Amsterdam is a city renowned for it’s legal marijuana, prostitutes, bar crawls and its crowded tourist centre. However, for adventurous explorers like us who are willing to step aside from the tourist side of the city, Amsterdam has a lot more to offer.
We went to Amsterdam for four days as a surprise birthday trip, with intentions of exploring more of what Amsterdam has to offer. We had an amazing trip without spending too much money so we’ve put together some information to help you out on your next trip to the enlightening city!
Travel Costs in Amsterdam
Accommodation: If you’re a keen backpacker, then you’re in luck as there is plenty of backpacker accommodation in Amsterdam with most being crowded with tourists. If you want to avoid the tourist trap, there are many hostels/hotels near less busy parts of the city. When booking our trip to Amsterdam, we were recommended to stay at ‘The Flying Pig Uptown’, which is a cheap hostel near the famous VondelPark. Most hostels offer free walking tours and breakfast for the price of the accommodation.
With our trip being a birthday treat; we stayed in a big hotel on the outskirts of the city. Corendon Vitality Hotel is the perfect place to stay if you don’t want to be in the loud, busy city centre. It’s a short distance from the Metro station and only about 15/20 minutes away from the centre on public transport. If you’re looking for a hotel in a more peaceful location for a weekend getaway or a surprise trip, we would highly recommend this hotel.
Food: Food is quite expensive in Amsterdam but there are many family run restaurants with pizza and pasta deals for €5 so we tended to go to these places to eat. The smaller, family run restaurants were all unique and cultural, which is something that we enjoy when exploring a new city so when you’re in Amsterdam, if culture is what you’re looking for, try out the small, family run restaurants!
Transport: It’s easy to get around to each part of Amsterdam. You can hire bikes from practically anywhere or you could stick to the trams and buses, which take slightly longer than the Metro and the trains because they stop every few minutes. We just walked everywhere because you can see so much more of what the city has to offer. With our hotel being slightly out the way, we bought a 3-day Amsterdam Travel ticket for €26, which gave us unlimited trips on trams, buses, trains, metro and even for the ferry across the river. If you are planning on seeing the city through public transport, the travel ticket is a great way to save some cash. https://www.discoverholland.com/Amsterdam-Travel-Ticket
Top things to see and do in Amsterdam
Anne Franks House: Whether you’ve read Anne Frank’s Diary or not, seeing the house will be worth a visit to learn about the famous story of her Jewish family hiding during World War 2.
Exploring the Canals: Seeing as Amsterdam is famous for its canals, we would definitely recommend walking around the maze of canals within the centre. There are small little coffee shops, cafes and shops around to pop into during the walk. We did an evening canal cruise through the Amsterdam Light Festival, which was a good way of seeing the city from the water as well as seeing the amazing lights created by famous artists.
VondelPark: This famous park is a beautiful place to chill out with a picnic or go for a walk. The park is massive with a big bridge across one part of the park, which has a bar underneath.
A’DAM Lookout: This is an observation deck with a panoramic view of Amsterdam. You can see the city’s historical centre, the port, the unique Dutch landscape and you can see the famous canals. The lookout is located on top of the A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam North. Tickets are €10 to get up onto the deck and for an extra €5 each, you can have a go on Europe’s highest swing (Over the Edge). If you’re an adrenalin junkie and love heights, we would highly recommend! However, if you’re afraid of heights, you may want to give it a miss! https://www.adamlookout.com
Body Worlds: This museum is a fascinating art exhibition made up of donated bodies, which have been partially flayed to reveal the inner workings of bone and muscle. Sounds gruesome doesn’t it?!
The Red Light District: Amsterdam is famous for its Red Light District so if you want to enjoy all of Amsterdam’s culture, you could take a stroll through here. We wandered through the Red Light District without purposely doing so, which was a bit of a culture shock but if you want to experience all of what Amsterdam has to offer, have a wander through the Red Light District.