Updated: Apr 8
Amsterdam, The Dutch Capital is famous for its liveliness and nightlife and unique Canal system. I have been to Amsterdam twice (in June 2016 and for celebrating my birthday in Oct 2018) and Aoon had been there three times( in Mar 2016, during his 32 days Euro tour in 2017 & Oct 2018).
We have experienced almost all the weather and flavors of this vibrant city of Europe Amsterdam is a type of city which we want to visit again and again without getting bored.
How to reach To Amsterdam:
The Amsterdam Airport Schiphol offers both domestic and international flights to and from Amsterdam. You can check your flights on Skyscanner.com.
Amsterdam is well connected with a Train. From Germany, you can take Deutsche bahn to Amsterdam. From Belgium, you can take SNCP to Amsterdam. From France, you can take the SNCF train to Amsterdam. We would suggest to check the tickets on Omio.com (provide the comparison between different mode of transportation and Train services).
Almost all the well reputed Bus companies offer their services to Amsterdam. We would suggest you a Flixbus as their services are more reliable and it’s also cheap and mostly punctual. (provide the comparison between different mode of transportation and Bus services).
By Own Car:
We had always been driving to Amsterdam(from Germany) for all the trips as it's a highly convenient and enjoyable experience to drive the car in an unlimited speed zone in Autobahn and mesmerized by the beautiful scenic beauty of Dutch lush green fields and windmills.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam:
We have stayed in different localities in Amsterdam. For two times, we had stayed in the outskirts of the city to avoid the hustle of traffic and parking issues. Amsterdam is a safe city and well connected with local transport so you can find many different options according to your price range.
Amsterdam also has Unique concept of b&b (Boat & Breakfast) where you get the chance to stay in the boat which also has all the necessities like a comfortable bed, Toilet and Terrace to enjoy the beautiful view of the canal. You can also book a Botel which is a fixed hotel in Cruise Ship.
Finding cheap parking in Amsterdam is quite tricky and challenging especially in the city center (it’s really expensive). Before booking the hotel or Air bnb check with them if they are offering parking facilities.
How to commute within Amsterdam:
The City offers a very efficient public transportation system and all the areas are highly accessible with Public Tram or buses. To avoid the traffic and parking issues in the city we had parked our car in the hotel and commuting within the city with Trams.
The City center of Amsterdam needs to be explored by foot. There’s a surprise in every street of the city and walking by the Charming canals of Amsterdam is an experience.
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Amsterdam is a highly friendly Bike city and to explore Amsterdam by bike is the way of Locals. Everybody has a Bike in the City and they are using their bikes for Commuting.
There are uncountable bike rental service providers but nowadays their business has got affected due to E-Bike which allows you to unlock the bike with the Mobile App and ride it how much You want. It's more expensive than the bikes offered on rent by different providers but that’s how you can avoid the bike scams and hustle of returning bikes to the renter company.
Don’t walk on the Cycle Pedestrian, the local Cyclist gets very aggressive and angry. Sometimes, they pass by using harsh words or pushing you if you are on their track.
During our trip, we had rented a Scooter for a day for € 30. That’s also a pretty nice way to explore the City center and Neighborhood and other surrounding villages like Zaandam and Zaanse Schans.
Be Aware about the company from where you are renting a scooter and also investigate the condition of the Scooter being rented as we had a pretty bad experience which ruined our trip back to Amsterdam from Zaanse Schans.
Amsterdam has local ferry service which is the way of communication from City center to Amsterdam North. You can take the Ferry from the back of Amsterdam Central station. As we went to Zaanse Schans with the Scooter, we took the Ferry to go to the other side. The Ferry is free of cost and used by locals everyday for commuting. Click her to Check the Ferry timings.
10 Things to do in Amsterdam:
The best way to start exploring the city is from Amsterdam Central Station. It’s located in the Center of the city.
1. Dam Square:
The Dam Square is the most crowded Town Square of Amsterdam and located near the Amstel River. The Square is linked with the main streets of Amsterdam and always packed with people whether it’s day or night.
Mostly, the street performers are performing and gathering the huge crowd and receiving appreciation from the tourists. The famous Royal Palace of Amsterdam is also located in the Dam Square.
2. Amsterdam Canal Ring:
The Amsterdam Canal has a golden history of 400 years and used to be known as Grachtengordel. The Canals are flowing parallel and in some areas the Canals are intersecting waterways. The surrounding of the Canals have beautiful and colorful flowers which enhances the beauty of the Canals.
The historical Old town of Amsterdam is located around the Canals with typical dutch style houses and all the famous landmarks are also situated near the Bank of these Canal Rings. The Amsterdam Canal Ring is also a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
3. Cruising in Amsterdam Canals:
To Experience the Canal Cruising is a must activity to do in Amsterdam. There are uncountable Cruise operators with their booths on the Bank of Canals. The Cruise Costs between € 15 to €20 and the tickets are mostly available on spot.
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The Cruise takes a tour to all the connecting Canals with a guided tour explaining the historical importance of the Amsterdam landmarks on the bank of these Canals. You can also rent a private boat and enjoy the exclusive experience of cruising in the Canals.
3.1 Festivity in Amsterdam Canal Ring:
a. King’s Day:
Every year in End of April, the locals and tourists are celebrating the King’s Day in which the City turns into Orange and people are floating in the Canals.
b. Light festival:
The Light festival is also held every year in Amsterdam in which all the Canals have decorated and lightened up with beautiful Lights.
4. Museums in Amsterdam:
4.1 Van Gough museum:
One of the most Significant Artists of Western Art was Van Gough. He was a Dutch and spent his life in different parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and Paris.
He had created 2100 creative pieces composed of different Landscape, Still life, Portraits and Self-Portraits. The Museum has exhibited the Master Art pieces including his own Self Portrait.
The Museum has a long waiting Queue for the tickets. The best would be buying the Ticket Online and saving your time. The Ticket costs € 19 and if you like to know more about the MasterPiece of the collection of Van Gough you can also opt for a guided tour which provides rental devices for € 5.
The top Museum to visit in Amsterdam is Rijksmuseum located at Museum Square in Amsterdam. The Museum is the National Museum of Arts and History in Amsterdam.
The Ticket costs € 19 and if you want to have a Multimedia tour with a Rental device, it costs € 5 extra.
The Famous Landmark of IAMSTERDAM is Behind the Museum near the pond.
4.3 Anne Frank house:
The Anne Frank house is one of the must places to visit in Amsterdam. It’s a 17th century house located near the bank of Canal. The house was a reminder of Nazi persecution on a Jewish families during WW II. Anne Frank along with her family hid in the House during Wartime. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive. She documented her experience in her Wartime Diary which was published in 1947.
The Anne Frank house has been open for Public since 1960 and exhibits the life story of Anne Frank and what she had been through during Wartime. The Ticket costs €12.50 and it’s highly suggested to buy Ticket Online.
5. A’dam lookout:
In order to get the 360 degree View of Amsterdam, the A’dam lookout is the best place. It’s an observatory deck from where you can see the Landmarks of Amsterdam and the surrounding places.
For the Adventure lovers, you can also experience Europe's Highest Swing from the Edge of the deck to the swinging over Amstel River. The Deck also has a Lavish Cafe to enjoy your lunch and favorite Cocktails.
6. Vondel Park:
What locals do in Amsterdam during Summer? To get the relief from Daily hectic life,the local gathers in VondelPark with their Family and friends and enjoy their evenings. The Park also hosts a lot of Parties and festivals throughout the Year.
7. The Nine Streets (De Negev Straatjes):
Amsterdam is famous for its narrow Nine streets which intersect the Canals between Leidsestraat and Jordaan district. These streets have uncounted Cafes, Restaurant, Art Galleries and shopping outlets brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc in P.C. Hoofstraat. The Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat are the two streets with more affordable Local brands like Zara, H&M, Esprit etc.
8. Cafes in Amsterdam:
As the soft drugs are allowed in the Netherlands, the City is famous for its Cafes who are selling weed and the most famous Space Muffins. The Cafes are located in the narrow streets near the canals and in the famous De Negev Straatjes of Amsterdam.
9. Amsterdam Red light district:
The General Perception about the Red light district that it’s not safe at all but Amsterdam Red light district has a very friendly environment. Amsterdam is considered as one of the most tolerant city when it comes to prostitution and Soft drugs.
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The Red light district has more than 300 windows in which Women are standing and displaying themselves under Red Neon lights. There are three Red Light Districts and the most famous is located inside the city center. Apart from this, the district also has lots of sex toys shops as well.
The Rembrandtplein is one of the main squares located just a few miles away from the Amstel River, the Square has a very lively nightlife with lots of Bars and Clubs. There are also live performances by the street artist in the square.
One of our favorite Clubs to enjoy the nightlife of Amsterdam is Escape Club located near the square. There are different stages and best for EDM lovers.
Restaurant in Amsterdam:
The restaurant is located on a great location in the heart of city Center at Museum Square. You can try some excellent Dutch Food in the Restaurant with great Ambience and services.
The best restaurant in Amsterdam to find the Authentic Indian taste is Kohinoor, The restaurant has an excellent location with good ambience, it’s quite near to Anne Frank House. The quality and serving of food is just impressive.
Other Recommendations to do in Amsterdam:
Every year, in the month of April the whole country of Netherlands welcomes the Spring season and hosts the Tulip festival all over. The Tulip fields near Amsterdam also turn into Tulip heaven and the must Tulip fields are Kuekenhof.
It’s a real Dutch village located around 20 km away from Amsterdam. You can either Cycle or rent a scooter from Amsterdam and spend a few hours over there. There’s also a frequent connection of the train from Amsterdam Central Station to Zaanse Schans.
Things Not to do in Amsterdam:
1. Be careful It’s highly prohibited to take photographs or film the women standing in the windows in the Red light district. The women often get very aggressive if they find you taking their pictures.
2. Be aware of the Pickpockets in Amsterdam red light district.
3. Don’t buy the drugs or anything even a Bicycle from the Dealer else you might find yourself in trouble.