Amsterdam may be known for many things…Heineken, Red Light District, Coffeeshops, etc. But there is so much to this city that was unbelievably beautiful to me and made me fall in love with everything about it! From the canals to the people, everything was worth while in just a few days. Like in any city, I love starting with the free walking tours. I am personally extremely biased to one company, and they have tours in a bunch of cities throughout Europe. If you’re looking to do one, I highly suggest Sandeman’s free walking tours as first choice. This is one of the best ways to see cities in just a couple hours and learn all of its history and modern facts.
One of the best parts about Amsterdam is all of the canals that run throughout the city. The picturesque views over the water, whether on foot or in a boat, can not be beat. Getting lost in Amsterdam always has something amazing around the next corner.
A must do in Amsterdam is obviously the Heineken Experience, as this is where Heineken was born in the late 1800s. This is a 2 hour, interactive experience taking you through the history, brewing process, and even games to learn all about Heineken. You even get free beers along the way!
We did an additional canal tour through Heineken that took us to the A’dam Tower and got us admission to go up to the lookout. This is an amazing structure across the main waterway and has fantastic views. I highly suggest doing this whole package through Heineken!
Another touristy site to visit in Amsterdam is the “I AMsterdam” sign. I honestly don’t know what it’s for, but its fun to climb all over it and take pictures!!
One of the best places to visit in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House. Book tickets MONTHS ahead of time online, otherwise you’ll have to wait in a long line but it is definitely worth the wait. It’s an incredible story of such an iconic young girl that was taken too soon during the Holocaust, and the House and Museum pays a wonderful tribute to her and her family, along with many others that died.
And yes, the Red Light District is something you really must see on any trip to Amsterdam. I’ll start with the beautiful old church called the Oude Kerk(literally Old Church) in the middle of the District, that apparently was built there for all of those Catholic sailors coming in to the city, having a little too much of a good time and then needing to repent their sins the next day…Hey that’s just how the story goes! Honestly, the Red Light District is everything you could imagine and more, but it is something you must say you’ve walked along at night(WARNING: Don’t bring your kids).
fAnd as always, my last point will be about the food. Lucky me, Amsterdam also has fry cones(like Brussels) and again, I was in heaven with my new found love in fry cones. As you walk through the streets of Amsterdam, you will also find in the bakery windows absolutely extravagant waffles and donuts, full of vibrant colors and odd mismatches that are delicious. Lastly, a must-visit restaurant is The Pancake Bakery. Words don’t do this place justice. Order savory or sweet crepes, and be prepared to be in awe. Must try: Greek, Mexican or Norwegian(pictured below)!!