Weekend in Amsterday (Day 2)

  • Day 2
  • Anne Frank's House
  • Lunch in Chinatown
  • Stop at Starbucks
  • Walk past palace, train station and Dam Square
  • Stop and smell the Tulips in the Bloom Market
  • Dinner and a comedy show (in English)
  • Cherry Vodka Shots at the ice bar

After our amazing day yesterday in Amsterdam, we walked home and went straight to bed ~ We were tired!! We also had another big day planned for day 2 in Amsterdam, so we had to get some sleep to enjoy our Saturday!!

First stop today ~ Anne Frank's House ~ Now I am sure that most of you know who Anne Frank and her family were.  Just in case, they were a Dutch family that were hidden away for 2 years in a secret annex, so as to not be persecuted by the Nazi's for being Jewish.  Eventually her family was caught and sent to the death camps.  Her Father Otto Frank was the only one to survive the camps.  To read about their life, history, and the death camps --> go here http://www.annefrank.org/en/Anne-Frank/

annefrank2

I really wanted to see this piece of history, and we were not disappointed.  The museum is open daily (except some holidays so check the website for dates)  from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and longer on Saturday nights.  It is located in the centre of Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 263-267. It takes around 20 minutes to walk from the Central Station to the museum. Trams 13, 14 and 17 and buses 170, 172 and 174 stop nearby, at the ‘Westermarkt’ stop. We walked from our flat, and it is very easy to find. There are signs in the street that the point you in the right direction!  You should also buy your tickets online so you don't have to wait in line, because there is a big line waiting to get inside.  Second, I would recommend listening to the 30 min. introduction. You are seated in a large room with other guest and they tell you the history and story of Anne Frank and her family ~ I enjoyed it a lot and we learned some really interesting details about the family. Next you can walk through the museum, there are great videos and artifacts from the family, and finally you get to climb the steep stairs, behind the secret bookcase, and see where the family lived for 2 years! Some of Anne Franks posters are still on the walls! Her orignal diary is also in the museum, and they sell replicas for any of you wanna be diary keepers!  So go and enjoy! Here is the link to buy tickets online directly from the museum! http://www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/Practical-information/Online-ticket-sales/

Its crowded, so if you can, go early in the morning!! You can also get an iPhone app about Anne Frank and the Jewish community in Amsterdam during WWII, it will lead you around town, and you can listen to commentary! it is here ~ http://www.annefrank.org/en/News/News/2012/May/App-Anne-Franks-Amsterdam/ Last no photos are allowed inside the museum, so walk slowly and just enjoy the history.

Whew that was something ~ a must see for anyone going to Amsterdam! Now we are hungry! For many of you who do not know, Amsterdam boast some of the best Asian food around! So like the locals, we decided to have some chinese food! We went to the area known as Chinatown, although this is not a real representation of the area, it is full of all types of asian food, cultures, and gifts.  You can walk here, it is right next to the Nieumarket Square, which is the traditional center square of Amsterdam, (which deserves a walk through after China Town!) One thing you should stop

Chinese Buddhist Temple, Amsterdam
Chinese Buddhist Temple, Amsterdam

and see is the Zeedijk Buddhist temple it is a beautiful building full of colors and fun place to take a photo! You can walk through the temple for free, and it is the largest Buddhist temple in all of Europe.  The temple cost 9 million guilders (4.1 million euros) to build, 6 million of which was donated by the Fo Guang Shan organization. It was completed in 2000 and dedicated in person by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. So even if you are not a Buddhist ~ it is a beautiful place to stop and see!

Sea Palace
Sea Palace

Now the hubby is getting grouchy, you see, I can go all day long, walking and looking and gazing and never get bored (or hungry) but he needs to have some food  ~ so lets Eat! Chinatown has so many places to choose from, but after walking around checking out the sites ~ I cheated and wanted to go eat somewhere else. You see the night before on our dinner boat, I saw this HUGE chinese restaurant boat out in the harbor ~ and well, I wanted to eat there! The locals told us, it was  little more expensive but the food was GOOD!!! We had 4 courses and drinks, for 2 and the bill was about 100 Euros ~ but I just had to go!  It is called the Sea Palace, and it stands 3 stories tall in the middle of Amsterdam Harbour.  The food was really really good ~ and ok I am not going to lie, the service, was OK ~ no one seemed to want to wait on us.  We requested sauce 3 times, before we received it, couldn't get any drinks, could never get a glass of water, and never even could get the final bill delivered!  However, I have to say the food was really great, and maybe they were just having an off day ~ and we were in on vacation so we were not in a hurry! If you want to check out the restaurant you can read the info and a menu here --> http://www.seapalace.nl/en Or you can stay in Chinatown and you will find some amazing Asian restaurants and places to eat! If you want some Dutch food, walk south from Chinatown to the Nieumarket Square, here you will find many great pubs and lots of  local Dutch  food!!

Starbucks Mugs
Starbucks Mugs

Next we had to take a walk, and walk off all that food whew our bellies were full! I am also an avid Starbucks mug collector ~ so we had to find the Starbucks! As luck would have it (ok maybe I planned it) there was a Starbucks, just a few hundred feet away from the restaurant! OH YES! So we had a latte,  and I  bought my cups from Netherlands and Amsterdam! After Starbucks, we walked towards the center of the city to get a good look at the train station, which is a beautiful building.

Amsterdam Main Train Station
Amsterdam Main Train Station

From there we took a left, and walked about 750 meters towards Dam Square. Dam Square is well, just that a dam! It was originally built as a dam on the Amstel River.  The dam was built in 1270 and it was the first connection between the two settlements on either side of the river! Eventually the dam grew larger, and formed a square, which is what exists today.  This square at one time was the center of all commercial activity including the very first fish market of Amsterdam. 

Tulips for Sale, Dam Square
Tulips for Sale, Dam Square

Here in the square you will see the National Monument, and the Royal Place! All are worth a walk by! Once a year there is a fair in Dam square and if you are lucky like we were, you will catch the tulip market, where thousands of colorful tulips are being sold in front of the Royal Palace!

The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace  is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarchy (meaning they live there when they are in town)  The palace was originally built as a city hall in the 17th century, but later became the royal palace of King Louis Napoleon and later of the Dutch Royal House. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square.  Directly across from the Palace you will see the National Monument. It is a white

National Monument
National Monument

stone structure, it was built in 1956 as a  monument to commemorate the casualties of World War II and other conflicts. You will also see in the square 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, along with a lot of shopping!

So its been a long day ~ hubbies feet are cold (he did not dress warm enough I mean it's Feb for goodness sake ) But I don't want him to freeze to death ~ I mean then who would I travel with!! So we decided to walk home, get some coffee and take a short nap before our night of Comedy and the Ice bar!

Now, we currently live in Europe, and have lived here for about 7 years now, so we were very excited about watching a comedy show in English.  It is probably one of the things we really miss, shows, movies, and plays in English ~ SO I was excited!! If you like comedy; you will love this show!  All the actors are from the USA, and they do impromptu comedy that totally engages the audience and honestly my belly hurt when we left! They have the option for dinner and the show, or just dinner. Quite honestly, dinner looked ok (we thought it was to expensive so we opted out) We ate across the street at the Sports bar (Carolina Basketball was on TV) so we had some food and waited for the show! Here is the link if you want to see the show ~ they are a very talented and funny group of people ~ and they serve drinks while you laugh, doesn't get much better than that if you ask me! http://www.boomchicago.nl/  They have moved locations since we have been there so I can't really help you location, but everything in Amsterdam is easy to get too and the web site can give you all the info!

Ice Bar
Ice Bar

Last stop for the night the Xtracold Ice Bar! We got out of the show and jumped a taxi to the Ice Bar! Now I know I know very touristy of us ~ You know I think acting touristy really gets a bad rap! Sometimes you just got to say Yeah I am a tourist, I was there and it was cool! So here is the skinny on the XtraCold Ice bar! You should make reservations if you want to go into the "Ice Room"  You can buy tickets and make reservations here -->  http://www.xtracold.com/en/ The will give you these great ponchos; the room is -10 Degreess Celcius ~ so ITS COLD! The price is 19.50 Euros per person to enter, and with that you get the beautiful silver poncho to wear, under the romantic black lights, and two drinks served up in glasses made of ice! There are some ice sculptures inside, some tulips frozen in ice, and a king's chair that everyone can sit on and get a photo taken.  They will not let you take any photos inside, you can only buy the professional photos that they take.

Ice Bar
Ice Bar

They also showed a movie piece in 3D from Ice Age, not sure I understood this but hey whatever ~ we were on vacation and drinking Cherry vodka so bring it on! I was ready to come out of the ice room after about 5 mins. Is it worth it ? Totally NOT! But hey I had to do it once.  Now, the bar/lounge itself it pretty cool.  It is all done in white counters, and blue lights. The bartenders were very friendly and so we decided to have some ice cold cherry vodka shots~ now that was worth the trip! The cherry vodka was absolutely awesome! So if I had to do it again, I would stop by the

Cherry Vodka ShootersCherry Vodka Shooters

lounge have a cherry vodka martini take a photo with the Polar Bear and just hang out for a while.  We had a great time!

Whew, I think we can call it a night ~ it is 2am after all! Good Night! 

Thanks for reading ~ If you want to read about day 1 in Amsterdam or to follow us you can find us at www.basketslife.com for all of our stories about life in Europe! Stacey ~

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