A gorgeous mainland European city! Amsterdam was full of amazing fashion, beautiful carefree people and loads of bikes. In some cities I’d notice the not so nice areas, but I never saw any in Amsterdam. It was generally consistent in terms of Dutch architecture and scenery. I absolutely fell in love with the top parts of the buildings, so pretty!
What I Didn’t Know/Was Surprised At/If you’re visiting you should know:
- IT IS EXPENSIVE.. Nights out drinks added up much faster than they do in Ireland. Three vodka and Diet Cokes were around 17 euro…yikes!
- Do NOT take taxis. Download Uber. Way way way cheaper. My boyfriend and I thought it would be a good idea to get in the taxi queue when we got to the airport but we had to actually get out of the taxi 12 minutes later when the fare was already nearly 55 euro!!
We only had 35 euro cash between us then and that’s all the man got. He then got very mad and rude.
- BUT Uber can get funky because the road system is a little different. It’s tough for the drivers to stop wherever to pick someone up.
- The food was actually pretty decent! All our meals were quite good. Especially The Avocado Show cafe where everything is served with avocado. So insanely yummy.
- You are gonna need change for bathrooms. Many cost 50c and only take 50c coins.
- There isn’t too many ATMs all around so take out what you think you’ll need to last you awhile.
- SO MANY tourists.
- An aesthetic observation…The fashion was very interesting. People watching was made all the more exciting by seeing some really fun fluffy coats and gorgeous shoes. Also, Dutch men and women are super groomed and rather tall.
- Cannabis isn’t as legal as I thought. You can only buy it in cafes and you aren’t meant to take it with you when you leave. Hence, cafes where cannabis is buyable are very cloudy and smoky. You’ll smell it all around you in the streets of Amsterdam though!
- You’ve probably heard biking is insane in Amsterdam. IT IS. And it is VERY easy to get hit by a bike so you’ve gotta check all around before crossing. You’ll hear lots of dinging from bells on bikes.
- The Amsterdam sex workers in the Red Light District are quite visible and absolutely work the windows they are behind. There are a lot of them. They look pretty good. Also, it is very frowned upon to photograph these ladies.
Things I recommend doing/places to visit:
- The Avocado Show as mentioned before….Try the nachos. The staff were also super lovely. If you looked just about anywhere in the cafe, someone was photographing their food. We waited outside for around 20 minutes. (The address is: Daniël Stalpertstraat 61, 1072 XB Amsterdam)
- The Waterhole was a great spot for live music that you’ll probably know all the words to. We went to a few other bars but this one really stood out. (Address: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 49, 1017 PW Amsterdam)
- Red Light District Pub Crawl. You’ll meet lots of fun people on your crawl. Each hostel will have a pub crawl. Ours was around 17 euro a ticket and we were provided much more alcohol than our ticket paid for!
- Van Gogh Museum. Worth the wait in the queue for 45 minutes if you love art. Also, I was super excited to see ‘Sunflowers.’ Even prettier in person as you’d figure!
- I AMsterdam sign. There were so many people trying to take pictures with the sign. Also, there is a fabulous Christmas market on right near there with plenty of creative stalls to check out. I was admiring a cute knitted hat made by a local but she only took cash and at this point I just had my card on me.
- Boat canal ride. We cruised around the canals for about an hour. Guests were provided with headphones for a listening tour of an older couple who have lived in Amsterdam and are explaining what you’re seeing on either side of the water. Some very cute house boats out there!
It was a fairly productive touristy weekend abroad with some very fun friends. I’d go back again! I couldn’t believe how much there was to do and see there. I would love to see the tulip fields outside the city. Most people I know that have visited Amsterdam have gone back not too long after going the first time. A weekend was just the right amount of time there though! My feet ached and were ready to head home to bed after walking about.
My next big trip will be back home to Boston for Christmas…I’m very excited to see all my friends and family and drink way too much hot cocoa and non-stop cuddle my doggo.
Hope this helps you if you decide to go to Amsterdam (: