Amsterdam is known for its art, nightlife and unique architecture, but there’s much more to this city! There’s so much to see and do, but it’s still a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or for a short vacation! Amsterdam is great as you can travel with friends and have the time of your life or also go on a romantic weekend, visiting its picturesque streets and canals. What I guarantee you is that you’ll have unique experiences and memories to share later on! This is the place to be if you want fun, great views and the good vibes of a sustainable city.
You don’t even have to worry about transportation as the city’s public transports are very efficient and you can bike or walk to all the main places.
Amsterdam is such a versatile city that I decided to divide this post into sections, so you can decide better how you want to organize your journey 🙂
Art museums are great, but Amsterdam offers much more than those to the ones who visit the city
When thinking about Amsterdam museums’, people normally think about art ones and there’s nothing wrong with that as great art museums are located in the city (like the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum). However, there is much more to explore!
For me, the number 1 museum is the Anne Frank Haus! This might seem a cliche, but this place represents an important part of humankind history and its so important to learn Anne Frank history and to pass it on so it doesn’t happen again! It was so amazing to see the attic where her family hid during those horrible times, all the photos and the reports from that period. For me this is a must see in Amsterdam!
Close to the Anne Frank Haus there is the Homomonument, a monument dedicated to homosexuals that died from being persecuted. I find this very curious, as it was the first city where I ever saw a monument dedicated to the Homossexuals. I think this is a great reflection of how open-minded this city is.
Do not worry if you’re not into art or cultural museums! There is more to offer! As a cheese addicted one of my favorite places (if not the favorite!) was the Amsterdam cheese museum! I know this sounds crazy but this museum is a cheese shop where you can try all the kinds of cheese they have and they have hundreds of them! You can also learn how the cheese is made and the culture attached to it. This is a great place for cheese lovers and also to buy some souvenirs!
If you’re thinking a cheese museum is weird enough just wait for it….
The weirdest one I visited was the Red Light Secrets (prostitution museum) , located on the famous Red Ligth District. The museum is quite small, but you’ll have a great time understanding this matter better and you’ll have some fun with it!
Another interesting place you can explore is the EyeFilm Museum, which stores all the movies produced or ever exhibited in the Nethedlands since 1946. I didn’t went inside this one, but its architecture from the outside is outstanding. Close to it you have the A’DAM Lookout which I’ll talk about later on.
For beer lovers I advice the Heineken experience and if you’re interested in different museums you can also visit the Torture museum or the Sex Museum. For flower fans you can visit the Tulips museum close to the Anne Frank Haus.
Amsterdam is known for its fun, right? So, as you can imagine there’s a lot you can do at night in this city! You have the famous Red Light District with its famous windows and all its bars and restaurants, but there’s much more to do!
From the night activities I did I have to say there were 2 special ones: iceskating in front of the Rikjsmuseum with all the Christmas lights and the Ice Bar! The Ice Bar was an unique experience and if you want to do it you have to book it in advance! This bar goes literally with the name: you have a common bar, but then you are invited to wear a lot of winter gears, like thick gloves and jackets and you go to a bar made out of ice and even your seats are made of ice and drinks are served in ice cups! I only lasted 5 minutes in that ice area, but it was an unforgetabble experience with friends!
If you want to go for a night walk and find a good bar for you I advice the Spuistraat street or the Leidsplein area. They have an amazing vibe and a lot of life at night!
Try what you can only try in Amsterdam
Well once in Amsterdam you have to have certain experiences! I must say I had planned to try a lot of different things, but I endend up just trying the famous Space Cakes! What I can advice you is to try a small portion first, as it takes almost 2 hours to the effects to show up! And what an experience! Make sure you’re with people you trust or somewhere friendly cause you might loose your connection to reality for a while ahah For the braver ones you have a lot of kinds of magic mushrooms with different kinds of “side-effects” and “experiences”. If you ever had any experience let me know! I had such a fun with this and I had a blast with friends!
Amsterdam is the perfect place to simply go for a walk and get lost in amazing streets and squares while being surrounded by pictoersque architecture and beautiful river canals!
You can visit some of the most beautiful places by walk or simply rent a bike! These were my favorite places:
The night streets I mentioned above are also great places to walk during the day, the streets have an amazing architecture
The best views
The best view in Amsterdam is for sure the one from A’DAM Lookout. This incredible tower located near the EyeFilm Museum has 360º degrees views over the city, an edge swing, a skybar and much more! It’s a great place to go for a cocktail or just to see the city views.
Another great view is from the tower of Westerkerk church, located close to the Anne Frank Haus.
1 day trip so Bruges in Belgium
If you have an extra day in your journey you should not miss the Belgian city of Bruges. The architecture here is so so beautiful and you have amazing castles and museums like the chocolate museum ( a must to see!).
A great city for a day walk and to explore all its markets and quainte corners!
If you want to reduce your hotel budget, stay on the other side of the river bank instead of staying in Central Amsterdam. There are free boats all day crossing the river and you are in the center in 10 minutes walking. I stayed at the Clinck Noord Hostel and the location/price couldn’t be better.
If you’re thinking to go to the Anne Frank Haus, I highly reccomend you to book your tickets online, to make sure you can visit it on the day you want. Many times they are sold out!
If you have time do a river boat on the city canals, it’s such a beautiful experience!
If you love pancakes the Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis is the place to go. This is an unique place with an amazing decoration and probably the best pancakes you’ll ever eat! Perfect after a day of walking around the city!
As you can see Amsterdam has a lot to do, but at the same time can also be great for a 2 days escape to explore one of the most beautiful places in Europe.
On my next post I’ll talk about sustainability in the Netherdlands and give you some tips for the most sustainable accomodations and restaurants in Amsterdam!
Stay tuned and keep travelling to the green!
Patrícia Mano Ahmad
Travelling to the Green