I have been to Amsterdam three times, so I would like to think I have a fun weekend there down pat. Amsterdam is a beautiful city of canals, colorful townhouses, and flexible rules. Millions of tourists pass through each year to get a taste of what this city has to offer. I am going to give you my guide on how to make the most of a weekend in this beautiful city.
What to Expect:
Language – Dutch (but mostly everyone speaks English)
Currency – Euro
Climate – Winter months (November-March) might be a little nippy to walk around in, so bundle up!
Where to Stay:
Two of the times that I went to Amsterdam I stayed at an adorable Airbnb in the Red Light District. This Airbnb rooms up to 4 guests, is very comfortable and homey, and the host is fantastic. I would recommend this location to anyone traveling to Amsterdam. At $80 per night, this is an incredible deal.
My third trip to Amsterdam I stayed somewhere different. Thanks to our friends who work at The Marriott, we were able to stay at The W Amsterdam for a discounted price. This was right outside of Damm Square, a major town square in Amsterdam that lies in the historical center of the city. The W Amsterdam might very well be the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in. The room was huge, with tall ceilings, comfortable beds, and a modern shower in the middle of the room. My favorite part of my stay here was the pool, which was a rooftop pool that overlooked the city.
What to do:
Canal cruise – There will be lots of cruise options as you wander through the city. We paid $14 a person to join a cruise with a bar on board (drinks not included). This is a great way to get to know the city through its famous canals!
Museum Square – Hop on a metro and go south to Museum Square. This is where you will find the Rijksmuseum and the famous I AMSTERDAM sign. It gets crowded – so if you want to snap a decent picture I recommend getting there early.
Bike Ride – Avoid the dangers of cars by riding around Vondelpark. Vondelpark is a huge and beautiful park with tons of lakes, wildlife, and people. There are even little shops inside the park where you can stop and get tea or a snack.
Coffee Houses and Red Light District – See what the hype is about, and stroll through the streets of the Red Light District.
Where to eat:
Stroop Waffles, Belgium waffles, and Pancakes! If it were up to me, we would only eat pancakes and waffles all day, everyday. The waffles are my weakness. These warm and sugary treats are great with Nutella and strawberry. There are waffles everywhere but a notoriously delicious breakfast place is: http://www.upstairspannenkoeken.nl/
Doner Kebap: The perfect late night munchy, Kebab shops litter the street of Amsterdam, and you will not regret this meat and tzatziki filled wonder.
Street food: Amsterdam did not give us a fancy “sit and stay” vibe. The crowds kept moving along and so did we. This in no way means the food wasn’t delicious. From burgers to pizza, Amsterdam is a city of indulgence.
Where to drink:
Besides the obvious “everywhere” there are a few places that stood out to me:
Wynard Fockink – A trip here feels like a trip inside a Harry Potter novel. Be careful not to miss this small little bar that’s tucked into an alleyway. What this distillery lacks in size it makes up in charm. Opened in 1692, this bar serves Jenever, a traditional Dutch liquor.Visiting this unique stop will give you a literal taste of Dutch history.
Windmill Brewery – A brewery in a windmill… need I say more? This brewery serves tasty beer, and also has some yummy snacks and cheese platters.
Red Light Bar – In the heart of the Red Light District this bar has cheap drink deals, and a lively atmosphere.
The Bulldog Energy Bar – This cool “underground” atmosphere serves huge pitchers of beer for 11 Euro.
So there is my guide to having an awesome weekend in Amsterdam! It is a cute city filled with fun, food, and plenty of drinks! Since I have been here three times, my next goal is to explore other parts of the Netherlands during my next visit. Bon Voyage!