It’s easy to realize how, over the years, Amsterdam rose to be the “naughty capital” in Europe. For many, coffeeshops and Red Light District do the trick itself, but the city has so much more to offer, than what it’s mainly known for.
We spent two days in Amsterdam in summer of 2015. We flew from Edinburgh and stayed in Ibis Budget airport hotel. This accommodation is in the middle of nowhere, but it does have a free shuttle connection with the airport (from where it’s easy to get to the city), is reasonably priced and very comfortable. Breakfast and snack are on offer for additional price.
Anne Frank’s House
One of our first stops in Amsterdam was Anne Frank’s House. I’m not going to reveal the story for you, as I’m sure you would want to experience that for yourself while there.
Like, in case of most attractions of this kind, the story is told as a visitor moves from room to room of the house. For those of you who like history this will be quite interesting experience, but considering the reasons for Anne’s hiding, entertainment is not what you should expect.
I urge everyone who is thinking of going in, to visit the official website to purchase tickets in advance – the line can be quite overwhelming! IMPORTANT NOTICE: At the time of writing this article, the only way to visit this attraction was to purchase tickets in advance via the website. This was due to renovation taking place inside the house.
It’s always crowded and you’ll never get a picture without other tourists in it (this may be possible in early hours of the day, but we didn’t check our self). Despite that, the atmosphere there is great, the sign is iconic and, in my opinion, should be on everyone’s to do list. It’s a little outside of strict city centre, but don’t let this discourse you from walking there – walking around Amsterdam is an attraction in itself! There’s an exact copy of this sign just outside Schiphol airport.
“A bench?” you will ask! For those of you who haven’t seen in, The Fault in our Stars is a really good drama movie and that particular bench is featured in it. I’m not going to review it for you and you may argue that it’s a silly reason to make a bench an attraction only because it was in the movie. Well, I’d rather shake hands and drink a coffee in a company of Shailene Woodley and Willem Dafoe, who star in the movie, but the bench will have to do for now. For those interested, it’s located at the corner of Leidsegracht and Herengracht.
Canal boat trip
The canals of Amsterdam are somewhat legendary; therefore one may think no trip to the city is complete without a boat ride. This is down to a personal preference and my own would be to skip it. It’s not very entertaining and there are many other ways to spend your money better. If it is something you’d like to do, simply head to central train station – tours leave from there every 15-30 minutes.
It may as well be the highest concentration of tulips in a public space ever! Sarcastic joke aside, it’s a pleasant place to walk around and shop for souvenirs, but don’t expect to see anything spectacular. If it’s not “your cup of tea”, you will not miss that much if you decide not to go there.
So that was us in Amsterdam. If you have any questions, get in touch and for more travel tips, keep coming back to our blog.