Little did I know that 2018 would be my year of travel and adventure. Starting with beaches in February and ending it up in the hills in December with international travel to cities like Berlin & Amsterdam in between.
A special mention of a dear friend Richa Pandey is required here as she forced me to take this holiday and I had so much fun that I would do it over a million times with her anywhere in the world.
Coming back to the city, as infamously as it is known by many across the world – Amsterdam is not just a Sin City or the Sex Capital of the world but in a true sense, it is an amalgamation of Art, History, Architecture, and Beauty with delicious food on the go. What else can you ask for?
Once you are in the city, you cannot stop yourself from admiring what the city has to offer other than the Red-Light District.
With an easy-going attitude, the city is tourist-friendly, and you can never run out of things to do here at any time of the day. Isn’t that a breather for every kind of tourist visiting the city?
I stayed in the city for about a week and my itinerary included visiting Rotterdam and Hague as well. With lots of places and things to do, it often led me to confusion, which one to opt first.
Best time to Visit – April to October is the best time to visit Amsterdam for those who prefer warm to subtle pleasant weather with a cool breeze. I visited the place in the first week of October and it had just started to get cold. The weather here is unpredictable with rains receiving you by surprises any time of the day. But in some time, you will see the sun shining brightly on you. So be prepared to experience all the seasons in your short trip.
How to reach – I took a direct flight from Delhi to Amsterdam. You can also look for connecting flights via Brussels or Paris. If you book well in advance, you can find better rates. Also, before booking the flights, make sure you have a Schengen Visa. Read more about getting a Schengen Visa here. Landing at Schiphol is an experience too. It’s vast and has all kinds of connectivity to the city that you can afford. We hired a car from the airport as taking an Uber can dig a hole in your pocket even before you begin your trip.
Where to Stay – Though there are ample of hotels and guest houses available across the city, I preferred Airbnb. I took a place on the outskirts of the town ( Wijk
Yeah, that’s the view outside my house and it features a ranch sort of where you can spot horses and mules grazing in the sun. The neighborhood was quiet and serene with just one supermarket and a couple of diners around the corner where we could spot the oldies having their beer and enjoying the sun.
Here are some of the places I visited and the things I did during my vacation in the city –
Adam’s lookout – Imagine swinging in the air 100 meters above the ground to get an unrivaled panoramic view of Amsterdam. Unleash the kid in you and get on that swing and enjoy to the fullest. You can get yourself clicked while swinging up in the air. Looking down at the water scared me bit but it was quite a start o my trip.
You can also buy tickets to the Heineken Experience and Canal Ride here. Since we had a little extra time in hand, we sat on the top floor restaurant to enjoy the view and have some food while looking down the glass whole all the way 100 meters down on the road.
Heineken Experience – This was the original Heineken Brewery since 1863 and was turned to a Museum after 1988.
Erotic Museum – as the name suggests, the tiny museum is fun to visit and has miniatures and toys screaming sex all over the place. It takes you through different ages and how eroticism evolved with time by depicting it through paintings, murals, artwork, videos, and sculptures.
When in Amsterdam, this shouldn’t come as a surprise and you will find many tourists and even locals frequenting this place. The tickets are just 7£ per person.
Rent a Bike – What fun is it to ride a bike after so many years? We rented Bicycles from Rahtour and went on to explore the city to explore t like a local. The places you can reach by car or may find too much traffic; can be easily explored while on a bike. Also, you can visit some of the hidden gems for food and drinks in the alley of the city. You can rent a bicycle anywhere across the city with some advance payment and your passport as security.
Albert Cuyp Market – One of the best ways to get your hands on the local food, wine, cheese and all things Amsterdam is the famous Albert Cuyp Market, located just behind the Heineken Brewery. This is one of the largest local markets in Europe and has been here since 1905.
Anne Frank House – If you wish to visit this place, book your tickets as soon as you get your visa. In fact, even before that as the tickets are just 10£ but very difficult to get as the tickets are often sold out a month in advance.
For those who are wondering what this place is about, this is a biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank.
Apart from roaming around these places, do not forget to try the space cake and # hash brownies to get some kick. Roam around the Dam Square and chuck the museums for once. Europe is so much more than visiting Museums.
Before I forget, one must-try food in Amsterdam is the Manneken Pis Fries and the Stroopwafel. Though the Fries are Belgian in origin, I’m sure you will fall in love with it if you love cheese just like me. For me, it was a meal in self as I couldn’t finish it let alone eating anything after that.
Talking about Stroopwafel – the best place to get hot Stroopwafel is the Albert Cuyp Market. You can choose your own filling and they will make it fresh for you. I bought the packed ones as well to have them with coffee back home.
This post is just the tip of an iceberg compared to the adventure you can have in Amsterdam. There are many more near-by places to visit when in Amsterdam and you can read about it my next blog.
Happy Vacation to all travel junkies !
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