1. Be aware of the bicycles! The streets of Amsterdam are filled with cyclists (who have the right of way). Many of them ride like they have recently indulged in some local delicacies if you get my drift.
2. When choosing your hostel think about what you want the general tone of your trip to be. The central area of Amsterdam (near the train station) is a great location for those who want to indulge in nightlife and see the city’s wild side. Hostels near the more famous museums (the area by the Van Gogh museum and the Museumplein) seemed to have an atmosphere more centered around art and culture.
3. Pack light! Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful, tall buildings – the majority of which don’t have elevators. Now imagine lugging a gigantic suitcase up to the top floor.
4. Go on the “free” Sandeman’s tour of the city. It costs 3 Euros and you are expected to tip your guide an additional 11 Euros, but it will be worth it. Cross your fingers that you get Michael as your tour guide. You’re also expected to book it in advanced.
5. Be sure to try not only Dutch food, but also the cuisines of countries that the Dutch colonized, such as Indonesia and Suriname. You can check out a list of my favorite foods in Amsterdam here if you want some suggestions.
Interested in visiting Amsterdam? If you want more ideas, check out my 24 Things to do in Amsterdam post, which has a color-coded map that will help you organize what to do when, prices for various activities, and links to where you can buy your tickets.
Sandeman’s tour is a must! I was in Europe this summer and took their tours all over the place. And you are right… Michael was a great tour guide!
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Thanks for the follow! Saw this and have to confess I had a very different experience of A’dam cyclists. Compared to London, at least, they have a much clearer part of the streets that is theirs to use and they’re aware of it. There is therefore much more of an expectation that pedestrians will look both ways at cycle lanes before crossing – much like they would when crossing the road.
But at the same time, I thought this made for a fairly chill cycling culture – again, especially compared to London where most people are on road bikes and aiming to get from A to B as quickly as possible to spend as little time as possible on the streets. Cycling in Amsterdam seems pretty enjoyable by contrast 🙂
I’m guessing this difference in perception might be that American cities don’t tend to have much of a cycling culture at all – what d’you reckon?
Very interesting point! I’m perceiving all of Europe from an American perspective, and you’re right – we don’t have much of a cycling culture in American cities. It’s much more of a suburban thing. I think one of the issues in Amsterdam is that a lot of the tourists who rented bikes seemed to… um.. have delayed reaction times. I’ll definitely make an effort to keep an eye out for bicycles in London. 🙂
6) Visit Volendam. It’s only 1 bus away.
Nice post. Cheers,
so many good tips here! the dutch pancakes are divine but the herring…not so much
Loved reading your post! I must get to Amsterdam in my lifetime! Hopefully sooner than later!
I really like your tip on packing light. It made me giggle but it is very true. I just take it for granted. Good post
Can’t wait to go to Amsterdam this spring! Thanks for the tips 🙂