What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. Paulo and I identify a lot with the city’s climate, you know? Everything about it works well and the places are charming. The city is passionate and I love every little thing about it – from the cute little roofs to the canals around the city.
We’ve visited the city a few times already, so I’ll tell you some really cool tips for you that never were! Nothing better than knowing a little more about the destination before going on a trip, right?

accommodation

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Triflingthings

The city is full of great places to stay. Some of the best neighborhoods are Joordan, Grachtengordel or Museumplein. On our last trip, we stayed at Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy, ​​which is a little further from the center. This hotel is a wonderful option to stay, because it offers rooms of the most varied prices, so anyone can have access to its structure. The building is huge and has a library and an exhibition space. Despite not being in the center, the location is also great. If you want to know more about the place just click here 🙂

Getting around the city

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Lindsay Fairbanks via Pinterest

Bicycle is the key word! Of course there are other ways of getting around the city, but this is how you will really have a complete experience. The entire city has structure for cyclists and you feel like you are walking through a park all the time. On the first day Paulo and I rented the bikes at Black Bikes. The distances are not so long and it is very simple to understand the paths and streets there. I explained a little more about using the bike over there in this post!

When to go

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Paulo Cuenca

It rains a lot in Amsterdam – and every month. The seasons are well defined, but the rain is typical. It is usually not strong, but it is constantly present in the daily life of the city. Temperatures are higher in summer and spring, and the days are longer. In autumn, temperatures are already milder, and in winter it gets really cold and the wind is stronger. The heat in the city is never as intense as what we are used to, that is, go prepared for a little chill.
Paulo and I went in April, in the spring, and we loved that time because the city was all in a party mood. At this time of year the Koningsdag takes place, which is a national holiday to celebrate the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. What you must not forget is to take the good old umbrella, as well as a waterproof cloak or coat.

Museums

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Sickbvby

For those who like museums, Amsterdam is a great destination! The options in the city are quite varied and they appeal to different types of public. For those who like art, for example, they will love visiting the Van Gogh Museum. Both the inside and the outside are incredible. Another place, this time for those who like history, is the Anne Frank House. The place has a lot of interactive stuff and it’s great to understand even more the importance of Anne Frank to the story. The Rijksmuseum and the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum are also attractions that are worth a visit.

Cooking

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Travel addicts

Think of delicious foods and super-punchy coffees. You will find these two things in Amsterdam! Some of the restaurants I liked the most were Wild Zwijnen, Greetje and Restaurant de Kas. A very common food there is french fries with a special mayonnaise from the city and also the Stroopwafleso be sure to try it! Ah, if you like cheese, stop by De Kaaskamer – there they sell over 250 types of cheese and also sandwiches with the type of cheese you choose as a filling. It’s delicious!

Places to visit

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Bucket List 127

It is possible to take several tours around the city, even in the rain. One of the most different and fun things we did was to go to Geintenboerderij. It is a farm and there, in addition to being able to see the animals and interact with them, you can eat the coffee products that are produced there.
Tulips are very typical of Amsterdam and if you want to see a place full of them just go to the Keukenhof. It’s a park and it’s open between March and May – it’s worth the experience, see? Also stop by Marqt Haarlemmerstraat to see a market in the city! There you will find several options of organic and very tasty products.
Don’t forget that all these tours can be done by bicycle, ok? I promise that a few minutes cycling is worth it. The city streets are lovely and safe, don’t be afraid and take advantage of this unique chance 😉

Pass to attractions

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Last minute sewing

There are two card options for tourists to get to know a large part of the attractions at a lower price. The first one, called I Amsterdam City Card, has three options, 24h, 48h or 72h. It works like this: you choose how long you want it to be valid and can visit the attractions it covers in that period of time. You either enter “for free” or get a discount on the ticket. It is important to check that the places you want to go to are within the list of places that the card allows entry.
The second option is the Holland Pass. The difference with it is that it includes even more seats, but you can only choose to go between a few of them, because the number of tickets is limited. It is best if the attraction you want to go to is not included in the other card. Otherwise, I recommend that you purchase the I Amsterdam City Card.

Coffee Shops

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Ricardo Liberato via Flicker

Amsterdam coffeeshops are places that sell and provide a space for marijuana consumption. I bet you thought it was a normal cafeteria because of the name, right? The place to have coffee is actually called koffiehuis! The Netherlands has a very liberal and tolerant policy, so it is a country with very progressive policies. One of the best known coffeeshops in the city is the Green House Centrum. Paulo and I went there and had the best hot chocolate in the world in that place.

Boat trip on the canals

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Craig Mackay

Virtually half of the Netherlands is below sea level, so the canals were built. In addition to containing the water that entered the city, they make the landscape even more incredible and unique. To give you an idea of ​​the importance of these channels for the city, in 2010 the World Heritage Committee declared the region as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Best of all, boat trips are allowed and there are options for all tastes: from the most refined to the simplest and cheapest. As this is a very characteristic attraction of the city, it is worth living the full experience!

Zaanse Schans

What you need to know before you go to Amsterdam

Photo: Vera Kratochvil

Many people associate Holland with windmills and they really are a symbol of the country. Several areas with these windmills are spread across the country, and one of the most famous villages, called Zaanse Schans, is very close to Amsterdam. This is a tour that cannot be done by bicycle, but you can go by train or bus.
The place is very touristy and the landscape is wonderful. The windmills are just one of the attractions: there you can also visit typical houses, museums and even take boat trips. Set aside a day to enjoy the area and have a lot of fun 😉
***
Amsterdam is a very important city for Paulo and me. If you want to understand why just watch our vlogs. We show you all the places we visited and tell you our connection to the place. Ah, I also made our script available for you – to see just click here!

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