Most helpful critical review
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Not up to Frommer's usual quality
on July 20, 2005
We travel a lot and always get a Frommer's Guide the first time we visit a new place. In general these guides are full of useful information, accurate maps and excellent sight-seeing suggestions and lists of restaurants. We have found this to be true of the Frommer's Guides to France, Provence, Germany, London, Spain and Norway.
This Amsterdam guide did not live up to our expectations. It's not that the book is "terrible", but we consistently found inaccuracies and, as others have said here, were often left wondering if the author George McDonald actually ate at the restaurants he recommends. One could reasonably suspect that the appearance of some of these restaurants' names in the guide were paid endorsements. (A particular recommendation for Indonesian food, which one can find in abundance in Amsterdam, was especially suspicious, as it was overpriced and nowhere near the quality of other restaurants we visited).
We always like to walk when visiting a city, and this Amsterdam Guide contains several long walking tours. We tried almost all of them, and invariably gave up and headed in our own direction. The maps provided with the walking tours had inaccuracies serious enough to really throw us off (street names off by an entire block), and included ridiculous "points of interest" -- in one case he sends you off to see the site of a historic orphanage, when in fact the orphanage is gone and now replaced by the new Ballet house, an unattractive steel and glass monstrosity. He even goes so far as to explain that the orphanage "used" to stand there. What's the point? Does Mr. McDonald really not think that Amsterdam has enough existing points-of-interest that he has to send us off to the ones that aren't there anymore?
Further, the tear-out folding map that comes with the book contains little more than street names -- there are inexplicably no references to points-of-interest mentioned in the book, or even major landmarks.