Amsterdam info

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<p>May plan a 2 day layover next Aug in Amsterdam. Any suggestions for hotels, must sees, day tour companies, restaurants, etc? Thanks. Larry </p>

Chowhound website was great help for Amsterdam restaurants. Very walkable city - with just two days think about just staying in the city and don't bother with a tour. Get a good walking guide book and hit the top sites on your own.
Get to know the excellent public transit system. The canal boat tour as touristy as it is comes with good recommendations to get an over-view of the city as well as seeing it from the level of the canals which have always been important to the development of this fascinating city.
Because of the loose drug policies in Amsterdam (and Holland), the city has become scruffy and rife with petty crime - protect yourself in crowds from pickpockets and be aware what was once beautiful in parts of this city have become degraded.
Trains can easily take you in a few hours to almost all other cities around Amsterdam if you run out of sight-seeing possibilities in the city itself or you do not want to just sit and people watch if the weather gets you out to enjoy the cafes with the fellow Dutch.
Certainly the Reiksmueum (sp) is a must see for its magnificent art collection - one of the tops in the world for sheer grandeur and variety as well as visual history lessons of the sweep of European history. Plan half a of a day just at this stop alone.
So much of Amsterdam is so easily accessible there are almost no wrong parts for a hotel - each neighborhood has its charms and limitations so use one of the hotel websites to find what suits your price and needs. I have had good luck with for European hotels - easy to use and helpful client reviews. We stayed in one of the NH chain hotels across from Rembrandt square and it was centrally located - not great but adequate for our needs for a one day stop-over.
August can be hot and muggy - get good A/C and like a lot of Europe, be sure to check for hours of operation and vacation closures during this month. Prepare for sudden rain showers by carrying a pocket umbrella.