With its lovely canals, awesome architecture and over 1,500 bridges, Amsterdam is definitely Venice of the North! The city is big and Amsterdam deserves more than one day to travel. Well, also after you see the old brick buildings, get to know the rich history, take a bike tour and of course get the Amsterdam "vibes" you will never want to leave this cool city! With its old center you can take a canal tour, do some shopping, visit the coffeeshops and have an "interesting" time in the Red light District, in the Canal Ring -which is on UNESCO World heritage list- you can have an unforgettable night in the clubs, in the Jordaan area you can visit art galleries and so much more. So Amsterdam is for every taste! I will try to explain where I have been in Amsterdam as long as I remember since a little memory loss is required in here. :) So let me listen Hardwell aaand here is your "wasted" guide for Amsterdam!
The answer is EVERYTHING but let's chill a little at the beginning. A bike is a must have in here -since it is some kind of tradition in here- to travel inside the city but you can always walk or take the tram. If you want to take the tram and staying more than 1 day, you should better get an OV-chipkaart which is a public transportation card. You can get this card from the GVB vending machines in all metro, tram stations, some shops or the desks in the central station. I stayed in Rotterdam -which is also another cool city in the Netherlands- for a little over 6 months with an exchange programme and OV-chipkaart was always handy since I don't know how to ride a bike... (I know, hush please) OK, so first historical places, since Amsterdam is one of the most incredible historic city centers in Europe with about 7,000 registered historical buildings (A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) !
Dam Square is an ultimate city center, where you can find Nieuwe Kerk (translated as New Church but it is from 15th Century). This lovely church was used for royal coronations, royal weddings, today it is no longer in use but a nice exhibition center. Oude Kerk (translated as Old Church and it was built in 1306) is located in The Red Light District :) and the oldest of the five main churches in this historical area.
And since I already mentioned The Red Light District, let's talk about it. This District is located on the south of the central station and consists of several lovely canals and side streets. It is the oldest part of the city. This area is covered with lot's of security cameras and policemen, so don't try to take a photo or video in here because first of let's don't be rude and second of all there is a high chance of getting your camera taken away from you. So better be safe than sorry, in every way in here. You can see sex shops, peep shows, and window prostitution in here. But of course, you can enjoy the bars and restaurants which is located in here. Also, the best coffee shops are located in this Old City Center area.
The canal tour is a must in here. You can take either The Canal Bus which is 20 Euros for 24 hours, Lovers Canal Cruise for 15 Euro for an hour, Amsterdam Boat Guide which is a private boat tour or Amsterdam Jewel Cruise to have a lovely dinner which starts around 7.30 pm and lasts 3 hours but I have to say you better be proposing your girlfriend or something because this is not a cheap tour. You can also always rent your own boat in here.
Koninklijk Paleis is an active palace used as the Royal Dutch House. You can get to know the rich history, enjoy the amazing interior and have an audio tour in here. And in Hermitage Amsterdam, you can get the enjoy amazing art, exhibitions, and activities in here and since we started talking about museums...
Since it is an amazing place with a rich history, museums have a great value in here. Rijkmuseum has an amazing Rembrandt collection and also other famous Dutch painters paintings such as Frans Hals or Johannes Vermeer. You can get to see over 1 million artwork in this amazing museum! Van Gogh Museum is located right next to the Rijkmuseum and is an ultimate tourist attraction. As you can understand from the name, in this museum you can find Van Gogh's best works, biography, paintings but not only Gogh, you can also find paintings from Monet, Manet or Matisse. Another must visit place is the Anne Frank House, if you are interested her story about Jewish Holocaust. I advise you to read "The Number of the Stars" by Lois Lowry or her diary before visiting here. And just for the heads up, it is a little bit crowded place. Also, don't forget to check out the Amsterdam Museum and other cool galleries listed in the activities below!
First of all, please avoid the fast food shops in the center because they tend to be a tourist trap. But don't worry, there are a lot of great place to devour food and have a happily full stomach. When it comes to vegan foods, Amsterdam has the coolest restaurants. The hip Dophert, MKZ, Meatless District and Mr. and Mrs. Watsons offer the best vegan foods in the World. You have to check them out. For international cuisines, Indoor Food Hall is waiting for you and of course, you can find all kind of restaurants in De Pijp! If you are into Mediterranean kitchen, you have to check out Mezebar Bodrum. And of course, after a night of heavy drinking, you can heal your liver in Zest for Life with raw food and detox juices!
In Amsterdam, you will enjoy the green in everywhere. The best places for that are of course the Vondelpark, Amsterdamse Bos, and the Museumplein. You can simply lay in the green grass and travel into another universe (if you know what I mean, virtual wink wink).
If you want to sip your cocktail or let loose, Amsterdam also offers amazing nightclubs or bars! The nights in Amsterdam are amazing and the music is fantastic. No wonder why we have all those famous Dutch DJs. The most famous places are The Sugarfactory (club, live music, theatre meet), Jimmy Woo (a club that you can bump into celebrities), De School (which is a former school and now a club -what a good use of an old school :)-), AIR Amsterdam (the BEST dance club), Trouw (club, restaurant and art space)and De Marktkantine (music with a DJ, food and a theatre)!
If you are not done with having fun, here are some other activities that you can enjoy. The Amsterdam Dungeon is a 80-minute journey that you can "enjoy" the "horrible" history of Amsterdam with real actors, storytelling and scary shows! Or you can enjoy a -let's face it pretty painful but fun- time with your friends (or get your revenge from your friend who smokes the most of your weed) at the Paintball Club in Amsterdam!
So if you want to visit Amsterdam, find your inspiration on itinari now!
My name is Alara Benlier, I am Turkish but currently living in Germany! I share my experiences in Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands!