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Things to do in Amsterdam, The Pig Newsletter
issue#26 July 2009

Pig Amsterdam News

Great summer deal for Pig guests

Summer Deal – free club entrance!! Winston KingdomThis summer the Flying Pig has a great deal with the Winston Kingdom, the coolest underground night club in the city. All Flying Pig guests get in for FREE! You only have to show your Flying Pig key card at the door!

It’s located a stones throw from Dam Square, in the Red Light District. Every day they have different music styles from drum'n'bass to electro to rock, live bands, acts, dj's, vj's and more. It’s a typical Amsterdam – style underground club. Many locals, exciting acts and great dj’s is what you can expect.

This offer is valid for the summer months July and August. With check in you will receive a flyer with the program and you can check their agenda too:
They usually open at 21:00pm, but sometimes earlier. Sunday till Thursday they close at 03:00am, Friday and Saturday at 04:00.

Piggie   places on GooglemapsCheck out the Winston Kingdom and other places on the Piggie map.

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14 Travelers Live; 24/7

The   Saint Christophers LiveThe world first live hostel room Since a few days, our friends @ St. Christophers are proving to the world that hostels are the place to be and way more fun then hotels. Is there a better way to prove, then streaming the life of of a (gold award winning) hostel in the middle of London, 24/7?!

When you sign up for St. Christopher’s Live you can log on to see exactly what happens in the day to day lifes of these backpackers of these backpackers. You can leave comments, send them beers if they do something cool and sound off a fog horns if you don’t like their behaviour. Signing up is completely free, you can do it here:

And of course once you’ve singed up, you’ll be able to book yourself a bed in this 'big brother' dorm and wave to your friends and family back home!

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Europe's Famous Hostels

Check out the best bits of the Europe's most famous hostels with one click!

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

Europe   Famous HostelsThis association is often recognized as ‘the best hostels in the European travel world’. If you book any of these hostels, you will be guaranteed with a memorable stay, while still keeping yourself on a cheap and reasonable budget! Each of Europe’s Famous Hostels is independently & locally owned, assuring a local traGet to know our friends in Europevel experience. They all must adhere to the highest level of safety, & quality while 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, Nice, Prague, Riga, Rome, Salzburg,Valencia, Vienna, and in the future, more hostels more hostels will join.

Now, they have a great new feature: each hostel has made new videos showcasing the best bits about their locations so that you guys can see where you’re heading to. All you have to do is pick out the hostel you’re interested in from and drop the name & 'famous hostels' into a YouTube search bar!

Check out Friendly Fun Frank's Hostel in the gothic Riga, Latvia. Frank and his staff will totally take care for you and make sure you see the best of this UNESCO World Heritage city.

Friendly   Frank on Youtube

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Discounts, great food and a beer garden right into the Red Light District

Belushi'sWatch people looking at the Red Lights while you’re eating the best burger in town. It’s all possible at Belushi’s (Warmoesstraat 129). And guess what? Piggy guests get a discount at this great place! Since they’re a hostel too, they understand the backpacker’s budget, so when you show your Flying Pig keycard there, you get a 25(!!!) % discount on all the food!

belushi burgerWe know it’s easy to grab a Big Mac, but wouldn’t you rather sit in a great beer garden right in the Red Light Disctrict? You can watch the Red Lights from there, but you’re at a safe distance from all the action. And we assure you, the burgers are GREAT! They have other food too like

Besides the food, there’s a great indoor smoking room, and they have loads of drinks specials and great music.


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Column: The life of a Piggy

The only way around the city is by bike.

by Aly Coy

Aly CoyAnother huge aspect of life at The Pig, and for Amsterdam in general, desperately depends on whether or not you have a bike. It gives you freedom to explore Amsterdam in a fun way and for free. It’s the only way to have a social life, and you keep in shape because of it, (which also adds to the social life).

Plans can be set with people, wheels are in motion you could say, and the mention of “no bike” bursts their inner tube. Half the people will sigh and make other plans, but maybe someone will bitterly offer to ‘double ride’ you.   It’s not what you’re thinking it is, but double riding is sitting on the back of the bike, while someone else peddles, struggling up the few hills in the city. It’s nice at first to be on a bike not having to do any work, but mostly it’s just a pain in the butt.  

If your bike is broken or stolen, or if you haven’t even attempted to bike, you are pretty much shunned from society.  

Not to worry, you have a couple options

  • Buy a new bike €100-€150.
  • Buy one second hand €60.
  • Buy a stolen bike from a junkie €15.
  • Steal one yourself €0 (but possible jail time).

Whatever way you happen to stumble upon your new bike, it’s a good idea to give it a paint job and a seriously good lock.  

Other than the obvious places to lock your bike like metal pipes, bike parking lots, bridges (avoid junkie bridge) or bringing the entire bike into your home, there are plenty of other safe spots for your ‘fiets’ or bike.

Park very, very close to a motorcycle. Rely on their alarm to scare off the potential crook. An obvious downside to that is setting it off yourself, or scratching the thing and pissing of a person who owns a motorcycle.

Parking your bike beside an outdoor urinal or pissoir is a good place for keeping the curious at bay. They won’t stand smelling urine for long enough to saw off your bike chain. You do run the risk of urine soaked tires.

Garbage cans are in the same realm of urinals, but you don’t want to give off the impression the bike is disposable or someone else’s treasure.

Have two locks. The back wheel clamp is good to have as backup. Hard to cut through- but not very visible. The temptation is there to steal it, any normal person will do a double take on a seemingly unlocked bike. Once people go for it, and realize it has a back lock, they could suddenly “lose their key” and wheel it by the front to some waiting bolt cutters.

When you don’t have something immovable around you, lock your bike to a friend’s bike when possible. It’s harder to steal two bikes at once. Note: attach your lock to your friend’s lock rather than to the bike itself. That way you can leave without them if you want.

For example, I was celebrating my birthday in style, drinking a bottle of wine getting “double rided” by a friend- on my bike of course. We joked that it was my limo with all my friends biking around me.

We got there okay, but the next day I realized my back wheel popped and wouldn’t fill back up. I left it for a couple days and feared the worst.

During my bike-less days I was reminded of the hassle and cost of taking trams and cabs around the city. It’s €2.40 per trip from my house into the city centre, and a €13 cab. A week with no bike I spent €50 on unnecessary transportation while my bike sat hurt and abandoned behind The Pig.

After a few people briefly stated they would take a look at my bike, I decided to it to a bike rental place close by for a diagnosis.

I needed a new tire, which conveniently could be purchased at Hema for seven euros. At the second Hema I found the right size (which turned out to be too small but still works). I put the tire over my shoulder and walked my limping bike to a fiets repair shop. The one in mind was closed, but luckily there were two more along the street.

My inner tube was also blown and this cute old man struggled to put the too small tire on the frame for about 20 minutes. I watched from a distance with eyes wide and forehead wrinkled with worry. It felt as though it was my child in for surgery, her wheel completely off, bolts exposed.

My fiets made it through. The procedure usually costs €25 but I somehow got it for €12.50. I guess it helped to have compassion towards the man’s subjects.

The biking culture in Amsterdam is unlike any other place in the world. It’s a huge money saver and gives you more time and energy. It can be intimidating at first, but after a while you go with the flow of traffic and get very comfortable on your bike. A bike lets you rule the road and it is your key to freedom in Amsterdam.

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