Five things first-timers need to make time for in Amsterdam
When I first arrived in Amsterdam, I was getting good vibes. I can't explain it, but sometimes when you show up to a destination, it just gives you good vibes. It started as soon as I arrived, the transport system was incredibly easy to navigate so that made life a lot easier. So for all those lucky travellers about to venture to Amsterdam for the first time, these are the five things you need to make time for.
Sandemans Walking Tour
First of all they are free! Enough said? Well at the end off the tour you pay what you think is necessary, which I think is an ok system! I still doesn’t take away from the fact that, I always feel awkward because I never know if I give enough, and if they’re judging me for not giving enough. But as a solo traveller, I am being generous (trust me!) I first had a tour with these guys in Prague and was stoked when I found out they were also based in Amsterdam. I would recommend doing this walking tour the day you arrive, to allow yourself the time to get your bearings. My tour guide, Kor was great! He was so knowledgeable and entertaining, he had us laughing the whole tour. You meet in Dam Square, and make your way through Red light District, China Town, you walk through canals and end up just near the ticketing office for the Anne Frank House. It lasts three hours, and definitely worth your time!
Visit 9 Streets
This little area in Amsterdam, is known for (yeah you guessed it) 9 tiny streets, which are lined with restaurants, boutique stores and galleries. I had lunch at Brix Restuarant, and would definitely recommend it!
Rent a Bike
So I'm not going to lie I was really nervous about riding a bike. Mostly because I didn't know the rules and bike riders share the street with cars and it's absolute madness at times. Even as a pedestrian, I was shocked at how alert I had to be because there were bikes and cars coming from every direction. Once I got the hang of it, I loved it. It's such a good way to see the city, and if I didn't know if I was going to the right direction I would follow the person in front of me. Also watch this video before you rent one, so well done, and I was in stitches laughing.
Rijksmuseum is located near the I amsterdam sign. Entry is 17.50Euros and you can buy them online, which is what i would recommend to skip the lineup. You aren't allowed to bring bags into the museum so they provide lockers for you to use. The museum is broken up into different time periods, and to see the floor plan click here. To really tour the museum properly you need a few hours. The highlight of the museum for me was the library. with items being collected since 1885, It's such a lovely space, so even if you're in a rush make time to visit that section.
Walk the canals
I could have spent the day walking around the canal's and taking photos. The city is just beautiful, and Amsterdam isn't short of canals, with a total of 165, and 1,281 bridges. The houses on each side are so interesting, with most buildings being narrow and tall. Why? you ask, because the narrower the houses the less tax the owners have to pay. So lose yourself in Amsterdam and enjoy your surroundings.
J E S S I C A x