We are staying at the Amsterdam Marriott hotel near the centre of the city. It is perfectly located for walking to historical sites, museums and Leidseplein—the heart of Amsterdam’s nightlife and hub of the tourist scene with restaurants serving food from all around the world. Ask for a room on the inside of the hotel as it can quite noisy if you have a room facing the street.
Right down the street we found a small Christmas market with stands selling pastries, warm waffles, candy and Gluhwein (warm, mulled wine). Tonight we tasted the pastries—tomorrow, waffles and Gluhwein. A small skating rink has also been set up but there weren’t too many skaters on this cold night.Marriott hotels tend to charge way too much for Internet and this hotel is no exception. For 24 hours the cost is nearly $30. We found an amazing café just 5 minutes walk away called Da Balie. They provide free wireless Internet service and the coffee and hot chocolate is excellent.
The historical centre of Amsterdam is quite small and easy to get around by walking, hop on-and-off cruise boats or trams. From the hotel we walked to the Flower Market, the old Jewish Quarter, the Red Light District and Dam Square. Just 5 minutes walk are several Museums and Art Galleries.