public transport in Amsterdam is fast and cheap (with the right card)

tramIn every bus and tram in Amsterdam you can buy a one-way ticket. It costs € 2,60 and it is valuable for 1 hour. That isn’t cheap, so if you are planning to use the public transport frequently you can choose one of these tickets:
1 day   (24 hours)   €   7,50
2 days (48 hours)   € 12,00
3 days (72 hours)   € 16,50
4 days (96 hours)   € 21,00​
5 days (120 hours) € 26,00
6 days (144 hours) € 29,50
7 days (168 hours) € 32,00​

You can buy the tickets for 24 and 48 hours in every tram (24 hour tickets in buses too). The tickets from 3 days on you can buy at the GVB Tickets & Info office at the Amsterdam Central Station.

In case you are planning to visit a lot of museums and make use of public transport, an
I amsterdam City Card might be interesting for you. It offers free entrance to a lot of museums, free public transport, a free canal boat tour and a discount on selected restaurants and museums. Prices are:
24 hours € 47,-
48 hours € 57,-
72 hours € 67,-
You can buy the Iamsterdam City Card here.

an unexpected danger in Amsterdam

grachtengordel_578

Photo: BNR

You probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but the famous Amsterdam canals are said to be a silent killer. In the last 3 years 51 people drowned in the canals. Only one of them had died as result of a crime. After some research it turned out that the canals are not the culprit, but alcohol is – especially for men. Drunk men tend to relief themselves not in one of the many urinals, but over the edge of a canal. Some of them accidentally fall in and drown. The police says they can recognize the alcohol victims, because they are found with their fly open.
Conclusion: canals aren’t that dangerous but some drunk people are – to themselves that is.

lots of reasons to visit Amsterdam in 2013

Grote Zaal concertgebouw

Grote Zaal Concertgebouw

If you ever needed a reason to visit my city, there isn’t a better year than 2013. Huffington Post mentions Amsterdam in its top desitinations to watch in 2013. There are many reasons, to name a few: the canals of Amsterdam exist 400 years, There is, of course, the grand reopening of the famous Rijksmuseum on April 14 and the van Gogh museum will have its 40th anniversary in June. The complete list is here. My personal favorite is 125 years of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, home for (again) 125 years in the famous Concertgebouw. If you would come over: try to book seats in advance in the “Grote Zaal” with its world famous acoustics. You will love it.

smart parking in Amsterdam

Photo: Arnoud de Jong

First of all a little piece of advice: don’t go into Amsterdam by car unless you have to.
It’s crowded, parking spaces are hard to find and its very expensive.
The expensive part is where Park Shark comes in. It’s a new location based app that helps you choose where to park your car, based on the parking rates. All you need to do is fill out your destination and time, date and duration of the visit. Then Park Shark gives you 3 options:
– The parking rates in the exact area where you want to go
– A cheaper option in an area or parking nearby, with lower rates
– The cheapest or free option, usually (much) further away

I think this free app can safe you time and money. Now it’s still up to you to find that parking space.

Another parking solution is using one of the seven Park & Ride locations in Amsterdam.

some good news for pot loving tourists on the ‘wietpas’

Since the beginning of this week Holland has a new government, ergo a new contract for the coming 4 years. In it we’ve found some good news on the ‘cannabis card’, aka ‘the wietpas‘.  The former conservative government had a plan to install the wietpas for domestic citizens: it allowed them to buy and smoke a joint in the coffee shops, whereas foreigners were expelled from buying pot in the same shops. Local Amsterdam authorities were opposing this monstrious idea, knowing that smoking pot draws massive amounts of tourists. The good news arrived with the new government’s contract: they will not introduce a wietpas (but the ruling states that buying pot should be restricted for residents only). The most important difference is that Amsterdam gets more authority to deal with our local situation. Which is good news for our pot loving tourists: the city council doesn’t aim for an ID check at the door. Not for domestic citizens, nor for foreign tourists.

Amsterdam is the second best city to visit in 2013!

Amsterdam is the second best city to visit in 2013, according to Lonely Planet; the popular travel guide publisher. They just published their annual top 10 list with must see cities for 2013.
San Francisco takes the top spot on the list, because the city will be hosting the America’s Cup next year. Amsterdam, as second, got its rating probably because of the 400th  anniversary of the Amsterdam canals and the reopening of the Rijksmuseum. Third is Hyderabad in India, known for its historic city centre.
The Lonely Planet lists are compiled based on the feedback of the very active online community, the company’s staff and writers. Lonely Planet said that the choices are not based on where travellers are already going but rather are “our pick of where we believe travellers really should consider visiting in 2013.”

Huffington Post on things Americans can learn from Amsterdammers

The Huffington Post has a nice post from Erin Farber in which she explaines what Americans can learn from “Amsterdammers” (people form Amsterdam). These lessons could make your visit to Amsterdam, or Holland for that matter, even more pleasant. E.g. “tell it like it is (politely)” or “eat fried food (in a bar)”. We think the best is: “ice skate as often as you can”. True, you can skate in Amsterdam from October 13, when season opens on Jaap Edenbaan.