The capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam is one darn good city. From the exquisite and picturesque canal network to its rich history and vibrant cultural scenes, Amsterdam is one city that has to be present on your travel bucket-list. And if you’ve already planned a trip to the vividly charming city, here is a list of things you must absolutely do to actually make the most of your trip.
1. Take a canal cruise
Amsterdam’s canal belt was created in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay. It is unarguably the prettiest sight in Amsterdam and presents a quintessential picture-postcard vision of the city. The belt looks equally good in the day as well as the night when decorated with fairy lights giving it an absolute magical feel! Riding a canal cruise is the best way to take the ultimate feels of the city and there are loads of options to choose from, like the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours to atmospheric candlelit night time cruises with food and wine.
2. Discover the independent shopping streets
Amsterdam is perfect for retail therapy and if you really want to put your hands on the best products whilst keeping a check on your budget then you got to visit the well-known De Negen Straatjes or ‘The Nine Streets’ which is an extremely appealing street connecting the main canals between Leidsegracht and Raadhuisstraat. This place is home to over 200 retailers, which includes a fine selection of independent boutiques, vintage shops and speciality stores which sell everything from handmade cosmetics to best designer dresses. Another one of such experience can be garnered at the hip Haarlemmerijk, the Utrechtsestraat, or at the Czaar Peterstraat which is another delightful place in Amsterdam East.
3. Hop on your bike and get lost in the arty Jordaan
Don’t get too surprised by the number of bicycles you might locate in Amsterdam because there are more bicycles there than people in the city. Thus, cycling in Amsterdam is not just a trend, but a way of life. Moreover, it is safe, enjoyable and revitalising. The best place to travel to after you hop on your bicycle is the most cited Jordaan which is Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, owing to the narrow street and quaint buildings which are speckled with art galleries, antique shops, courtyard gardens, and impressive bars and restaurants.
4. Travel to Amsterdam North in a ferry
Most people tend to miss the opportunity to cross the waters and escape visiting the North of Amsterdam Central Station which we don’t want you to do because North Amsterdam offers a vibrant and lively food, drink and cultural scene! A short (free) ferry trip will take you to a number of drop off points including cultural hotspot NDSM, where you can enjoy a host of hip waterside hangouts, frequent festivals and events.
5. Don’t miss the beer tasting under a windmill
At this time there are 8 windmills in Amsterdam that are remaining and the most easily visited is the de Gooyer in the Eastern Islands. The best part is that it isn’t just any windmill, the actual reason for the sails of this striking landmark is Brouwerij‘t Ij, which is an award winning artisan microbrewery with a giant outdoor drinking terrace and a 30-minute long guided tasting hours where you’ll get a range of organic standard and seasonal ales but nothing beats the freshly brewed beer!
6. Feel the real culture in Museumplein
Known as the cultural beating heart of Amsterdam, Museumplein is home to the
Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. It has recently been renovated and is an art lover’s paradise! The open-square between the buildings throbs with activities all day owing to the open-air exhibitions, markets and also the large paddling pool which, in winters, transforms into a vast outdoor ice rink!