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Amsterdam Marco Polo Travel Guide - with pull out map (Marco Polo Spiral Guides) (Marco Polo Spiral Travel Guides) Spiral-bound – 11 Feb 2015
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About the Author
Marco Polo Travel Publishing offers a wide range of high quality cartographic products and travel guides. Marco Polo Pocket Guides are known for their handy, compact format and Insider Tips. Our Travel Handbooks are the first to include infographics and our Spiral Guides feature unique lay-flat spiral binding. Marco Polo Maps are famous for the high quality of cartography in their Country, City and Holiday Maps.
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What you get is 220 pages packed full of facts and figures, plans and photos for your money. And it is really quite reasonable for a guidebook of this size and quality. It comes in spiral-bound form which makes it much easier to lay out on a table. There is also an excellent one in 11,000 scale map of the area on one side, then a Metro, tram and railway map on that same reverse side. On the main side you have the main map of central Amsterdam going out towards the North East South and West of the main area. Everything is indexed.
The guide itself is divided into eight main sections or chapters. The first one is called “the magazine” and this gives you a good overall guide to the “cultural capital” with details about the history of Amsterdam and what it is like to live, work and visit the city today. The second section called “finding your feet” is literally that, how to get around about the city, finding accommodation, places to eat and drink, the best shops to visit, and the best entertainment on offer. The third section tells you all about mediaeval Amsterdam (the Centrum). This is the most interesting part for me, being an historian. This shows you a map of the mediaeval part of Amsterdam and lists all the places you really should not miss whilst visiting the city, for instance the oldest church, the Amsterdam Museum, the red light district, and again the places to eat and drink and shop in that area.
The fourth section is entitled “canal ring-West” and describes the canal area to the west of the centrum which incorporates Anne Frank’s house (with details of what to see while you are there obviously), a canal tour, Westerkerk (probably the best church in Amsterdam), markets to visit etc and again the best places to eat and drink in the area. The fifth chapter incorporates the museum quarter with a wealth of information, maps, photos and diagrams of the best museums to visit in the area (including the Van Goght Museum and Rijksmuseum – two I will most certainly be visiting in May!) The canal ring-east section is next with plenty of interest in that area including the Hermitage Amsterdam, Heineken experience, and the National Maritime Museum, as well as the Jewish historical Museum.
There is in a chapter on excursions from Amsterdam to outside areas: the north of Holland, Harlem and Zandvoort, Utrecht, Leiden and the bulb fields, Oostelijk and Hevengebied (just a couple of pages for each excursion). Then comes a section on four walks : brewers canal to Nemo, along the waterfront, from central station to the Rijksmuseum and the Western Isles. There are a couple here that look really interesting I would definitely do the canal walk which looks superb!
Is called “practicalities” and this gives you all of the information that you need before you go, when you are there and then a list of useful words and phrases just to get you by. The very last part is more detailed street map of the central area of Amsterdam with a full index.
This is an excellent, clear and concise, well-illustrated and researched guide to Amsterdam and one that I have no hesitation to recommend. I can't wait to get out there now to visit all of these places!