Amsterdam is a city full of hidden gems and surprises and unless you visit it, you can not find them. We will try to cover a top 10 best things to do while you visit Amsterdam
10. Canal/bridge photography
You can’t say you have been to Amsterdam unless you have a photo to prove it. On a canal bridge with a bicycle on the background and you are set
9. Eat the famous Belgian Fries
Thick French fries, which are not French, but also not Dutch, they are called Belgian but it’s a Dutch traditional food. Confusing, right? This is less important. The best thing about those fries is that you can have a portion with over 30 types of sauces to dip in.
Or maybe you would like to try the fries with the Dutch version of the sauce, a combo of peanut sauce and onions.
8. Have a walk on Red Light District
For some people this might be a taboo but you can’t visit Amsterdam and not pass by Red Light District called also De Wallen. Here you can find gorgeous lady’s and ladyboys sitting behind a window and selling sexual fantasies.
7. Enjoy Heineken Experience
A 4D experience inside the Heineken Brewery where the most famous beer of the world is made. You will get two beers for free while touring
6. Take a boat cruise on one of the many Amsterdam canals
With a starting point from Central Station, many boat cruise companies will float you on the main central water canals. You can choose from basic 1 hour cruise, pancake cruise, dinner cruise and so on
5. Eat a herring like the Dutch
Once a week the Dutch has as an immunity boost a raw herring with onion and pickles
4. Visit Van Gogh Museum
One of the most visited museums from all over the world, Van Gogh museum will not leave you dissatisfied if art is one of your passions. At the museum you will find a gathering of the best paintings of Vincent Van Gogh
3. Go the Zaanse Schans
This are not in Amsterdam, but they take power of the main attractions to visit. Located next to Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans are historical windmills next to distinctive green wooden house
2. Peep show?
If you are not easily offended and you are over 18 years old, just for fun, go in Red Light District to a live peep show. Viewer discretion it’s advised
1. Have a bite from one of the food stalls in an old tram depot
Handmade products by Dutch sellers, art, over 30 stalls of different kitchens where you can spend your cryptos; this is called De Hallen and worth a visit.
Although Amѕtеrdаm mау be famous fоr its rеd lіght district аnd іtѕ friendly ѕtаnсе on mаrіjuаnа, іt’ѕ also hоmе tо rеnоwnеd museums, рісturеѕԛuе саnаlѕ, and a rісh hіѕtоrу. Whіlе budget-friendly hоѕtеlѕ аbоund, Amѕtеrdаm also hаѕ grаnd hоtеlѕ іdеаl fоr a luxе gеtаwау. Sо іf уоu’rе рlаnnіng a posh trір аnd need a place tо ѕtаrt, уоu’vе соmе tо thе right рlасе. In nо раrtісulаr order, here are thе top рісkѕ fоr luxury іn Amѕtеrdаm.
Thе Pulіtzеr ѕіtѕ оn an аttrасtіvе ѕtrеtсh оf оnе оf Amѕtеrdаm’ѕ most gracious canals, five mіnutеѕ’ walk frоm thе Annе Frаnk Hоuѕе аnd оnlу twо оr thrее more tо thе Rоуаl Pаlасе оn thе Dаm. The hоtеl runѕ thrоugh 25 different buіldіngѕ, bеtwееn twо mаjоr canals. It іѕ a delightful wаrrеn of раѕѕаgеѕ, ѕtаіrwауѕ, ѕuddеn ореn ѕрасеѕ, wіth mаnу аn оrіgіnаl fеаturе іntасt, but wіth a frеѕh, соntеmроrаrу аtmоѕрhеrе. Rooms соmе іn all ѕhареѕ аnd sizes. Many hаvе fіnе саnаl vіеwѕ, аnd аll соmе wіth a роttеd hіѕtоrу оf whісhеvеr саnаl hоuѕе уоu find yourself іn. Mоdеrn аrt frоm thе hоtеl’ѕ collection fіndѕ іtѕ wау іntо thе rooms, tоо, аnd соlоur ѕсhеmеѕ аrе muted раѕtеlѕ and gоldеn bеіgе wіth luѕсіоuѕ touches оf lіmе, уеllоw and рurрlе.
Juѕt a ѕtоnе’ѕ thrоw frоm the Amѕtеrdаm Hіltоn, this property іѕ еԛuаllу аѕ nоndеѕсrірt on the exterior. But excellent ѕеrvісе аnd еlеgаntlу mоdеrn rооmѕ keep the ѕmаll hotel in residential Old Sоuth Amѕtеrdаm оn the five-star list.
Amѕtеrdаm’ѕ new ѕtаr hоtеl іѕ lосаtеd in thе grаnd 17th century canal раlасеѕ оf the Hеrеngrасht. Bоаѕtіng a historical exterior соmрrіѕіng ѕіx monumental 17th and 18th century dоublе-frоnt саnаl раlасеѕ and featuring a unіԛuе grand staircase buіlt bу the аrсhіtесt of Lоuіѕ XIV, Dаnіеl Mаrоt, thе Wаldоrf Astoria Amѕtеrdаm hotel оffеrѕ sophisticated соmfоrt and unраrаllеlеd ѕеrvісе. Thе hotel hаѕ 93 spacious rooms and ѕuіtеѕ оvеrlооkіng thе сіtу’ѕ саnаl оr thе соurtуаrd garden.
Lосаtеd іn a 19th-сеnturу building аlоng the canals, this іѕ оnе оf thе mоѕt іntіmаtе рlасеѕ tо ѕtау іn Amsterdam. Twо magical suites, which look out оvеr the 17th-сеnturу Prіnѕеngrасht on the front оf the рrеmіѕеѕ аnd offer breathtaking views of thе саnаlѕ, саn bе rеасhеd bу tаkіng thе оаk staircase. Thе ѕаmе ѕtаіrѕ аlѕо рrоvіdе access tо seven, spacious suites аnd rооmѕ with a view of thе Pаtіо. More lіkе pieds-à-terre thаn hоtеl rooms, each has a ѕіttіng аrеа and cushy tоuсhеѕ ѕuсh as сuѕtоm-wоvеn Wеlѕh blаnkеtѕ.
Perhaps thе Rоуаl Suіtе оf thе Sofitel The Grand Hotel Amѕtеrdаm lооkѕ familiar tо you… It was used in the Hollywood movie: Oсеаnѕ Twelve. Thе Rоуаl ѕuіtе is about 100 ѕԛuаrе meters аnd nеѕtlеd on the tор floor оf thе hotel. It hаѕ its own terrace wіth a view on thе courtyard аnd furthеr has: a bathtub wіth TV and walk-in rаіnfаll ѕhоwеr, Hermès amenities and a рrіvаtе сlіmаtе соntrоl. A brіеf lіѕt оf thе рrеvіоuѕ fаmоuѕ guеѕtѕ: Michael Jасkѕоn, Gеоrgе Clооnеу аnd thе Brаd Pіtt.
Sеt іn thе heart of thе Jordaan, thе cultural centre оf Amѕtеrdаm, Cаnаl Hоuѕе is a 23 bеdrооm boutique hоtеl аlоng thе Keizersgracht, lосаtеd іn a соllесtіоn оf ѕеvеntееnth century mеrсhаntѕ’ hоuѕеѕ. Thе dеѕіgn іѕ glаmоrоuѕ, соntеmроrаrу and соmfоrtаblе but rесаllѕ the rich history оf the buіldіng аnd the surrounding аrеа. Wіth a large garden, Gаrdеn Hоuѕе аnd Summеr House fоr рrіvаtе gаthеrіngѕ, Bаr and Great Room, there are рlеntу оf ѕрасеѕ to drink, rеlаx and celebrate.
Walking down the canals especially in the Red Light District area you will be approached by many people asking you if you want any kind of hard drugs. Under any circumstances don’t accept anything what they offer you. Even the dutch city hall and the police brings awareness to tourists every year through big signs all over the city about the danger of those substances. Many tourists fell in the trap of those sellers and lost their lives.
9. DON’T WALK TOO CLOSE TO CANALS
Because Amsterdam is the home of 165 canals and 1281 bridges there is everywhere danger of falling in one of the canals. If you had a bit too much to drink or you are passionate to shoot the perfect picture over the bridge beware of the canals around you. Not only few times tourists had to be saved from the canal’s waters. The Netherlands has the law that all children have to learn to swim from a very young age due to many canals in the country. Some adults have a special swimming diploma which require them intervention if they see someone drowning.
8. DON’T WALK ON BICYCLE PATH
There are three very well defined paths of a street in The Netherlands: pedestrian path, bicycle path and car path. The bicycle path is also used by scooters with a blue licence plates. Because the bicycle path is not often seen in many other countries, tourists tend to overlook it. This is a very dangerous thing to do because there is 1 bicycle/local in Amsterdam only. Yes, Amsterdam has around 850.000 residents and around 850.000 bicycles. This fact makes The Netherlands the country with the most bicycles/capita. Many bicycles are used to relieve traffic jams and because of the small streets from Amsterdam centre. Take care where you walk so you do not end up thrown away by biker, because hey! the bicycle path is meant for bicycles only.
7. DON’T TAKE PHOTOS OF GIRLS IN THE WINDOWS
In the Red Light District you can walk on the canal and side streets and see the sex workers in the big windows with red light waiving and inviting you in. This place in Amsterdam is legal and regulated by the government which bring rights and obligations for the sex workers and the tourists as well. One of them is that you are not allowed to take a picture of a girl who sits behind a window in Red Light District, because her privacy might be breached with lately massive online posting. If you still do that you risk to get your camera destroyed and lose all your beautiful shots you did until then. Better just enjoy yourself and keep a live memory and let your friends come to see for themselves this worldwide known place called Red Light District or De Wallen.
Read more about Red Light District
6. DON’T RIDE A TRAIN/TRAM/BUS WITHOUT A TICKET
In Amsterdam public transport is considered having a pretty high price. For €2,90 you can ride the tram/bus for one hour or you can choose for a 24 hour ticket for €7.50. The tickets are mostly bought from the tram/bus itself but some stations now have ticket machines where you can buy from. If you did not pay for a ride and the driver saw you he will call you out and all attention will be on you; I am sure you would not like that. If a ticket check is performed and you don’t have a valid ticket, you will pay a fine of €50. Better use this money to visit a couple of museums and eat an apple pie, right?
Read more about several ways of how to get tram/bus tickets
5. DON’T MISTAKE COFFEESHOPS WITH COFFEE HOUSES
In Amsterdam, marijuana and related products are tolerated for personal use. You will find weed or hash for sale in a shop called coffeeshop. It’s actually like a cafe-bar but instead of alcohol you can buy weed and smoke it. You need to be over 18 years old to be allowed in a coffeeshop and you will be screened at the entrance; don’t forget to have a valid ID with you. Places like Starbucks and Coffee Company are called cafes or coffee houses.
Read our Top 5 Amsterdam’s Best 2017 Coffeeshops
4. DON’T FORGET YOUR UMBRELLA
You wake up in your cosy hotel room, open the blinds and the sunshine hits your just awaken eyes giving you the best feeling in the world. That’s how Amsterdam’s weather is. For the next 5 minutes. Got’cha, right? Holland’s weather is pretty unstable and you can’t rely on. Now you will have the beautiful sun smiling at you, and in the next half an hour rain is pouring like a waterfall. Then again, you must take out your sunglasses from your bag because sun still doesn’t want to give up, and shines again. Due to its location, The Netherlands has by default a moderate maritime climate with high humidity.
3. DON’T ACCEPT FOOD/SMOKES/DRINKS FROM STRANGERS
Amsterdam is a safe city, well protected and organised and with many implemented rules. Amsterdam is full of friendly people, but not all of them are as friendly as they want you to see. When you go out to a bar, club or a party always take care of your glass and don’t accept any open drinks from someone who you don’t know. This only if you don’t want to wake up in a side alley with your wallet and money gone. Don’t accept any cookies “to taste” from anyone, better buy your own unopened pack from a shop.
2. DON’T SEPARATE FROM YOUR LUGGAGE
You remember to take all necessities for a whole week to spend in beautiful Amsterdam. You managed to arrive safely and even the flight company didn’t lose it this time. Now that is in your possession again you must take care of it very well. From the airport to the hotel don’t lose sight of your luggage because you can get robbed of it and you will have to spend your whole holiday in one pair of clothes. Very important, always take care of your luggages and be aware of pickpockets in busy areas.
1. DON’T HANG “LOVE LOCKS” ON THE BRIDGES
Weekly the city hall of Amsterdam removes tons of locks from all the bridges around the city. To hang a “love lock” on a bridge in Amsterdam is in particular a very bad thing because the iron locks damages the bridges. The iron locks are heavy and the bridges are built to support a limited amount of weight. The bridges are part of UNESCO heritage and are protected by dutch law.
EXTRA POINT – DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN
The goal of this article was not to scare you, but just to remind you to be more aware of your surroundings and to avoid unpleasant situations. The last DON’T is definitely “Don’t forget to have fun”. Amsterdam is a wonderful city with many hidden gems and secret places; just do your research and I am sure you will find the best spots where to enjoy your wonderful vacation.