It is without a doubt that one of my favorite European cities is AMSTERDAM. Which is why I'm excited to write this article on what to do in Amsterdam. This is one of mine and J's favorite places in the world. This is actually where our love of travel together first started. This place is what opened our minds to the completely different world outside of our comfort zone, which is why I'm writing this as my first post :)
Woven by its 165 canals, it's beautiful streets are fringed by tilted buildings that house creative enterprises that provide a wealth of experiences suitable for an array of interests--from walking around the multiple galleries, enjoying new and innovative forms of cuisine, or just to getting high in the coffee shops. Some just come to enjoy a weekend of partying at the Red Light District. But I think Amsterdam deserves more than it's smoke and sex-filled reviews!
In contrast to what many may say about Amsterdam, there is just something about this place that is just feels like I am at home. It's people's hospitality and open-mindedness and quirkiness, together with its rich history that has always appealed to me. That, and the loads of beer, cheese, and stroopwafels I stuffed my face with!
I've visited this beautiful city twice in the last 5 years, and I can say that it has preserved its beauty, but has also definitely advanced plenty. Both times I've gone were both in the December, which made it very cold, but absolutely beautiful, especially because it was decked out for the holidays...However, I do want to go back in the spring for the tulips!
But If you ask me, how long is enough to visit this city, I’d say however long it takes! But as time is always of the essence for us travelers, I’d say an entire weekend of 3 full days in Amsterdam is enough to be able to see it and a bit more without feeling rushed.
Here are some of my must-go places in Amsterdam:
This museum just exceeded all my expectations. The building itself is a work of art, and garden outside is just exquisite. Also, the vibe around it is just so artistic, with it's usual highly-talented classical street performers. And, with it's beautiful collection of artistic creations dating hundreds of years, it's easy to spend half a day in this place.
Buy tickets in advance!
Anne frank house
If there is just one place i always always tell people to go to in Amsterdam it would be this place. Never EVER leave Amsterdam without paying it a visit. Having read Anne Frank's book, and seen the play, this was definitely on my bucket list. This place put everything into perspective; it's very humbling, to be exact. I've gone on both visits, and each time is just as excellent. The Dutch has done a superb job in preserving the history that should never be forgotten! (also: no photos!)
*Tickets can ONLY be bought online, so plan in advance! It will be for a specific time slot (15 minute increments) so don't be late! It gets VERY crowded.
This place shows the history sex and eroticism is definitely one of those places that will break your ice in being open minded. Very controversial, but I say very interesting, and just down right funny, to be completely honest. :)
*This one isn't as crowded as expected, on both times I went. So buying tickets in advance isn't essential.
Amsterdam uses this term quite uniquely than the rest of us in the world do. To the Dutch, the term "coffee shop" has come to mean an establishment that serves products that contain cannabis. These places do not serve alcohol. These places are highly regulated by the government, so the weed that they are allowed to sell are sold in small quantities. But it's great for those who are into that stuff, because it provides a fun, safe, and pleasant environment.
So think twice about where you really want to go before asking a local where the coffee shop is at ;)
Zaanse Schans/Volendam/Marken day trip
Stepping back to a culture's roots and foundations is a great way to know more about a country. And what better way to know the Netherlands, than going to see it's windmills that date back to the 17th century.
Enjoy the Dutch country side by taking a day trip to the Windmills, clog and cheese factories, and fishing villages. This is such a great half-day tour in my opinion.
*Make sure to buy tickets in advance! These day trips are extremely popular all sell out FAST!
The Seafood bar at Spui is a MUST if you are a seafood-lover. Everything is so fresh, and pretty large portions for a European establishment, if you ask me. The seafood platter is just phenomenal, and so was the atmosphere and the staff. If you are looking to eat here, make sure to make a reservation way in advance, as this place is highly popular, and does not disappoint!
Where to stay:
There are plenty of beautiful hotels around Amsterdam, but this time J and I decided to stay in an AirBnB. We were lucky enough to find one that was beautiful, had an amazing host (who was also a tour guide) and also close to everything. This was located in the district of Nine streets.
This is probably one of my favorite districts. Nine streets is such a jewel! It's a gorgeous little shopping district; considered more of a posh area, but the people were pretty down to earth, in my opinion. It's not too crowded, so it's nice to have a cup of coffee and just hangout (if you have the time). I highly recommend you stay in an AirBnB in this area!
Many will try to sell you the light cruise by the canals..I think was a bit disappointing that I expected. It was pretty, but the "light show" they advertised wasn't all that. Nonetheless, it is worth going on a boat at least on the canals in the day.
So don't be afraid of Amsterdam's many alleyways, and canals. I say, if there's any city to get lost in them, it would be this one. People are pretty friendly if you need help, and there's always something interesting to see in each district. I promise you'll enjoy every corner of it and shouldn't have issues finding things to do in Amsterdam!
I hope you now have ideas on what to do in Amsterdam after reading my article. If you enjoyed reading, please follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog to support me in making more free content for everyone!
To those who have questions, feel free to leave a comment.
And to those who've gone, I'd love to hear from you! Share with me your Amsterdam experience :)