Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Amsterdam

Fri May 3, 2013 6:36am EDT
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Royal celebrations in the Netherlands this week put the country and the capital Amsterdam on front pages and television screens around the world with an orange splash.

There's plenty to see and do in this compact city where the world-famous Rijksmuseum only recently reopened after an extensive renovation.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a weekend trip.


5 p.m. - If you arrive by train at Amsterdam's Central Station, you are just a few minutes' walk from two of the best rooftop views - the SkyLounge on the 11th floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, and the cafe on the 7th floor of the central library OBA. Have a leisurely drink or two and enjoy the panorama over the IJ waterfront and city.

7 p.m. - Stroll into the canal district, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its beautiful, wonky, gabled houses and network of tranquil waterways lined with canal boats. Built in the 17th century, the canal belt is considered "a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering (and) town planning".

There are plenty of bars and restaurants with canal-side tables for watching the boats and passersby, for example Restaurant De Belhamel (, Spanjer + van Twist (, and 't Smalle (

10 p.m. - For music, dancing and partying, try Trouw ( or Canvas (, both in the old newspaper printing district, or Paradiso ( and Melkweg ( for the bigger bands.

Foreigners always ask about Amsterdam's famous coffee shops which have not been shut down or banned from selling cannabis to tourists. They are impossible to miss, just follow your nose.   Continued...

A tourist boat passes under a bridge next to the Westerkerk church in Amsterdam April 2, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Kooren