Don’t miss it
It’s a chilling experience, but a museum tour of the Anne Frank House is not to be missed. You walk through the actual space where Anne, her family and another family lived in hiding for nearly two years during World War II. Based on my personal experience, I imagine you, too, will feel a range of emotions. It’s extremely sad, but it’s necessary to study and remember our world’s past. Book your tickets a few weeks in advance to avoid hour-long queues.
Gain an understanding of the city’s free and tolerant culture on a free walking tour with FreeDam Tours. The hilarious tour guides have a knack for storytelling! This two and a half hour long tour begins at the Old Church in the Red Light District.
Following a day bopping around the city, enjoy an appetizer and good glass of wine at the SkyLounge, located on the terrace of the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel. The bar offers amazing views of the city, so be sure to arrive just before sunset.
Must try food/drink
Treat yo’ self to bitterballen, stoopwafels, krokets, Gouda cheese and Brouweril ’t IJ beer.
To sample a variety of cuisines (and if you’re on a budget), visit the indoor food market, Foodhallen. The food is of high quality, and the market has a clean, upscale feel.
Here’s a hint
Spend a few hours wandering through Amsterdam’s largest park, Vondelpark. I love the hustle and bustle of this park, which is filled with kiddos playing kickball, business folks scurrying to an appointment, couples sipping wine on a picnic and yogis balancing a pose on their mats. Hey, you’re in Amsterdam, so you might as well rent a bike and explore the park on two wheels!
Take an evening canal tour by boat. There are dozens of tour companies to choose from, although our time with Friendship Tours was pleasant.
Wander around the Red Light District in the early evening. It’s weird, but #WhenInAmsterdam, am I right?
If you plenty of time, spend a couple of days outside of the city at the vibrant Lucky Lake Hostel.
Wish I had more time for
A brewery tour of Brouweril ’t IJ, located in one of Amsterdam’s windmills.
The Shelter City Hostel hostel is located in the heart of the Red Light District and is managed by Christian volunteers. If you are looking for a centrally located hostel, with friendly staff, delicious breakfast, clean rooms/bathrooms and a good night’s rest, this is the hostel for you. Don’t expect a party atmosphere here!
After four nights in the city, we then spent the weekend outside the city at Lucky Lake Hostel. It was the perfect place to relax, watch the Olympics, do some biking, etc. Lucky Lake Hostel is a unique hostel experience, as it is essentially a campground made up of colorful campers, or as my dad would say “a colorful trailer park.”
Additional resources for planning your adventure
- A Packing List for Backpacking Europe
- How to Plan a Multi-Country Trip
- A 14-Day Itinerary to Five European Capital Cities
- 5 Charming Small Towns to Add to Your European Itinerary
- Five Easy Ways to Save Money, Spend Less and Travel More
If you liked this guide, you may also enjoy the cities:
- A Weekend in Galway, Ireland
- Cinque Terre, Italy: Travel Itinerary
- A Week in Ravello, Italy: The Gem of the Amalfi Coast
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