Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve in Amsterdam: a blogger's blog for another blogger

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

This is a blog for all the bloggers who are visiting Amsterdam for New Year's Eve. asked how to go about New Years Eve in Amsterdam?

This is not an easy question and after experiencing half a dozen of these wonderful nights in Amsterdam I am still learning new and wonderful spots. We at Omy Amsterdam Tours are always looking to help and teach people about Amsterdam, a city we love.

Yesterday we covered fireworks so you know where to get them from.

Looking at the recommendations for your visit on your blog Matthew, these are the normal through-a-fare. For you Matthew and your family we have something different, something special. We have valuable survival advice so you can have your own fantastic experience with your family.Why? Because we belong to the blogger's community and no one ever told us the below points when we first came to Amsterdam. We learnt them the hard way.

In the Dutch tradition we will start honest and finish honest.

First a few words of warning.

The city is full and I mean FULL.
Hotels are full, restaurants are full, clubs are full and the streets are full. If you haven't booked a nice restaurant or a club by now you are not going to get in unless you know the manager or the owner. There is no real place to hide, especially in the inner historic centre of Amsterdam.

No Transport.
Due to the overwhelming surge in the city's population at New Year's Eve public transport grinds to a halt. Finding taxis is difficult and Amsterdam's taxies are not known for being forgiving on visiting folk in the best of times.

Watch your backs.
The city is invaded by young men armed with small explosives. They are not afraid to use these explosives and throwing a banger into a crowd is commonplace. If I was young teen again I probably would be doing the same thing so please don't get cross at their excitement. Just see them coming before they frighten the socks off you.

Telephone Gridlock.
The city is jammed packed with people and everyone is sending text messages. On New Year's Eve in Amsterdam the mobile phone network is overloaded. On this one night it is back to the days before mobile phones. Set up meeting points at certain times in case your group gets separated is a must. If you want to meet someone set time and place before the sun sets. Then set up back up places an hour or two latter in case the first meet up fails.

These tips will be of more use to you than knowing where are the coolest hip and happing parties.

Now for the positive tips.

Arm yourself with Supermarket beer/wine
I learnt this off the Amsterdammers a long time ago. During the day visit the national supermarket institution known as Albert Hein is a must. With an eight pack of Amstel beer costing 5 euro you and your wallet will thank me when you recover in the New Year. If you buy something that is discounted you are going to need a discount card. Just ask any dutch person in the checkout line for those. The Dutch understand the value of a discount and won't begrudge anyone a few euro off their bill.

Please buy tins of beer and plastic glasses for your wine. NO GLASS BOTTLES. I have told over 10,000 tourists this line. "Bikes and glass do not go together." By law you are not allowed to drink on the street. The  Dutch are famous for their tolerance and New Year's Eve in Amsterdam is one of the nights you get to let your hair down and kick up your heels.

Nieuwmarket (New Market) Is the Place to Be.
On the edge of the Red Light District this is my favourite place central location. Dam Square and Museumplein (Museum Square) are good but full of people not from Amsterdam.  Nieumarkt is at the end of China Town. The Chinese invented fireworks. Need I say more?

                            Youtube clip of New Year's Eve in Amsterdam thanks to Amsterdam1971

Visit the Library with your Boy
This may sound like a weird tip but I have left the best to last. The Amsterdam Central Library is the largest public library on the continent of Europe. It is open until 10pm. Take your son and wife to the top after dark and enjoy what will be the best view of your trip to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is flat. Hence the name the Netherlands and any elevation on this evening is an experience you won't soon forget. No matter how many coffee shops you visit.

The library is also close to Nieuwmarkt, only a twenty minute stroll in a full Amsterdam. There is also a cafe (eating cafe not smoking) at the top so if you haven't been able to snare a dinner reservation you should be able to get something from the food hall. Best of all, entrance to the library is free.

Ok, blogging community and Matthew, Happy New Year.

What is most important is that,

When in Amsterdam...... Enjoy!

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