It’s no surprise that when people initially think of Amsterdam, the first thought that springs to mind is having a good old puff on a ‘joint’, but it’s far from it. The city is filled with beautiful architecture, dozens of canals to wander down and the home to the best stroopwafels ever.
I’m no travel expert but I thought I’d share my favourite sights, must do’s and of course some yummy eateries.
WHERE TO STAY: THE BILDERBERG GARDEN HOTEL
Bilderberg is a 5* star hotel located just outside of Amsterdam Central, away from the hustle and bustle but still close enough (10 minute walk) to all of the popular landmarks and touristy areas. The hotel oozes elegance and sophistication yet still feels cosy and warm. The outside seating area with blankets on hand in wicker baskets and an lit fire was one of my favourite places. We stayed in an executive room which is located on a private floor within the hotel, accompanied with an executive lift. It was a lovely luxurious treat after a day of exploring. And I must say the free use of the minibar went down a treat as well.
The only food we got to try at the hotel was a burger and fries from room service after a 2am wake up call, a day of travelling and straight out exploring. But my god, it was delicious and the fries were quite possibly the best that I’ve ever had and I’m not really a chip eater but they were good. We really wanted to try breakfast too but never quite managed it, I guess there is always next time!
- Anne Frank House – Quite surreal and a bit tear jerking at times but I’m glad I experienced it. It was always on my bucket list to do. Tickets can only be booked online and sell out months in advance, so make sure you book. You can book tickets here.
- Heineken experience – I’m not a beer drinker, hand me a Gin and Tonic any day but it’s an interesting and fun couple of hours! You can buy tickets on the door or book your tickets before you go.
- Dam Square – Home to the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds and street performers, great to have a walk around.
- A’dam Lookout – take a ferry to the north of Amsterdam and take in the beautiful sights from the 360 observation deck, the sky deck or from Over The Edge, the highest swing in Europe. The perfect activity for any daredevil or thrill seeker. You can buy tickets here.
- Visit the Red Light District – You can’t really miss it with all of the red lights above windows and busy streets. Best to see it in the evening. I was very intrigued and fascinated by what actually goes down here, lets just say it was an eye opening experience.
- Vondel Park – Whether on foot or by bike, it’s a nice park to wander around with cute cafes and all the time in the world. It’s one of the those place where you can get truly lost in the moment.
- Get a map and get lost!… You won’t actually get lost but that is the best way to explore and see as much of the city as you can. It is very compact so you can see a lot in a short space of time.
Bars & Restaurants
City breaks are just as much about food and cocktails as it is about sightseeing, so whenever I go away I always have a good research on best places to eat and drink. These were my favourite places:
- Ma’dam– At the top of A’dam Tower the bar overlooks the city and is a great place to sit back, have a drink and enjoy the views!
- Hard Rock – It’s become a bit of a tradition to find a Hard Rock in each city we visit. And of course, the cocktails are divine.
- Corner Bakery – The best milkshakes with doughnuts and sweets!
- Vodel Park/3 – They do the good ol’ cuppa and brownies (the normal kind). Great spot to sit back and people watch.
- Yip Fellows – Great atmosphere and music. They know just when to top your drink back up!
- De Kersentuin – VERY good burger and fries. If you love a burger, don’t miss this place.
- Pancakes Amsterdam – Every pancake topping you can possibly think of!
I hope you find this helpful, if you are off to Amsterdam soon I’m sure you’ll have a fab time!
Let me know if you check out any of my favourite places!