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Pauline's Travel Notes - Amsterdam

Pauline Kenny

The Netherlands is a wonderful country to visit. Amsterdam is a beautiful city. We spent a week there on our big trip in 1988 and returned for a weekend at the end of our 1997 trip to Switzerland and Italy. Everyone speaks English, the people are friendly and the city is fun.

Hotels - Amsterdam

Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
July 1997. Horrible. Do not stay here. This is a huge hotel right in the center of Amsterdam. The public areas are nice but the rooms are small and rundown and dreadful. We stayed one night and then switched hotels. They are rated as a 5 star hotel, but I do not see how this is possible.

Hotel Pulitzer (a Sheraton hotel)
July 1997. We had a nice room with 2 big windows looking onto the canal (Prinsengracht), rattan furniture, large bed, bath and bathrobes. Nice noise from the street: people, occasional cars, church bells, water noises, a nice breeze. We would happily stay here again.

Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel, Prinsengracht 328-332, phone: 020-6263321 Walk ins only
In 1988, we stayed in room #7, a nice room with a balcony. This is an inexpensive hotel.

Hotel Ambassade, 341 herengracht, tel:3120 626 2333, fax:3120 624 5321, 52 rooms
I read about this hotel in a New York Times article (July 1998). It sounded great. ($174 double - $228 suite, inc breakfast)

Restaurants - Amsterdam

Frites Stands: There are frites stands all over Amsterdam. They usually make the frites (fries) from fresh potatoes and serve them in a cone. Many mayonnaise based garnishes are available. We found a great stand right on Damark, the main street.

Indonesian Restaurants: There are several Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam. They serve "Risetafl" (vegetarian versions are available) - lots of little dishes of food. 

Speciaal, Nieuwe Leliestraat 142. Indonesian. We had vegetarian Rijsttafel for two in July 1999. We had eaten there on a previous trip in 1988. A nice neighborhood restaurant. The Rijsttafel consists of rice, many vegetable dishes (8 or more), peanut sauce, coconut, fried bananas.

Cafes: The outdoor cafes are wonderful. Many have tables set up beside the canals or even on bridges over the canals. You can get good breakfasts at cafes.

Pancake Bakery, Prinsengrach 191. Big, plate-sized pancakes with many toppings to choose from.

Restaurant Websites

www.diningcity.nl: Dining Guide for Amsterdam

www.culinairamsterdam.nl: Culinair Amsterdam, in Dutch. Restaurant listings.

www.vegatopia.com: Vegatopia, in Dutch. All vegetarian things in the Netherlands.

Stores - Amsterdam

De Bijenkork: big department store on the Dam. Wonderful things. Great kitchen towels (made in Europe), sheets in the linen department, books and magazines upstairs, great selection of Kipling bags.

Knopenwinkel: button store - lots of ordinary buttons.

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