Lead Article:Free Wi-Fi Hotspots in Amsterdam
We all like a bit of WhatsApp, e-mail, Twitter and Facebook, but pricey data roaming on the road can put a stop to all that global connectivity. To remove this pesky obstacle, here’s a handy guide to Amsterdam’s top five, free Wi-Fi hotspots.
1. The Flying Pig Hostels
That’s right! Both the Flying Pig Uptown and Downtown hostels in Amsterdam serve up free WiFi - on top of great beds, bar drinks and snacks. It’s free for all guests, so just check in and look out for the access code in the bar.
ADDRESS - Downtown: Nieuwendijk 100. Uptown: Vossiusstraat 46/47
Even if you’re not a fan of the food you can easily nip in for a coffee and enjoy a quick catch up on Skype, or the like! Also, and most conveniently, there are several McDonalds across Amsterdam. You’ll find them on Damrak near the station, there are two on Nieuwendijk - on the walk into the centre, and there’s one on Kalverstraat.
ADDRESS - Damrak 8, Nieuwendijk 158e, Nieuwendijk 212, Kalverstraat 45
Over on the edge of the red light district you’ll find the bar - Belushi’s, serving up burgers, beer and free WiFi for all customers. Also know as the Winston, you’ll find this free data spot on Warmoesstraat.
ADDRESS - Warmoesstraat 129
This Irish bar on Paliesstraat has a festive feel and offers the Internet to anyone who buys a pint of Guinness, or in fact any beverage. This one is still in the city centre, but slightly to the west.
ADDRESS - Paleisstraat 103
5. Café Dwaze Zaken
This cute café On Prins Henrikkkade boats a menu of delicious eats and of course the all important, free data access via the miracle of WiFi. This option is a little down and left from the main Amsterdam Centraal train station.
ADDRESS - Prins Henrikkkade 50
- Max Waverly
Play this game and win free nights @ the Pig!Play our yearly winter game and win 2 free nights. This is your chance to stay at the Flying Pig for free; just practice your old Packman skills again!
Play the Flying Pigman Game and try to get as many points as you can. You can play as often as you like; the person with the highest score (before the 1st of January 2014) wins two nights of free accommodation at a Flying Pig hostel for one person – or one night for two people. (which you can use anytime in 2014, but only if there is availability of course)!!
You can find the rules in the 'How to Play' section and make sure you fill out your email address on the scoreboard, so that we can contact you!
Music Reviews From The Flying Pig
Lorde – Pure Heroine
I think it’s about time I acknowledged the vocally and visually striking Lorde.
Here are the Facts: Ella Yelich O’Connor. New Zealand born. 16-years-old. Writes music and sings her own songs … not sold? Understandable, but now let’s read between the lines and let me show you why this girl is truly something else. Well, what more did you expect from me?!
For those of you who haven’t heard her sound, it can be described as soft rap, coupled with a soothing Etta James feel. As for her voice, it’s rather husky and raw, delivered in a moody impressionistic manor (Lana del Ray-esque), rather than cutesy and young sounding. It’s compelling. You believe her. Focusing more on the sound, her songs are what they are - minimal and refreshing. You cannot hide from the lyrics as they are the shining light of each track. She’s a true taster of what’s to come, musically, in 2014.
“Every situation I’m in, I’m thinking about lyrics” says Lorde in an interview, playing with the rings on her fingers, always: “thinking about the translation of a situation and how to portray that in music.”
‘Pure Heroine’ encompasses and helps portray everything that’s real. Self proclaimed feminist Lorde, is the kind of role model 16-year-old girls should have. She definitely has more depth to her than a lot of pop artists on the scene. Although depicting a cool, not fussed, yet savvy image, behind that teenage exterior, her intellect runs deep.
“We gladiate, but I guess we’re only fighting ourselves” croons Lorde.
Lord: ‘a person who has authority, power, or control over others.’ Ella states that she chose this name because when she was young she was always infatuated with Royals, the flamboyance and the theatre of it all (the extra ‘e’ is for femininity). Her tailored verses mock today’s excessively pretentious culture and Americanised stereotypes, with teenagers told to focus on things that really don’t matter. Young girls strive to fit in (twerking? C’mon!). It’s not that I actively hate the million and one pop acts with the oh-so-similar flat lyrics, but I have to totally agree with Lorde when she speaks of some pop music today as (although catchy) a bit meaningless and samey.
Although an extremely young addition to fame, Lorde seems to be handling things pretty well and is a lot more together than some of the long termers. It’s fair to describe Lorde as a precocious young female, yet not in a arrogant or naive way. In fact, after sifting through interviews, she comes across very much demure and somewhat shy in the way she holds herself. Her mature outlook and astute thinking make her seem wiser than her years. I like her honesty because its not too brutal but tells her point as it is.
Throughout her album, Lorde’s words compel you to hear the dramas and trepidation of teenager life - in song. It’s refreshing to listen to the world seen from a different point of view, especially from such a young girl. At the same time it’s an album you can have on in the background and listen freely to. The track Buzzcut Season is a personal favourite, journeying into a fantastical world, as is Glory and Gore - with more politically based lyrics.
Ironically, as her album is doing so well – the profits will probably catapult her into the world of gold teeth and Grey Goose (as she speaks of in Royals). Let’s just hope she stays grounded. Lorde, it’s been a pleasure
Amsterdam Events: Match Your Trip to What’s Coming Up
Amsterdam is full to brim with events over the next three months. Match your trip to what’s coming up, using our handy event forecast.
Christmas Markets: Enjoy market stalls selling delicious food and drinks, as well as unique Christmas gifts, in the city centre.
Drag Winter Olympics: A flamboyant extension of the Gay Pride celebrations back in August.
Fotostudio Merkelbach: An expansive photography exhibition from the renowned portrait studio of Jacob Merkelbach.
The Sleeping Beauty: A Christmas ballet held in Amsterdam’s Muziektheatre, throughout December.
Christmas and New Year's at the Flying Pig Downtown
Christmas Eve: Join us for our Christmas pub quiz special, followed by DJ Nacho playing all your favourite party tunes!
Christmas Day: Ugly Christmas jumpers at the ready! Let's celebrate with a yummy Christmas dinner cooked by the staff - including a glass of booze! Then get the party started with DJ Snowy D on the decks!
Boxing Day: Welcome to Hat Club! Everyone grab your favourite headwear and dance all night with DJ TrishTrash!
New Year's Eve 31st: Welcome to Piggie Vegas! Come and see in the New Year with us Vegas style! The fancy dress dress theme is black and white, and DJ Black and Lekker will be spinning tunes from 9pm until the early hours of New Year's day!
National Tulip Day: A celebration of the coming of spring (nearly…) and the arrival of Holland’s most iconic flower.
Whiskey Weekend: Celebrate all things whiskey in Amsterdam with tastings galore.
Chinese New Year: Get stuck into Chinese New Year in the Niuewmarket and Zeedijk neighbourhoods!
Valentine’s Day: For Valentines who wish to celebrate in the dam, there are plenty of opportunities and venues to do so. Check out Belushi’s bar and the Flying Pig hostels for events themed for backpackers.
Amsterdam Reggae Festival: Billed as the most varied reggae line-up Amsterdam has ever seen, this outdoor festival rounds up the February listings at the Heineken Music Hall.
Check out the Facebook Page for more details - as we unveil them!
Europe’s Famous Hostels: Hush Hostel, Istanbul
Sometimes people ask you a silly question like: "how would you describe yourself in a few words?" My answer is: "I am Istanbul..."
Istanbul, capital city of three successive empires with over 2000 years of history; fabulous turquoise blue water fronts; on the crossroads of Europe and Asia; mixed cultures from east and west, old and new, modern and traditional, full of surprises on every corner and with 17 million inhabitants is ready to welcome you.
THINGS TO DO
Simit: Famous, delicious Turkish pastry based on sesame. You can find on any street corner, yummy!
Turkish Coffee and a fortune tale: Any girl who is not capable of making a good Turkish coffee cannot get married in Turkey! You can try it in any coffee shop. Be careful not to drink the sandy bottom part! That is saved for your very own fortune tale! Any Turkish girl would be happy to read your future from the powder left at the bottom of your coffee cup.
Watch Istanbul's sun set from Üsküdar: Üsküdar is the best place to watch Istanbul grow dark at sunset in the company of romantic Maidens Tower in the middle of Bosphorus.
Ice cream and sun flower seeds with beer in Moda: The best ice cream in Istanbul is made in Moda! Have a walk with the view of the Princess Islands in Moda with your ice cream in your hand. Then take a beer and sun flower seeds, take a seat, and take it all in.
Have a tipple on Istiklal Street: Go to the famous Taksim Square where the Gezi Protests took place last summer and shook the world's political balance. Along the Istiklal street there are thousands of bars, pubs and lots of fun folk.
Negotiate in Grand Bazaar: Even if you have no intention of buying any souvenirs you must go to the Gran Bazaar just to experience negotiating, Turkish style. You will leave with full bags for sure.
Fish and bread in Eminönü: Head down to the seaside from Old Town. In the neighborhood called Eminönü there are boats from the Ottoman period where you can eat the best fresh fish sandwiches. Don't miss it!
Take a taxi and cross the bridge: Istanbul's taxis and taxi drivers are famous. Take one accross the bridge from one side to the other for the view. This is best around midnight.
Buy an evil eye for protection: This is an old Turkish belief that originates from Shamanizm. It will protect you from the people with an evil eye, who are capable of causing you harm because of their jealousy.
Where to Stay: Hush Hostel, Istanbul
How to get there: Check out Momondo for cheap flights to Istanbul!
More info and free booking at www.famoushostels.com
Flying Pig Beach Hostel : New Year – New Parties
Everyone at the Flying Pig beach hostel is looking forward to 2014 for the new friends it will bring from all around the world and the good times galore that’ll go with that. Here’s what we’re lining up to help you meet new mates!
Pint and Pie – January 6, 2014
A classic pairing! They go together like goat cheese and crackers. Treat yourself to a home-made pie to go with your beer – it’s the it perfect ammunition to help fight off any winter chills. Take your pie to go, or have a proper sit down meal at The Pig.
Wine and Cheese – January 9, 2014
Do you love wine? How about cheese? What a ridiculous question - of course you do! As that’s the case come along and join us for a fabulous night of both. We’ll take you around the world - the cheapest way possible, with a selection of wine and cheese from many a country.
Naughty Noughties’ Quiz – January 15, 2014
The start of the new Millennia has been an eventful one. There have been natural disasters, financial collapses, and all manner of challenges to be faced by mankind. But there have been some highlights, too. Our world is changing at a tremendous pace, and it's safe to say that the children of the noughties will have very different life experiences than those of their parents, and grandparents. How much of the last ten years can you easily recall, and how much would you prefer to forget? Test your knowledge at our epic quiz night.
January Dip (Casino Night) – January 9, 2014
January can feel kind of blue, but you can turn that around and try your luck at the pig’s casino night. For those of who missed our Mustache-Bash this is defiantly one to attend. Expect casino favorites like poker, roulette and more!
Rock Out with your Socks Out – January 31, 2014
Pull up your socks, and join us for our mini indoor festival with no need for camping and very little threat from the weather. Enjoy multiple musical acts in the comfort of the great indoors – ditching green fields for the concrete jungle known at The Flying Pig Beach Hostel.