What to Do, Where to Go in Amsterdam
GETTING THERE: KLM Royal Dutch, Lufthansa, Northwest and United fly nonstop from Dulles to Amsterdam, starting currently at about $626, probably double that price in summer.
GETTING AROUND: Amsterdam is best explored by foot, bike and tram. If you rent a bike, be sure to lock it up, as about 10 percent of the city's approximately half-million bikes are stolen each year. Resist the urge to buy a cheap bike from an itinerant vendor; it is almost certainly stolen.
WHERE TO STAY: The NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky (Dam 9, 011-31-20-5549111or 800-232-9860, http:/
For a stylish, comfy stay in a 1614 canal house, rent the place I did on the Gentleman's Canal (Herengracht 10, 011-32-472-932006, http:/
WHERE TO EAT: Enjoy the canal-side summer terrace at the gallery-cafe Het Molenpad (Prinsengracht 653, 011-31-20-6259680). It's frequented by artists, some of whom have their work on the walls. Dinner features a mix of Mediterranean and Dutch flavors; lunch is sandwiches and salads ($8 and up). T' Blauwe (Vondelpark 5, 011-31-20-6620254) is a 1936 teahouse with a balcony that serves $8 lunches and cheese fondue ($20) for dinner.
WHAT TO DO: The Van Gogh Museum (Paulus Potterstraat 7, Museumplein, 011-31-20-5705200, http:/
It's well worth taking a ride on the canals by boat. You can book a canal cruise, but shop around for non-tourist-trap prices. Better yet, rent your own small boat and explore the canals according to your whim. Renting a self-operated six-person-maximum "open boat" (essentially a large rowboat with an outboard motor) is about $65 for the first hour, about $52 for the second hour. A captained 12-person-maximum classic canal boat is about $254 per hour. Both from Amsterdam Boats (Korte Prinsengracht 44, 011-31-20-6247635, http:/
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Details on hotels, coffeehouses and just about everything else can be found at I Amsterdam (http:/