You know you’re in Amsterdam when the first thing you see are picturesque canal views and randomly walk past inappropriate window displays. I love this city! Mainly for the architecture, such pretty buildin, but also because of all the canals. Cities with lots of water are the best! The whole laid back culture and trendy fashion scene also bring loads of character.
As you know from my previous post, I went on a mini cruise to Amsterdam with P&O Ferries and Bonkers Bingo. We only had six hours in total to explore this wonderful city. We managed to fit in a lot to be honest so it was a well day spent. Here’s what we got up to and what I recommend you do to if you ever visit.
Take in the Scenery
Amsterdam is so pretty! Just walking around it for hours is enough to feel like a well spent day. It’s not very big so you can easily do this in one day and find areas you like the most to come back to for further exploring. Obviously a photo on one of the many bridges is necessary. Like, have you even been to Amsterdam if you don’t?
If you’re not keen on walking, rent a bike to get around quicker. Just be careful though, cyclists in Amsterdam are ruthless. If you’re in their way, you’ll hear about it and don’t expect an apology if you do get run into.
Visit a Market
Amsterdam has a lot of outdoors markets. Some are open every day, others only certain days so it’s wise to look this up before going. They have food markets, clothes markets, tulip markets, flea markets and vintage/retro markets. Everything for everyone. I love the look of all the tulips. It’s my favourite flower and in Amsterdam they look extra pretty. I’d like to go to a tulip farm next time I’m in Holland!
Amsterdam isn’t known for high street shopping. In fact, I can’t remember seeing many mainstream shops in city centre on either occasion I’ve visited. What Amsterdam does have though are a lot of independent shops and plenty of retro and vintage stores. I like shopping when I’m abroad, it makes the purchases feel extra special.
We only went to one retro shop this time, ‘Retro & Chic’, and that was enough. I found this pair of shoes and it was love at first sight. I did think they were too expensive but hey, I only live once. They fit perfectly when trying them on so home with me they came.
Visit a Museum
Like I said, I’ve been to Amsterdam before and on that occasion I visited the Anne Frank museum. It’s definitely one you don’t want to miss out on. Buy tickets in advance as the queue gets long outside and continues inside so make sure to plan in enough time here.
If you like photography, the FOAM museum is amazing! Quite small but they have really cool exhibitions.
For a laugh, this time we went to the Sex museum. Again, a short queue to get in and finally in, it was very busy. We skipped a couple of things as the queues were too long. If you’re prude, perhaps this place isn’t for you. It’s all good fun though and only €5 entry!
You guys know I love fries. I like to try them in all new restaurants I go to and I even have a jumper with a fries logo on. I don’t like chips, they’re too thick and soggy, I want thin fries and preferably double cooked. Dutch fries are thicker but they know how to cook them well so they’re nice and crisp. Their mayo is different as well, more egg yolk. They have so many variations of it as well, like mustard, curry, peanut and many more. You’ll find fries places on more or less every street in Amsterdam. We got ours from Mannekenpis and they don’t lie saying they’re no 1 in Amsterdam. Look at these cones – I want some more right now! A medium cone full is only €4ish.
Go on a Canal Cruise
Amsterdam is built on canals so a canal cruise is the perfect way to get around the city and learn more about its history and architecture. I already knew about the houses having hooks at the top of the buildings in order to lift in furniture through the top window. I did learn that the reason for some of the houses leaning slightly outward at the top is to make sure that the furniture won’t swing and hit the wall going up. Previously I just thought those houses weren’t very well built. I also learnt that the Amsterdam buildings are so narrow because back in the day, the wider a house, the more tax you had to pay. Building on height and depth gave more space for a cheaper price. Clever Dutch people! An hour long cruise costs €11.
The best way to end a day in Amsterdam is by chillaxing in a cosy pub. I love how small the pubs are in Amsterdam and how none look the same! Buster’s which we ended up in felt like we’d walked into someones living room or kitchen. Only four tables but plenty of beer!! I love lagers and European countries always have a better selection of them than most English pubs. I can highly recommend Leffe and Duvel.
Have you been to Amsterdam? Have you got any other tips for future visits of mine?