Amsterdam (also called the Venice of the North) is the capital city of the Netherlands, and it’s probably best known for its concentric canals, bicycles, and coffee shops.
If you’re eager to enjoy one of the most picturesque cities in Europe, you’ll want to book a trip to Amsterdam right away. Though this city isn’t a tropical paradise, it enjoys mild summertime temperatures ideal for relaxing bike rides or picnics in the park.
It’s hard to explain what makes Amsterdam so special. I guess it’s a mixture of the beautiful canals, the “town” vibe despite being a capital city, the friendly locals and the fact that you can do most of it on foot, or by bike.
EPIC AMSTERDAM BUCKET LIST
Experience Amsterdam’s bike traffic
Amsterdam is the most bicycle friendly capital city in the world. 60% of the trips in the capital are done by bike! Also, isn’t cycling great for sightseeing? Rent a bike for the day or your stay, there are tons of rentals available. I even rented a tandem bike once. However, do be careful, there are a bunch of tourist accidents.
The famous “pommes frites” from Belgium are also very popular in the Netherlands and are traditionally served in a cone with mayo on top. The best in Amsterdam can be found in Vleminckx.
Drop by a coffee shop
Amsterdam has shops which are licensed to sell the world famous plant. The deal is you can go inside, smoke, relax while also having a coffee or soft drink. Alcohol is not allowed in these venues. Coffee shops are an Amsterdam staple. Among the best coffee shops, you’ll find the Dampkring, a colorful cafe where a scene of Ocean’s twelve was recorded.
Window shop at the Red Light District
Walking down the streets of Amsterdam’s Red Light District to check out the “offering” can be curious and kind of fun. There are girls of all races, shapes and sizes. Also, it’s a legit thing, they even pay taxes! Last, hit the sex shops for more window shopping of the most bizarre things available in the market.
Take a stroll in Vondelpark
The most popular and cutest park in Amsterdam. While there, stop at the Blauwe Theehuis for coffee or a cheeky beer.
Visit Anne Franks’ house
An informative and impactful remembrance of our history and also highly recommended. One of Amsterdam’s most emotive attractions. Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Van Gogh Museum
If you are an impressionist or Van Gogh fan, then there is no way you are skipping this when visiting Amsterdam.
The Heneiken Experience
For beer lovers, this is is a walkthrough the history of this world famous beer, which has its origins in Amsterdam.
Cruise the canals
In a city famous for its canals, how could you miss the experience of seeing it through them? There are many ways to do this in Amsterdam, try this canal boat cruise, or why not try a beer boat? You are in Amsterdam after all.
Visit the Rijksmuseum
Especially relevant for art lovers, Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum offers a walk through Dutch art & history. Pay particular attention to the Rijkmuseum library which is gorgeous!
Eat dutch fast food from a vending machine
Ever heard from FEBO? They sell dutch fast food snacks all over the city. The (mostly fried) food items are displayed through small glass doors. Insert coin and done! Have kroketten (croquettes), frikandellen (some form of sausage) or kaassoufle (cheese souffle).
You’ll see kaas (cheese) shops allover Amsterdam and generally most are good. I’d recommend the Cheese Museum for cheese fans, and Kaaskamer for cheese shopping. Now are you a real cheese lover? Then try this cheese & wine tasting when in Amsterdam.
Visit the Moco Museum
The Moco Museum (Modern Contemporary Museum Amsterdam) is an independent museum dedicated to exhibiting modern and contemporary art. The museum was founded in 2016 with the mission of attracting broader and younger audiences, and of making art accessible to the public. Some artists that have been featured: Banksy, Roy Lichtenstein, Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons.
Take a ferry to hipster Amsterdam Noord
Amsterdam Noord is up and coming Amsterdam! Completely different from regular Amsterdam, is all about warehouses, art and bohemian cafes. Go graffiti hunting and stop for lunch or coffee at Cafe de Ceuvel. Then, listen to live music at Norderlicht. To get there take the ferry from the Central station.
Cross the Magere Brug
This white romantic bridge in Amsterdam is different from all others, and is best seen at night. Also, Magere Bruge means “skinny bridge”.
Visit the Flower Market in Singel canal
Browse for tulips, snap some colorful shots, stimulate the senses and finally, buy bulbs to take home. And all right in an Amsterdam canal.
Satiate your sweet tooth with Stroopwafels and Poffertjes
Firstly a stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like filling in the middle. One of the best can be found at Banketbakkerij Lanskroon. Then, Poffertjes are small fluffy pancakes typically topped with butter and powdered sugar. Restaurant De Vier Pilaren has the best. Have both when in Amsterdam!
Best Times to Visit Amsterdam
The best time to visit Amsterdam is between April and May or September and November – right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season. You’ll contend with fewer tourists, you’ll enjoy somewhat mild temperatures (the city’s weather is notoriously finicky), and you’ll also experience Amsterdam as the locals do – at its laid-back best. But if it’s a deal you’re after – and you don’t mind temperatures in the 30 to 40-degree range – you should plan a winter vacation; you’ll find lower hotel rates and depleted crowds at the city’s top sites.
It’s also the ideal time of the year to experience Dutch culture, as the Tulip Festival and National Restaurant Week both occur in April. Unlike the winter months, the temperatures are warm enough for bike rides or comfy strolls through the many markets.
So are you ready for the Dutch culture?
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