- Flew Transavia which costs 52 Euros from Paris (I also got the express option with reserved seats and luggage so it was a bit more expensive),
- Landed at 10pm to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
- Since arrival was late — check out the nearby smoke shops.
I absolutely loved where I stayed in A’DAM. I chose to stay at House of Amstel which is an apartment style condo right in the city center, with the perfect view of the canal, healthy amount of food options and ‘coffee shops’ downstairs. The room had one large bed, a very spacious bathroom with a stand-up shower, and a small kitchenette with a Nespresso machine and mini-fridge. We were greeted on arrival by the hotel manager who even contacted us through Whatsapp to make sure we arrived okay. The doors of the building were always locked and felt very safe.
Price: $508 Euros for 3 nights for 2 persons (we went in March).
Optional buy: GVB pass which allows you access public transportation for a certain amount of time. You can get discounted rates for all day passes. Check it out here!
However, if your hotel is located in central Amsterdam (anywhere within the first ring) I would suggest just walking everywhere (that’s what I did). Personally I felt Amsterdam to be pretty safe, even as we walked around late at night. At night you see the crowd change from those going and coming from work on their bikes to more of a party environment; from people who are enjoying a smoke from a ‘coffee shop’ to those drinking at bars. Amsterdam is party central any day of the week so it became pretty normal to see by Day 2!
- Anne Frank House (9 Euros)
- Book in advance and pick a time at: Anne Frank Museum Ticketing.
- Make sure to be at the museum at the time of your tour, they don’t give refunds or allow you to go in at a different time unfortunately. Also, if you choose not to reserve a ticket and time you’ll find yourself waiting to get in from anywhere from 3-5 hours!
- I really enjoyed this experience, it was really interesting seeing Anne Frank’s story come to life and truly understanding the hardship that she went through. This experience even influenced me to go ahead and read Anne Frank’s Diary after leaving.
- Have lunch at Pancakes Amsterdam and try a traditional Dutch Pancake
- Located conveniently right next to Anne Frank house. Check out the Menu!
- I prefer savory over sweet so I chose the ‘Goat Cheese Pancake’ and added chicken, and seriously loved every single bite.
- Walk over to Anne Frank Statue
- On the way grab some Curry fries or fries with mayo which are famous in Holland
- Look around Jordaan District
- Personally, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for at Jordaan, so I would have preferred a walking tour. However, I did notice the leaning houses along the canal were very prominent here. Why are they on a tilt you may wonder? Well, it’s simple: just old wooden poles which are sinking into the ground unevenly causing the houses to lean on each other. But so long as they’ve got each other, then they’ll stand for now.
- Visit Vondelpark to the IAMSTERDAM sign
- Get your photography on here! You can climb and frolic on the IAMSTERDAM sign! Also a great location to relax after a long day of sight seeing.
- Van Gogh Museum (17 Euros)
- A’dam Lookout (17.50 Euros: 1 Regular Admission to observation deck and 1 ride on swing)
- For those who want some thrills while visiting, this is a swing that sits high above a building so you can take in some views. There’s also a small museum as well as interactive elevator experience.
- Night Canal Cruise (16 Euros)
- This is on a relatively large boat. You’ll be listening to the history of Amsterdam through headphones. If you’re interested in a relatively cheap tour of the canals check it out. I wasn’t a big fan of this experience. I felt it was not very personal and honestly I could hardly hear the pre-recorded tour tape through the headphones.
- Red Light District
- This is a must see! It’s literally a tourist central so you never feel like you’re going to get mugged or in a shady place. It’s packed with people glowing under the Red Light windows. You’ll notice post people are there just to take a glace, however I did mange to see some group of guys trying to indulge. The funniest part was seeing the result of an interested guy trying to purchase a girl – they can either get a couple hours of fun or just get straight up rejected.
- Something to remember: NO PICTURES in this area, especially of the girls. I wouldn’t suggest trying it..
- Royal Palace
- Better to buy tickets online and do a self guided tour, unless you’d prefer a historical tour (I found them to be a little pricy).
- Small Boat Tour with Those Dam Boat Guys (25 Euros)
- I thoroughly enjoyed this canal tour over the generic ferry style tour from the night before. Honestly, if you have to choose between the two I would go for this one. This tour was a small boat with a maximum of 10 people on board. The tour guide was amazing and very informative giving us lots of historic background, not to mention he was hilarious! You’re also allowed to bring your own drinks on the boat (bottle of wine, beer, you name it). If it’s a colder day like it was for me, they provide blankets! If it’s rainy they put a plastic tarp on top of the boat, unless you don’t mind getting a little wet 😉 (we opted for this option).