A town most commonly known for its red light district and legal cannabis, a visit to Amsterdam’s beautiful streets and winding canals will show you that it has so much more to offer.
Making my way out of Amsterdam Centraal Station I was immediately hit with a unique blend of rich history and a modern vibe. Very few cities are able to accomplish this like Amsterdam and I think that’s why it’s so appealing to so many people.
HOW TO GET AROUND?
Watching cyclists tactfully navigate their way through the main streets, avoiding crowds of people every few seconds, Luca and I opted to take a more scenic route and walk around the city center. But if you’re a good cyclist and want to feel more like a local then there’s plenty of places where you can rent a bike for cheap.
WHAT TO DO?
When Luca and I travel, whether it’s for two days, two weeks, a month, we always like to take the relaxed approach and let the city decide what our plans are. We find it’s the best way to get to know a place without all the pressure that comes with being somewhere new for the first time. In saying this, we do usually have one or two points of interest to visit and then afterwards we just walk and explore.
IAMSTERDAM We arrived at the iconic sign around midday and it was total chaos! I’ve never seen so many people in one spot getting their photo taken. People climbing and jumping all over the sign for that perfect Instagram picture. No wonder there were medics stationed so close to the sign. I’d advise getting here early morning to avoid the crowds.
Kukenhof Tulip Gardens The largest tulip festival in the world. This had been on my bucket list for years and I was so excited to be finally ticking it off! We landed at Schiphol Airport around ten in the morning and from the airport caught a bus straight to the gardens. There was a slight queue for the bus, however nothing compared to when the bus dropped us back at the airport around midday. The queue we saw was insane! Estimated waiting time was around three hours, so if Kukenhof gardens is on your bucket list, my advice is to get there early in the morning. The gardens were beautiful, so many different colours of tulips everywhere you turned. We stayed a total of two hours and that was enough time in my opinion.
De Pijp The complete opposite to Amsterdam’s canal district but just as beautiful. As we walked the streets, we noticed that quite a few houses had park style benches out the front. After chatting to a local, we discovered that the original idea behind this was to turn the streets into one large outdoor sitting room. A place for people to get to know their neighbours, have outdoor tea parties, etc. Such a great idea in my opinion. We even saw the cutest old lady sitting on a bench, pencil and notebook in hand, sketching an image of the tree lined street surrounding her.
Jordan Filled with a multitude of cafés, restaurants and bars, and live street music on every corner, I can understand why it’s been voted the most popular area in the Netherlands.
WHERE TO STAY?
Staying at Park Hyatt, the location was great. A free shuttle bus to the airport from the hotel, then a quick train ride from the airport into the city centre. Clean, simple rooms with everything you need. We found it to be the best option for us, it was extremely affordable in comparison to some of the places we were originally looking at in the heart of Amsterdam.