Botel in Amsterdam is one of the best accommodations in the city. The center of Amsterdam is very crowded during May where 70% of the tourists are men. The Marijuana sold in coffee shops is very low quality.
Interesting information and Reviews
Amsterdam is the Netherlands ' capital, known for its artistic heritage, beautiful canal system, red lights, and coffee shops. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk.
Cycling is the key to enjoy the city without getting very tired. Unfortunately, the price of renting a bike is very high at least in comparison with Warsaw. There are so many hotels and rooms in Amsterdam, but we took the Botel in Amsterdam, and we didn't regret it at all.
There are also many hidden beautiful places in Amsterdam where you can find locals enjoying a peaceful evening after work. I had a strong feeling that most of the locals do not like tourists because they got bored by their inapropriate behavior.
Many people who work in public places do not behave very well and they treat all the people in the same way. I don't blame them for their behavior, as I understand that they must have a really hard time in their life. They have seen a lot and many tourists go to Amsterdam just to get stoned, drunk, and have sex in the red light district.
It is true that most of the tourists behave very bad and they usually cause different problems. As a natural consequence, the locals (not all of them) have bad feelings about the tourists in general and it is something you can feel in the city.
On the other side, there are many helpful, easy to talk to, and nice people in the city center and also on the side, where is the Botel in Amsterdam. Definitely in Amsterdam, you are going to find a lot of different types of people and this is something very interesting.
Finally, it is a great idea to get out of the city center area and give a better chance to the locals to show their hospitality. Amsterdam city center is fully occupied by bikes. In the picture above you can see the bikes parking at the port :-)
Recommendations in Amsterdam
First, you definitely need to Rent a Bike in Amsterdam. Get out of the city center, see some parks and beautiful areas around the city. Do not get a Guided Bike Tour. The locals get very frustrated and they do not recommend the Bike Tours in the City :)
Take the ferry from the central station and go to the other side. Discover Amsterdam Noord. Relax in Pllek «http://www.pllek.nl», YKantine or Loetje «http://www.loetje.com». I am sure you will discover more things to do in Amsterdam Noord, especially if you stay at the Botel in Amsterdam.
Take a FREE walking tour from Dam square. The tours are free but you need to tip the guides. Visit Rotterdam from Central Station. I highly recommend visiting Witte street and spend your afternoon there.
Pack your snacks and other stuff and visit the famous Vondelpark. Take a Canal Cruice. This is the best way to see Amsterdam from another angle and enjoy the ride while relaxing. If you are traveling through Eindhoven Airport, then I recommend the Terravision Service. It is awesome.
This was the place we stayed when we visited Amsterdam for the 2nd time. The Botel in Amsterdam is a very unique style of hotel as it is a normal boat in the water. Beautiful surroundings. If you are looking for luxury rooms with big toilets and baths, then this is not your place.
Rooms in Botel in Amsterdam
We got a normal double room and we were two people. The beds were comfortable and clean, although a little small but perfect for one person.
The cleaners were visiting us every day. We had a window with a beautiful view where you could enjoy an amazing sunset. There was a functional small shower with great water pressure. The toilet was very small but clean.
Breakfast at the Botel in Amsterdam
The breakfast is included in the price. Same breakfast for all the days including eggs, beans, bread, and bacon. Do not expect high-quality breakfast but you will not get poisoned. The bread is fresh and there is a machine to make it hot.
There is also a coffee machine that does cappuccino and an orange juice machine. In conclusion, the breakfast is good.
General facilities in Botel Amsterdam
A nice terrace where you can enjoy the view and the sun if there is any. There are billiards, a bar, and Wi-Fi. You can rent a bike from the reception at the price of €17,50 per day.
Although the price for renting a bike is high I recommend this as using a bike in Amsterdam is the best way to discover the city. In reception, you can find any information about Tours and what to see in Amsterdam. There is also an elevator.
How to get to the city center from the Botel
There is a free ferry service that departs within walking distance to the central station. It is just a 5 minutes walk from the Botel in Amsterdam you can take the ferry to the Centraal station.
From the Centraal Station, a 10 minutes walk brings you to the heart of the center in Amsterdam. Same in the opposite way. The ferry takes around 12 to 14 minutes and usually departs every 15 minutes.
Do not expect to find chairs to sit in during this process, because the sits are very limited if they exist. You can also carry a bike on the ferry and even small electric cars. You can find all the necessary information, schedules, and maps here: «http://www.amsterdamsights.com/about/ferries.html»
The area around Botel in Amsterdam
If you don't like very crowded places and you prefer a different style of atmosphere to have fun, then this area is the best. You can discover this area easily by bike or by getting different ferries and going to different locations. You can find awesome beach bars with a great atmosphere.
FREE walking Tours from Dam's Square
Not everyone is able to buy a paid walking tour as most people travel on a low budget. But there are some free walking tours from Dam's square where you can enjoy high quality and pay as much as you feel like.
Usually, people pay from 5 to 10 euros for such tours but also depend on how many people are on the tour.
The free tours take place at specific times from the Dam square and there are few companies doing these free tours. We choose to take the alternative tour instead of the historic tour.
We never regret it. Anyway, I was never fun of the history and the alternative tour was far more interesting. We learned the story about marijuana and the real truth behind this. See more info below.
Our guide Sem was awesome and he knew the subject very well. He told us many interesting stories about marijuana, magic mushrooms, and bikes.
The truth about Marijuana in the Netherlands
It is Not Legal. It is Tolerated :)
In the picture above we can see one of the oldest coffee shops in Amsterdam, while the oldest one: "Yellow Mellow" forced to closed.
Yellow Mellow opened in 1967 and forced to close together with many other coffee shops in Amsterdam. That was due to a law that does not allow coffee shops to exist within a 250m distance from a school.
What a funny and confusing story :) Coffee shops are allowed to sell marijuana behind the counter and they are allowed only to have 500g at any time.
But they are not allowed to buy marijuana. Also, the production of marijuana is not allowed in the Netherlands. Growers have not generally in the past been prosecuted if they are cultivating five marijuana plants or less. But there are cases of people being arrested.
The famous story with the snowed roof. In a part of the roof the snow smelt from the lamps heating so the people got arrested. Also the electric bills! As the energy companies need to inform Dutch authorities about big increases in the invoice.
You are tolerated to carry on you 5g of marijuana at any time and you are more or less able to smoke anywhere you want outside of closed places.
There are also places other than coffee shops that you are able to smoke inside. Inside a coffee shop, you can only smoke a cigarette rolled with special herbs but not with tobacco. Same in all other places that they allow you to smoke weed.
Today just 175 coffee shops exist in the Netherlands and it is highly recommended only to buy from these places and not from the street.
Also, other drugs do not buy from the street. I have not any experience in this but possibly there must be a reason. In conclusion, the quality of marijuana sold in coffee shops is very low and the price is very high.
The price of marijuana is higher because coffee shops need to hire external people in order to bring marijuana to their doors. A new law is under discussion that will allow them to cultivate marijuana.
This means that the price will drop and the quality will get better.
The truth about Cannabis in Rome
Magic Mushrooms are not sold anymore
What is sold are Magic Truffles. Magic mushrooms – hallucinogenic fungi – were made illegal in the Netherlands in 2008. That was after several incidents, in which some people died. Especially for a 17-year-old French girl.
You can still legally buy trip truffles because it is the part of the mushroom that grows underground. That was a window in the law, as these are still legal. Millions of tourists visit Amsterdam for the magic mushrooms.
Amsterdam’s GGD health service says ambulances were called out 69 times in a year to deal with people having bad trips. Much less than the magic mushrooms times and less serious.
Usually, people having a bad trip are people who take them to the center of the city.
After consuming alcohol and smoking in coffee shops. The best places to take them are quiet places and it is always recommended to not be alone.
In conclusion, magic truffles or trip truffles are still legal and you can buy them from shops in Amsterdam. They more or less have the same effects but the price is now doubled, cost €30 per dose.
It is important to get proper instructions on how to use them. For example, if you eat in advance, they will not have any effect on you.
Wondering how all those boats got under the short bridges?
They filled them up with heavy material so they nearly touched the bottom and they passed under the bridges in one piece.
A boat like this costs around €500,000.
I am not really excited about Amsterdam's nightlife. I have seen many better places. Ayia Napa and Warsaw are much nicer places to go out and party. The main issue is that 70% of tourists in Amsterdam are men. At least the time we were there.
There are no good places for partying early at least in the areas we were looking close to the center. You need to find the places where the locals are going out for something normal. Possibly outside from the center.
Rembrandtplein square in Amsterdam
Rembrand square is one of the places we tried to visit for a party. What's funny about most of the places is that when they are busy, they play the kings, but when they are empty they are running after clients.
We tried to visit one bar which was not empty, but the person on the door said: «Too many cocks, go find some girls and then come back». Come on, the whole of Amsterdam is too many cocks and who told you that we wanted to find any girls.
On Saturday we slept early but on Sunday we passed across the same place and the same guy was pleasing us to get in. It reminded me of when I was underage trying to get into some good clubs for adults :)
Leidseplein square in Amsterdam
Leidseplein is a busy square at the southern end of Amsterdam's central canal ring. Almost facing the popular Vondelpark. Leidseplein translates roughly as Leiden Square, as it sits at the end of Leidsestraat.
That was the best one from the mentioned three squares we have visited in Amsterdam. You might be interested in the: Ultimate Leidseplein Party Pub Crawl, but as you can see, there are no good reviews.
Red Lights District
Red Lights District is something different. In my opinion, it is to walk through and watching only like 70 % of the people do.
It is not allowed to take pictures of the girls, as many of them have families and need some privacy. The streets during the early night are very crowded and it's even hard to walk there.
I think instead of paying €50 for 15 minutes, it is better to get a nice tour of Amsterdam or visit the countryside or another city. Choose wisely!
The best place to Go Out in Amsterdam
The bar is located on the side where is Amstel Botel and we were able to see something from the ferry. Finally, we have been there for the last 2 days and we didn't want to get to the center anymore. In the picture, you can see why I liked that bar so much.
People are calmer and more open in this place. The service was much better than any other place we have been in the center. The tables are shared so you can easily meet some new people and have some nice talk.
There are no junk tourists and drunk people around. The view is awesome and the prices are good.
The only minor of this bar is that the food is mostly vegetarian. Well at least for me, a vegetarian might be just perfect. Also, they have a burger but no fries :)
Finally, the local beer is like water, so I suggest you take an exported beer. The place is called Pllek «http://www.pllek.nl/» and is made out of containers. Inside is awesome and the toilet is free of charge.
The Negative Face of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a nice city but you need to know where to go and what to do. Also if you want to have a great time and see Amsterdam's best places you need to either rent a bike or learn how to use public transportation. You need to have also a lot of money.
My budget for 5 Days was €320. No Red Light visits and No Paid Tours. I only rented a bike for one day for €17,50 - which I think is a bit overpriced considering you can rent a car for €5 euro per day.
The rest money was spent on food and drinks, but no special food or too much drinking. Also €40 euro spent on the train Amsterdam - Rotterdam and back. The city center is very crowded and it is very hard to find a free place to sit. By a free place, I mean a place where you do not have to order something.
Another minor in the city are the TOILETS. Looking for the FREE toilet is like hunting POKEMON's. You need to have a lot of coins in case you are using toilets a lot.
Even in places where you pay for the drinks, you might need to pay for the toilet as well. This is possibly due to the fact that they assign the cleaning of the toilet to someone. Well on the one side this is good for the person that works but not for the tourists.
Well, this is not a Joke. In total, €1.8 million were collected from a €140 fine for urinating or defecating in public, of which 1,188 fines were handed out in Amsterdam alone.
Why? Because there are no FREE toilets in the City maybe. Finally, the city attracts a lot of junk tourists and also in some cases you might feel little in danger. We were followed once by two people in some dark street and they were trying to sell us drugs. But I guess this happens in every big city.
Furthermore, they haven't tried to harm us. Amsterdam is considered to be a very safe city!!
To close I wasn't excited about the park I have seen. It wasn't anything special. I am used to Warsaw parks that which are just awesome and maybe I haven't found the best park in Amsterdam.
DISCOVER: More Europe Destination Ideas
Finally it worth visiting Rotterdam
Rotterdam is an awesome city. If you ask me now, I would prefer to stay there and go to Amsterdam for 1-2 Days only. The city is much calmer and people more relaxed. Also, you can easily walk in the streets without afraid that a bike will hit you at any moment. You can find also some coffee shops.
We were there just for half-day and we founded one awesome street called Witt. The street is full of bars and restaurants and the people were outside as the weather was hot. I really liked that city much more than Amsterdam. I also noticed a lot of Hens parties, while in Amsterdam it is mostly Bachelor parties.
The ticket from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and back cost roughly €40. You can buy the ticket from the automatic machines in the Centraal station. Still wondering why the ticket Amsterdam - Rotterdam was €30,80 but the ticket back to Amsterdam was only €4,80.
I hope you found useful information about Botel in Amsterdam!
I wish you Happy Travel!
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