I had heard so much about Amsterdam before I went – but mainly about how it attracts raucous stag parties! This impression soon did a major U-turn.
Contrary to what many believe, Amsterdam is not just all about weed and the red light district! There’s so much culture and the city itself, particularly the historic centre, is very tourist friendly and easy to navigate. I loved walking along the scenic canals on the cutest cobbled streets, looking at the iconic Dutch architecture. Also there are bicycles everywhere – so keep your eyes peeled when crossing roads 🙂
The flight is less than an hour from London so is perfect for a weekend break but, if you plan to stay longer, there is PLENTY to see.
I mainly went to Amsterdam to visit one of my best friends so the first stop was seeing this lovely lady. We had the best afternoon and the day was gloriously hot.
(keep scrolling for some top tips on what to do and see in Amsterdam)
Amsterdam is a city full of charm and somewhere I definitely plan to revisit in the future! Whilst I was there, I got the Amsterdam Card (you have a choice between a 24, 48 or 72 hour one). It provides free transport on the tram which came in handy and most of the main attractions are free with the card (except for the Rijksmuseum where there is small discount). If you’re thinking of getting this card, my best tip would be to first plan what you definitely want to see which will then help you decide whether the card is value for money.
Things to do or see:
- Take a canal boat ride – you really see Amsterdam from a different perspective (this is included if you buy the Amsterdam card).
- Amsterdam is famous for it’s pancakes so why not visit ‘Pancakes!’ while you’re there?
- The city has an awesome cafe culture and there are plenty to choose from including Singel cafe right by the canal and Cafe Latei.
- The red light district is a strange place (surprisingly touristy and commercial!) but quite an eye opener – if you go here, do not take pictures of the girls in the shop windows or you might have a burly guard chuck your camera in the canal – this has happened to people!
- Visit one of the grand houses on the main canals – I went to museum Van Loon. It really is amazing how large these houses are inside when all you can see from the canals are the narrow exteriors!
- In terms of museums, it really does depend on your taste in art. I absolutely love Van Gogh so I had to visit the Van Gogh Museum (it is extremely popular so go early). If you like modern art, try the Stedelijk Museum. If you want a bit of everything, the Rijksmuseum is the one to go to (lots of Rembrandts, Vermeers, the list goes on!)
- For something really different, visit Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (translates to ‘our Lord in the Attic’) which is a 17th-century canal house with a Catholic Church that used to be hidden in the top three floors. The history is fascinating!
- The street art in Amsterdam is great so is definitely worth exploring, especially around the Spui area.
- If you want to put your feet up and relax, go to one of Amsterdam’s many parks, including Vondelpark and take a picnic with you 🙂
Hope this post was helpful! Have you ever been to Amsterdam and have some good tips to share? Leave a comment below 🙂 x