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Guys, we finally got to visit Amsterdam and it was better than we could ever imagine! Walking around the city and enjoying the canals is breathtaking. Amsterdam is definitely a city for every taste and when I say every, I mean EVERY taste.
We had some days off work so we planned this double-city trip to Amsterdam and Brussels (Brussels post coming soon!).
Our first stop was Amsterdam. We arrived by plane from Fiumicino Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. We got there late in the evening, so after leaving our backpacks in our gorgeous Airbnb, we were ready to explore the town.
Some info about the Airbnb we chose:
It is perfectly located in the Leidseplein area, just 10 minutes away from the museums (Vang Gogh Museum and Rikjsmuseum). It’s a very active and cool area to have a meal or spend the evening with some cocktails, and it is filled with awesome places. The ad said it was a room, but it was practically a whole apartment because we had access to the whole floor ( The bathroom and kitchen were on the same floor as our room). The apartment is gorgeous, the host is nice and it is perfect for a couple or for a group of friends to stay in.
Our trip started with us having a quick snack in Leidseplein square and a walk to the Rijksmuseum to take the famous picture with the I Amsterdam letters (little trick: take the picture from the opposite side, where it’s less crowded and then you just flip it! ) We also planned to visit the Van Gogh Museum because it opens till 10 pm, but it was not meant to be, as I will explain to you soon.
Important tips for Amsterdam!!
- Pack an umbrella and a raincoat! The Amsterdam weather is known for being rainy and windy. We were lucky to have what were possibly the only few sunny days of the year and our tour guide Karl (you will know Karl when you continue reading :)) told us he was sad for us because we couldn’t have the perfect Dutch experience: rain and wind on a bike!
- Book your tickets to every museum in advance! The lines to buy tickets are super long and then there is another line to access the museum, so you can avoid wasting some time if you get your tickets online. To the Anne Frank’s house, you need to get those, 2 months prior your trip. This is why we couldn’t visit the Van Gogh Museum on our arriving day.
We started our day walking to Dam square, where the city was created and got its name —it grew around a dam in the river Amstel. Amsterdam is easy to walk around and you can take a great picture of the famous canals almost everywhere.
In this same square, you will find the Royal Palace where you can enter and have a look at the rooms where the politicians stay when they visit Amsterdam and the Nieuwe Kerk, a beautiful church where the Dutch King and Queen got married.
To finish our day we were ready to visit the perfect place to get into the Amsterdam vibe: the Red Light District. It’s a cool place to enjoy the evening just walking around or to grab a bite. It is known for being the prostitution neighborhood so do not bring kids! Or your husbands hahaha.
Our second day started really early because we had reservations for a tour! 🙂
The first stop was the Westerkerk, a beautiful church where you can go up and have what is possibly the best view of the town. Before you arrive, do not miss the gorgeous Floating Flower Market where you can buy the typical Dutch tulips.
Next stop was the Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, constructed in 1302. It is a beautiful church, and we were quite lucky to catch a Dutch’s contemporary artist exhibition.
After the Old Church, we continued our journey to Mike’s Bikes (click here to check out Mike’s tours) to catch our tour! We booked an amazing bikes tour to Amsterdam’s countryside.
It was definitely one of my favorite experiences of the trip. We got to enjoy the beautiful countryside, and got to see part of the city from a bike (Amsterdam is the city of bikes, it is part of their lifestyle). We also saw the famous windmills and entered a cheese and a clog factory. Martinj, the owner is soo funny and we were able to try different kinds of cheese!
It was more or less a 4-hour ride, but we had stops every 30 minutes so it wasn’t hard. I could do it and I am not athletic at all! We finished our tour in a local brewery inside of a windmill, called Brouwerij ‘t IJ! Could it be any more perfect?! Our tour guide was amazing, so if you are up for the challenge, ask for Karl (Now you know who Karl is!). This is the link so you can check out: mikesbikes.com
What better way to finish our day than to go to a fun museum: The Heineken Experience. You can visit the building where the famous beer brand was born, learn how beer is made, and other fun activities, which of course include drinking some beer!
We decided to buy all our tickets online in advance to avoid lines and visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, which are both amazing with great collections.
We also got the chance to take a walk through the Vondelpark, a great place to have a picnic or just a walk, and it is really close to the museums.
Before packing our backpacks and continue with our trip we had an amazing lunch in Leidseplein, there are many great places, it is a very fun area, so do not forget to make a stop here.
Our day was not over! We were ready to catch a bus to Brussels! Do not miss our next post to hear all about it!
I fell in love with Amsterdam! Its characteristic architecture, the beautiful canals all around and the open-minded fun people made Amsterdam a great place to visit and enjoy!
Photos credit to Ruben A.Hidalgo
If you need some extra help planning your trip, this Travel Guide is really helpful! – Amsterdam – Travel Guide
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