Amsterdam

At last, Amsterdam… it took a while for us to get there 🙂 , but we were there. Amsterdam Centraal is located quite close to the city center basically standing on the seaside (one of the quite large canals, not actually the North Sea). There are a lot of people in Amsterdam. The train station is FULL of tourists, just as the whole city (and I was told this is the same all year round).
Amsterdam
Immediately after getting out, there is a quite big bus/tram station from where people can get anywhere in the city. There is an information desk across the road from the station, we went there to buy tickets and get some bus-line maps (they are quite useful). There are several types of tickets, all of them basically allowing trips with buses and trams. A ticket price can depend on how long your ride in the city is. There are zones (I have traveled maximum three, but it took me quite to the edge of the city). There are also hourly tickets, I bought one for €2.60 on the bus. At night buses cost a bit more, and I for example payed on the bus €3.50 for a ride (not an hour or zone anymore). The best way however is to buy your tickets in advance at an info-kiosk: we bought 72 hour tickets for €15.00, which we could use for any number of rides, day and night for 72 hours starting from the first ride (the driver puts a stamp on it marking the time). These tickets always have to be shown to the driver when you get on (and this process takes a while when there are a lot of passengers). There are introducing a new system, which is based on sensors and you just have to put your ticket next to a device, when you get on and also off. (The hourly ticket and the night-ticket were like this for example).

After meeting an ex-university-colleague, we went together to an apartment which she has lent for us for the period we stayed there (Many, many thanks for that 😀 ). We packed out our stuff, took a shower and headed out in the city. Due to our late arrival in Amsterdam, by the time we got out in the city it was already passed 6 o’clock. Generally museums/fun houses close at this hour so we just strolled down the streets to see how the city feels like (it feels great 🙂 ). Restaurants and coffee bars are open late so, we sat down at one to enjoy a specific pie they make in Amsterdam (it was delicious, but huge, so I could not eat it).
Amsterdam
The city is full of life even at late hours (not only in certain areas, but the whole center). The canals are beautiful in the evening/night. Many people enjoy an evening boat-trip with their friends on a boat, just drinking beer eating snacks and chatting around. We tried to find out where could we rent those kinds of boats from, but we were told they were mostly privately owned boats. For tourist there are the usual long canal-boats operated by specialized companies (by far not as fun as the other, small ones looked like).

The first impression of Amsterdam was great, it looks like (and it is) a fun city a perfect place for people to just turn off their engines and relax or have fun. About what came after, in the next post… (one can not just summarize this city in one post 🙂 )

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