Friday, April 20, 2012

Book "Amsterdam" - a Travel Guide by Lonely Planet - Karla Zimmerman and Sarah Chandler

About the Book: "Amsterdam's compact core is laced by atmospheric lanes and quarters. You never know what you'll find: a hidden garden, a "jenever" distillery, even an old monastery turned music venue" - Karla Zimmerman, Lonely Planet Writer.
Our Promise: You can trust our travel information because Lonely Planet authors visit the places we write about, each and every edition. We never accept freebies for positive coverage so you can rely on us to tell it like it is. Inside This Book: 360 eating and drinking listings; 85 great places to stay; 67 museums and galleries; 28 page map section; 6 different way to tour the canals; Feature coverage of top sights; Range of planning tools; Architecture in Amsterdam: the styles to spot from your canal boat.

About the Authors: Karla Zimmerman - Coordinating Author: Medieval Centre & Red Light District, Nieuwmarkt, Old South, Oosterpark & South Amsterdam. During her Amsterdam travels, Karla admired art, bicycled crash-free, ate an embarrassing number of Droste chocolates and bent over to take her jenever (Dutch gin) like a local. She has been visiting Amsterdam since 1989, decades that have seen her trade space cakes for stroopwafels (syrup waffles), to a much more pleasant effect. Based in Chicago, Karla writes travel features for newspapers, books, magazines, and websites. She has authored or co-authored several Lonely Planet guidebooks covering the USA, Canada, Caribbean and Europe. Karla also wrote Welcome to Amsterdam, What's New, Need to Know, Top Itineraries, If You Like, Museum Top Tips, By Bike, Canals and the Survival Guide chapters.
Sarah Chandler - Western Canal Ring, Southern Canal Ring, Jordaan & the West, Vondelpark & Around, De Pijp, Plantage, Eastern Islands & Eastern Docklands. Sarah fell in love with Amsterdam during university, though it was only later, as a local, that she mustered sufficient bravery to master the deceptively tricky Dutch art of cycling. When she's not frolicking in the Vondelpark, drinking koffie verkeerd (milky coffee) canalside at Café't Smalle or indulging her cinematic obsessions at the Pathé Tuschinskitheater, Sarah works as a writer, actress and lecturer at Amsterdam University College. She loves calling one of her favourite neighbourhoods on earth - Amsterdam's Latin Quarter, De Pijp - home. Sarah also wrote Month by Month, With the Kids, Like a Local, For Free, Day Trips and the Understand chapters.

My Review: This is a travel guide that should be able to fulfill all your needs for information on what to do, how to do, where to go, where to eat, where to sleep, etc... when you are visiting Amsterdam. The authors did a magnificent job putting together this excellent travel guide.

The book is structured in four blocks. First one is called "Plan Your Trip". Second one is "Explore Amsterdam", followed by "Understand Amsterdam" and finally "Survival Guide". On "Plan Your Trip" the authors list 10 top experiences, facts that you need to know, main facts on the city, some suggestions for itineraries if you have four days. They also talk about outdoors and travelling with children. After this initial introduction, the authors start describing places to visit, starting with Neighbourhoods at a Glance, Medieval Centre & Red Light District, Nieuwmarkt, Western Canal Ring, but also covering Southern Canal Ring, Jordaan & the West, Vondelpark & Around, Old South, De Pijp, Plantage, Eastern Island & Eastern Docklands and Oosterpark & South Amsterdam. Each segment has a detailed map, as well as top tips, best places to eat, best places to drink and best places to shop, costs for attractions, hours of operations, etc. The "Understand Amsterdam" block brings information on history, Dutch painting, canal architecture, architecture in general and music. Finally, the "Survival Guide" gives you general guidelines on transport, money, visas, travelers with disabilities and language, among many other topics.

This is an outstanding result for a combined effort from two different authors and it was published by Lonely Planet in March 2012. This is a must have book for those who are serious about planing their trips and also for those who want to remember details on previous travels, while wishing they can return to Amsterdam some day in the future. was kind enough to provide this book for me through their Vine Program for reviewing and I was not request to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

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