Name: Passenger Terminal Amsterdam
Address: Piet Heinkade 27
The passenger terminal where cruise vessels moor is adjacent to the city center, a magnificent architectural achievement and a great addition to city services.
The nearby railway station Amsterdam Central has frequent train connections to Schiphol Airport and over 50 major international train destinations. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is 20 minutes away by taxi. The airport accommodates over 44 million passengers a year and has direct links to some 250 cities across the world, making it one of Europe’s key airports.
By taxi, the trip into central Amsterdam is 25-30 minutes depending on traffic conditions and the cost is between EUR 20 and EUR 40 depending on pick-up point. If you’re traveling to The Hague the fare is EUR 70 and to Rotterdam it’s EUR 85. Credit cards accepted.
There is a direct service by train between Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central station with trains running every 10 to 15 minutes with a journey time of between 15 and 20 minutes. Cost: First Class fare one way is EUR 5.90, round trip EUR 10.10. Second Class one way is EUR 3.60 and round trip is EUR 6.20. The Airport Station is connected to the terminal building for a quick transfer. If you have bicycles, you can put them on the train and take it off at your stop.
There is also regular bus service from Amsterdam city to Schiphol airport. KLM operates a half hourly service that picks up from a number of Amsterdam hotels. The cost is EUR 6.80.
While the city has a wide range of brand name hotels such as Holiday Inn, Golden Tulip and Radisson, there’s a wide range of 3- to 5-star properties. One of the newest hotels, the Moevenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre, is located on the water’s edge across from the passenger terminal and within walking distance from the old center of Amsterdam and the Central Station. It has 408 rooms and has a view over the harbor or the city.
The Jolly Hotel Carlton is situated in the heart of the city of Amsterdam, overlooking the flower market and in the vicinity of the ‘Rembrandtplein’. Most renowned attractions are within walking distance.
The NH Hotel Museum Quarter in Amsterdam is a modern and luxurious 4-star hotel in the Museumkwartier, at the edge of the town center, is close to shops, restaurants and museums.
The hotel Vondel Park Plaza Amsterdam is situated on the Koninginnelaan, one of the city’s loveliest areas and is close to the Rijksmuseum, the ‘Van Gogh Museum’ and the Leidseplein, one of the prime locations for the city’s nightlife.
The Hotel Pulitzer, a Luxury Collection accommodation, is situated in Amsterdam city center, framed by two of the most famous canals: the Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht and consists of 25 restored 17th and 18th century canal houses, integrated to create this unique 5-star hotel.
The home of painters Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Amsterdam has a lively 17th century city center. When you stroll through the narrow streets or along the tree-lined canals, you find yourself transported back through the centuries into another time and place.
The historical city center is a world heritage site and compact living museum where everything is within walking distance, from the diamond cutters to the world famous museums and art galleries.
There are more than 50 museums scattered throughout the city, ranging from classic to modern art, architectural to scientific, historical to sociological, and there’s even a museum just for children. Among the most popular are the Van Gogh, Stedelijk, Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House and the Rembrandthuis. In fact, you could spend a month just walking through and exploring the city’s cultural icons.
The Ann Frank House, in particular, has poignant meaning to many visitors. The Diary of Anne Frank, written in the years 1942-1944, was penned on the upper floor of this place. Anne and her family hid from the German occupation forces until they were betrayed, deported and eventually died. A number of exhibitions give an impression of the life of Anne Frank, in which the diary takes a central role.
But, once you’re done with visiting museums, attending a concert at the Concertgebouw, and walking the historic district, you’re still left with the fact that Amsterdam is one of the most liberal cities on earth. And nothing so reflects that as does the red light district in which prostitution is a tourist attraction.
The Amsterdam Red Light District covers a large area of the oldest part of the city. The buildings are tall, thin and crowd together, overlooking the tree-lined canals. The Amsterdam Red Light District is actually an attractive area. Dating back to the 14th century when sailors arrived in need of some female company, the district is full of sex shops, brothels, gay bars, cinemas, hotels and different kinds of museums.
Amsterdam has more than 1,000 restaurants catering for the tastes, needs and budgets of everyone. Dining ranges from fast food to haute cuisine with every nation faithfully represented.
You’ll find a lot of action at the Leidseplein, the city square developed in the 17th century as a wagon park for farmers and peasants to leave their carts here before entering the city center.
Leidseplein is one of Amsterdam’s popular centers for nightlife, with theatres, lots of cafes, restaurants, cinemas, the casino, the Lido theatre with live entertainment and music centere. Here’s where street musicians, jugglers, fire-eaters and other performers make the square a lively place until the early hours, especially on warm summer evenings.
One of the best ways of getting around this canal city is by Canal Bus, whose boats operate a regular service along the canals on three routes. The 14 stops are located near the major museums, attractions and shopping centers. With a Day Pass, which is valid till 12.00 in the afternoon the next day, you can hop on, hop off as often as you like and you get a lot of discounts at museums, attractions, restaurants and shops. On board there is a commentary providing interesting information about Amsterdam.
If you want to be like a resident, rent a bike. It is the best way to discover Amsterdam. Riding a bike in the city is unlike any experience you might have had in North American cities. There are separate lanes of bicycle traffic and you’ll find yourself with plenty of company as bicycles are a major means of transport.
Once you get out of the city, there are bike highways reserved only for the two-wheelers and on many of them. You’ll find yourself away from automobile traffic. Cycle 20 minutes along the Amstel, to the south of the city centre, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by country estates, rolling green fields, families posing on boats of all shapes and sizes.
And don’t worry about language problems. Everyone in Amsterdam – and throughout the Netherlands – speaks English.
Things to do:
With its maze of narrow streets, 17th-century canal houses, rich history, listed buildings, quirky boutiques and bars, the Jordaan is one of Amsterdam’s most popular districts. In the Nine Lanes you can buy anything from 1940s cocktail glasses and retro memorabilia to fine wines, home interiors and funky clothes.
With close to one million objects, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the largest museum of art and history in the Netherlands and one of the largest in all of Europe. It is perhaps best known for its collection of 17th-century Dutch masters, with 20 Rembrandts and many other highlights of the period, including works by Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen.
— Ray Chatelin