November, 2018.Popularly known as the sin city of Europe, there is more to Amsterdam’s legalization of marijuana consumption, strip clubs, and sex shows! It is one of the top destinations for tourists for its historic homes, beautiful canals, windmills, wooden clogs, tulips in Spring and the art. I’ve mentioned before in my previous post about our canceled trip to Germany due to the Beast from the East and that makes Amsterdam as my very first European country to visit outside Ireland. I was so excited and was looking forward to this trip with friends.
Here are the things we did in the city where there are more bikes than people.
What to do?
- Enjoy and Experience the Canal Cruise Around the Bike City
Amsterdam is known for its beautiful canals and the Dutch are doing their best to maintain and protect these symbols of history and culture. There are over a hundred canals in Amsterdam which combine for a length of over 60 miles. For a first time visitor like me, I’d say the canal cruise was number one in my to-do list. There is something about bodies of water that soothes my soul. Staying still in a boat with your friends while your eyes feast on the splendor of the city and your ears listen to the city’s history is just so relaxing. It makes you forget the stress and the issues in the workplace.
- Immerse in History by Visiting Historic Museums
If you are a fan of art and history, exploring Amsterdam’s big-name museums is a must. For modern art lovers, Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum showcase beautiful painting collections. On the other hand, those who are interested in history are encouraged to explore Anne Frank House which was the hiding place of the Jewish diarist Anne Frank. Although the rooms are empty, there is a World War II atmosphere in this building.
- Walk or Bike around Amsterdam like a Local
Feel the cold breeze and take pictures while you stroll or cycle around. Every corner is instagrammable. Cafés and Restaurants are everywhere and so are bicycles which you can rent to go from place to place. Visit souvenir shops or have coffee near the canal. If you want to have a bird’s eye view of Amsterdam, Adam Lookout is perfect for you. The lookout tower is like London’s Eye and Eiffel Tower which gives an outstanding 360-degree view of the bike city. For those who are daredevils, dare to try the highest swing at the roof of Adam lookout.
- Join the Dutch Countryside and Culture Tour
A short ride from the Amsterdam city centre, I’d personally recommend visiting the peaceful villages of Zaanse Schans for an up-close look of the windmills and the traditional fishing village of Volendam. Don’t miss the clog factory and the cheese farm for a complete Dutch experience! For your convenience, there are agencies offering countryside tours which will make you witness the icons of Netherlands-windmills, wooden clogs, and cheese! Included in our trip before was a professional tour guide.
Where to Stay?
For our five-day Amsterdam-Belgium holiday trip, we stayed in Meininger Hotel which is conveniently located near transport facilities. With just a few steps from Amsterdam Sloterdijk train station and Flixbus, there is less hassle when it comes to traveling especially if you are carrying heavy luggage. The room we occupied is clean and tidy with a view. The staffs were also kind and for those who arrived earlier than the check-in time, there are lockers for you to put your things.
In a nutshell, there is more to Amsterdam than the Red Light District. Drenched in history, the impressive range of architectural style, exceptional representation of contemporary and modern art, picturesque waterways, good food, and more, I’d say there are countless reasons why you too must visit the Dutch capital.
Interested in visiting other European Countries? Visit the Emerald Isle!
Photo credits to Van, Clar, and Rheeg =)