Holiday in Amsterdam

Holiday in Amsterdam

CLUBS AND DISCOS

IS The iT, Amstelstr. 24. This club is the reason why others in Rembrandtpl. are sometimes empty. Amsterdam’s beauties come here to dance the night away. Beer ‚4. Cocktails ‚7.50. Cover ‚15. Open Su,Th llpm-4am; F-Sa, llpm-6am.

Dansen Bij Jansen, Handboogstr. 11-13. The student dance club in Amsterdam, popular with locals from the University of Amsterdam and backpackers. You must show a student ID or be accompanied by a student. A great way to meet local university kids. Beer ‚1.70-3.30. Cocktails from ‚3.30. Open M-Th and Su llpm-4am, F-Sa llpm-5am.

Escape, Rembrandtpl. 11. Party animals pour into this massive venue-one of Amsterdam’s hottest clubs. 2 floors with 6 bars, where scenesters groove to house, trance, disco, and dance classics. Dress well. Beer ‚2.30. Cocktails ‚7.50. Cover ‚10-15. Open Su and Th llpm-4am, F-Sa llpm-5am. Cash only.

Meander, Voetboogstr. 3b. Smoky atmosphere, constant din, and dense crowds make for a raucous, high-energy good time. M student night, F-Sa disco. Beer ‚1.80. Cover ‚2.50-5. Open M-Th and Su 9pm-3am, F-Sa 9pm-4am.

De Beetles, Lange Leidsedwarsstr. 81. A drink house with a sometimes-hopping dance floor and a mixed crowd. Su reggae, Th rock night, Sa oldies and dance classics. No cover F before midnight; after midnight, ‚5 includes a ‚2 drink. Beer and soda ‚2. Hard liquor ‚3.50-5. Open Su-Th 9pm-4am, F-Sa 9pm-5am. Cash only.

Cockring, Warmoestr. 90. Somewhere between a sex club and a disco. Dark room in the back where anything goes. Men only. No cover, except for special parties, when it runs around ‚5. Open M-Th and Su llpm-4am, F-Sa llpm-5am.

LIVE MUSIC

Melkweg, Lijnbaansgrt. 234a ( 531 81 81; www.melweg.nl). Legendary nightspot in an old milk factory, it’s one-stop shopping for live music, food (see Eat At Jo’s, 778), films, and dance parties. Concert tickets ‚9.50-22 plus ‚2.50 monthly membership fee. Box office open M-F l-5pm, Sa-Su 4-6pm; show days from 7:30pm to end of show, ill Paradiso, Weteringschans 6-8 (626 45 21; www.paradiso.nl). When big-name rock, punk, new-wave, hip-hop, and reggae bands come to Amsterdam, they almost invariably play in this former church. Tickets ‚5-25; additional mandatory monthly membership fee ‚2.50. Open until 2am.

H! Bourbon Street Jazz & Blues Club, Leidsekruisstr. 6-8 (623 34 40; www.bourbon-street.nl). A slightly older crowd comes for blues, soul, funk, and rock bands. Check the web or posting in the window for events. Beer ‚2.50. Cover Su and Th ‚3; F-Sa ‚5. Free with entry at 10-10:30pm. Open M-Th and Su 10pm-4am, F-Sa 10pm-5am.

DAYTRIPS FROM AMSTERDAM

TULIP COUNTRY: AALSMEER AND LISSE. Easily accessible by bus, quietly quaint Aalsmeer is home to the world’s largest flower auction. With an impressive trading floor that rivals the area of 150 football fields, the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer, Legmeerdijk 313, acts as a central market where growers sell over 19 million flowers annually; the world price of flowers is determined here. (297 39 21 85; www.vba-aalsmeer.nl. Open M-F 7:30-llam. ‚4.) From Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, take bus #172 (45min. every 15min. 5 strips). Arrive before 9am to witness the busiest trading; buses begin leaving Amsterdam at 6:10am.

To see even more flowers, check out the town of Lisse in late spring. The Keu-kenhof Gardens become a kaleidoscope of color as over 7 million bulbs come to life. Now the world’s largest flower garden, Keukenhof boasts impeccably kept grounds and even a petting zoo. ( 252 46 55 55; www.keukenhof.nl. In 2004, open Mar. 25-May 20 daily 8am-7:30pm; tickets on sale until 6pm. ‚12.) The Zwarte Tulip Museum details the historical cultivation and scientific evolution of bulbiculture. Many call the ongoing quest for the zwarte (black) tulip impossible, since the color does not exist naturally. ( 252 41 79 00. Open Su and Tu-Sa l-5pm. ‚3.) Take a train from Amsterdam’s Centraal Station to Leiden (30min. every 30min. until 2:45am, round-trip ‚12), then catch bus #50 or 51 to Lisse (5 strips).

ZAANSE SCHANS. Unleash your inner tourist for a day in delightful Zaanse Schans, a 17th-century town on the River Zaan. In the 1950s, the people of the Zaan region were concerned that industrialization was destroying their historic landmarks, so they transported the prized sights to this pretty plot of land. Duck-filled canals, working windmills, and restored houses make Zaanse Schans feel like a museum village, although a handful of people actually live and work here. The lovely De Kat Windmill, Kalverringdijk 29, has been grinding plants into artists’ pigments since 1782. (Open Apr.-Oct. daily 9am-5pm; Nov.-Mar. Sa-Su 9am-5pm. ‚2.) The oldest oil mill in the world is the De Zoeker Windmill. (Open Mar.-Oct. daily 9:30am-4:30pm. ‚2.) The Cheesefarm Catharlna Hoeve offers free samples of its homemade wares as well as a tour of its workshop. (Open daily 8am-6pm.) Watch craftsmen mold blocks of wood into comfy clogs at Klompenmakerij de Zaanse Schans, or see where the ubiquitous Albert Heijn supermarket craze started at the original shop, now the Albert Hei]n Museumwinkel. Next door you can stop by the Museum van het Nederlandse Uurwerk (Museum of the Dutch Clock), Kalverringdijk 3, to view the oldest working pendulum clock in the world. (Open Apr.-Oct. daily lOam-lpm, 2-5pm. ‚2.30.) The pint-sized Museum Het Noorderhuis features original costumes from the Zaan region. (Open July-Aug. daily 10am-5pm; Sept.-Oct. and Mar.-June Su and Tu-Sa 10am-5pm; Nov.-Feb. Sa-Su 10am-5pm. ‚1.)

From Amsterdam, take the stoptrein (dir: Alkmaar) and get off at Koog Zandijk (20min. ‚2.25). From there, follow the signs across a bridge to Zaanse Schans (12min.). An information center is at Schansend 1. (616 82 18; www.zaanse-schans.nl. Open July-Aug. daily 8:30am-5:30pm, off-season 8:30am-5pm.)

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