Amsterdam – More Than A Stoners Paradise

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.

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 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.

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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.

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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!

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 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.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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”

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 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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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

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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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Lisa Nozaic

Adventure junkie, coffee addict and passionate about travel. "It’s better to look back on life and say “I cant believe I did that” then look back and say “I wish I did that” Follow me on twitter @soul_drifters

28 thoughts on “Amsterdam – More Than A Stoners Paradise

  • December 4, 2017 at 1:35 am
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    Among all the cities that I visited in Europe, one of the three top ones include Amsterdam. I just loved the vibes here. Sadly I did not spend much time here but the one thing that I really wanted to do and that appears in this list was to rent a bicycle and explore around. I did do the cruise and I loved it. I also, want to see those classic museums like the Anne Frank one when I go next. Cheers to Amsterdam.

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  • December 1, 2017 at 2:41 pm
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    Ive been in Amsterdam many times and yeah there is so much to to do! I am not sure if I would feel safe to rent a bike there! It can get really busy there so I am not sure if I would feel safe. Those Stroopwafels looks so good! I can’t believe I haven’t tried them yet! What I always miss is a little trip outside of the city, to see those wonderful Windmills, hopefully next time! And Heineken museum and Bols House are super fun!

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  • December 1, 2017 at 4:15 am
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    Amsterdam looks beautiful. I would really like to hire a bicycle and go around the city. I think that is the best way to know a city. Also, love your pictures especially the windmill one.

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  • November 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm
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    Haha! Tasting and buying cheese in Amsterdam: that’s what I just wrote about on our blog! 😀 We visited almost the same things than you when we were in Amsterdam. Only that it was in winter and it was sooo cold, so we stopped for hot food and hot drinks every hour or so! The indoor canal cruise definitely saved us from the freezing weather! We didn’t see the condom shop (but then again: what for… we’re a married lesbian couple. 😀 ), but we visited the Sex Museum, which was both funny and interesting. Did you go there too?

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  • November 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm
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    Amsterdam is indeed beautiful beyond the weedy café, the only thing I have not done when I visited with my friends was visited the brewery, maybe it’s a good excuse to go back again for another visit. Oh I love cheese and it was haven for cheese lovers!

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  • November 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm
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    I’ve been hundreds of times (no exaggeration!) to Amsterdam and always enjoy myself. No, I’m not a stoner haha, but I love wandering through the city, taking photos, and cycling. I love your suggestions and photos too.

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  • November 27, 2017 at 8:41 pm
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    Your article brings back some good memories. I visited Amsterdam several times and all the things listed here are familiar except renting a bike – I am afraid to ride a bike here. Amsterdam definitely has more to offer than the Red District and coffee shops.
    I also went to Zaanse Schans and it’s absolutely beautiful with all the windmills around, really picturesque. I also bought cheese from here for friends and family as souvenirs.

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  • November 27, 2017 at 7:03 pm
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    I visited Amsterdam many, many times. But my first visit included almost all of this things above. 🙂

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  • November 27, 2017 at 10:52 am
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    I have never been to Amsterdam. It looks wonderful though. Those canals are so picturesque. It would be lovely to explore them at leisure. 🙂

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  • November 27, 2017 at 9:26 am
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    There are so many beautiful reasons to visit Amsterdam! Thanks for collecting it in one post 😉 I will definitely try those Waffles 😀

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  • September 12, 2017 at 1:35 pm
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    We loved Amsterdam when we visited. The Anne Frank house is a must see as well. The boat tours are so fun, we took two!

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  • September 4, 2017 at 4:41 am
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    Thanks for the mini vacation! Great information!

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  • September 1, 2017 at 2:43 pm
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    Omgosh beautiful travel photos! You make me want to visit there. I love the cheese colors and all the nature photos you took.

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  • August 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm
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    Amsterdam is a great weekend destination and best seen by bike which I can see you discovered too.

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  • August 31, 2017 at 7:14 am
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    The photographs are so awesome. Love to explore the place. Some day we will.

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  • August 31, 2017 at 2:01 am
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    Wait what?! 12-15K bikes ends up on canals? How and why? That is surely madness
    That city is one of me on-the-list place to visit. I’m so gonna dig into this cycle fact more haha

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  • August 30, 2017 at 9:06 pm
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    Amsterdam is where all the college students go to visit. It’s not a bad flight from Michigan. I’ve only been to their airport to change flights and will be doing that again in a few months. Too bad I don’t have time to roam around.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 7:25 pm
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    Amsterdam looks like a great place to visit! I think the canals would be my favorite part!

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  • August 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm
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    This looks like really pretty and nice city to visit. I’ve heard about Amsterdam but I’ve never been. I would love to visit one day

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  • August 5, 2017 at 3:57 am
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    Love! Thanks for painting Amsterdam in a much more culturally positive light than the drugs for which most tourists know it for. I visited Amsterdam 10 years back and really loved cycling around the canals – I was not a museum person before, though was really impressed with the range of exhibits Amsertdams museum scene had – safe to say it turned me into a fan! Love Amsterdam 🙂

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  • August 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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    I must admit that it was my number one thing to do (smoke legal weed) when I came there, but my friend pushed the thought out and made sure I saw other interesting things there. Thanks to her, I no longer look at the city that way 🙂

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  • August 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm
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    haha the most interessting title ever 🙂 I just came back from my trip to Amsterdam and I’m totally shocked how beautiful is this city. Before I had similair thought that this is only a city for part lovers. But in fact they offer much more than this. Beautiful museums, interessting architecture, beautiful hotels (for my blog) and good food. I really liked it and for sure I will be back 🙂

    Best,
    Kasia

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  • July 31, 2017 at 3:07 am
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    Whilst it’s easy enough to rent a bike there, it was terrifying crossing roads or even walking on the path due to some cyclists not having much idea about road rules (or breaking, at one point – she ran straight into our outdoor table at a café!). We also couldn’t resist a photo with the iamsterdam sign and a cruise along the canals. I don’t remember seeing any clogs in Amsterdam, but the photos you’ve got are so pretty! We were there in winter, and it was bitterly freezing, but your post has inspired me to go back (preferably in the warmer weather!)

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  • July 31, 2017 at 2:09 am
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    I was just in Amsterdam! The sign was pure mayhem though I managed to get a photo with it. I’m also a little too scared to bike there as it’s crazy and we also witnessed two bicyclists collide with one very injured! Yikes! A lovely city though and I enjoyed my time there.

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  • July 30, 2017 at 11:39 am
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    How on earth do 12,000 bikes end up in the canal? Maybe it’s because they are smoking too much weed!

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  • July 30, 2017 at 9:26 am
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    Amsterdam is such a beautiful city and has so much to offer. We spent 4 days there, but felt it was too little time. The tours to the countryside are so wonderful!

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  • July 29, 2017 at 7:01 am
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    Oh Amsterdam! I am yet to visit this wonderful and super popular city in Europe. I have read and heard so much about Amsterdam that I almost know everything there is to do there hahaha! However, I have never heard about the Condomerie! That sounds like a really fun place to visit 🙂 You look like you had tons of fun!

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  • July 29, 2017 at 6:49 am
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    Such a chilled out colorful city! Would love to visit some day, thanks for giving me so many reasons to look forward to!

    Reply

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