A weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. It is known for its beautiful canals and typical house facades.

It was my third time in this very special city and I am ready for the fourth! Dutch people are very welcoming and polite.

Here are my tips on what to do in Amsterdam:

  • Stroll through the beautiful canals, like Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. The canal from Leidsestraat to Vijzelstraat has the most magnificent stretch of canal houses. The bridge on the corner of Reguliersgracht with Herengracht has an unique view over the other bridges and canals. Renting a bike is always a good idea!
  • Visit the Van Gogh Museum and learn more about his life. I find very interesting how you can understand his feelings from the paintings.
  • Visit the Rijksmuseum, where you can find Dutch art from the 1200’s to 2000’s.
  • Visit modern art museums like Moco and Stedelijk. We really enjoyed Moco!
  • Visit the famous Red Light District, locally known as de Wallen (at night, preferably). There is one very important rule: don’t photograph the girls or someone will be very upset. I have a mixed feelings about this place. Although know as the oldest job in the world, I find hard to see young girls prostituting themselves. Well, it’s their body and they can do whatever they want with it, I know, but at least they are in a confined space and they look safe.
  • Swing above the city at A’DAM Lookout. It costs 12.5€ to go up plus extra 5€ to go on the swing. I really liked it and the view is amazing!
  • Check the Hortus Botanicus, one of oldest botanical gardens in Europe. Opening hours may vary with the season. You can check it here.
  • If you fancy walking tours, the one by Sandemans it’s pretty good (and free). It has a duration of 3 hours.
  • One of Amsterdam’s biggest highlights is the Anne Frank House. The tickets are only available online and they sell out quickly. They are released exactly 2 months in advanced and some are released at 9am on the day.
  • The Netherlands are famous for the windmills. Zaanse Schans is a typical Dutch neighbourhood full of windmills and beautiful houses. If you have a spare morning/afternoon, it’s definitely worth visiting. It takes roughly 45 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal and there are many transport alternatives, like trains or buses. Google Maps works very well in Amsterdam to look up for transport.
  • Westergasfabriek is a cultural centre with loads of independent shops, galleries and trendy restaurants.
  • De Pijp and Jordaan are my favourite neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. Worth strolling through its narrow and cozy roads.
  • Nevertheless a tourist trap, Bloemenmarkt is still worth a visit if you like flowers and tulips. It is also a good place for souvenirs.
  • My favourite shop/restaurant ever: Pluk Amsterdam.
  • 27 of April is the King’s Day is the Dutch national holiday and also a massive party throughout the city.
  • Many people travel to The Netherlands in late April/early May to visit Keukenhof to see the tulip fields. There are better and free tulip fields you can visit, like around Keuknhof, cycling the Flower Strip (Route from Haarlem to Leiden), Bollenstreek and Lisse tulip fields (Achterweg-Zuid, Essenlaan, Loosterweg Zuid and Zwartelaan).

Where to eat:

Amsterdam is full of nice restaurants and places to eat. I have made an intensive research about where to eat and here is a massive list of places. (I have just been to the first 8 on the list)

  • Foodhallen – a venue full of nice places to eat and drink. Often very crowded on weekends.
  • Happy Happy Joy Joy – amazing Asian restaurant famous for its coloured baos
  • Wil Graanstra Friteshuis – considered the best fries in town
  • Omelegg – for egg lovers
  • Stork – affordable fish and seafood
  • Febo de Lekkerste (famous burger vending machines)
  • Polarberry – the best chocolate shop! The cake lollipops and the Belgian chocolate covered strawberries are a must!
  • Ree7 – very tasty red velvet pancakes
  • Van Wonderen Stroopwafels – best stroopwafels in town!
  • Moeders – typical Dutch food
  • Rob WigboldusVishandel (typical herring sandwich)
  • Jacketz
  • Nam Kee/ Nam Tin
  • Hap Hmm
  • De Taart van m’n Tante
  • ‘t Kuyltje (sandwiches)
  • Thrill Grill (burgers)
  • De Pizzabakkers
  • Café Lennep
  • Oriental City
  • La Falote
  • Juice Albert Heijn
  • Yumisushi
  • Gs Jordan
  • Proeflokaal Arendsnest
  • Fromagerie Abraham Kef
  • Leeman Döner
  • Mama Kelly

Where to stay:

  • Volkshotel
  • Hotel QO Amsterdam
  • Ibis Amsterdam City West – clean, cheap and with a big variety of transports to the city centre.

I hope this post inspires you to visit Amsterdam!

Love,

Mafalda

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