A Few More Tips on Amsterdam
I have gone over the food and major sites in Amsterdam but here are a few more tips for visiting one of Europe's most desirable cities:
Getting Around: While the city is very walk-able and bikes are the preferred method of transit by the locals, both of these options may not be the most practical at time. This is especially the case if you are running behind on a dinner reservation that may be two miles away. With that said, the tram in Amsterdam is extremely easy to use and cheap (7.90 euro per 24 hours). You can pretty much get to all parts of town and the number system is very easy to follow. Just be sure to "check out" when you are leaving the tram so your card works the next time you get on.
Where to Stay: Deciding on where you want to stay when traveling abroad is all personal preference depending on if you want to be near tourist attractions, in a hip area etc, etc... Samantha and I stayed in the center of town, literally on Dam Square and while it was nice to be in the middle of everything, I would stay somewhere else the next time around. (If you do want to stay in Dam Square, Swissotel was a clean and cheap option). If I had my pick, I would stay in Jordaan as it was the area I liked best and not as crowded with tourists. Hotel Pulitzer, while on the EXTREMELY expensive side, can be used as a good benchmark.
Shopping: While Jordaan does boast a number of cunning side streets with boutique shops, don't miss taking a stroll down Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, specifically if you like art (Samantha and I bought our painting here). Samantha and I both were brought back to our middle school days on this enchanting passageway as it reminded us of Diagon Alley - that's a Harry Potter reference for all you non millennials out there. It is somewhat of a hidden street since it does not run through all of the canals so in terms of getting there, it is located one street over from Leidsestraat and begins at Herengracht. At the end, there is small cafe (I think it is called Cafe Hans) that is a nice place to have a drink and enjoy the surroundings, just don't eat there.
Where to Hang Out: Amsterdam is a beautiful place so there are a ton places to watch the world go by. However, there was one place Samantha and I gravitated towards each afternoon, Museumplein. Located right in front of the IAMSTERDAM letters is a few hundreds yards of a grassy field where scores of people will be hanging out. It is a perfect place to relax on a sunny afternoon and munch on all of your delicious baked goods you gathered throughout the day. Now, Vondelpark is just a few streets over which may have more of a Central Park type feel, but each time we went to the Museumplein, we just never wanted to leave.
A Few Other Recs: Here are a few other places to check out while in Amsterdam if you have time:
|Some other places to check out in Amsterdam.
|Biking and walking is more than ideal but
if you need too, the tram is very easy.
|A house boat in front of Hotel Pulitzer.
|Samantha and I shopping in Jordaan, another great area to shop.
|Samantha and I hanging out in Museumplein.
- Westerkerk: A 16th century church located right next to the Anne Frank house is where famed artist, Rembrandt, is buried. I unfortunately did not have time to climb the tower but apparently it gives you stunning views of the canals below. However, it was a great addition into my hundreds of photos of canals.
- De Nieuwe Kerk: This landmark is a massive 15th century church located right in the Red Light District. Similar to Westerkerk, we did not go inside, but what I liked most about this cathedral was some of the famed 'windows' you hear so much about were built right into the church - I just found this to be ironic.
- Cafe De Jaren: If you are looking for a place to take a load off, have a snack and a beer, this is a great place to do it. They have a great balcony over looking the Amstel which provides the perfect spot for a sandwich, some meatballs (highly recommended) and an Amstel - well because why not, when in Amsterdam. Cafe De Jaren is located just south of Old Town on Niuewe Doelenstraat.
|Me with the Westerkerk in the background (credit Selfie Stick).