Filed under: featuredarticle, Tours, transportation
Do-it-yourself Amsterdam Mini Tour
Hop on the Stop/Go Minibus and treat yourself to a do-it-yourself minitour of Amsterdam city centre. Rest your weary feet while the minibus manoeuvres along narrow Prinsengracht, negotiates sharp corners and humpback bridges.
The cornflower blue little bus winds its way along canals and streets too narrow for big buses. You will see plenty to interest you en route. Seventeenth-century gables complete with hook and pulley, the long line in front of Anne Frankhuis and towering Westerkerk are only some of the sights.
The Stop/Go bus has three permanent stops; Amsterdam Centraal Station, Public Library at Oosterdok and Muziektheater near Waterlooplein. There are no other stops. If you see something interesting, jump off (after you have asked the driver to halt). The bus passes along the Cat Boat, Noordermarkt, Tulip Museum and Houseboat Museum. Wave the bus down when you want to hop on again. The route follows the outside of Prinsengracht counter clockwise and returns clockwise along the inside of the canal.
Your €1 ticket is valid for one hour and you buy it from the driver, or ask him to stamp your strippenkaart (one zone, two strips). The bus runs daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm, every 12 minutes. Look here for the Stop/Go bus route.
Muziektheater, Amstel 3, tram 9 and 14
Muziektheater is part of the Stopera: a contraction of Stadhuis (City Hall) and Opera. Walk inside to admire the statue of the violin playing man emerging from the floor. Join the guided tour of the theatre every Saturday afternoon at 12.00.
Cat Boat, Poezenboot, Singel 38, open daily 13.00 – 15.00, closed on Wednesday (map)
An entire houseboat is transformed into a cats’ home. Stray cats of all ages and colours live in roomy enclosures. Some have even canal view. Several cats walk about freely and weave between your feet hoping to be stroked. If you do, your reward is loud purring. This is your place if you want to adopt a cat or kitten.
Tulip Museum, Prinsengracht 112, open daily 10.00 – 18.00 (map)
When you enter the museum, a kaleidoscope of colours greets you, red tulips, white lilies and dazzling daffodils. You may think that you are in the wrong place, but the tulip Museum is both flower shop and museum. The Tulip Museum housed in the airy basement room and tells the history of the tulip.
Anne Frankhuis, Prinsengracht 267, open daily 9.00 – 19.00 (map)
The hiding place, without furniture, a few photos of movie stars pinned on the walls will bring back all emotions you experienced when you read Anne Frank’s Diary. Just image, two families hiding is this confined space for two years always afraid of being discovered. Buy your ticket online to avoid the long waiting queues.
Photo credit: personal collection