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- Posted:Thursday, July 15, 2010
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Day 2 in the Dam: Lots and lots to see around the city!
One of my favourite things about any city is the public parks! The main reason is because they are free, so they can make for a great attraction on a nice day. Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s popular city centre park in the uptown area and on a sunny day it is a popular choice for both tourists and locals. As in all areas of Amsterdam, you will find many cyclists in Vondelpark, some tourists who are leisurely cycling round the park along with many locals who use bicycles as their main form of transport. Either way, make sure you are aware of the cycle lanes and bikes as traffic on all the roads around Amsterdam! Vondelpark is a must on a sunny day in Amsterdam as many people sit by the lakes and in the large greens. There are also some cafes and restaurants around the park which are popular both day and night.
Not too far from Vondelpark is Museumplein. This Museum Square is where you will find some of city’s top museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. It was almost closing time by the time I made it to this part of the city so I just walked around the area and got plenty of snaps with the ‘I amsterdam’ sign! I also had a quick walk around the Rijksmusuem gardens which are free and open to the public. They cover a small area but are a peaceful and pretty addition to the museums entrance.
After all this going all day it was time for a quick visit back to the hostel to freshen up. St. Christopher’s at The Winston is located right by the red light district. Many tourists will tell you that no visit to Amsterdam is complete without a walk around this area and you can see this through the volume of tourists walking through this area. It is a bit of a surreal thing to see all of these women in the red light windows all along the streets, and whatever your views are on this policy I think it is worth a stroll through to witness how the other of Amsterdam’s legalised vices is portrayed.
I spent the evening around the area Leidseplein, an area which is also referred to as the entertainment district due to the large number of bars and restaurants around the square. The one piece of advice I would offer for any first time visitors looking for somewhere to eat and drink in Amsterdam is to pick an area around a popular square and take a stroll around the centre of it as well as the side streets off it. Eating and drinking right in the centre of these squares in Amsterdam can prove to be pricey, but a venture down one of many busy side streets can prove worthwhile when it comes to food quality and value for money! Leidseplein is definitely worth a visit and get a table outside to watch the world go by!