Europe has many beautiful cities that need to be on everyones wish list. Don’t try to squeeze them all into one itinerary though. Visit one or two (maybe three) at a time, and plan to come back. Of all the cities to visit, Amsterdam has to be on everyone’s bucket list. The locals are proud of their ‘greatest of small cities in the world’. Having completed my formal education in this city, I’m excited to share some insider tips.
“Gezellig” in a nutshell
There’s no direct translation for the Dutch words “gezellig”. Closest might be “cozy”. Amsterdam is about that feeling. It’s the personification of tolerance and diversity. Everybody here is welcome, nothing is too crazy. Every visitor comes here to experience Amsterdam’s reputation of being liberal, first-hand. Add to that the charm of elegant houses and the enchanting canals, and you’ll understand why everyone wants to come to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is synonymous with romantic and beautiful. The canal system is world famous. A trip along (or through) the canals is a must for every visitor. There are canal cruises to explore the Amsterdam’s waterways. The better deals are a little further away from the Central Station. If you love history and architecture you’ll find inspiration in the inner city. The city is also known for soft drugs and prostitution. Nothing to be giggly about, in Amsterdam both of these things are a fact of life that have their place.
The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum are very popular. Amsterdam has over fifty museums! Don’t skip the popular Anne Frank House, which is a ‘must-see’ in Amsterdam. The coffee shops in Amsterdam are not your typical North American coffee shop. Coffee shops here sell small amounts of cannabis. The coffee shops are not allowed to cater to anyone under 18 and beyond 5g. If you need nothing more but a cup of coffee, a bakery of cafe will do. Don’t miss the authentic bike experience, and yes, helmets are for tourists. There’s an estimated over one million bicycles in the city.
Places to Sleep
Amsterdam has a huge amount of lodging options. You’ll find everything from luxurious hotels to budget hostels all over the city. Some of the hotels worth considering in Amsterdam include:
The Park Plaza Victoria Hotel: Across the Amsterdam Central Sation, near Dam Square. You’ll be centrally located in Amsterdam, steps from Sexmuseum and St. Nicholas Church. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of National Monument and Madame Tussauds.
Hotel City Garden: Located in the heart of the city. The warm and cozy hotel promises tourists a near-home experience. You’ll be minutes from Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Concertgebouw and Diamond Museum Amsterdam.
NH Center Amsterdam: This stately hotel is next to the Vondel Park, near Leidseplein and Museumplein. You’ll be centrally located in Amsterdam, steps from Holland Casino and DeLaMar Theater. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Melkweg and Leidseplein.