On short city trip to Amsterdam, you don’t want to waste you precious time. You don’t want to stand in line for 3 hours to visit the Van Gogh Museum. You want to see your favoriet artist is playing in Paradiso, even when the tickets were sold out months ago. You need a quick way to get a taxi. You don’t want any stress and know how to get on a train in The Netherlands.You don’t want to end up in an Argentinian steak restaurants that’s run by a Turkish entrepreneur. You don’t want to walk around Amsterdam on your last day of your vacation with your luggage. You want to see a show and a film in Amsterdam that you like.
Here are the solutions:
10 Tips for travellers to Amsterdam
1. Last minute ticket service
Find it annoying how you don’t know good shows to go to when you go on a city trip to Amsterdam? And when you do, you pay a lot of money without knowing what the show is like? Don’t know how where to buy tickets for shows in Amsterdam? Find shows in Amsterdam expensive? Here’s your answer: the last minute ticket service. This service offers many tickets to music show, opera, ballet, dance performance and theatre for that same day for half the price!
How does it work?
Ticket sale starts every day at 10.00 AM. You can get 2 tickets max per time. Tickets are only for sale via the website: Lastminuteticketshop.nl. (the website is in Dutch, ask someone who understand the language is you can’t work it out). Choose the show of your liking. Pay by credit card.
2. Find a restaurant in Amsterdam
Finding a good restaurant in Amsterdam is difficult. The choice is large, but the quality and authenticity can be low. You are most likely to end up in an ‘Argentinian’ steak restaurant that has nothing to do with Argentina and even less with Amsterdam. To find a good restaurant, you need a good restaurant guide.
All Dutch people use only one website to find a good restaurant in Amsterdam: Iens. And luckily for you, Iens restaurant guide is now also available for English speakers. Just type in Amsterdam (or any other Dutch city) and you find a list of best restaurants graded from 1 to 10. Iens includes English language reviews by the people who tried it out. You can also search by area or have the spot pointed on a map.
3. Get a ticket to a sold out concert in Amsterdam
It’s really difficult to go a concert during your stay in Amsterdam. If you can discover what’s playing, tickets are probably sold out anyway. Buying tickets online for concert that’s sold out can be very tricky and it’s likely to be a fraud.
Ticketswap is a new website that sells second hand e-tickets to concerts from person to person. Their system is pretty safe and you can be sure the tickets are really there when you pay because Ticketswap checks the ticket. Now, even you as a tourist can get a ticket to a long sold out concert! Also available as an app for your phone.
4. Skip the line of the Anne Frank House Museum
The most popular museums of Amsterdam have a long queue. I’m talking about hours long queue. And that’s a waste of time.This is especially true of the Anne Frank House. From 1 May 2016 the Anne Frank House will be introducing a new entry system.
From 9 AM to 3:30 PM the museum is only open to visitors with an online ticket for a particular time slot.
From 3:30 PM until closing time you can visit the Anne Frank House without an online ticket and buy a ticket at the museum entrance.
Travel Baby Amsterdam
Are you bringing a baby? Carrying prams and push chairs can be a real hassle. Travel baby Amsterdam rents out all these things so you can travel light: high chairs and rockers, strollers, prams and push chairs, travel cots, front and back carriers, car seats, bottle warmers and room monitors. Easy as pie!
6. Luggage Storage Amsterdam
If you want to catch a train at Central Station to the airport for your flight home, but you still have some hours to kill, it can be a drag to leave your bags at the hotel. After all, it will take more of those last precious hours to pick them up again. It can also be stressful to calculate the right time you need to go back and forth from your hotel. Amsterdam Central Station offers a luggage service. For the first 24 hours, you pay €7,00 for a small locker and €10,50 for a larger locker.
Lock Luggage Storage Amsterdam is a new service that can keep your bags to you. It’s cheaper than the station. Lock is located between central station, the red light district and Dam Square. That means you pick up your luggage for your trip home and walk to Central Station within 15 minutes. Depending on the size of the bag, at Lock the luggage storage costs 5 to 10 euro per 24 hours.
7. Get a taxi in Amsterdam
In The Netherlands, it’s not common to hail a taxi in the street. Taxi’s are waiting for customers at specially assigned taxi stands. Find a map of the official taxi stands in Amsterdam.
Call an Amsterdam cab at 7×7
So you won’t find many empty taxi’s riding around to hail anyway. So how do you get a taxi in Amsterdam? You call one. The number is easy to remember. It’s 7×7. Including the Amsterdam 020- prefix and The Netherland pre-fix +31 that’s: 0031 20 7777777.
The taxi will not take long to get there, except on special days like new years eve, when it’s virtually impossible to order a taxi in Amsterdam and you’d better order one in advance. Taxi’s are expensive in Amsterdam and you don’t have to tip the driver.
8. Use a computer in a café
In the beginning of the internet days they popped up everywhere: internet cafés. With the arrival of wifi and the smart phone, they all vanished as quickly as they came. So if your phone is not big enough and you need some serious and secure internet acces, you are most likely to find a computer at your hotel. If not, there are some places in Amsterdam you can go online.
Free internet and computers at the Amsterdam public library
First and probably your best option is the Amsterdam public library. This might seem dull, but once you have checked out the beautiful building and great interior of the Central Amsterdam public library (OBA) near Central Station, with its fantastic view, you probably don’t want to leave again.
Find all libraries on the map: (1 is the central one).
Kokopelli, smart shop and lounge with computer and internet
Another good option is smartshop Kokopelli, near Central Station (Warmoesstraat 12). A really relaxed, loungy atmosphere, friendly staff and you may even smoke here!
A list of addresses with free wifi in Amsterdam to acces with your own laptop or smartphone
9. Find a cinema in Amsterdam
All English spoken films in Dutch cinemas are easy to see for tourists because films are always subtitled for the Dutch. Seeing a film is a good and budget friendly way to spend an evening in Amsterdam, but you probably want to choose the film first.
For English speakers the website of Biosagenda.nl might be handy because it lets you view the cinema on a map. Just click Lees meer beneath the name of the cinema and the cinema appears on a handy map.
Cineville also lists arthouse films.
If you are interested in the more alternative cinema scene, check out this article on art house cinema’s in Amsterdam.
10. Take a train in The Netherlands
The train is Holland’s most popular form of public transportation. It’s a dense system and because The Netherlands is so small you can get to the smallest villages by train. It’s also very comfortable and nice to enjoy the view (but it’s not the cheapest in the world).Just try to avoid the peek hours (from 7.30 – 9.00 AM and from 5.00 to 7.00 PM on weekdays). The Dutch railways are called NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) and their website also has an English section.
Reservations for a train in The Netherlands is not possible, except on international train rides. Exploring The Netherlands is easy because of the OV-chipcard (€7,50). You get the card at a station and charge it with money. Then you just chip in and go where you want to go, change trains and see where you will end up!
Read more about Public transport in The Netherlands
NS: National trains
International trains from The Netherlands
You can buy train tickets for trains to other countries on the website of NS, the international section.
!!! Kids (between 4 and 12) travel free, but they need their own OV-chipcard (7,50) and load the Kids Vrij season ticket.