:29

This was one of my favourite things in the Rijksmuseum - it's a big model wooden boat peopled by tiny holograms - scrubbing decks, burning food, falling asleep on the loo. It's brilliant grin

Whatevva Fri 25-Sep-15 21:07:30

There is a good café in the oudekerk in the middle of the red light district that serves soup made by people trying to get out of the sex industry. It is a good church to look at if you are interested in the history of dutch Protestantism and it has several organs (some look like cupboards).

Sidge Fri 25-Sep-15 21:17:32

Depending how squeamish you are, I found the Bodyworlds exhibition absolutely fascinating.

Also enjoyed a canal cruise but we couldn't get into Anne Frank's museum as queues were going to be 3-4 hours and we weren't willing to wait that long.

I loved Amsterdam.

whostolethesocks Sat 26-Sep-15 09:50:57

Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions so far. I've just been online to try to purchase tickets for Anne Frank's house and they say no tickets available. I'm going during half term (in one month's time) and was hoping I'd get something. I guess this just means we'll have to queue. But I've seen that they are open until 9 pm so maybe an evening visit might be less busy?

I will investigate all the other suggestions later. Thanks so much for everything so far.

lljkk Sat 26-Sep-15 10:11:18

The queues for the Van Gogh museum can be insane, too.
Vondelpark has lots of outdoor sculptures.

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 12:07:02

There is an option on the AF website whereby they will send you notifications when they're about to release more tickets. We managed to get 6 tickets that way, in three lots of 2. Check it out.

You can book Van Gogh too.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 26-Sep-15 12:08:26

Oh god don't go on a canal cruise. They are deathly dull. I actually fell asleep.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 26-Sep-15 12:12:32

Your 13yo would love to go to a feebo (pronounced fay-bo). There's one near centraal station. It's a snack shop where you put your euro in a slot and get your crappy fried snack out of a microwave style cabinet on the wall. My kids love them.

Bittebollen are little fried balls with meat inside
Kaas souffe are like little findus crispy pancakes with melted cheese inside
Frikkendelle are (dubious) sausages

Try and find a poffertjes stand. Small fluffy pancake things served with sugar and butter

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 12:14:24

Ah, but after a day or two on your feet sightseeing (on cobbles as well), it was bliss to sit down on a boat for a bit and let someone else do the work.

Iflyaway Sat 26-Sep-15 12:14:59

www.iamsterdam.com/en/

whostolethesocks Sat 26-Sep-15 12:35:39

Clam - I can't see that option on the website :-/

Such wonderful advice everyone. Thanks so much! I love the feebo thing - just the sort of thing a 13 year old would love! LOL

whostolethesocks Sat 26-Sep-15 12:36:48

Also Clam is the pancake house in an area that is OK to take a 13 year old?

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 13:22:06

Yes - a tiny alleyway just off a main street. Probably not that far from the red light district, but to be honest, everywhere's close to that! Amsterdam's not that big.

Re; AF tickets - it was quite well-hidden if I recall (otherwise everyone would use it!) but then I didn't do it myself, someone else did. I'll see if I can find it...

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 13:25:58

Don't wear heels!

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 13:26:48

Grimburgwal 2, 1012 GA Amsterdam

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 13:36:09

If you go to www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/Practical-information/Online-ticket-sales/ they release a few in the days immediately coming up. So for instance, I've just seen one or two for tomorrow and Monday. You have to be very quick though - my friend was busy clicking "yes" and they disappeared before his eyes.

clam Sat 26-Sep-15 13:36:49

Oh, and my sister somehow registered to be notified by email an hour before each release so she could be ready to jump.

ilovesooty Mon 28-Sep-15 07:59:36

Febo food is horrible. Honestly.
If you end up queuing for Anne Frank first thing Monday morning before they open is a fairly good time and the Noordermarkt is on at the same time.
The best cafe ever is Kerkwijk on Nes, just off Dam Square. Lunches are quieter than dinner and the owner will recite the menu to you. Their cakes are to die for.

ilovesooty Mon 28-Sep-15 08:03:04

Oh and if one of your days is Monday a lot of the museums are closed.
The Joods Historisch (Jewish Historical) is open. It's really fascinating.

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