Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It has beautiful canals and over 1500 bridges. I have been to Amsterdam a few times so far and have always enjoyed myself because of the ease of getting around (just follow the canals) and because there is so much to do in Amsterdam.
Getting from the Airport (which is a great airport by the way) is easy. A train ticket from the airport to the centre of Amsterdam costs four euro and you can buy a return ticket back to the airport even if it is not the same day that you return. It takes about 20 minutes to get from the airport to the canal ring portion of town.
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Walking around the old part of town is also very easy, most places are accessible by foot, and if it isn’t you can take one of the trams that cost a few euro to ride. You can also buy a 24 hour pass. Of course, you can also rent a bicycle (you know in the land of bicycles) but this costs at least 7 to 9 euro per day. People do not wear helmets in Amsterdam and there aren’t that many cars in the canal ring or old part of town.
Things to Do
There are many things to do in Amsterdam. One of the cheapest ways to get acquainted with the main portion of town is to take a canal cruise. This takes about an hour and costs about 9 to 11 euro. Another great thing to do (that is free) is just to walk around. The flower market is beautiful and you can look at bonsai plants, tulips, and other beautiful foliage.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House was one of the most interesting museums that I have been to, I remember reading the Anne Frank book in elementary school. It was haunting and chilling to see the museum and where Anne Frank lived and I would recommend this as a must-see.
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum admission costs 15 euro for admission.
If you are going to be in Amsterdam for a few days, it might be a good idea to get the iAmsterdam card. For just a little more than 40 euro includes public transportation and access to museums, in addition to other Amsterdam attractions.
This is another ‘must-see’ especially if you like Heineken. For the price of admission you get two free beers and a Heineken Experience souvenir (I got a bottle opener in a fancy Heineken metal bottle). It is very interactive and what better way to have an excuse to drink alcohol before lunchtime?
Where to Eat
There are plenty of “street eats” and I must admit I had fries with mayonnaise on a few occasion (just can’t pass up fries with mayonnaise). One of the places that I went to that I really enjoyed was a place with delicious apple pie called Winkel 43. It was located near the Jordaan area I believe and had very reasonably priced entree options (soup was absolutely delicious and cheap for “foodie style”) and a big slice of apple pie with a generous portion of whipped cream.
There are a lot of Argentinian style steakhouses for some reason in the red light district but I didn’t try these, they did look very tourist-y though and probably not a good place to spend your money.
Where to Stay
Some of the places near and around the Red Light district are cheaper. It wasn’t too loud or rowdy to my surprise for 20 euro a night for a private room. Alternately you could stay on a hotel boat…though it is a bit of a walk to the main part of the Old Centre. This cost about 20 euro a night as well per person for a private two person room. For hostels you could spend about 15 euro a night in a dorm.
Unfortunately not that cheap, another option would be to stay at a place on Airbnb. There were some decent places with access to a kitchen for less than 20 euro a night per person.
Readers, have you been to Amsterdam before? What did you see and do there?