Read this post to know how I spent my time in Amsterdam and find out the amazing reasons to visit Amsterdam
I Amsterdam. I am so excited to write about this trip as this is one of the most requested blogs so far, so with a sense of great responsibility I shall begin… hope you will love this as well.
“Show me how to party(O gujariya from Queen)…is this the song that comes to your mind when you think of Amsterdam? It is perfect! You are expecting just the right thing and trust me you will get far more and far better version of what you watch in the video…
Amsterdam is not only about the red district but much more. You will see beautiful architecture, eat yummy stroopwaffles, shop till you drop and will live your self to the fullest. All this really depends on the kind of area you are staying in. Fortunately, I chose the perfect area and had a wonderful time in Amsterdam. I will cover the rest in ‘Where to stay?’ section. Also, before I forget to mention it. I met Mr. Obama here, ya ya..Mr. Barack Obama. He was here for a meeting and we just happened to bump into each other.
The entire story is later in this blog..stay put! ;P
Amsterdam has many districts and each district has a different lifestyle. This place is full of life and the culture is amazing. It is so for all age groups as long as you are open-minded.
This country can cater to all kind of people. The key to enjoying your trip is the choice of the area you choose to stay in. Don’t worry I ‘ll help you out :D.
The best thing about Amsterdam is that there are many free walking tours available and you will love all of them. Check out those later in here…
And, like always I have a small video to show you, this is how I enjoyed my time in Amsterdam
You will read about the following topics in this post:
Amsterdam Attractions (Top 10 things)
Where to stay in Amsterdam
Hotels in Amsterdam
Weather and Time in Amsterdam
More about Amsterdam!
In this section, I will discuss the top 10 things to do in Amsterdam and will do so area wise just so that you can plan your trip easily. 🙂
1. Canal Cruise
Take lovers boat for a 1-hour ride to see this amazing city. There are more options available which offer rides for more duration. Look at the map below. Blue and green lines show the routes of two different boat companies. Redline is for the hop on hop off bus. As you must be knowing, they take you to the popular attractions, you spend some time there and take the next bus to the next attraction. Boats also give this option. It is a good option if you have limited time in Amsterdam as you will cover all the main areas in a single day.The water is a little dirty but you cannot miss a canal ride if you are in Amsterdam. So, do go for a ride. Online bookings are always better. There are different packages available. If you want to book 2 or 3 attractions, you save!
Dam Square is actually a square surrounded by monuments, shops, cafes, restaurants, entertainment etc.. This is the heart of the city. You need at least 2 days to check out all the attractions in Dam Square and it’s neighbourhood.
So this is a world war II monument. Every year on 4th May a ceremony is held here in remembrance of the dead. All around the pillar are various figures representing suffering, resistance, peace, victory, new life and more. You can sit here, do whatever you like. There are no such restrictions.
Apart from this, this is the gathering point for many walking tours..will come to it soon.
3. Royal Palace
Royal Palace is the only palace in the country. It is still used by the royal family and is also open for visitors to enjoy the interiors and history. Plan your visit according to the calendar as the palace is shut for the public during the royal events.
You will find many people dancing, singing and in different get-ups to raise money around the palace.
There is a story behind this picture. I clicked this picture when I was a little far from him. When he realized this, he was after my life to drop a few cents in his glass. For a moment I thought he will run after me, LOL. However, I managed to escape but you don’t make that mistake.
4. Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds is right next to the Royal Palace. This is the view from the top floor and if you look closely then you will see the tram lines on the road as well. Yes, Amsterdam has trams. I really like those.
If you love taking photographs then this is your dreamland. Make funny poses, think out of the box, take numerous pictures and make stories as I did! You will easily spend 2 to 3 hours here depending on your capacity to click pictures…
There are hardly any Bollywood/Indian stars inside but Mahatma Gandhi. You might not know many statues inside but still, you will enjoy. Definitely, buy tickets online and get better prices and access to fast-track entrance as well. Book tickets a day before at least. The price will be approx 19.50 euros. If you book 2 or 3 attractions together, you will save!
This is stupid, LOL…
Hritik didn’t make the cut but Jaadu sure did. And I had to rescue him from other tourists.
Then Charlie Chaplin was thinking, where is Jaadu hiding…
She is Anne Frank, a Jewish wartime diarist. Many girls in that time in Amsterdam maintained a diary but this girl was different, different because of what she wrote. Her father made efforts after the war to get her work published and he succeeded, the work is admired by many and many movies were also released on her work. Her work was considered literature and she was only 13 when she wrote it!
As I said initially, I had a meeting with Mr. Obama. ;p Ms. Anjela Merkel happened to join us later. Lol…
There are many more such amazing statues in here for you to create many wonderful stories.
5. De Bijenkorf
Look at the above picture and see the building on the right. This is for all those who are looking for luxury brands. It is open from 10:00 am to 09:00 pm.
This is a 5-floor house to almost all the luxury brands in the world. Floors are divided category wise like the ground floor is for make-up and handbags. The prices are better than that in India.
4th floor has a tax free lounge which refunds all the tax that you have paid while shopping in this building. There are two options to get the refund, either to your credit card or by cash. But there is a catch, if you want cash back then you get less than half of the estimated amount as they charge some fees. So better is to get it transferred to your card. But you don’t get it then and there. They give you a receipt and you have to show it at the De Bijenkorf counter at the airport and then drop the stamped receipt in the nearby drop box. If you don’t then your refund will be not be transferred to your credit card. So make sure to deposit the receipt. You get it back in approx 10days.
5th-floor has a world-class food court for you to cherish high tea and pastries.
Just next to Madame Tussauds is the busiest shopping street in the capital. It has a variety of shops and food joints from McD to Pandora. You will see brands from different parts of the world.
I really liked Stradivarius. It has all kind of products from room decor items to slippers, bags etc. Forever21 is also nice and unlike India, it has a large collection for men. You will also find a food joint here that offers fries with mayonnaise..The same that you got in Brussels. And, in case you missed that blog then check it out here.
There are approx 200 shops. There is no toilet on the entire street. It is a long street mind you but makes a note that you will find 1 toilet on the 4th floor of McD. :D, I am a saviour, isn’t it? And yes, this street has a McD with 4 floors! One more toilet is at the end of the road but it is hard to find, so keep a bladder check while shopping.
You will also find these lovely flowers midway down the street.
Before you think I am showing you this image for the clock tower then let me tell you I want to highlight the shop at its bottom – Heinen Delfts Blauw. It is the end of the street and is most famous for Delft blue pottery. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about it then. I found about it on my way back to India…
It is one of the best streets in Amsterdam, right behind De Bijenkorf. This should actually top the list of “Top 10 things to do in Amsterdam”. You will find the following stuff in this lane: – Multi cuisine restaurants – Adult shops – Cheese shop – Supermarket – Bars – Coffee shops, almost all the things that will need is available in this lane. You must try stroopwaffles, Cheese and Chocolate almonds when you are in Amsterdam. Talking about the adult shops, there is one must visit the shop here and it is called CONDOMERIE. I think I should show it to you instead of writing about it. So check out world’s first condom specialty shop.
You will find many walking tour groups outside this shop, explaining all the things…
You will enjoy this street so don’t miss it. There are many bachelor/ bachelorette parades going on the street off and on with fun t-shirts, slogans etc.
8. Red Light District
Ok so first a few points to remember
– Don’t go alone here, go in a group and walking tour will be the best option to choose.- Amsterdam is not only about the red district, it is just a small part of Amsterdam. – Strict no-no to photography, please don’t try to click any lady’s pic. They are really strict about it.
This area is nearby Dam square and becomes lively around 11 pm. There are many attractions like peep shows, strip club, sex theatres, erotic museums etc. All this was about Dam Square and its neighborhood. Just to remind you that so many above mentioned things are there in this district.
There are many museums in Amsterdam, to name a few,
If you want to visit only one museum then visit this because you will find I AMSTERDAM symbol right outside this place. It is at the back side of the museum.
It is near the above-mentioned museum. It has world’s largest collection of Vincent’s work. You should book your tickets online. The ticket is approx 18 euro/adult.
Anne Frank house
As I mentioned earlier, this girl is famous because of her dairy. You can visit her house, tickets are approx 9 euro/adult. The tickets have to be purchased online if you are visiting before July 2018.
You can check out the places where she used to hide during world war II, her work and illustrations etc.
Here is your chance to know as much as you want about your favourite drink. People under 18 yrs can visit the brewery but will not be served beer. Try and avoid visits on Saturday as it is one of the busiest days of the week.
In case you miss your tour on the scheduled day then you can come back within 7 days to redeem the ticket.
There is also a VIP tour option for visitors but it is expensive, approx 55 euros/person. In that tour, you get 5 beers, snacks, personalized gift and a guided tour of the brewery.
This is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the capital. I was short on time so I couldn’t visit this place but you must not miss this. Anne Frank’s house is in this area and “The Nine Street” is here- *The shopping street*, you will also find some good restaurants here.
This is one of the biggest markets in Europe. Though this is not the greatest market but is the largest flea market. You will not get bored here easily. You will get all kinds of stuff here, from food to jewellery to clothes. It is a daily market, except Sundays. The opening hours are from 9am – 5pm.
You can check out this guide to the market. This is not something must visit types but if you are going for the Heineken tour then you can visit this as well.
There are many more amazing places to see in Amsterdam, just don’t stop here check out solo travel Amsterdam…
There are many free walking tours organized by various companies, most of which originate around Dam square. You get most of the details through city tour guides available at the hotel. Every company has a particular umbrella color, which you will find with the guides.
You can check out the following sites for booking the free tours:
By now you must have realized that most of the attractions are within walking distance from the Dam Square. So, it goes without saying that stay close to the square. You will save some time and money on transportation. The area is happening and is the heart of the capital.This pretty lane is just next to the Warmoesstraat and is house to many decent hotels.
Hotels in Amsterdam are expensive, especially during tourist seasons. So try to book rooms early. The room size will be compact.
There is this pretty restaurant on this street. It has a good street view like you can see in the side image. We ordered soup and fries and it was yummy authentic thick tomato soup.
If you want to spend time in the quieter part of the city then prefer to stay in Jordaan.
Hotels in Amsterdam
1) FRANCE HOTEL
The hotel is very close to the Dam square, just on the lane shown above. The rooms are small but can be adjusted with.
You will get free breakfast in the restaurant, adjacent to the hotel. The one decorated with the balloons in the picture. The Dutch are really punctual so if you are even a minute late for breakfast then don’t expect to have one.
The breakfast is simple, you will get bread, butter, jam, chocolate spread etc and a couple of non-vegetarian options.
The image with the bags is the actual image of the room. You will get basic things in the room like safe, an electric kettle and a heater.
The room rate is approx Rs. 20,000/ night.
2) NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
This is a better option than the above-mentioned hotel. It is right in front of the National Monument. The hotel has spacious rooms are good breakfast options.
The room rate is Rs. 30,000/ night.
Euros are used in Amsterdam, 1 Euro ~ 80 INR (March 2018)
Weather and Time in Amsterdam
August is the hottest with the temperature around 17 C and January is the coldest with the temperature around 3 C.
So July and August are the ideal seasons for the trip according to the weather. According to shopping sale session, January and July should be your target months.
Amsterdam follows GMT+2. India (GMT+5.5) is 3 hrs 30 mins ahead of Amsterdam.
Some more things in Amsterdam!
– You will find this one of a kind rickshaws here.
– This is Amsterdam central station, from where you board and deboard trains.