Amsterdam is a vibrant and welcoming city with so much more to do than spend time in coffeeshops.
I spent a couple of days in Amsterdam with Jemina and we managed to do a lot in a short space of time. Here are a few things we did to make the most of our trip:
We decided to take an early morning flight to Amsterdam so that we had the full day ahead of us upon our arrival. We also made sure to book a hotel close to town – we stayed in XO Blue Tower Hotel which is only 15 minutes from the town centre.
Travelling around in Amsterdam was very simple thanks to the numerous trams and buses running throughout the city. We bought a 48 hour GVB ticket for €13.50 which gave us unlimited travel on public transport. You can also get passes for more days– it all depends on how long you’re staying for.
In order to familiarise ourselves with the new surroundings, we decided to book a walking tour.
A walking tour is a great way to start your trip as it helps you to get your bearings. It’s also a great way to learn about the cultural and historical significance of the places around you.
We booked with a company called Sandemans. This company allows you to pay your tour guide however much you believe the tour was worth. Whilst it would probably be frowned upon, there is actually no requirement to pay anything at all!
Make sure to get plenty of recommendations from your tour guide – as locals, they should know the area pretty well.
Our guide kindly gave us a list of his favourite places to eat and different activities to do nearby.
Anne Frank House
I personally think the Anne Frank house is a must see if in Amsterdam – it was one of the highlights of my trip and provided an unforgettable snapshot into the life of a young Jewish girl and her family during WW2.
Tickets are only available online and they sell out pretty quickly. Do not worry though, as additional tickets are released online on the day from 9:00am.
Good food is a priority for me when travelling and I always jump at the opportunity to sample the local cuisine as a way to experience the culture.
Some famous Dutch foods include Herring fish and Stroopwafel: a sweet caramel filled treat (which goes great with tea). Surinamese and Indonesian cuisine are also very popular in Amsterdam and add more variety and flavour to the local cuisine. We visited a Surinamese restaurant called Waterkant in the centre, recommended by our tour guide. This was probably the best meal of the trip- roti with masala chicken and potato.
There are lots more things you can do in Amsterdam, especially if you are there for more than a couple of days.