Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands, the primary language is Dutch but many of the citizens also speak English. Known for its cannabis shops and tourist friendly attitude Amsterdam is a highly popular trip destination for people from all over the world.
The climate is relatively warm and pleasant in the summer but for a winter vacation you should bring warm clothes. Temperatures range between 30 and 40 for most of the colder months with very few warmer periods.
The actual city is built around canal’s and railway systems but contains beautiful architecture and design. The oldest part of the city dates back to the early 17’th century and the streets are often paved with cobblestones.
Your Trip. Schiphol Airport, where you will arrive, is located near the edge of Amsterdam. The hotels nearby are clean and comfortable and usually range at around $110 -$150 a night. You can get cheaper rates for booking in groups. If you would have your accommodations closer to the inner city you can get much cheaper prices ($85-$150) but sometimes the room quality is not quite as good.
Restaurants tend to be very expensive ( $40-$80 per person) so for those on a budget i would advise trying out the local Shaorma, Pizza, and Indonesian Take Out which can be found for much cheaper prices while still fitting in nicely with your holiday. Remember when ordering drinks that water is the same price as beer and soda is around .50 cents more. Also if you would like to try regional food try going to McDonald’s and order a Kroket off of their local menu.
Short Guide To Public Transportation. Being a tourist on public transportation in Amsterdam is no easy thing. Stops tend to be short and the spoken language announcing destinations is in Dutch.However if you are brave enough to give it a try and don’t mind missing your stop a time or two it provides a relatively cheap and fast way to get around. Choices are the Bus, the Tram or the Metro which is an underground subway. Before embarking on any of these it is necessary to buy a chip kart. As you aren’t going to be staying forever just buy a temporary one. It will be around $4 over the amount of money you would like on the card and cannot be refilled.
Things To Do:
Personally i would advise that you first take a canal ride through the city. You get to see most of the architecture as well as a guided boat tour for around $20 a person and usually lasts for around an hour. An audio script tells stories about the architecture and the cities history and the boat ride is very relaxing.
Try visiting the Red Light District. Even if you are opposed to the district it is still a must to see the history and lifestyle that embodies Amsterdam.
Next Go to a coffee shop. You don’t have to buy Marijuana, Hash, or any other Cannabis products of any kind but you can get a look at the culture and have a great cup of coffee or tea while you are there.
Hit The Museums:
Anne Frank House: Visit the house where Anne Frank hid and wrote her diary. The museum contains an in depth account of Anne Franks life as well as items and facts from occupied Holland. If you would like to walk, it takes about 20 minutes to get there from Central Station. Admission is around $12 and the museum is open daily except for holidays.
RijksmuseumThis is an absolute must for Amsterdam. The museum contains an astonishing collection of art and history from Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Guided tours come at around $12 but are done in English, French, German and of course Dutch. This has the benefit of giving you additional time to look around while your guide explains in other languages.
Van Gogh MuseumContaining the worlds largest collection of Van Gogh art in the world the museum features his paintings and the history of this great dutch artist. It is situated between the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum so even if you are not a big fan it’s a good idea to visit as it is easy to access and considerably cool. Priced at $12
Stedelijk Museum This is Amsterdam’s biggest museum and features over 100,00 pieces of art. The main part of the museum is actually closed due to extensive renovations but a smaller temporary version is indeed open for viewing.
Other less famous museums include the Jewish Historical Museum, the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, and the Museum Willet-Holthuysen that feature a variety of cultural and historical pieces.
Are you a Beer Fan? If so the Heineken Brewery is for you. One of my favorite places to visit the brewery provides a full tour * comes with beer* and an inclusive history of the brand.
1. While Amsterdam is a fun and culturally active place it can also be very dangerous especially for young girls. Be careful and never leave drinks unguarded.
2. If someone is speaking in dutch to you try saying “Spreekt U Engels?” this is pronounced ” Spraked Eew Ingals?” If they reply ” Nay ” it means No.
3. Remember that while many things are tolerated in Amsterdam it is important to follow local rules and customs.
Brandy Cross, Tourist Guide To Amsterdam, Associated Content