Amsterdam may have been my favorite city to visit during my latest trip to Europe. Whether you join the many bikers, hop on the tram or head out on foot, this city is so easy to maneuver. You can get by just fine by speaking English and the people are as nice as you’ll find in any southern town here in the U.S.
I especially loved how soft drugs and prostitution aren’t seen as problems to combat but rather inevitable facets to be integrated into society.
My goal while in Amsterdam wasn’t to cram as many attractions as possible into my short visit but rather explore and enjoy the canals, people and all around culture.
Here are my recommendations of what to do while in Amsterdam:
– Eat at The Pancake Bakery
– Visit the Van Gogh Museum
– Admire a young girl’s spirit at the Anne Frank House
– Eat fries slathered in mayo at one of the many french fry stands
– Explore the Red Light District
– Stroll through a street market
– Pop into a coffee shop like the Bluebird
– Check out Museumplein
– Take a canal cruise at night so that you can peek into strangers houseboats (not creepy at all).
Remember, Don’t Waste Time In Line. Get your museum tickets before you arrive.
Be sure to click on the pictures for fun facts about Amsterdam or for more on this wonderful city click here.
While my visit wasn’t the ideal time to visit the famed tulip fields (mid-April) the bulbs were still in abundance.
Amsterdam has 2,500 houseboats ranging from small, simple vessels to floating luxury homes. I stayed on the small boat on the left during my visit.
Fun Fact: Amsterdam has 165 canals equaling a combined length of 60 Miles.
Because of its many canals Amsterdam is known as the ‘Venice of the North’.
Cannibas-themed merchandise is a common sight in store windows.
In Amsterdam, a coffee shop is a place where you can legally buy soft drugs (marijuana or hashish) as well as coffee and tea. A coffee house is strictly an establishment for refreshments, no drugs.
There are 6,800 buildings in Amsterdam that date back to the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
There are 1,281 bridges in Amsterdam.
A popular nickname for Amsterdam is “Mokum”. It comes from the Hebrew word ‘makom,’ which means ‘place.’
Museumplein is home to 3 popular museums: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum
The Van Gogh Museum was founded in 1973 and is home to the largest collection of Van Gogh drawings and paintings in the world.
There was a beautiful display of lamps near my houseboat which made night time strolls even more beautiful.
City authorities estimate that there are over 600,000 bikes in Amsterdam.
There was always a wait at the many Fry Stands but it was always worth it.
Pancakes? Yes, please!
According to the 2008 Quality of Life Survey from international consultancy firm Mercer, Amsterdam ranks 22 out of 215 world cities for personal safety.