How y’all doing?
Amsterdam was always on top of my checklist since I moved to UK and in April, I finally made it to this popular tourist destination. Although it was a short trip, I visited most of the places and did all that I had in mind. There was something about this city that deeply fascinated me, its wild reputation may be but I knew I had to see it at least once.
This was probably one of the most researched and well planned trips of my entire life and I can say so because I did it all myself 😛 I spent hours reading through different websites and blogs till I eventually finalized on all the must-visit spots. Having said that, today I’m going to share with you guys, all the necessary information that you may need on your next trip to Amsterdam! 🙂
Firstly, book an I amsterdam city card online before anything else. This card provides you free admission to museums, canal cruise and public transport throughout the city. It activates with your first use and stays valid for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours, giving you flexibility to explore the city at a pace that suits you.
Top 5 places to Visit
Located in the centre of the city, Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam. It is the most famous park in Netherlands attracting thousands of visitors everyday. If you wish to feel the real Amsterdam, this is the place to be. Plan a picnic, go cycling, walk around or simply laze away in the sun. The park is also home to a few restaurants and cafes, has an open-air theatre which hosts music, theatre and dance performances, and has a rose garden with 70 types of roses in it.
2. Dam Square
There is so much to see around Dam square, be it the Royal palace, Madame Tussauds, the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), or the National Monument. You can even pick up souvenirs from the shops in this area. There are cafes too if you’re hungry and want to just sit and enjoy your afternoon.
3. De Wallen
Popularly known as the Red-light district, De Wallen is probably one of the most lively areas of Amsterdam. Apart from the famous coffee shops and sex shops, you can find some authentic restaurants, waffle shops and beer cafes too here. The 800-year old Oude Kerk (Old Church), which happens to be Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest Parish church also stands here in De Wallen.
If you love art, you cannot miss this one. Home to three major museums: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum, this grassy, people-filled square is a major tourist attraction and also has the popular I Amsterdam letters for you to take pictures with.
Located in the magnificent De Hallen cultural complex in Amsterdam, Foodhallen is a classy indoor food market and bar serving up a range of high-end street food and beverages in historic surroundings. An ideal spot for a relaxed meal, snack or simply a drink with friends, this foodie’s paradise is lined with around 20 street food vendors serving up everything from wood-fired pizzas to Vietnamese summer rolls and lamb chops to artisanal burgers from some of Amsterdam’s best-loved kitchens.
Four Things you must do in Amsterdam
- Go for a canal cruise
You must take the canal cruise when in Amsterdam. It is the best way to start your stay here. The boat takes you through the entire city, showing you some of the prominent spots and giving you some insight into its history.
- Take a cycle tour
There are several entertaining and exciting guided bike tours throughout Amsterdam. You can even rent bikes and navigate through the city on your own. There are literally hundreds of thousands of bikes on the roads and you’ll see swarms of them locked on the rails along the canals, packed tight like sardines.
- Walk along the canals
Capture the picturesque beauty of Amsterdam as you walk through the city. Explore the different lanes that run along and get lost in the allure.
- Visit the coffee shops
If you are thinking about Starbucks, this may not be the coffee you’re looking for. Another popular thing Amsterdam is known for is it’s legalization of “soft” drugs such as marijuana, and these coffee shops have been a part of the city since the 1970’s. There are about 200 of them dispersed throughout the city.
Where To Eat?
Amsterdam has some amazing cafes and restaurants serving mouthwatering breakfast and lunch menus. My top three favorites are listed below:
1)C.T Coffee & Coconuts
This hip, multi-level hangout with stripped back Scandinavian décor, and a laid back atmosphere is ideal for long, lazy brunches, afternoon drinks and stylish evenings.
2) Bakers & Roasters
This is a New Zealand style cafe with a heavy dose of Brazil. B&R serves an array of delectable breakfast and lunch goodies at their cafes in De Pijp and now in the center too at Kadijksplein. The unassuming entrance leads to a bright and cheerful interior, decorated in white and aqua with a splash of pink.
This place is extremely popular for its omelettes and is always busy. So much so that we had to wait for almost an hour to get a table here. But it was all worth it! 🙂
Apart from these three places, there is one more restaurant that deserves a special mention and is called the Sea Palace.
Situated in the Centre of Amsterdam near the Central station, this 3-storeyed Chinese restaurant is the first floating restaurant in Europe. With beautiful oriental interiors and mystical exotic surroundings, this sea palace provides a unique dining experience altogether.
There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam that I could go on forever and this post would never end. In case you still want to see some more, check out the vlog here.
Hope you enjoyed reading this one! I’ll be posting another travel guide soon. Till then, keep reading. 😀
Much Love ❤