A Travellerspoint blog

Doorways in the Dam

Amsterdam

For some reason in the past 4 years I've managed to go to Amsterdam 4 times, mostly on long weekends. Amsterdam is a definite favourite of mine - the city, apart from being beautiful and culturally rich is easy to navigate and full of things to do.

Apart from a few trips with family when I was younger, my first proper trip to the Dam was in my first year of uni. Me and my friend booked a £99 all in trip with Outgoing - a travel operator aimed at students. The trip consisted of an 18 hr coach ride from Manchester to Amsterdam, 2 nights accommodation in a hostel in the city centre and a free bar crawl. As you can imagine, the coach ride is pretty much carnage and everybody gets straight on it when they arrive. We had such a good time that we decided to organise our own trip the next year, again with lots of drinking, drugs and sex (shows). The main area for bars and clubs is called Leidsplein - at the tram stop of the same name. It is basically all restaurants, bars and takeaways and is probably quite a touristy but fun night out. The Sports Bar on the corner serves 10 shots of Jagermeister for 10 Euros. Enough said.

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The red light district is also a great night out. The sex shows are a must see in my opinion - I have always been to the Moulin Rouge where you can see a show for 25 Euros and get 3 free drinks. The shows last about an hour and are the least sexy thing you can imagine. Most of the women are older (but they do have good figures) and they basically do tricks on stage with audience participation. The second time I went we were cheering so loud we got called up on stage and had to eat a piece of banana off the...lady. Be warned though - don't try to touch!

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There is a good bar called Excalibur in the red light district which plays good rock music and serves pints of Heineken, and a few others I cant remember the names of, but the red light district as a whole is a fun place to explore - as well as bars and sex shops they have loads of takeaways that stay open all night.

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My absolute favourite (but pretty unhealthy) place to eat in the Dam is a chain of fast food places called Febo. They sell things like burgers etc but they are all in little drawers in the wall and you have to put your money in at the top to open the drawer and get the food out! Sad, I know, that I should be that amused by that but I am - everytime! There are also a couple of really nice pizza places where you can get a big slice of pizza for a few Euros. Perfect after a heavy night.

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My experience of clubbing in Amsterdam has always been good. There are quite a few big clubs that place an array of dance music, and host djs and bands etc. I have heard only good things about Paradisio, but unfortunately have never been. I have been to Milkweg though (and been very kindly asked to leave..) and Escape, which were both good! I wish I could give a more thorough review, but I cant remember many details, just that I had a good time and would go again...I have a feeling that that wont be the last time I admit that on this blog!

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Amsterdam Highlights: shrooming all over the city - "look at all these jeans"/Milkweg, Escape and all the other clubs I cant remember/Canal tours/Erotic Museum/sex shows/red light district/10 shots of Jager for 10 Euros

Accommodation: Amsterdam has lots of cheap hostels in the city - Hostel Janson is about 3 stops away from all the bars in Leidsplein and just around the corner from the Rijksmuseum, and the Hans Brinker hotel is about 2 minutes walk from Leidsplein and has a bar with a happy hour...downside, the blue hospital bunk beds are pretty grim.

Budget: I think you can do the Dam pretty cheap. For 3 nights I spent £100 on flights and accomodation in November and think I must have spent around £250 on everything else, but I probably could have done that cheaper.

Travel Essentials: Warm clothes and an umbrella depending on the time of year. Camera. An open mind?

Must see: Canal boat ride, sex show, red light district, Leidsplein. Probably the Anne Frank Huis and the Rijksmuseum.

Posted by maurice_129 21:58 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam Comments (0)

Wrecking decks and getting sex in Miami

sunny -29 °C

Miami. Famous for its beautiful Everglades, notorious thunderstorms, being the haunt of the rich and famous, home to Miami Ink and Miami Heat and (in the 80's) being the murder and drug capital of the USA. I have to confess that there are many varied reasons for wanting to visit Miami (except its violent reputation maybe) but I only had one reason to go to Miami - clubs. The nightlife in Miami is pretty well known to be one of the best in the World...so did it live up to its reputation? Yes. But like all major cities, if you are going to party remember to take one thing - dollar. And lots of it!

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I always stay in hostels when I travel so Miami was no different. I checked in to Jazz on South Beach in late May 2010 and can honestly say I've never stayed in a better hostel. If you want a great atmosphere and to meet friendly travellers from all around the World, then this is the place for you! I paid on average $18 a night, and every day the chef cooks up a big breakfast lunch and dinner, so for $3 you can get a really nice meal and a drink. Jazz is on Collins Ave which is just 2 blocks away from South Beach, and a few blocks away from Nikki Beach - a famous club on the beach which has a really nice outdoor area with big white beds and sun loungers.

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After just 2 days at the hostel I had met tons of travellers from all over - including a few from close to my home town in England. After almost 5 months in America (I was studying abroad for a semester in Massachusetts) it was great to spend some time with people who could understand my accent! Its funny how you feel like you can get to know people over such a short space of time when you are travelling, and I think it can be even easier to do this when you are travelling alone. After just a few days me and my new friends got in to a little routine each day, which consisted mainly of getting up around midday with a horrendous hangover, braving the intense sun to go to the beach and swim in the crystal blue sea and then going to the corner shop to buy 4 cans of 99c Budweiser to start the night!

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The clubs in Miami are great, but nothing really that different to what you might find in any other major city. The drinks are over priced, guaranteed (a shot of tequila cost me $20...so why did I go back for two more?), however every morning I woke up feeling amazed, privileged and excited to be waking up in Miami, and every night there was some adventure and a feeling of possibility. After a week, I decide that it wasn't enough and I delayed my flight another week. At the end of that week, hundreds of dollars down and liver severely punished, I headed back up north feeling very sorry for myself. I'm currently on every available Miami internet dating site trying to find me a visa.

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Miami Highlights: taking a limo to a takeaway with "I'm in Miami bitch" on full blast/Brits on Tour/late night trips to South Beach.../hanging out with Two Wives Jon Jon who has no shame/drinking more cans of 99c Bud than is healthy and smoking many many Marlboro Menthols!

Accommodation: Jazz on South Beach - where else?

Budget: none

Travel essentials: bikini, tan, camera, dollar

I would write a must see section here but as I saw all of 3 streets of South Beach I'm probably not the best person to advise.

Posted by maurice_129 20:05 Archived in USA Tagged clubbing miami partying Comments (0)

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