Some people think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom most people find sin – John Green
Amsterdam is one of the most visited places in Europe, so where better than to kick off my new post on “Top Picks”. This will be purely on my opinion, and maybe helpful to some. I fell in love with Amsterdam, sadly I was only there for 2 days but I can’t wait to go back and see more which I missed out. There is more to it than the obvious and I have only scratched the surface. So lets get started…
Population – – – Approx 800,000
Country – – – Netherlands (or Holland)
Language – – – Dutch, however most speak English as their second language
Currency – – – Euro (EUR)
Climate – – – Both winters and summers are considered mild, although occasionally quite cool. Summers are moderately warm but rarely hot. Cloudy and damp days are common during the cooler months of October through March.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
1. Ride Bikes
We had a guided tour around the canals with Mikes Bike Tours. Our guide gave us a quick lesson with managing Amsterdam’s busy streets and allowed us to see the city in ways we wouldn’t have been able to ourselves. Don’t attempt to ride a bike on your own in this city unless you’re confident, and by confident I mean you’re willing to risk getting in the way of cycling Dutch commuters. There are more bikes in Amsterdam than people, and you don’t see many cars for this reason.
If you are lucky to do a tour with Mike and the gang, they will take you to Vondelpark and give you a little history lesion however if cycling isn’t your thing you are free to wander around. If the weather is fine, take a picnic and enjoy the peace and quiet. In summer its filled with locals, so you can experience the city in a way that they will.
3. Anne Frank House
This is a give in, sadly I didn’t visit it as I ran out of time, but it is on everyones list when visiting Amsterdam and it is on mine too! Embrace history by actually visiting the house of one of the most famous diary writers in modern times. Make sure you buy a ticket online and you visit early, or late afternoon to avoid queues.
4. Canal Cruise
This is a great introduction for first timers. A Canal Cruise is the best way to experience Amsterdam, and also quite unique. Often called the Venice of the north, Amsterdam has a range of canals flowing through. You can see the quirky crooked houses, a floating flower market, motor under low bridges all in a canal barge. Some cruises include dinner which is a wonderful way to top off an evening.
5. Red Light District
No visit to Amsterdam is complete without taking a peek at the red light district. Some may shy away from the windows however this is part of what makes the city a wonderful place. Make sure you have your camera hidden and don’t even attempt to bring it out. You won’t be leaving with it if you do.