Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands
The long-neglected New East is a glowing example of 21st-century urban planning done right.
A day of high-design hopping is best finished by revisiting the Docklands' wild roots. For that, head to Azart, an eccentric, Felliniesque cabaret boat--also known as the Ship of Fools. A man named August Dirks is the unlikely captain of a motley crew of performers. The boat, only open on Fridays from 11 p.m., has burlesque theater and cheap drinks. If only the boat would take you back to your hotel....
Getting to the Eastern Docklands
Amsterdam's main train depot, Centraal Station, is practically on the doorstep of the Eastern Docklands, so it's feasible to walk to where the neighborhood starts--though the wind can be relentless. Beginning in June, a tram (#26) will start running from Centraal Station to the area. Another option is to arrive by water; two ferries run a route every 20 minutes from Steiger 8 (Pier 8) behind the station and drop you off at Java-eiland. It's a 10-minute trip and costs $1.30. Alternately, bus 42 heads from the station to the Oostelijke Handelskade, then Java-eiland and KNSM-eiland; night bus 359 takes over running the route from midnight to dawn. You'll need to buy a strippenkaart, a card priced according to how far you travel. For more information, consult the transit authority (gvb.nl, 011-31/20-460-0606).