If I could live anywhere in the world right now it would be Amsterdam. I am obsessed with this city and the people who live there. All the buildings are so beautiful and unique. It’s great how you can rent a bike and tour the whole city in under a day. Also, I’m not going to lie I love how everyone who lives there is beautiful, blonde, and tall. I’m 5’10 and I just really think I’ve finally found the place where I belong. All kidding aside (sort of), here are just some of the many reasons why I am obsessed with Amsterdam.
WHAT TO DO
Wander the canals
I loved getting lost in the streets of Amsterdam filled with beautiful canals. The city is so compact and a lot smaller than I imagined it to be but that’s what made it so great about getting lost in; you would eventually find your way back to some historic landmark. If you do visit Amsterdam I encourage you to walk around the city for the first day just to get the feel and sense of the city.
You can also rent a little peddle boat to tour the canals which I highly recommend, it was so much fun. Just try not to get lost because I don’t think Google Maps can help you get back.
Once you get a feel for the city then I would definitely encourage you to rent a bike. Even as someone like myself who doesn’t usually bike in cities, this was the absolute best way to get around and the most convenient. Just be careful of the locals as they are pros and they will run you down.
Check out a market
Amsterdam has a few weekly street markets that are great if you want to check out cheap local food and cheesy souvenirs. I went to the Albert Cuypmarkt market with some friends and it was great. There were so many stands filled with everything you could ever want.
One of the most famous parks in Amsterdam, Vondelpark is a great place to explore. Either tour on feet or grab a bike and cycle through the 120 acres of beautiful scenery and landscape.
Explore Dam Square
Dam Square is one of the most well-known squares in the city and holds many public events. Many high-end retail stores can be found in this area along with other shopping options.
Just a heads up, in Amsterdam you will find coffee at cafés and that other thing at coffee shops. I went to one coffee shop called Dampkring, which fun fact, was featured in one scene from the movie Oceans 12.
WHAT TO SEE
Van Gogh Museum
Honestly, I am not much of an arts person myself but I would still recommend checking out this museum. Van Gogh had a very interesting life story and it’s fascinating to see how these events impacted his art throughout the years. Something you might find disappointing is that some of his most famous pieces are not actually in this museum but are actually featured in other museums around the world.
Right across from the Van Gogh Museum is the Rijksmuseum and the iconic I AMSTERDAM sign, which is always crowded with tourists but still fun to see.
Or you can hangout with friends in the park area between both museums and have a picnic and people watch.
Anne Frank House
Definitely buy your tickets online in advance if you’re planning on visiting the Anne Frank house on your trip to Amsterdam. You can still go and wait in line after 3pm but you’ll most likely have to wait for a couple of hours. I did this, and decided to go around 2pm to try and avoid some of the lineup and I think I still had to wait almost 2 hours before I got in.
WHERE TO EAT
Unfortunately, I did not get to try very many restaurants as I had hoped to in Amsterdam, but here are some that stood out to me:
De Carrousel Pannenkoeken
This place has the best pancakes ever; they are ginormous. They were so good that I came back twice. If you’ve never tried Dutch pancakes then I highly recommend you do. The restaurant is really cute and in the center of it is a carrousel. The food is very good and decently priced. This restaurant is in a super convenient location as it is close to the Heineken Experience and fairly close to the Rijksmuseum.
My friends and I stumbled upon this place one day as we were searching for food. I really enjoyed the food here and the ambiance was adorable. All the food looked great but the lamb burger was amazing.
This fast food chain is quite notable in Amsterdam and is fairly unique. Basically, it works like a vending machine. You decide on what you want to eat and then put in your coins and grab your burger out of the slot. Obviously, it’s all fresh and made in restaurant. You can also order fries and drinks at the front counter.
This was another good restaurant in Amsterdam. It’s rather pricey but it’s known for its steaks. The ambiance is very nice but it does fill up quick so either make a reservation or get there a bit early.
THINGS I DIDN’T DO BUT WISH I DID
The Heineken Experience
This interactive experience gives you everything you need to know about the famous beer company. There is also a tasting room to try some samples. Buy your tickets in advance because it was a very long line that I unfortunately didn’t have enough time to wait in.
One of the most well-known arts and history museums in Amsterdam. Right across from it is the Van Gogh museum if you are wanting to check out both. I didn’t have time to do both museums so I picked Van Gogh but I still think both are worth checking out.