Okay so we all know Amsterdam is famous for its red light district and legalisation of marijuana but there is SO much more to this beautiful city than meets the eye. I’ve visited Amsterdam twice now and definitely feel a third trip is needed. I’ve done so much there during my visits but there’s still more I want to do. So here are my absolute MUSTS for Amsterdam and what I will do next time.
1// Over The Edge
Over the Edge is Europe’s highest swing. Over at Amsterdam Lookout building you take the elevator up 20 floors until you’re 100 metres high and then swing off the edge of the building for 60 seconds. Not only does it give you an adrenaline rush, but you get the most magnificent views of Amsterdam. If you’re not much of an adrenaline junkie I still think it is well worth a trip to the building. Entrance is €12.50 but you get to go up to the same viewing platform as the swing for 360 degree views of Amsterdam. There are beanbags, music and a bar up there so it’s the perfect place to relax. If you’ve had enough of the sun head inside to the bar where you get similar views as on the viewing platform.
2// Canal Cruise
On my recent visit it was my friend’s 25th birthday so we booked a canal cruise for the evening and it was even better than I was expecting. If you do a bit of online research you can book several different cruises: cocktail cruises, dinner cruises, candlelit cruises etc so they’re great for any occasion. We did a 90 minute cruise with a complimentary drink whilst getting a tour of the city. There’s no better way to see Amsterdam than on a canal cruise.
3// I AMsterdam sign
We’ve all seen the photos – it’s one of the most iconic photos for travellers to Amsterdam You simply can’t go to Amsterdam without having a photo on top of one of the letters. Just make sure you’re wearing suitable attire that day! There are 2 I AMsterdam signs in the city, one at the airport and one at the Rijksmuseum. Although the sign at the airport might be less crowded and therefore easier to get a photo with it, make sure you go to the one at the Rijksmuseum too because there’s a gorgeous pond and fountain, some lovely gardens to explore and a huge grassy area to relax on.
4// Anne Frank House
I went here on my first visit to Amsterdam in 2015. It is a beautiful museum and feels really surreal to actually be there. Just make sure you’ve booked tickets in advance because the queues are massive. I think we queued for about 2 hours to get in and it was raining an miserable that day so definitely worth pre-booking!
5// Explore the little side streets
Amsterdam is one of those cities where there is something interesting or beautiful on every corner. It is so worth wandering down the little side streets, or straying a little further than you normally would. It means you can diverge away from all the touristy spots and get a taste of the “real” Amsterdam.
There’s still so much of Amsterdam and it’s surrounding districts to explore but these will be absolute musts on my next visit:
1// Bike ride round Vondel Park
2// Visit the ice bar
3// Go to the windmills
4// Visit a flower market for tulips
“Amsterdam was a great surprise to me. I had always thought of Venice as the city of canals; it had never entered my mind that I should find similar conditions in a Dutch town.” – James Weldon Johnson