This trip I took to Amsterdam was something I completely booked on a whim. I knew I wanted to take a Euro trip during the spring but I wasn’t sure on where I wanted to go. I left it up to fate when I was looking through some airfare – ya girl is on a budget.
The airfare was right in my budget and it was the best decision I ever made.
If you want to know how I was able to get cheap airfare – check out my Ultimate Guide to Booking a Cheap Flight.
The culture is Amsterdam is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – between walking through the streets scattered with canals, visiting the red light district (yes, prostitution here is legal), discovering “coffee shops” and the incredible hospitality of the Dutch people – I would go back over and over again.
Here’s my ultimate guide to Amsterdam and I hope it inspires you to take a trip there yourself!
Where to Stay?
Through some of my research of Amsterdam I preferred to stay in a hotel away from all the tourist attractions and commotion – just a personal preference because I love to assimilate into the culture. It also can be cheaper and since Amsterdam is a small scale city – walking everywhere isn’t an issue.
- Not close to the city center – it’s closer to the section of Jordaan (which is beautiful)
- Breakfast is included
- Hotel staff were so friendly and helpful
- Every room comes with a balcony
- Rooms were spacious
- Surrounded by great restaurants and coffee shops
- Can book tours and excursions through the front desk!
Top Things to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is home to so much history and it has a ton of museums to show for it. I, myself am not a museum gal, but I listed in a few below that you would be interested in!
If your looking for more of an adventure… don’t worry I have you covered. I definitely visited the Red Light District and did the Heineken Tour. There’s something for everyone!
OOO Blonde Tip: Book all of the museums and tours in advanced! The lines for purchasing tickets get so long and in most cases tickets are sold out far in advanced.
Ok, so at first I thought this would be so touristy and a huge waste of time but it actually was one of the highlights of my trip!
You walk through (self guided tour) how a Heineken beer is made and what goes into all of their marketing!
After you do your self guided tour – you’re brought into the actual Heineken experience with photo booths, karaoke, plenty of Instagram photo ops and an underground bar with bumping music. You get 2 free Heineken beers and a Polaroid! It was some of the most fun I had on my trip.
Make sure to book this online!
Grab a Beer by the Canal and Relax!
I can’t stress this enough – I know as travelers we’re always on the go but sometimes the best thing to do is to try and relax and enjoy the country and the culture you’re in for just a moment.
We stopped for an hour or so and just grabbed some Amstel (which you’ll find a ton of in Amsterdam) and took in the view of the canals. I highly recommend doing so and it’s a cute photo op!
Van Gough and Anne Frank Museums
I haven’t personally been to either of these museums because I didn’t take my own advice and book in advanced – tickets were already sold out.
I heard they were the 2 best in Amsterdam and were absolutely amazing! I was able to walk by them but sadly didn’t go in. The Anne Frank House is such an amazing piece of history which displays the piece of time where Anne Frank in this house with her family with nothing but a diary.
If you get the chance I recommend going! I know it’s on my list for next time.
Red Light District
Ah, the red light district… now this is the crazy part of Amsterdam that people from all over the world really travel to see.
If you didn’t know by now prostitution and smoking pot are all legal activities. Which is pretty amazing considering the city itself is so clean, classy and everyone is really chill.
I really recommend going to see it! If you’re traveling alone or in general I was told to no go past 10pm (because then it gets crazy). I went around 8/9pm to see it really come to life.
They also have some pretty amazing bars and nightlife there as well!
The OOO Blonde Pro Tip: DO NOT take pictures of the prostitutes in the window – it’s considered disrespectful and you can get in some serious trouble.
The Flower Market
This was a little gem recommended to us by the concierge desk at my hotel! This is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to buy souvenirs, sample some cheese, or actually buy flower seeds.
We came here right before we were ready to hop a train to Paris! I tried some cheese on the go and bought last minute gifts for my coworkers.
As always be careful of pick pocketters in extremely crowded areas as this brings in a ton of tourists.
These are just a few of some of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam!
Be sure to check out my post on Navigating the Coffee Shops in Amsterdam
Get out there and set your calendars to OOO with me!
Drop a comment below if you’ve ever been to Amsterdam or you want to go!