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AmsterdamEurostar trains between St Pancras International and Amsterdam have average journey times of 4 hours, 31 minutes; the route passes throuh Lille, Brussels, Schiphol, the Hague and Rotterdam. High speed rail to the Netherlands is popular because it is even more convenient and efficient to travel. Summer is a good time for tourists, but visitors who book tickets for spring will be able to see the famous Netherlands tulips.
Trains between St Pancras and Amsterdam run around 20 times a day.
Amsterdam is regarded as one of the greatest small cities in the world. It is the capital of the Netherlands, and is famous for its beauty and great variety. There are excellent cultural opportunities for visitors, with world-famous museums (these are the city’s main visitor attraction) and historical sites, and little internal congestion due to the many canals throughout the city. There are, however, good public transport links, and bikes for hire.
Visitors are advised that while points of money exchange are numerous, post offices often provide the best exchange rate, and the GWK Travelex Change office at the Central station is also good. Hotels are usually expensive, but credit cards are generally accepted (not as frequently as other parts of Europe) and ATM machines will allow for international cards. Visitors are also advised that parts of Amsterdam, especially restaurants have a reputation for “cheats” and tourists using cash have been hustled in the past.
Amsterdam plays host to a number of film festivals, such as the Cinekid Festival for children and young people every October, and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA- the largest documentary film festival in the world.
Points of Interest
|pic1>||The Van Gogh Museum|
The museum contains some of Van Gogh’s earliest works, including 200 paintings and 500 drawings on permanent display such as the famous “Sunflowers” and pieces from his stay in the south of France. Different stages of Van Gogh’s artistic progression are highlighted in changing exhibitions. It is one of Amsterdam’s most famous sites, and also featured are works by Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin.
|pic2>||The Anne Frank memorial site|
This is the original house where Anne Frank went into hiding during the Second World War, and has been a museum since 1960. The collection includes original letters, documents and original objects. Visitors can spend an hour here; informative brochures are provided but there are no tours or guides.
Café De Prins- with an external terrace over the canal
D'Vijff Vlieghen- a famous hotel with restaurant named after Jan Janszoon Vijff Vlijghen
De Keuken van 1870- a former soup kitchen popular with office workers, pensioners and students providing inexpensive meals
De Knijp- specialities include the tilapia filet, salad and steak, featuring traditional Dutch cuisine
De Poort- this restaurant famous for its steaks is over 100 years old
Marijuana coffee shops- smoking is legal in Amsterdam, where they are in reality Marijuana cafes
Dance clubs- some of the largest are Club 8, Paradiso, Jimmy Woo, Escape and Bitterzoet
Comedy clubs- especially Boom Chicago in the Leidseplein Theater
Bruine ("brown") cafés- these are popular across the Netherlands with relaxed and generally informal settings and are the equivalent of English pubs