One of the first things that comes to mind when you think of travelling to Amsterdam would definitely be one of the following; all the locals riding their bikes, the canals winding through the city centre, the cheeky red light district or perhaps it is the fact you readily have access to marijuana. Either way what ever came to mind is certainly a great experience but Amsterdam has so much to offer!
Here is a must see Amsterdam to do list for the wandering explorers.
Start with a classic, a bike ride through
Amsterdam City Centre
And don’t be a tourist about it! Whilst Amsterdam’s city centre is very easy to walk around, and I do recommend walking the streets too, cycling through cobble stone streets along the canals and past the quaint homes is really an experience you can only get in Amsterdam so enjoy the opportunity. There are bike hire stores dotted around the city that allow you to hire a bike for an hour or a week, the choice is yours. Check with your hotel/hostel/host for locations nearest to you but either way just do it!
Get lost in the streets
This is always my favourite, on the first day you arrive before you have any sort of bearings and things become familiar just start walking and don’t look at a map. Follow your heart or a pretty laneway and become lost and absorbed in the atmosphere without ever looking at a map. It is always a good idea to have a map on hand for 3 hours down the track when you are ready to head home you can place yourself, but don’t look at it until then. Upon waking up in Amsterdam on my first day I walked out of my hotel and just walked taking each laneway as it comes, if I saw a nice shop I would change directions, see some markets head towards them, notice a great photo opportunity stop in and catch a snap or two. Getting lost and finding those back streets, local finds and the real city is the most fun of exploring a new city.
Check out a museum or two
If you love art well you are in your element. Not so keen on art? The Van Gogh Museum (https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en) is still a fantastic opportunity to absorb his beautiful artwork and say that you have seen some Van Gogh original works otherwise there is the Amsterdam Museum (https://www.amsterdammuseum.nl/en) that has a broader and ever changing selection. Follow the above links to find out what exhibitions are in town whilst you are.
Visit Anne Franks House
Along the previous theme of getting cultural in Amsterdam, Anne Franks House is simply unmissable. If you haven’t read her diary you should! This moving and saddening visit is one you can not miss. Now due to the high demand of visitors to The Anne Frank House you do need to book tickets in advance! Tickets become available exactly 2 months in advance and if you have planned your trip to Amsterdam already then definitely book your tickets as soon as you can as they sell out quick! To see available tickets click here. Tickets are available from 9am to 3:30pm for the museum and is only open to visitors with an online ticket for a specific time slot. From 3:30pm until closing time you can buy a ticket at the museum entrance but be warned you will be lining up for hours! I arrived at 230pm thinking I had beat the rush and the wait time was 2.5-3 hours already! So purchasing in advance is highly recommended!
Stroll through Bloemenmarkt
Tulips, tulips and more tulips!
Holland is know for their tulips and Bloemenmarkt is no disappointment, lined with florists and souvenir shops this little strip is worth a stroll. You can buy fresh tulips to brighten up your AirBNB or Hotel, or purchase tulip bulbs and grow your own souvenir when you get home. Either way you need to take a stroll down this lane as the cheese shops are equally as fantastic along here.
Hit up a Coffee Shop
Not to be mistaken for a Cafe! A Cafe will serve you lovely coffee, cakes and lunch, however a coffee shop will serve you cookies, brownies and tea but it will all be made with weed as an additional ingredient. Whilst this could be a hilarious mix up, you may begin to wonder why you have all of a sudden become incredibly hungry and surrounded by a lingering cloud of smoke! Now this isn’t for everyone, I know that, but if you are feeling a little adventurous you can head to a coffee shop and either purchase the weed and roll your own joint, have a herbal tea or make a selection from one of the baked goods available (pun 100% intended). They do have ratings so if it is your first time take it easy and I would’t have much else planned for the next few hours because you are going to get real hungry and eat a truck load of food! Hey, when in Rome do as the Romans do!
Head to a local bakery and get prepare yourself
You can smell a good one from a distance as it draws you in with the smell of freshly baked bread and pastries. Once I entered this aroma of pastry dreams I could’t decide what to have and eventually settled on a chocolate covered waffle and a croissant. Very happy with my choices and you will be too!
There is so much more to see and do in Amsterdam, but these tips will help you on your way.
Happy wanderings x