Amsterdam has to be the most relaxed culture of people I have ever seen, and not just because Cannabis is legal! Walking around Amsterdam you just feel instantly calm and chilled, apart from when you get horrendously lost (This happened to us!). The city is beautiful, with the canal’s and quirky bridges making it individual and very picturesque. Me and my boyfriend anticipated that Amsterdam would be vast in size, causing us to miss turnings when searching for our hotel. In fact, Amsterdam is quite small for a city, making it easy to locate your way around (once you get the hang of it). The excellent transport system, for which you can buy 1, 2 or 3 day passes for, mean’s that you can get to the different parts of the city quickly and efficiently, unless you have an unlucky streak of missing the tram you need like me and my boyfriend.
Visiting Anne Frank Huis was very enlightening. To see a story that I have studied on several occasions in real life was amazing! There are real examples of pictures Anne stuck to her walls when she was kept in the ‘secret annex’, and the bookcase which hid their hiding place is standing as though the annex was never found. There were examples of extracts of Anne’s diary around the annex, creating an emotional feel as you were walking around. My number one tip if visiting the Anne Frank Huis (which I definitely recommend!!) is to book, otherwise you will face up to 3 hour long queue’s, which no-one wants to be stood in when they could be exploring.
Vondelpark is known as the ‘lungs’ of Amsterdam, and is beautiful. Due to it’s vast size, it is home to lovely lakes and walkways, and is perfect to walk through when visiting different areas of Amsterdam.
The red light district is truly an eye opener, that I have never seen anything like! If you head there in the evening, you will see the sights of prostitutes promoting themselves in the windows. This is a funny sight to see, especially as some of them will definitely give you a confidence boost! The red light district is also home to a large number of ‘coffee shops’ and shops selling interesting items…(sexual items). You MUST go here if you visit Amsterdam, to see the two extremes of the city- and to see the surrealism of the district.
Dam square in Amsterdam is the centre of Amsterdam, and is surrounded by the ‘nine streets’, which are filled with shops and interesting café’s, and are good to wander around and go in a few Dutch shops. Museumplein is lovely on a sunny day, and is the place a lot of tourists and locals go to relax. With a big stretch of grass and a modern feel to it, it a cool place to chill. Museumplein is also home to the I AMSTERDAM sign in front of the Rijksmuseum, which is of course popular among tourists! Having your photo taken on one of the letters is amusing, if you can win the fight to get on one of them.
The food in Amsterdam also wasn’t as expensive as expected, unless you go to Leidseplein, where all of the restaurants charge double to Dam square. If you go to Amsterdam you HAVE TO HAVE chips with Vlaamse mayo, which definitely get my vote as the best chips I have EVER had!
I would definitely love to return to Amsterdam in the summer, and go on a canal boat tour and rent a bike, as it would be the perfect place to relax! Amsterdam was an amazing experience for 3 days, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough! My last tip for anyone visiting Amsterdam would be that you should not underestimate the size of the airport. IT IS HUUUUUUUUGE- it took us roughly 40 minutes to walk to our gate, so make sure you get there early!!!!!!