Amsterdam is the capital city of The Netherlands and probably one of the most visited cities in Europe. Mysterious and charming for its canals and crooked narrow houses, standing next to one another. Famous for Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Red Light district and of course coffee shops. If you would like to explore the city more in details you should stay at least one week, the best time is probably from spring to early autumn. If you are interested in tulips, the best time is from March to the end of May.
I was in Amsterdam in February, for a weekend. For me it was a bit too cold, and the weather was not really pleasant for taking photos. So I decided I will definitely visit it again in the future.
Here’s how to spend a weekend in Amsterdam.
Walking and wandering
Walking or cycling through the streets is probably the best way to feel the city vibe. You should take a whole day and just get lost in the city. You can admire the architecture, typical narrow houses, a lot of them slightly crooked. A mix of modern buildings and great historical facades. Why are the houses so narrow? Because back in the 17th century locals were taxed on the width of their properties. But because of that, the windows are much bigger, covering almost all the facade, so they could bring in the furniture.
For a refreshment and a rest you can stop by in coffee shops, pastries, candy shops, restaurants… there are plenty of everything. For example, best apple pie is supposed to be in Winkel 43.
Shopping in Amsterdam’s colorful markets is a great way for picking up a few Dutch souvenirs. There is Waterlooplein Flea Market, Flower Market, Antique center…
Museums and galleries
You can visit Madam Tussauds, a lot of museums and galleries; Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Anne Frank House, Hermitage Amsterdam, EYE Filmmuseum…
Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot looks like in a fairy tale, Amsterdam Cheese Museum sounds really great, and also NEMO Science Museum, which looks interesting already from the outside. For fashion lovers, fashion history, Bags and Purses Museum.
Canal cruise in the other best way to explore the city, to view it from another perspective. To have a better view and opportunity to take photos, I guess it’s better to go on an open boat tour. We were in boat with a roof, because it was freezing outside. It has glass, but still, you have limited view, and from one side you see great, but when you take photos from attractions from the other side, you mostly take photos of heads of other passengers. The traffic in Amstel river is actually very heavy all day. From the river perspective you can also get a better view on houseboats, which were once a way to deal with the Amsterdam housing shortage. You float really near those houses so you practically see inside, but most of them are so well designed, the interiors are really modern, unique, and the patios are filled with flowers and garden chairs and tables. You can even rent some boat houses, these one looks nice; Houseboat Rose, Something Cool on the Amstel, Luxury loft style Houseboat, Gratia Deo.
Heineken brewery in Amsterdam has been transformed into a sensational interactive tour through the dynamic world of Heineken. For beer lovers or a refreshment, it’s a nice relaxing tour through the brewery, where you can find some interesting facts about Heineken. And, of course, taste the gold. Cheers!!
Order your tickets online to skip the queue. Or you can buy them in most of tourist info shops, anything is better then at the brewery, because it can be really crowded there.
All important info you find on www.iamsterdam.com
I suggest you order I Amsterdam City Card, if you are going to us trams and other transport regularly, or you want visit a lot of museums. You can use this for GVB public transport, free entry to museums, free canal cruise, free detailed map, and some other discounts. For example, 72 hour card costs 75€ (but there are often some discounts online), but includes:
-Free, unlimited use of the GVB public transport in Amsterdam (bus, tram & metro)
-Free entry to Amsterdam’s best museums and attractions
-A free, detailed city map
-Free canal cruise, a beautiful way to see the city’s historic center
-Great discounts and special offers throughout Amsterdam and its surrounding area
-Free giveaways & discounts on concerts, theater, rentals, restaurants and more