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Sunday, August 14, 2016

8 Recommended Things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Legal cannabis and prostitution are probably the first two things that would often come to mind when talking about Amsterdam. However, the city has actually a lot more interesting and “wholesome” things to offer for travelers, whether you’re visiting for a day or two. 

Amsterdam is a charming city with interesting museums, beautiful architectures, canals, markets, and streets for biking. Here is my own list of recommended things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1. Rent a bicycle in Amsterdam
The most cost-effective and enjoyable way to explore Amsterdam is by bike, and no tourist should leave the city without experiencing its popular bicycle culture. Being a flat district, it allows for easy and stress-free cycling. Whether you are a fitness aficionado or not, cycling around Amsterdam can be quite an adventure! 

It is also a fantastic way to visit more attractions and sights without spending too much money on transportation. Renting a bike is way cheaper than taking the bus, train, or tram. You’ll surely enjoy the experience as you bike along the Amstel River and pass by colorful buildings, trendy houseboats, and old architectures.

2. Go to a coffee shop
Amsterdam is equally popular for its numerous coffee shops (not to be confused with cafes!) and these are amazing places for tourists to relax and enjoy cannabis legally while interacting with the locals. Although these shops are not allowed to advertise, identifying them is pretty easy. Just look for the green and white license sticker in the window! 

If you don’t like to smoke, I recommend trying out the famous Amsterdam space cakes (brownies) or the bonbons (lollipops) instead. Why not!? Carpe diem!

3. Visit the Red Light District
Rosse Buurt, De Wallen or Walleties, as the Dutch call it, the Red Light District of Amsterdam is home to a number of legalized brothels, sex shops, and even museums. The most interesting part of this district is its network of alleys containing tiny one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door. 

This specific area leaves nothing to the imagination and you’ve got to see it yourself!

4. Shop in flea and flower markets
There are numerous shopping spots in Amsterdam. For those who are into bargain hunting and flea market shopping, I highly suggest you visit the Waterlooplein market. There you can find vintage stuff, artworks, collectible items, and analogue cameras. You should also consider going to the famous floating flower market. It’s a good place to purchase all sorts of flowers like tulips, narcissus, and other bulbs to bring back home. 

5. Explore the canals
Similar to Venice, Italy, Amsterdam is a town with impressive and extensive canal system. There are many boats and cruises that you can rent to see the town from canals. You will be able to board a cruise in nearly every hour during the day. Trust me, it’s a very relaxing way of exploring the city!

6. Relax at the park
Amsterdam is a city of fantastic parks too. After a tiring day, I would personally recommend going to the extensive Vondelpark, especially during the summer, to hang out and relax. Make sure you take a stroll though the rose garden teeming with a wide variety of roses. Other notable parks in Amsterdam include Westerpark, Rembrandtspark, and Oosterpark, all of which are clean and well-maintained.

7. Eat food from the vending machine
Hungry and need some quick snacks? I suggest you head into FEBO and try their selection of snacks such as burgers and croquettes displayed behind glass doors. No need to order. Simply put some coins in the vending machine slot and voila, snack is ready!

8. Visit the museums
Amsterdam is a paradise for arts and culture enthusiasts. You will surely have a visual blast in Amsterdam as the city is home to many outstanding museums and art galleries, among them the Hermitage, Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum. Make sure you buy the Museumkaart. It is a pretty good deal as it gives you unlimited free access to almost all museums in Amsterdam.

Do you have anything to add to this list of recommended things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands? Feel free to leave your suggestions below!

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