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Amsterdam is often a top destination for people visiting Europe and was one of the cities we were most looking forward to visiting too. It’s a beautiful city that’s rich in culture and exceptionally beautiful around each and every corner with its historic buildings and unique canal system.
We had 4 days to explore the city, and while it was enough time to visit and see most things, we still wish we had more time there because the city was so charming.
Where we stayed:
We opted to stay just north of Amsterdam Centraal, the main train station. Our hostel was located across the water in the Noord neighborhood.
Initially, we were unsure of the location because it seemed disconnected from central Amsterdam, but the price to stay there was much cheaper than staying anywhere else in Amsterdam – in looking at both Airbnbs and hostels. Plus, we got a 4-bed private dorm with an ensuite at Hostel ClinkNoord, and the hostel was so nice! It was set up more like a hotel and the staff were very helpful and friendly.
What we did:
We spent a total of 4 days in Amsterdam and had a few things on our list of must-do things in Amsterdam, but a lot of our time was spent wandering around the canals and marveling at all the beauty Amsterdam has to offer.
Aside from simply walking around and taking photos of every street, we have a few recommendations for Amsterdam too.
Rent Bikes – Our hostel (ClinkNOORD) had a deal with a bike rental place right by the hostel. The specific bike rental place was just to the left when you get off the ferry in Noord under a restaurant called THT. We had a great experience with these bikes, but there are countless bike rental places all over Amsterdam. Ask for recommendations at your hotel, Airbnb, or just keep an eye out for a place while walking around.
Markets – We spent time at a few markets, which basically meant that we were hungry and looking for food. The two markets we really enjoyed were Foodhallen in the Kinkerbuurt neighborhood and the Albert Cuyp Market in De Pijp.
Vondelpark – On our final day in Amsterdam, we rode our rented bikes to Vondelpark and spent the day relaxing in the park and taking in the sun. There are many different parts of the park and it’s a perfect little place to relax and enjoy nature in Amsterdam.
Van Gogh Museum – Van Gogh is one of the most famous Dutch artists, and his museum is right in the heart of Amsterdam. We decided to go to the museum one day, luckily a rainy one. We booked our tickets ahead of time, something I strongly recommend to limit your time waiting in line. The tickets come with a specified entrance time and will cost you €18 per adult. The museum was really interesting and we learned a lot about Van Gogh, although we knew very little about him going into the museum. Click here to book your tickets at the Van Gogh Museum.
Red Light District – As most do when they visit Amsterdam, we walked through the Red Light District just to see what it was all about. It’s worth checking out as it’s a unique part of the city. While we didn’t participate in any of their “offerings,” there were others who were, so feel free to do so if you so choose.
Coffeeshops – Another thing Amsterdam is famous for is its coffeeshops which sell recreational marijuana. There are coffeeshops all over the city, ranging from small to large and obvious to more conspicuous. These are different than the marijuana dispensaries in the United States. In Amsterdam, you can buy and enjoy right in the shop itself, whereas in the U.S. you can only buy in the dispensaries and have to use the marijuana at home. Many of the coffeeshops in Amsterdam also serve food and drinks, so they’re pretty cool places to hangout.
Where we ate:
We ate at quite a few different places during our time in Amsterdam. The city has a large variety of different types of food, and we’re going to list our favorites here.
Foodhallen – It reminded us of a public indoor market with a bunch of different options.
Albert Cuyp Market – A cute market with food, goods, and flowers. The herring and fries were great.
Hummus Bistro d&a – A great Mediterranean place that we couldn’t recommend enough!
Barasti – A bar with a full menu in De Pijp where we came across after a day of biking. Try the Bitterballen – a dutch meat snack- it was delicious.
Petit- Restaurant De Rozenboom – A place with traditional Dutch food. We ordered the Marrowfat Peas with Bacon and Meatball and the Fried Mussels.
Other things to do in Amsterdam:
The Anne Frank House – Unfortunately, tickets are needed before hand to go to the Anne Frank House, but it’s definitely something we would have liked to do and is at the top of our must-do list next time we’re in Amsterdam. We would recommend to plan this out as soon as you know you will be in Amsterdam. You can book your tickets online here.
We’re sure that if you’re planning a trip to Europe, Amsterdam is probably a city that’s higher up on your list. It’s definitely worth the visit, and we highly recommend it.