While I was living abroad in London for 3 months, I knew that one thing I wanted to do while I was there was to hop over to Europe to two places I had never been - Prague and Amsterdam. I had just a week to explore both cities, luckily with one of my friends. Here’s what we did:
Accommodation: Hotel Van Gogh
The hostel we stayed at was in the heart of Museumplein with a 2-minute walk away from the Rijksmuseum, The Van Gogh museum and the Moco museum. There are plenty more museums in the area but these were my favorite!
There was a tram stop at the end of our street which was super convenient because it allowed us to go over to places like Jordaan for trendy cafes and cute boathouses, or to the Red Light District area for an eye-opening experience - Amsterdam’s legal prostitution area.
Red Light District
De Wallen, Amsterdam.
Don’t be alarmed by the beautiful girls swaying behind windows of red-lighted “shops” in this area - Prostitution is actually legal in Amsterdam, however, awareness from the public on women being trafficked from Eastern Europe to these brothels have raised the attention that is slowly closing doors of Amsterdam’s brothels.
Besides the prostitution, this area is full of bars, bakeries, restaurants, shops and bachelor parties.
Museums And Tours
Buy as many tickets as you can online!
Amsterdam is famous for its museums, just as it is for its everlasting bike lanes. While I was here, I visited:
-Moco Museum - A modern contemporary museum filled with art from Banksy, one of my favorite controversial artists and much more.
-Rijksmuseum - The Rijks is a super cool museum that takes you into the history of Amsterdam’s formation and how the Netherlands became what it is. This museum is ginormous and is easy to get lost in so give yourself at least two hours to go through it.
-Anne Franke House - Probably one of my favorite museums because I had read the book when I was younger and never imagined actually being in the house where the book unfolds in. It is quite an intense story that is told during the tour so come prepared! NOTE: Buy tickets online before going.
-Red Light Secrets - This was such an eye-opening experience and something I will never forget. The red light secrets take you into the life of a regular working prostitute in the red light district and what that is like. Learn about their daily struggles, why they are there and mind-blowing statistics.
-Hop on Hop off Amsterdam Canal Tour - A really great way to have the authentic Canal ride, and your ticket lasts for 24 hours which is so convenient to get around!
-Heineken Experience - Located at Heineken’s first ever brewery, this museum includes the history of the brand itself and tasting rooms. A really fun experience!
Eating And Cafes
There is no shortage of eating in Amsterdam, with all the pancake houses everywhere and deserts staring at you through the windows. Here are a few of my favorite places.
-Benjis - Benjis is such a cute cafe that makes you feel like you are in a garden with all the plants hanging from the roof and littered all around the place. The coffee is really good and the prices aren’t bad either!
-Sticky Fingers - Want cute Insta photos? Go here.
-The Commons - Artsy, delicious and unique.
-The Avocado Show - AN ALL AVOCADO RESTAURANT OK?! What more could you want in life?
I encourage you to get on a bike and get lost if you ever get the chance to visit Amsterdam because there is so much to see - from people to places to food. The city never sleeps.