It just broke the clichéd opinion that I had about this city before visiting. I knew this place more as a city for stoners and thought it to be over-hyped. To my surprise, it hosts some of the most beautiful canals, bridges, flowers and dutch architecture. The streets were all vibrant and buzzing with people who are moving around on cycles at any hour of the day.
Also known as a city where Cannabis and prostitution are legal, and where you can savour some of the most amazing dutch pancakes, and of course, lots and lots of canals and bridges.
Before I could explain any further about the city, let me just dive into the actual things to do and places to visit in Amsterdam. We spent around 4 days in Amsterdam during mid-October.
Temperature : 15-20 C (Warm clothes recommended as the place is windy)
Accommodation : We stayed at our friend’s place in Amsterdam Amstel which is pretty close to the city centre. Since I had already done my research about good hostels, dropping in some suggestions here : ClinkNOORD, Flying Pig
Main Places to Visit:
Rijks Museum – It is one of the best museums that I have seen so far. It showcases the rich heritage of their ancestors and their lifestyle incredibly. If you plan to visit, don’t forget to cover 2nd floor and also, the 1.2 section in 1st floor.
Red Light District – The widely renowned red light district of Amsterdam is a must visit after 11pm when the streets get lit up with red lights.
Zaanse Saanch – It is 40 min metro ride from Amsterdam to this beautiful place which is designed in a way to give you an essence of age-old dutch countryside with windmills!! It takes atleast 3 hrs to explore this place properly. Don’t miss this place if you have enough time.
Anne Frank House – It was the place where Anne Frank was reportedly in hiding for around 2 years during WWII. However, if you are planning to visit this place, ensure that you book your online tickets (no offline tickets available) well in advance (We couldn’t get the tickets )
Vondel Park – If you want to relax in a very silent place filled with beautiful trees, canals, and swans, you must visit this place. It had insane variety of trees sporting different fall colours. It is also a place where public sex is legal!!
Van Gogh Museum – If you are into paintings, you should consider visiting this place. (We couldn’t find time to visit it)
Things To Do :
Taste the most yummy dutch pancakes – Pancake bakery has some really good pancakes. (Try Banana Nutella if you have sweet tooth)
Go on a Canal Cruise – Avoid going for a hop-on hop-off canal cruise as that cruise doesn’t give a proper experience. You can opt for those cruises which take around 10 people (Try Friendship Cruise ). Costs around 8-10 Euro per person. ( Prefer Sunset time)
Try Space Cakes (brownies) – You can visit Boerejongens Coffeeshop for good ones. First timers, don’t dare to have more than 1/2. Costs around 8 Euros per brownie.
Walk along the canals from Amstel to Centraal – This route is much more prettier than the over-hyped Jordaan neighbourhood ( Do this after sunset when the bridges are all lit up). Explore the streets in the night.
Cycle in the VondelPark
Walk along the streets of Red light district in the night – It would be a completely different experience. Avoid clicking pictures here as it is a serious offence.
If you are interested in Strip clubs and peep shows (a tradition where you get to peep through the window to watch a porn play for a couple of minutes) – you can go to Banana club and Sex Palace respectively
Go to a coffee shop – If you are into smoking up, try going to one of these coffee shops and having it ( offers a complete different vibe)
Try different types of berries if you are into fruits. They are too good ❤
Swing Experience at Adams Lookout – It gives a panoramic view of the city while you are swinging on the edge of the highest building of Amsterdam. Costs around 18 Euros per person (including entry and swing) – expect longer queues
If you want to go shopping, you can find many shops near Dam Square or for street shopping, you can visit Albert Cuyp Market.
Also, you might want to get clicked before ” I Amsterdam ” Symbol which is just close to Van Gogh/ Rjiks Museum. You are lucky if you get a good picture without the crowd.
Few Travel Tips :
If you are below 25 yrs, you are most likely to get a discount in entry fees in most of the museums, historical monuments in Europe. Just ask them about it and flash your passport and you get a discount 😀 (I availed many such discounts)
If you are planning to rent a bicycle in Amsterdam, you can visit Mac Bikes . They charge around 10-15 Euros per day. Also, ensure that you carry a mobile holder otherwise it gets difficult to deal with google maps.
If you are planning for shopping, never plan it on Sunday as most of the stores remain closed that day. During regular days, the shops shut by 7-8 pm, so plan your shopping accordingly. Also, street shopping markets shut by 5 pm
Ensure that you have a minimum of 2-3 hrs to explore each museum. If you don’t have enough time, ask for the must-visit spots in the museum at the ticket counter. Also, while planning for museums, check for working days.
Pick pocketing is common in Europe. Be alert (Especially your passports and wallets)
You can get a metro pass for 4 days which costs around 18 Euros. It would be really helpful for internal travel.
If you are into exploring other museums, you can checkout “I Amsterdam” Card which offers many activities at a discounted price of 75 Euros per person. It covers most of the museums. Since I am not into museums, I didn’t take one.
I hope you find it useful if you are planning to visit Amsterdam 🙂
Feel free to ping me on my Instagram or email me for any more travel tips or doubts 😀
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Photos by Naincy Suman
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