Many believe Amsterdam is the weed capital of the world, some add the city to their bucket list just to sit in a coffee shop and “legally” smoke weed and others label it as their favourite city in the world.
Netherlands is famous for its Windmills, Cheese and Clogs of course! Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, the people are friendly and the city is always buzzing with something exciting going on. The Netherlands capital offers beautiful canals, bicycles in every directions, interesting buildings, beer, museums and don’t forget the Red light district of course.
Amsterdam offers endless things to do and see, here are a few things to add to your check list when visiting the vibrant city:
RENT A BICYCLE AND EXPLORE
There are over a million bicycles in Amsterdam, its hard to imagine that between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles are retrieved from the cities canals every year! Amsterdam is ranked the most bike friendly city in the world.
Cycling is the easiest way to get around, the roads are relatively flat with over 4000km of cycle tracks. Make sure you hire a bike from a reputable store, that you follow the rules of the road and that you have a lock for your bike!
INDULGE IN A WAFFLE OR THE FAMOUS STROOPWAFELS
Netherlands are known for their Stroopwafels made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. I must have had over a dozen stroopwafels while travelling through Netherlands.
SNAP A PIC WITH THE AMSTERDAM SIGN
You will find the I amsterdam sign right outside the Rijksmuseum, it makes a pretty nifty Facebook profile photo and seems to have become quite a sensation with the tourist.
The sign is over 2 meters high and over 25 meters long. There is a bit of a catch… unless you want every tourist in Amsterdam in your profile picture, I suggest getting there early in the morning or late at night.
CRUISE ALONG THE CANALS
I would strongly recommend the canal boat tours. Amsterdam has more than one hundred kilometers of canals, about 90 islands, 2500 houseboats and 1,500 bridges. Cruising along the canals is an awesome way to explore, learn more about the city and see the city from a different angle.
HUNT DOWN SOME WINDMILLS
Netherlands is well known for it’s windmills and you don’t even need to leave Amsterdam to see a part of the this famous Dutch landscape.
There are about 8 windmills located around Amsterdam. (Not all windmills are open to the public, but you can still snap a few pictures from the outside) Zaanse Schans is about 15 minutes by train which is the home of 8 well preserved windmills.
FIND THE PERFECT PAIR OF CLOGS
Clogs is an important part of the dutch heritage, there are over 3 million pairs sold every year. Today they are mainly worn in the rural parts of Netherlands as protective foot gear.
There are a variety of shops around Amsterdam that sells clogs. Zaanse Schans doesn’t just offer beautiful scenery and windmills but also has a clog factory which offers just about every kind of clogs you can think of! Big, small, colourful, plain, wood, glass – you name it! There is even a set of “roller clog skates”
EAT SOME CHEESE AND THEN MORE CHEESE
You cant visit Netherlands and not eat cheese! Try a cheese platters at a restaurant, experience a dutch cheese market or visit a cheese diary. Netherlands cheese history dates back more than 1600 years with a turnover of over 7 billion Euro’s a year. Make sure you try sample some Edam, Leerdammer or Dutch Gouda… delicious!
EXPLORE THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT
Red lit brothel windows, strip clubs, peep shows, marijuana and bars. Yes, prostitution is legal in the Netherlands. The area is hard to avoid being so close to the centraal train station and many popular hotels. You could be just a little curious, attend a show, do some “business” or just be passing through. The area is fairly safe for tourist, just be aware of your surroundings, don’t buy from dealers and watch out for pick pockets. Oh and make sure you keep your camera in your pocket, otherwise there is a good chance that it will end up in the canals.
BUY A SOUVENIR AT THE CONDOMERIE SHOP
The condomerie shop is located in the Red Light District with a variety of strange and interesting condoms. If you looking for a souvenir for a friend or just want to do some window shopping, its worth checking out the shop for a giggle or two.
CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE CROOKED BUILDINGS
Amsterdam used to be full of swampy water before there were buildings causing some buildings to lean to the side, other buildings are built leaning slightly forward so furniture can be hoisted up via the hooks that hang from the top.
HAVE A BEER (OR TWO) AT THE HEINEKEN BREWERY
The brewery is open 365 days a year. You need about an hour and a half to explore the brewery, learn about the beer, the Heineken brand and drink some beer of course. The tour around the brewery is fun and interactive, book tickets online to skip the lines.
VISIT THE COURTYARD OF BEGIJNHOF
Located in the center of Amsterdam, a place of silence and meditation. This is supposedly a hidden spot but since everyone know about it really isn’t a hidden gem anymore but once you cross the entrance you’re in a different world which is cut off from Amsterdam’s traffic noise. The Begijnhof was originally built as a sanctuary for the Begijntjes, a Catholic sisterhood who lived like nuns.
SHOTS AT BOLS LIQUORS
A spectacular journey for all your senses. There are a number of sensory activities throughout the tour, and full of history of the Bols brand. After the tour you go into the cocktail bar and choose a cocktail or you can make your own. You can book your tickets here
A FEW MORE ATTRACTIONS TO CONSIDER:
TAKE A FREE WALKING TOUR as recommended by Normadic Matt
VISIT THE WORLDS ONLY FLOATING FLOWER MARKET as recommended by Flight Network
ATTEND THE TULIP FESTIVAL IN AMSTERDAM as recommended by Trip Hobo
PACK A PICNIC IN VONDALPARK as recommended by The Blond Aboard
WALK THROUGH THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE as recommended by Urban travel Blog
GET YOUR FLOWER FILL AT AMSTERDAM’S BLOEMENMARKT as recommended by Lauren Comrad
Have you been to Amsterdam? Think we missing something? Let us know in the comments below and we will add it to the list.
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