FLOW INTO AMSTERDAM!
Doors Guide 2002
GENERAL INFORMATION, Amsterdam
Dialling code for Amsterdam: 020
Telephone enquiries, national: 0900 8008 (operator)
Telephone enquiries, international: 0900 8418
Yellow Pages Netherlands: www.degoudengids.nl
Police (local): 0900 8844
Emergency services: 112
Tourist information: 0900 400 40
Trams to the RAI (conference location):
From Amsterdam Central Station (CS), take express tram 51 (travelling time: 12 minutes, exit at the Amsterdam RAI station) or tram 4 (travelling time: 25 minutes, exit at the RAI Europaplein) You can buy a ticket from the conductor (¤1.40 per single-zone journey), or buy a strippenkaart (strip of tickets), which works out cheaper, at GVB Tickets & Info (at Stationsplein, opposite Central Station), a post office or tobacconist). If there is no conductor: punch your ticket in the yellow machines on trams, allowing one strip per zone plus an extra one. If you'll be using the trams a lot, a day card is good value. If you travel without a ticket, you are liable for an on-the-spot fine. Trams stop running at about 12.15am-12.30am. Luckily, night buses then run until 7.30am. They leave Central Station every half-hour and stop all over town. A map with the night bus routes is available at GVB Tickets & Info.
Taxis 677 7777
Flight information 0900 72447465 or 601 9111
Train enquiries 0900 9292 or www.ns.nl
MacBike, just off Waterlooplein, tel: 620 0985. And next door to Paradiso (near Leidseplein), Weteringschans 2, tel: 528 7688.
Dam Bike, P. Jacobszdwaarstraat 11, tel. 627 3587 and Damstraat 20, tel: 625 5029
Bike City, Bloemgracht 70, tel: 626 3721
Renting a bike costs around ¤7 per day (9am-6pm) or ¤9 for 24 hours. You have to leave a deposit and show your passport.
Amsterdam is so flat that it's not worth paying extra (up to twice the price!) for gears. 'Real' brakes also cost more, but don't worry: the backpeddle brakes work just fine once you get the hang of them. If you cycle without lights when it's dark, you may incur an on-the-spot fine dont say we didnt warn you!
Hertz: 0800 2354 3789 or 612 2441
Avis: 683 6061 or 644 3684
Budget: 612 6066
Car rental costs around ¤37 - 50 per day. Driving around Amsterdam's narrow streets is a challenge, and parking can be all but impossible. Never, ever park in the centre without a ticket you will be clamped.
Here at the conference, there are several terminals with Internet access. Please limit the time you spend using these out of consideration for others. There are also points where you may connect your laptop to the Internet for a small charge. For more leisurely surfing, Amsterdam has a number of Internet cafés; try:
Freeworld Internet Café, Nieuwendijk 30, tel: 6200902, Internet café and coffee shop (pursue two interests at once!), was one of the first in the city.
¤1 for 30 minutes, open 9am to 1am, Fri/Sat to 3am.
The Internet Café, Martelaarsgracht 11, tel: 6271052, www.internetcafe.nl
¤1 for 30 minutes, open 9am-1am.
EATING & DRINKING
Remember that many Amsterdam restaurants close early, with last orders at 10pm or 10.30pm. Service may also be on the leisurely side, so allow plenty of time. Annoyingly, many still do not take credit cards its a good idea to check in advance. As most are rather er, compact, its a good idea to reserve a table, especially if there are more than two of you.
Good areas to explore include the Nieuwmarkt, which has lots of bars and cafés, with nearby side streets boasting cheap, reliable, restaurants chiefly Chinese and Thai. This area is more fun (and more the real Amsterdam) than Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. Utrechtsestraat (it leads to Rembrandtplein) has a good mix of bars, cafés and restaurants of all types. The Pijp is a trendy, untouristy area with some very good and trendy bars and restaurants, all conveniently placed close together. The Jordaan is similar (but not as close to the RAI as the Pijp!). Noordermarkt, in the Jordaan, is a lovely square with some cool local markets by day (flea-market Monday am!), and some funky bars by night.
Restaurants: Doors' Favourites
Amsterdam has about 1,000 restaurants. Luckily, weve checked out quite a few for you. These are some of our favourites reservations are advisable. Find reviews of a good selection of bars, clubs and restaurants at www.amsterdamhotspots.nl
The Chocolate Bar, 1e Van der Helstsraat 62 A, tel: 662 33354
New, trendy, and lively, with fab seventies décor and good (lounge) music. Food and wine surprisingly good. Nice for just a drink, too.
De Engel, Albert Cuypstraat 182, tel: 675 0544
New, cavernous, atmospheric café great for a drink, or eat upstairs; serves good, uncomplicated, inexpensive food.
De Witte Uyl, Frans Halsstraat 26, tel: 670 0458
Intimate, non-designer interior (mis-matched Deco furniture, jazz music), with seriously delicious, imaginative food.
Zen, Frans Halsstraat 38, tel: 627 0607
New and tiny Japanese eatery; authentic and fun.
Madame Jeanette, 1e Van der Helststraat 42, tel: 673 3332
New, and extremely trendy, with reliable food and good cocktails Amaretto Sour is the house speciality. Madame Jeanette is actually a man called Ricardo; but dont let that put you off.
Trez, Saenredamstraat 39, tel: 676 2495
Wonderful food Portuguese/Spanish and lovely service make this place enduringly popular.
Carel's Café, Frans Halsstraat 76, tel: 679 4836
Reliably good food at reasonable prices, and a fun atmosphere. If it's full, this street offers plenty of other options.
A la Ferme, Govert Flinckstraat 251, tel: 679 8240
Sounds French but the chef cooks lighter, maybe even more Italian. Non-pretentious surroundings and friendly service, quite a lot of organic produce, Kristi likes it.
Vossius, Hobbemastraat 2, tel: 577 4100
Restrained interior, unrestrained prices and gorgeous food from these Michelin-starred masters. (non smoking too)
Van Vlaanderen, Weteringschans 175, tel: 622 8292
Intimate, with Michelin-starred French-Mediterranean food.
Zabar's, Van Baerlestraat 49, tel: 679 8888
Busy, with good, varied Mediterranean food.
Brasserie Van Baerle, Van Baerlestraat 158, tel: 679 1532
Good, brasserie-style food. Ideal for brunch or lunch.
Near the RAI:
Vis aan de Schelde, Scheldeplein 4, tel: 675 1583
Quite new, and immediately nominated as the best fish restaurant in town. Opposite the Rai.
Moko, Amstelveld 12; tel: 626 1199
Stylish, with an interesting menu, good cocktails and weather allowing Amsterdams prettiest terrace.
Blauw aan de Wal, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 99; tel: 330 3357
Secluded eatery tucked away in a hidden courtyard in the Red Light District classic Amsterdam! Excellent food, non-smoking section.
Bordewijk, Noordermarkt 7; tel: 624 3899
Sophisticated, but not stuffy. Classic food and wine, with some highly original touches.
Nomads, Rozengracht 133; tel: 344 6401
New and super-trendy, with Arabian-nights interior and Lebanese food which you eat in a reclining position . . .
Het Tuynhuys, Reguliersdwarsstraat 28, tel: 627 6603
Tasteful, tranquil, with excellent food. Large, beautiful garden if only you were here in the summer! Not cheap.
Inez IPSC, Amstel 2, tel: 639 2899
Fashionable; food can be excellent.
Yoichi, Weteringschans 128, tel: 622 6829
Japanese, not cheap but good, family-run and jolly.
Casa di David, Singel 426, tel: 6245093
Our (Italian) press officer reckons this (along with Toscanini, see below) is the closest to real Italian food you get in Amsterdam.
Toscanini, Lindengracht 75, tel: 623 2813
Another reliable Italian, if you can't do without your pasta.
Supper Club, Jonge Roelensteeg, 21, tel: 3446404
Eternally trendy, and pricey, with exceptionally good food.
Amstel Hotel, at the riverside, Prof. Tulpplein 1/Sarphatistraat, tel: 622 6060
Expensive, but good food in both restaurants, and it's a great riverside location.
Zuid Zeeland, Herengracht 413, tel: 624 3154
Belgian, and deservedly popular.
Lof, Haarlemmerstraat 62, tel: 620 2997
Lively location, food is variations on an Italian theme.
Morlang, Keizersgracht 451, tel: 625 2681
Tasteful, with French-Italian food.
Amsterdam, Watertorenplein 6, tel: 682 2666
Big, fun place in an old waterworks; sizeable menu, reasonable prices, family-friendly. Good for big groups.
Pata Negra, Utrechtsestraat 124, tel: 422 6250
Trendy, noisy Spanish place with 40 sorts of tapas. If you can't get a table, this street has lots of other possibilities.
West Pacific, Haarlemmerweg 8-10, tel: 488 7778
Lively and fun, with good food, great music and dancing afterwards.
Within tram distance . . .
La Vallade, Ringdijk 23, tel: 665 2025
Rustic French cuisine at its best and its great value. Two sittings, get there with tram 9.
De Kas, Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, tel: 462 4562
New and chic, in a spacious greenhouse in the east. Much-admired chef Hageman grows his own herbs and vegetables, of course. And the meat is organic, too.
Places to eat Cheap and Cheerful
The places listed below offer a square meal for around ¤15 20 or less. Other low-cost options can be found around Nieuwmarkt, which has plenty of Thai and Chinese options, Albert Cuypstraat (in the Pijp), with more ethnic options, and the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat (a touristy street off Leidseplein, good for pizzas, etc). Cafés which serve food (see below) can also be a good budget option. For the ultimate in cheap eating, look out for a Febo all over town, these home-grown fast food outlets feature chicken, burgers, krokets and other unspeakable deep-fried snacks in a self-service wall of windows. They're fun, inexpensive and open until late. Eet smakelijk!
Nam Kee, Zeedijk 111, tel: 624 3470
Strip-lighting and formica tables offend the eye, but with Chinese food as good (and cheap) as this, who cares? Plus, its just been immortalized in the Dutch movie, The Oysters of Nam Kee.
Nam Tin, Jodenbreestraat 11 (near Waterlooplein), tel: 4288508
Fancier, with pink tablecloths, packed with Chinese families and businessmen especially for Sundays dim sum lunch.
Hoi Tin, Zeedijk 112, tel: 6256451
More good Chinese, dont let the tatty interior put you off.
Snackbar Bird, Zeedijk 77, tel: 4206289
Nice Thai snacks, but very small. Bird restaurant opposite is pricier.
Latei, Zeedijk 143, tel: 625 748
Tiny sandwich shop serving great apple tart by day. You can buy the furniture, if it takes your fancy. Which we doubt, actually.
Cambodja City, Albert Cuypstraat 58, tel: 671 4930.
Low-budget, but lovely; Cambodian, Vietnamese and Thai.
Hein, Berenstraat 20, tel: 623 1048
Great food, low prices, lovely people. We recommend the chocolate mousse. Lunch only.
De Bakkerswinkel, Warmoesstraat 69, tel: 489 8000; Roelof Hartstraat 68, tel: 662 3594
Breakfast, lunch or tea, featuring wholesome home-baked bread, pastries, and cakes.
De Bolhoed, Prinsengracht 60, tel: 626 1803
Good, inexpensive vegetarian (and vegan) food.
Bojo, Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 51, tel: 622 7434
Good Indonesian food which is great value for the price, fast service and long opening hours (until 2am, and later at weekends) make this place a city institution.
Pohchana, Haarlemmerstraat 83, tel: 422 3977
Tasty Thai food at affordable prices.
Semhar, Marnixstraat 261, tel: 638 1634
Spicy Ethiopian food and good value for money.
De Schutter, Voetboogstraat 13, tel: 622 4608
Grungey, studenty place serving hearty food.
Bern, Nieuwmarkt 9, tel: 622 0034
We love the cosy, hasnt-been-touched-since-the-70's feel. Foodwise it's steak, or share a (great) cheese fondue.
Gary's Muffins, Jodenbreestraat 15; Kinkerstraat 140; Prinsengracht 454; Reguliersdwarsstraat 53.
Bagels, brownies and other tasty snacks at reasonable prices.
Need warming up? Good places for a nourishing broth are:
Soup en Zo, Jodenbreestraat 94, tel: 4222243 (area: Waterlooplein).
De Soepwinkel, Eerste Sweelinckstraat 19 F, tel: 6732293 (area: De Pijp).
Sap & Soup, Haarlemmerstraat 68, tel: 020-3209190 (area: Jordaan).
Wildschut, Roelof Hartplein 1-3, tel: 676 8220
Popular Art Deco gem; also serves food.
De Balie, Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10, tel: 553 5151
Lively arts and political debate centre. Located just off Leidseplein. John and Kristis local.
Café De Jaren, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20, tel: 625 5771
Large, airy and lively good with a crowd; also does food; waterside terrace. See you there for a post-conference brunch on Sunday?
Finch, Noordermarkt 5, tel: 626 2461
Trendy, full and fun; lovely location on the Noordermarkt. Affordable food. Proust, next door, is also popular.
Marnixstraat 429, tel: 620 7222
Nice café, reasonable food and the kitchen closes late (for Amsterdam), at 11.30pm.
Lux, Marnixstraat 403, tel: 422 1412
Funky lounge with live DJs. Gets very busy.
Bep, Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal 260, tel: 626 5649
Trendy meeting place and people-watching spot near Dam Square; serves sandwiches, soups and pasta.
Diep, Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal 256, tel: 420 2020
Another trendy spot on this hip café-strip with a lively crowd.
Cafe Schuim, Spuistraat 189, tel: 638 9357
Large and busy bar which attracts students, clubbers, singles and media types, among others.
Café Restaurant Schiller, Rembrandtplein 26, tel: 624 9846
Art Deco interior, the haunt local TV journalists and writers. You can eat here, too.
Café De Kroon, Rembrandtplein 17-1, tel: 625 2011
Another large, airy space, with comfortable seating and great views of the square from its first-floor location; also serves food.
De Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, tel: 422 7772
Gorgeous medieval building, complete with (free) Internet access, loads of candles and a restaurant. A good starting point for a night out on the Nieuwmarkt.
't Loosje, Nieuwmarkt 32. tel: 627 2635
Ancient interior, unpretentious crowd.
Cotton Club, Nieuwmarkt 5, tel: 626 6192
Lively jazz and salsa spot.
Café de Prins, Prinsengracht 124, tel : 624 9382
Charming canalside bar in the Jordaan; serves good food at reasonable prices.
Vakzuid, Olympisch Stadion 35 (Amstelveenseweg), tel: 5708400
Former Olympic Stadium, now Wallpaperish multi-level bar, lounge, and restaurant.
Winston, Warmoesstraat 129, tel: 623 1380
Small, sleazy, tongue-in-cheek. Club Vegas (Sundays) is ironic and fun dress glam.
Panama, Oostelijke Handelskade 4, tel: 311 8686
New and big, with its own restaurant, Panama attracts an older, more sophisticated crowd. A bit out of town, so bike or take a taxi.
Paradiso, Weteringschans 6 - 8, tel: 626 4521
Legendary venue, live music and late-night dancing. Dependably good.
Mazzo, Rozengracht 114, tel: 6267500
Fun and informal, with a mixed age-group.
More, Rozengracht 133, tel: 3446404
Fatboy Slim, Towa Tei and other big international names have played here recently. Opposite Mazzo.
West Pacific, Haarlemmerweg 8, tel: 488 7778
Laid-back and popular (you can eat in the restaurant beforehand).
Escape, Rembrandtplein 11, tel: 622 1111
Die-hard clubbers only; not for the faint-hearted.
NL Lounge, Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal 169, tel: 622 7510
A club for grown-ups - lush velveteen drapes and comfy chairs, Thai snacks, fairly steep prices.
The Power Zone, Daniel Goedkoopstraat 1-3, tel: 681 8866
New! Amsterdams biggest club (holds 5,000 sweaty bodies!). Good option if pumping house is your thing out of town, so get a taxi.
TRIED-AND-TESTED R+R FOR ACCOMPANYING MINORS & PARTNERS
- Skating on Museumplein: slide about on the charming little ice-rink in front of the Rijksmuseum. Skate-hire and refreshments are available.
- Amsterdam Zoo (called Artis; tel: 523 3400) is fun, compact and centrally located on Plantage Kerklaan take tram 6, 9, 14 or 20.
- Coffee in the Palmenkas at Hortus Botanicus (botanical gardens), located near Artis on Plantage Middenlaan 2A take tram 6, 9, 14 or 20.
- Rent rollerblades in the Vondelpark. Have a hot chocolate on the heated terrace of architectural pearl Het Blauwe Theehuis, Vondelpark 5, tel: 020-6620254. Or in café-restaurant Vertigo, in the majestic Film museum (near Overtoom).
- Amsterdamse Bos (woods): lovely walks and you can feed the baby goats at the goat farm. Cycle or take the bus.
- Bicycle to Durgerdam for chips & mayo; cross via ferry-shuttle behind Central Station, then via Nieuwendammerdijk along the sea-wall and cute terraced houses.
- Castricum beach: Rent bicycles at bike depot in Castricum Station (20-minute train ride from Central Station) and go to the beach. Book the bikes in advance on (0251) 654 035. Open 07am-10pm, ¤6 per day. Take your passport or credit card with you!
- Get sporty (and have a few drinks at the same time) at Knijn Bowling Centre. Just opposite the RAI, Scheldeplein 3 (tel: 664 22 11). Twilight Bowling is fun (Fri 11pm-0.30am, Sat 11.30pm-1am , or groups on request.). Without the disco lights: Mon-Fr 11am-5pm, Sat-Sun from 12 noon.
- KNSM-Island (by ferry behind Central Station to Java-Island, or bike or bus 59, 32, 28, or 59): a new city on the water. Dutch modern architecture en masse and some funky design shops at KNSM-laan. Mingle with the locals at café Kanis en Meiland, Levantkade 127 (tel: 418 2439). Dine at café-restaurant De Oceaan at nearby Borneo-Island (Fortuynplein 29, tel: 4190020). Dance at trendy café-restaurant-disco boat Odessa, Veemkade 259, tel: 419 30 10.
- Rent a bike: when in Amsterdam, do as the Amsterdammers do . . .
- Take a canal boat tour pick up a boat outside the Rijksmuseum or on Rokin.
- Walk along the canals at dusk (or dawn, even).
- Try a guided Amsterdam walk, www.amsterdambackdoor.com has some offbeat options.
- Or an architectural walk courtesy of Arcam, Waterlooplein 213, tel: 620 4878.
- Amsterdams Historical Museum we like the nicely interactive 20th-century section. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 357, tel: 5231 822.
- The Concertgebouw city concert hall has the best acoustics in Europe; Sunday matinees can be excellent. Concertgebouwplein 2-6, tel: 6792211
- The Tropen (Tropical) Museum, Linnaeusstraat 2, tel: 568 8200 good anthropological stuff, educational for kids, great shop and café.
- Dutch Riding School (café/bar upstairs), Vondelstraat 140, tel: 6180942.
- The Rijksmuseum: great collection; boring shop. Stadhouderskade 42, tel: 6747000
- The Theatre Institute, Herengracht 168-174; nice old rooms, tel: 551 3300.
- Deco Sauna (both sexes; expect total nudity youll feel out of place in a swimsuit), Herengracht 115, tel: 623 8215.
Souvenirs from Holland
- Cheese (oude kaas) from Loekie on Utrechtsestraat and Prinsengracht 705.
- Paling (eel) from the deli at Schiphol.
- Bulbs from the flower market on Singel.
- Modern jewellery from Galerie Ra, Vijzelstraat 80, tel: 6265100.
- Jenever (it's like an oily gin) from any wine shop; or try a Van Wees liqueur (kaneel cinnamon is popular), still made in the traditional way.
- Cigars from Hajenius, Rokin 92.
Van Ravenstein, Keizersgracht 359 (near Spui); tel: 639 0067, stocks the best of Belgian (and Dutch) design.
For Armani, Gucci, and all the usual suspects, PC Hooftstraat is the place to go. For more unusual wares (not just clothes), browse De 9 Straatjes (the small streets starting off Spui, crossing the canals up to the Prinsengracht: Huidenstraat, Runstraat, Hartenstraat, Wolvenstraat, etc).
Contemporary interiors stuff and furniture from Frozen Fountain, Prinsengracht 629, or Galerie Binnen, Keizersgracht 82, or Wonen 2000, Rozengracht 217, or De Kasstoor, Rozengracht 202 (nice café at back).
Newest interior-design street is KNSM-Laan on the KNSM-Island (buses 59, 28, 32.): Pol's Potten, Pilat and Pilat, Keet (for children), World of Wonders and more.
For non-Dutch people, HEMA (branches throughout the city) is always worth a look for cheap but sometimes surprisingly well-designed, or appealingly kitsch interior thingies.
Athenaeum (academic), Spui 14; tel: 6226248, for an excellent selection of international newspapers and magazines you never heard of before.
Nijhof & Lee (art and design), Staalstraat 13a.
ArtBook (art), Van Baerlestraat 126.
Scheltema (big), Koningsplein 20 (near Leidsestraat).
Architectura & Natura, Leliegracht 22.
FOUR GOOD BOOKS ABOUT HOLLAND
Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football (David Winner takes a holistic look at Dutch culture, and how it gave rise to Total Football).
The Low Sky (Hans van der Horst on Dutchness).
The Embarassment of Riches (Simon Schama on the Golden Age).
Amsterdam: The Rough Guide (best guidebook).
A brief selection of current cultural offerings . . .
De Appel Foundation, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, tel: 625 5651
Opens November 15 (6pm-8pm): Haunted by Detail, the role of metaphor within contemporary artworks.
Galerie Fons Welters, Bloemstraat 140, tel: 423 3046
SM by Atelier van Lieshout. Controversial; anatomical models, bodily functions, etc.
Beurs van Berlage, Beursplein 1, tel: 624 0141
Le Corbusier meets Berlage.
Stedelijk Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 13, tel: 573 2911
Satyendra Pakhalé, From projects to products: Industrial design; furniture, vases, desk accessories and other objects for companies like Cappellini, Magis, Cor Unum and Alessi. Plus, Ten Years of Tracey Emin.
Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Rozenstraat 59, tel: 422 0471
Rehearsal. Germaine Kruip investigates the reality of the public domain.
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts, Keizersgracht 264, tel: 623 7101
Hurt Models, by Christiaan Bastiaans (video, photography, drawings and sculptures).
Fanshop, Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 262, tel: 330 3202
Is it a gallery? Is it a shop? Is it an ideas lab? You decide and, should it disappoint, Bar Bep is next door . . .
SMART Project Space, 1e Constantijn Huygensstraat 20, tel: 427 5951, www.smartprojectspace.net
Popular arty hangout features bar, restaurant, Smart Cinema + exhibition space. Open till 01, weekends till 03 am. One tram-stop from Leidseplein.
foam, Keizersgracht 609, tel: 551 6500
Interestingly programmed photography museum. On now : a Don McCullin retrospective, plus young photographers on faith.
Jewish Historical Museum, Jonas Daniël Meijerplein 2, tel: 626 9945
Award-winning conversion of four Ashkenazi synagogues, built 1671-1752. On now: Marc Chagalls1920 murals for Moscow's Jewish Theatre.
World-Information.org, at the Oude Kerk, Oudekerksplein
The influence of the progression of worldwide communication and information networks on everyday life . . . Doors participants are invited to a special viewing on Sunday afternoon.