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Things to do in Amsterdam - The Pig E-zine
issue 35 - November and December 2010



Cannabis Cup

Light up, chill down...a week of shameless smoking that a joint, man....Although cannabis has been legalised in more and more parts of the world, Amsterdam will always be THE place to smoke and experience it. Amsterdam is proud to present the 23rd edition of The Cannabis Cup (November 21 to 25) - the biggest Marijuana event in the world! Also as you all know - The Flying Pig is the best place to have a smoke, grab a drink and chill out.

Better yet there are still beds available in the hostels during the Cup so book now open in new window and enjoy yourselves!

So What’s The Fuzz About? that a joint, man....The Cannabis Cup is a five day event featuring a competition between major coffeeshops. The categories are best Marijuana, best Hashish and a prize for the coffeeshop selling the best hemp products. There is a judging panel who will be testing the Marijuana and Hashish, before choosing a winner. Visitors can get to know all the different types of Marijuana and Hashish, and check out the jewelery, oils, and cosmetics – all made from hemp.

Where To Go?
The actual competition and expo for visitors is open daily from noon to 20.00 - at the Powerzone - one of Amsterdam’s most famous clubs! In the evening there are parties every night at De Melkweg in the centre of Amsterdam - near The Flying Pig Uptown.

There will be many DJ’s performing including Kid Cudi, Funky Homosapien, Busy Bee Starkski and more! The Cannabis Cup closes with a Seeds Party and a fashion show on the last night.

What’s The Deal? that a joint, man....A single ticket to the Expo at the Powerzone costs €30 and is only available at the door. To get a tickets to the party at the Melkweg, you need to buy them online at open in new window

Show Me The Way
To Get to the Powerzone from Amsterdam central station, take the metro 51 (direction Westwijk) and get out at Overamstel. Then it’s only a five minute walk away.

To get to the Melkweg from the Amsterdam Central Station, take tram 1, 2 or 5 and get off at Leidseplein. Then it’s only a two minute walk away.

For more info on the cannabis cup, visit open in new window

how to build a joint How to build a Joint (click on the pic )

By the way: Drinking alcohol and using drugs involves various risks. So, if you want to avoid risks, then you should avoid alcohol and drugs. If you decide to drink alcohol or use drugs, it is your own responsibility. Info alcohol : 0900 500 2021 (09.00 - 17.00h) Info drugs : 0900 1995 (13.00 - 21.00h)

related articles: Amsterdam fact file

Coffee Shop Tour Cannabis cup 2010 Cheech and Chong



The Amsterdam Gig guide

As the weather turns in Holland, most locals start to look inside for the best nights out. A city as offbeat as Amsterdam has no shortage of great gigs and stellar venues to offer the visiting punter. But being an outsider, it’s often hard to work out where you should go to sample some Dutch tunes.

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Located in the heart of the Red Light District – a stones throw from the Dam square, the Winston Kingdom open in new window is a small underground club with a long history. It started of as the hotel bar of the famous art hotel Winston and as a popular hang-out for Amsterdam’s artists, musicians and poets in the mid-eighties. Since then the bar has grown into a popular nightclub and live music venue.

The Winston Kingdom is a place with many faces and it’s open almost every night of the week until late. The program includes Indie-Rock, Electro, Drum ‘n’ bass, Hip Hop, Dub-Reggae and unpretentious Retro-Pop and Disco. You can expect all of this goodness on most nights with local and international live acts - beforehand. Also look out for crazy student parties, skate and snowboard events, band competitions and other special gigs going on – all of which make the Winston Kingdom one of Amsterdam’s finest clubs.

The melkwegMost punters start with the most obvious venues. Set in an old dairy factory, the Melkweg open in new window or Milky Way has been one of the city’s favourite performance spaces for four decades. The program can vary from clubs nights to the early hours and rock shows, but this is the place where you’ll catch some of the bigger international bands passing through.

ParadisoOn par with the Milky Way for talented artists is the Paradiso open in new window(still this author’s favourite venue).  Set in a beautiful converted church, bands perform underneath stain glassed windows. This one gets big thumbs up for atmosphere. After shows, the venue transforms into a clubbing venue and their handy online gig guide easily lets you scroll through until mid-next year to see who’s booked to play.

brug9If you really want to go underground, you have to head to Brug9 open in new window - if you can find it! What seems like a set of stairs to a pier along the Singel actually leads to a discreet door. Get past it, and you’re underground in an intimate underground venue featuring low key jazz performances mixed in with a cinema, drinks and good vibes.

In fact, mixing things up is what the Amsterdam gig scene is all about. Dinner theatre merges with clubbing, dancing with art installations, and film and live music mixes in with circus performances. Most venues wear so many different hats -  one night clubbing, one night theatre and one night live rock venue - that there’s often a buffet of experiences on offer.

OT301One of the best places is 0T301 open in new window, which started off life as a home to a bunch of artistic squatters. Now, cult movie sessions showing 1950s horror flicks run alongside hip-hop, yoga and circus workshops, which give way to late night clubbing on weekends and cheap beer. Close to the Vondelpark Piggies, this venue is one of the friendliest places to unwind in the city (with some of the cheapest drinks).

Studio KAnother venue mixing it up is Studio K open in new window, which primarily works as an art house cinema during the week and transforms into a kicking, late night club venue on the weekends. Run entirely by students, it attracts a young crowd.

Pakhuis wilhelminaHeading a little more left of the centre – musically - is Zaal 100 open in new window. This is the place where you might get a cellist locking horns with a laptop-wielding electronic musician, a spoken word and performance poetry festival or a jam session - during the midweek vegetarian dinner treat!  A little outside of the city centre, Café Pakhuis Wilhelmina open in new window also has a growing reputation for up and coming alternative acts.

Fusing retail with rock, tiny venue Delicatessen open in new window is a small retail shop selling records and art books. It also moonlights as a movie theatre and small rock venue one or two nights a week, with handpicked acts, art shows and a flexible creative space. In the more residential are - Zeeburg is a real grass roots venue to get a feel for the local music scene.  

bimhuisThe Bimhuis open in new window is one of Amsterdam’s most important venues, with a solid international reputation as a premier jazz house for musicians from around the world. The big names in Jazz play here, but every Tuesday night there’s a free workshop and improv’ session which you can watch from 22.00.  

badcuypIt’s a great cultural experience, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Badcuyp, a jazz and world venue that is a little more relaxed. They feature world music and have great salsa nights where you can shake your groove thing into the early hours.

If you’re more moved by pure dance beats, there are plenty of excellent clubbing and dance venues throughout the city. Amsterdam has a solid reputation as a world clubbing centre, with the Amsterdam Dance Event being held each autumn and attracting big international acts.

SugarfactoryA solid bet is Sugar Factory open in new window, which is open Thursday to Sunday and after kicking off with some theatre on a Saturday, gives way to full scale clubbing until the sun starts to rise (be sure to keep an eye out for resident DJ Dolly on the top floor as well). 

the EscapeWith its reputation as one of the biggest venues with big names acts, much ado is made about Escape open in new window, a multi-level club on the Rembrandtplein - but I’ve never really understood the appeal of paying a premium cover to hang out with Dutch soap stars…

PanamaPanama open in new window, located in a former power plant, is a little bit more accessible and fun, holding burlesque festivals and shows before turning up the volume into the early hours.
This little guide however can only be so contemporary and if you want to know about the freshest beats on the Dam’s music scene, you have to keep your ear to the ground. Ask around for recommendations, be sure to try out the canal ring venues and get a real feel for what’s on offer. The Amsterdam music scene is one that refuses to conform, and you won’t be disappointed with what it has to offer!

- Shaney Hudson  



Europe's Famous Hostels

You might already know that the Flying Pig Backpacker hostels are proud members of EFH – Europe’s Famous Hostels.

Europe Famous HostelsThis association recognises the best hostels on the European travel circuit. If you book a bed in any of these hostels, you’re guaranteed a memorable stay on a cheap and reasonable budget! Every single hostel in EFH is a local treasure – giving you guys a chance to meet the people and get a real taste of local life. All the hostels have to adhere to the highest levels of safety and quality, while also preserving a local flair.

The hostels are located in Amsterdam, Bad Gastein, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruges, Cardiff, Corfu, Dublin, Edinburgh, Interlaken, Lisbon, Loch Ness, London, Munich, Madrid, Nice, Prague, Riga, Rotterdam, Rome, Salzburg, Valencia, Vienna and in the future many more hostels will join.

Check out the best bits of Europe's Famous Hostels with one click!

back to toptop


Things to do in Amsterdam

Eva DamThis month Eva Dam investigates everything cultural and down right cool – coming up in Amsterdam. She previews Space Invaders in Art Installations, comedy cafes and much more.

Story Highlights

Cannabis Cup – November 21 to November 25, 2010
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the biggest and most famous Cannabis festival on the planet. It began in 1987 as the brain child of Steven Hager. Since then it has been held every November – giving international ‘judges’ the chance to experience and vote for their favourites. Prizes are awarded to the overall winner, the best new product, the best booth, the best hash and much more. At the event you’ll also find live entertainment and business stands for companies with a cannabis oriented portfolio!
You can read more about the cannabis cup in our piggie November article

Space Invaders – Art in the Computer Game Environment
The new exhibition of the Netherlands Media Art Institute shows the influence that computer games have on art and society. The exhibition explores how the physical world and the games world have more and more influence on each other. The physical world is found in gaming systems and elements from games find a place in the real world. This might sound like a clichéd  21st century trend, but this phenomena in art and society, goes back a lot further than you might think! The Netherlands Media Art Institute will take you on a journey through the whole thing! open in new window

The Stedelijk Museum – The Taking Place Exhibition
After months of renovation the Stedelijk Museum is – temporarily - opening its doors again to bring you a special exhibition. Taking Place is a chance to get reacquainted with the museum and its history. National and international artists will bring the rooms in the museum back to life with art, video and audio installations. There’s also an exhibition about the posters the museum has used from 1895 until now - to announce special exhibitions. open in new window

Hole in the Boat – Comedy Café
Every Sunday night the comedy café is host to the Hole in the Boat comedy improv’ show.
Hole in the Boat is a Dutch comedy duo who do full length improv’ shows in English. Their show consists of scenes, games and songs - based entirely on suggestions from the audience. This means that every show is an unique experience! open in new window

Storytelling Festival – November 5 to November 7, 2010
For three days in November the best national and international storytellers will gather in Amsterdam for the Storytelling Festival. The theme of this year’s festival is the world - OUR world to be more specific! All over the planet people tell each other stories and the goal of the festival is to emphasize the value of these. The tales will entail humans and their surroundings, how this planet was discovered and the way we live in it today. open in new window

Museum-Night – November 6, 2010
On November 6, 2010 the museums of Amsterdam will stay open until 2am – as part of Museum Night. You can see the main collections in all of the museums and the temporary installations too! There will also be film, music and theatre happening all around you. You can even go to a Make Your Own i-Pod Cover workshop. A ticket to this will give you access to all 45 museums participating in the event. open in new window

- Eva Dam



Beach Hostel News

Alright, from the Leiden Central Station I take bus 40 or 44 to where? Noord-what? Yes you're right Noordwijk - home of the Flying Pig Beach Hostel. It's the perfect place to catch your breath between travelling and soak up a little, laid back, beach-lifestyle.

laid-back beach lifestyle At the Beach Hostel, all the ingredients have been mixed in just the right proportions in order to create the perfect mixture of chilling out and partying. If you can escape the confines of our smoking room - complete with a wooden deck and comfy pillows where you can watch a movie, chill out and herbalize - it's easy to rent a bike and explore the local scenic beauty of Noordwijk.

DunesRolling Dunes, a lush forest and soft sandy beaches looking towards the North Sea make the Beach Hostel the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. Feeling adventurous? Take a shot at the waves with surfing and kite-surfing lessons. Centrally located, it's easy to explore the political capital, Den Haag, as well as the rich culture of the nearby University City, Leiden.

laid-back beach lifestyleIf you're looking for a bit of action, the Hostel Beach Bar is a great place to have a few drinks and mingle with other travellers. Despite its size, Noordwijk boasts a bumpin' nightlife with a row of dance clubs and bars that run along the boulevard.

BarThe Beach Hostel may be a small place, yet this allows our friendly staff - the Beach Piggies - to create a more comfortable and welcoming, atmosphere. It's what we stand for at the Flying Pig Beach Hostel! Our philosophy is simple - be different and be yourself.