If Amsterdam had a superpower, it would be shapeshifting. The vibrant city can be anything you are looking for; a romantic cityscape, a cultural learning experience, or even a weeklong party!
You canal-ways count on Amsterdam for a good time!
Here’s a Pro-Tip: The weather in Amsterdam can be quick to change. To avoid being caught wet without an umbrella, you can download the weather app Buienradar; a local staple.
Schiphol Airport (AMS) is the city’s main international airport located about a 20-minute taxi or rideshare ride from the city centre. The train takes about the same amount of time while the bus is a bit longer at 35 minutes. Schiphol is one of the largest hubs in the world so ensure that you plan for plenty of time when returning to leave.
Amsterdam Central Station is the main train station in the city for those who are travelling via train. The city’s public transportation is very easy to navigate; however, cycling is the name of the game in Amsterdam. Supposedly there are more bikes than people in the city! You can easily rent a bike from a company or even your hotel.
Here are some of my most memorable experiences in Amsterdam:
Tours – There are many tours that you can take which are an amazing way to see the city and its features. I recommend:
- Windmill Tour – a fun way to explore the land and the historic windmills
- Secret Garden Tours – Explore some of the lushest gardens hidden behind the houses along the canals. You can arrange to add tea or a picnic to your experience.
- Canal Tours – Float down Amsterdam’s famous canals while taking in the beauty of the city
Windmills traditionally kept the North Sea at bay
- Rijksmuseum – A museum of the fascinating history and art of Amsterdam.
- Van Gogh Museum – Featuring more than 1400 wonderous works of art by the Netherlands native, Van Gogh.
- Stedelijk Museum – A unique bathtub-shaped museum containing modern and contemporary art.
Beyond these three, there are many museums and galleries throughout the city that are certainly worth a visit. The Anne Frank Huis, the Street Art Museum and Museum van Loon are some of my favourites.
Amsterdam plus April equals tulips!
The culinary scene in Amsterdam is quite varied; a solid reflection of the multicultural city’s history as a trade hub. Although there are not many places for traditional Dutch fare, you can certainly find some classic “must-try” dishes such as patatje oorlong, Dutch herring and of course, stroopwafels around the city. Of the many brilliant places to eat, here are some of my top-picks:
- Restaurant Floreyn – This restaurant offers typical Dutch recipes, deconstructed and reconstructed and modernized into a delicious, light seasonal menu.
- De Kas – An all-encompassing greenhouse restaurant serving a thoughtful menu of fresh dishes comprised mostly of ingredients grown on-site. The modern and airy atmosphere is the icing on the cake!
- Stork – This delightful fish and seafood restaurant offers a free ferry ride across the River IJ where you can enjoy your meal on the banks.
A stroopwafel a day means my taste buds can play !
Here’s a Pro-Tip: If you are having a hard time deciding where to eat, check out Foodhallen; an indoor food and beverage market serving a wide variety of flavoursome high-end street food.
Amsterdam’s nightlife is famous for a diversity that is inviting to everyone. Leidseplein and the Rembrandtplein are the main areas to experience the nightlife scene. From quaint old-fashioned ‘brown-cafes’ to the Red Light District, I really mean it when I say that there is something for everyone! Here are my personal favourite stops:
This gives a whole new meaning to “window shopping”!
- Brouwerij ‘t IJ – Located next to the De Gooyer windmill, this small brewery offers tours and tastings of their organic, seasonal, local beer. This is an awesome space to enjoy a boozy afternoon.
- Supper Club – This is a one of a kind club where you lounge on beds while dining, drinking and enjoying eccentric burlesque shows.
- Melkweg – A non-profit cultural centre that doubles as a versatile live music venue featuring cinema, theatre, dance and art shows.
Here are my recommendations of where to stay in Amsterdam:
- The Hoxton – This centrally located option offers chic rooms, rental bikes and a lovely restaurant and bar.
- Hotel De L’Europe – A luxury stay with elegant rooms, Michelin starred dining and a heavenly spa.
- Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy – For the lover of art and culture, this creative and fun hotel even has swings in some of the rooms!
My time in Amsterdam is always full of smiles and laughter! In a way, it feels like home to me. Perhaps because ofall of the smoke Clouds!