Amsterdam offers warm greetings for visitors at any time of year, even during the winter offseason. The weather may be cold, but the crowds are smaller. See what's going on in...
Amsterdam offers warm greetings for visitors at any time of year, even during the winter offseason. The weather may be cold, but the crowds are smaller.
See what’s going on in the city this winter through the eyes of the Tourism & Convention Board — www.holland.com/us — including an exhibition of Dutch winter scene paintings that greets visitors at the Schiphol airport.
Next, get acquainted by browsing through the city’s Web site — www.amsterdam.nl — where you’ll need to start by clicking on “English site.” Look through “Tourism” for basics on finding your way around the streets and canals, and on saving money with the Amsterdam Pass. Be sure to click on “Goodies” for links to photo galleries, guides to aspects of the city including the Dam Square, and a wealth of other Internet guides and maps. And unless a travel agent is doing the work for you, you can click on “Accommodations” to find a place to stay.
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If you want to wait for the weather to start warming, April 30 is the queen’s official birthday, a national holiday with celebrations and street fairs. Get an introduction to the royal family at the Dutch Royal House — www.koninklijkhuis.nl/UK/welcome.html — and take a virtual tour of the palaces. Start by clicking on “Navigation.”
Brush up on the lives and paintings of van Gogh and Rembrandt at Amsterdam Tourist Information — www.amsterdamtourist.com — as well as the diary of Anne Frank. Their guide to museums and exhibitions runs the gamut from art to houseboats. And be sure to click on the link to “Guide to 35 Museums,” a Web site that provides an interactive map that will help you plan your walking tours around museum visits. You’ll also find links to information on concerts, theater, bars and cafes (check out “brown bars” for relaxing with the locals), Web cams, photos and accommodations.
Amsterdam itself almost counts as a museum. The city’s Amsterdam Heritage — www.bmz.amsterdam.nl/adam/index_e.html — introduces you to its history and landmarks, and if you click on “Exploring” you’ll find a suggestion for a bicycle tour.
If you have time to kill or a fast Internet connection, take a visual tour with the slide show at Citymap Amsterdam — www.previewamsterdam.com — and take a look at their historical maps of the city.
When your feet are weary of exploring Amsterdam’s nooks and crannies, the GVB public transit system www.gvb.nl/engels — offers the easiest way to get around. Click on “Tourist Guide” and “Frequently Asked Questions.”
Even if you’re on a tight schedule, you should try to fit in at least one tour outside Amsterdam. The national tourism Web site — www.holland.com/us — can help you pick out a city or region to visit, windmills or castles to photograph, or a tour of tulip farms. And look through “Holland’s Best Deals” for packages that might save you a few bucks.