When visiting Europe it would be a shame not to spend a couple of days in this remarkable city. With its unique architecture, amazing art collections and a truly vivid nightlife, Amsterdam has plenty to offer all its visitors. When you are there it seems like there is never enough time to visit all the stunning locations and sites this marvelous city has to offer. So I always tend to choose several different items each time I visit just to make sure I get to soak in as much of Amsterdam as I possibly can.
A Walking Tour of the City
This is the perfect way to start your visit. Usually when I get off the plane I prefer to move instead of just sitting around. Luckily there are numerous free walking tours of Amsterdam, and I try to pick a different one each time. With a whole array of great guides, who have different stories to tell, there is never a dull moment. All you have to do is book your tour online or by phone and decide on the date and time. It is usually up to 20 people in a group so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and the beauty is actually hearing about the city from the people who love it and live in it.
A Day at the Rijksmuseum
One of the best experiences I have ever had was visiting this magnificent museum. The sheer size and architecture of this place will leave you in awe. Just a quick note though, the lines at the entrance can be quite long, and considering the ever changing Amsterdam weather, it would be wise to pack your Go Travel pocket poncho so that you don’t get soaked. Once inside brace yourself, the amount of stunning works of art is overwhelming. From the famous Rembrandt’s auto portrait to his Night Watch, a colossal painting covering an entire wall of the museum. It will take you several hours to walk around the entire museum, but it is well worth it. After your tour you can take a break at the nearby Vondelpark, one of Amsterdam’s most relaxing locations. Or in case you haven't had your fill of art, get to the Van Gogh Museum, it is just a short walk away and you can continue to marvel at the grand artworks of the true masters.
And for Fun
If you want to experience a bit of adrenaline rush and at the same time capture some stunning views of the city you should definitely take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at the Dam Square. There is usually a bit of a line but nothing major, and after your ride you can pay a visit to the wax museum right there at the square. You can also take a break and have a delicious meal at one of the local cafes and restaurants. Considering I have some dietary restrictions regarding gluten my favorite was the Greenwoods Singel, a quaint little place where you can get the tastiest gluten free, vegan and vegetarian meals along with a wide array of quality local cuisine.
End Your Trip on a High Note
There is no shortage of a great night time scenes in Amsterdam, from bustling cafes to music clubs and cabarets. One of my favorite places to unwind and dance to some great live tunes is definitely the Bourbon Street Music Club on Leidsekruisstraat. This vintage jazz club with an old school feel hosts live music session seven nights a week and offers some of the best beers on tap. It is definitely worth your while. It opens its doors around 10 PM so you will have plenty of time to have a drink or two at a nearby cafe and taste some of those famous Dutch waffles. Finally, when it is all said and done and it is time to go home, take a few hours and sit by the side of one of numerous canals and just take in the unique energy of this remarkable city.
The one thing about Amsterdam I can guarantee is that it will keep inviting you back for more, and you will never run out of sights and locations to explore and discover here. Until next time, goede reis!