Tag Archives: amsterdam

Europe for Film Buffs

If you’re a film buff and you love to travel, Europe has it all. Not only do the cities on this list have great restaurants, museums and hotels, they also boast a plethora of filming locations from famous movies. From London all the way to Vienna, make sure you check out these sets on your European adventure.

London – “An American Werewolf in London”

The title gives this one away; of course the 1981’s classic “An American Werewolf in London” was filmed in London, England. Head to Trafalgar Square, minutes from the Club Quarters hotel, to see where Alex requests his arrest, or catch a train to Surrey and get a pint at The Black Swan, which was used as the creepy Slaughtered Lamb Pub.

Paris – “Amélie”

No film buff’s European adventure is complete without checking out the set locations of the beloved, quirky romance “Amélie.” Book a Paris hotel and take a trip up to the neighborhood of Montmartre. There you can find the grocer’s stand (Au Marche de la Butte, on rue des Trois Freres) and grab a cup of coffee at Amelie’s workplace, Café les Deux Moulins (at 15 rue Lepic). And — spoiler alert — don’t miss the site of her mother’s suicide, the ever popular Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris.

Amsterdam – “The Fault in Our Stars”

Lovers of “The Fault in Our Stars” enjoyed a somewhat sappy but ultimately endearing young adult romance, partially set in the Netherlands. While some of the movie was filmed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the most exciting action takes place in lovely Amsterdam. Be sure to check out the Anne Frank House — the site of an epic first kiss — then take a rest on the bench lining the Herengracht and Leidsegracht canals, where August told Hazel some heavy news.

Berlin – “Run Lola Run”

This classic German thriller is an easy favorite for every foreign film buff. Tom Tykwer’s “Run Lola Run” may be fast-paced, but take your time in Berlin to find a few filming locations. Start at Lola’s apartment, 13-14 Albrechtstrasse at Schiffbauerdamm — near the Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte. Travel through the lovely and iconic Oberbaumbrücke tunnel and end at the “bank,” at 39 Behrenstrasse.

Vienna – “Before Sunrise”

“Before Sunrise” is a simple love story, taking place over the course of one night in Vienna, filled with deep, philosophical conversations and midnight sightseeing. Since this short-lived romance between Jesse and Celine was filmed entirely in Vienna, there are a number of locations to experience. From the Cemetery of the Nameless at 1110 Wien to a magical — and later contested — night in the grass outside the Palais Schwarzenberg, you could spend an entire night exploring the world of “Before Sunrise.”

Whether you are hopping between hotels in Amsterdam or taking the train from Berlin, Europe is a goldmine for travelers who want their fix of cinematic history. Be sure to check out these and other filming locations while on your vacation, and you won’t be disappointed.

A Backpacker’s Guide to Amsterdam

Backpacking is one of the best ways to explore Amsterdam. This friendly city welcomes backpackers from all over the world with its pedestrian walkways and various outdoor spaces. Hostels in Amsterdam are numerous and inexpensive. The city is safe and clean, making it ideal for first-time backpackers as well as seasoned pros.

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Backpackers on a budget can find free walking tours in Amsterdam. These tours are the best way to see the city at no cost. Most Amsterdam walking tours are operated by volunteers who are native to the area. They know the best places to eat, the most exciting clubs, the hippest shops, and museums and galleries that are off the beaten path.

Amsterdam has plenty of free activities throughout the year that should fit any taste. Look for free concerts and orchestral performances like those at Concertgebuow each Wednesday from fall to spring. You can also head to one of the city’s many parks or take a free ferry ride from Centraal Station.

The Amsterdam Card is a wise investment for backpackers. The cost of this card gives visitors access to public transportation and city museums for three days.

Dining on the Go

Dining out in Amsterdam can be very expensive. However, to save a few dollars, there are several options. Automats are peppered throughout the city. These are filled with meal-sized treats like kaasouffle, a type of fried cheese; kipcorn, a chicken dish; and several types of hamburgers. You can also try out a squat restaurant. These eateries are run by volunteers in once-abandoned buildings, which helps to keep prices low. Try De Peper near Vondelpark or head to Java Island to eat at Einde van de Wereld.

Another option is to purchase food at an outdoor market. The city’s largest is Albert Cuyp Market, located in the De Pijp neighborhood. Backpackers can find fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, and herring for far less than can be purchased in a restaurant. On Saturday’s backpackers might try the farmer’s market at Noordermarkt. Open from 9 until 3, this farmer’s market welcomes all who are interested in fresh food. Dutch foods you should try include chocoladeletters, hollandse nieuwe haring, patat, poffertjes, stamppot and the delicious stroopwafels.

Finding Accommodation in Amsterdam

The low price accommodation in hostels makes them attractive to backpackers. There are more than 50 hostels in the city, but they can fill up quickly. It is important to book rooms in advance, which can be done online. The biggest benefit of the large number of hostels in Amsterdam is that they are located in spots that are attractive to any backpacker. Backpackers can choose to stay at a number of hostels located near Centraal Station, Dam Square and the Red Light District. There are also excellent hostels near museums and the lively Leidseplein. Others may prefer to stay in a quiet area outside of Amsterdam. Those backpackers can choose to stay in a city campground like the Bostel Amsterdamse Bos, which is only a train ride away from the center of the city.

Location isn’t the only item to consider when choosing a hostel in Amsterdam. Some hostels provide breakfast or have beer gardens for their guests. Many have private rooms with baths for a slightly higher price. Female travelers may prefer to stay at Hostelle, which only offers rooms to women. Backpackers who are concerned about drugs and alcohol might choose a spot like Shelter City, where those activities are not allowed. As is true with most places, most hostels in Amsterdam do not provide toiletry items or bath towels. Backpackers should also inquire about storing luggage if they feel they will need this service.

Important Notes

Backpackers should review the laws of any place they visit. Amsterdam is viewed as a liberal city, but there are some important laws that must be obeyed by citizens and vacationers alike. Smoking tobacco is illegal in most public places, including many hostels. Marijuana cannot be carried by those under the age of 18. No one may carry more than five grams of marijuana at a time. All hard drugs are illegal in Holland. All visitors and citizens must carry identification at all times.

Amsterdam is a city made for backpacking. Backpackers who remember these tips are certain to save on their trip while having the time of their lives.

Dunya Carter

Dunya is an avid traveller and travel writer from Brisbane, Australia. She writes for Venere, a website where you can find and book affordable accommodation in an Amsterdam youth hostel. She also writes articles for many travel blogs and websites.

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