Amsterdam will charm your socks off, and I highly recommend adding it to your ‘must travel to’ list.
This was my first trip to Amsterdam, and a part of my first International solo trip everrr. I fell in love with the canals, the bicycles, the people, the houseboats (OMG now I want to live on a house boat!), the cheese and the overall friendly Dutch style!
This laid back, yet open minded city really led me on my own self discovery journey and I know it will do the same for you!
Traveling intentionally (read what I mean here) happens effortlessly and naturally in Amsterdam. Whether you are traveling solo or not, there truly is something for everyone in this fabulous city.
Here is the AHC Amsterdam travel guide:
Getting To (and around) Amsterdam
I took the train in to town from Belgium. The main Amsterdam train station is centrally located making it a great way to arrive from anywhere in Europe. And if you fly in, the train at the airport takes you right in to city centre.
Getting around town is a breeze because everything is very walkable. This is also a HUGE bicycle community and I definitely recommend renting a bike for the day(s) to explore like a local (but there are metros and trams everywhere too).
BTW it will probably rain or be windy at least once, regardless of the season, so be sure to layer your clothes.
Where To Eat In Amsterdam
Mazzo was on my walk from the Anne Frank House and after those lines I was super hungry. I had read mixed reviews about this industrial chic Italian themed restaurant, but I really loved the pasta I ordered as well as the lively atmosphere.
Bolhoed was my favorite vegetarian find (all organic and lots of vegan options too). This spot was so yummy and the hearty vegan soup I had really hit the spot so I returned the following day! Their cute cat resident was super cute too!
A’dam Lookout is a rooftop bar and restaurant with the most amazing city views. Grab some lunch or reserve a dinner seat…oh, and there is even a swing on the sky deck if you’re feeling super adventurous!
Het Badhuis was near my AirBnb and the perfect spot for some dinner and drinks. The building is an old bathhouse turned cozy restaurant and I grabbed a spot near the fireplace to warm myself up.
I stopped by Pompstation which was also nearby because they were playing some live music (usually Thurs-Sun evenings). I will definitely make sure to dine here on my next visit.
PIQNIQ for a coffee + a pastry (or two): this adorable spot was my perfect rainy day escape for something sweet to eat and something hot to drink. They have great lunch options and they even offer pre-made picnic baskets for you to take to a local park and have your own outdoor dining fun (they had fun local art on the walls too).
And make sure to consume the following yummy-ness:
Please, please, please eat a stroopwafel during your stay. Basically, it is two round wafer-thin waffles with a layer of amazingly gooey caramel syrup in between that tastes like the best chewy cookie you never even knew existed!
Definitely get some Indonesian food! OMG, those spices! Sampurna was a delicious Indonesian restaurant find, but there are countless excellent choices. Any that you stumble upon will be delish.
I didn’t give this local fav a try but hear that you should…raw herring. You will find street stands everywhere offering this – are you a raw fish lover??
Eat some Dutch cheese. Or be like me and eat some Dutch cheese all day errrrrrrday during your trip. There are cheese shops throughout town and you really can’t go wrong!
Have a cute lil’ tulip glass of genever during your visit. This spirit is a distilled grain that’s flavored with juniper berries and often compared to an English gin (but of course it is explained that the English did it wrong and added too many ingredients heehee).
Things To Do In Amsterdam
Take Boat Tour of the Canals – one of the best ways to see the city via one of the 165 canals. It was raining so I chose a glass covered tour boat but if it is sunny, do an open air one OR better yet, grab a private boat with a guide.
Explore The City By Bicycle – the Dutch sure do love their bikes, making the city VERY bike friendly…it is a super FUN and cheap way to explore Amsterdam. They have bike lanes everywhere and even have bicycle signals at each light.
*Visit The Anne Frank House – this is for sure one of the most popular attractions in the city, but I super recommend it! I got the chills wandering through the house and getting a glimpse of what it was like for Anne and her family to hide here during Hitler’s reign. It is a must see in my opinion.
They recently changed the ticket purchasing process and you must now buy online (80% of tickets for any date are released exactly two months in advance. The remaining 20% are released on this website on the day). Please note, you cannot take photos inside unfortunately, and last entry to the museum is 30 minutes before closing.
Picnic At Vondelpark – this enormous beautiful park is the perfect spot for a sunny day! It’s a great spot to connect with nature in a new place!
Take off those shoes, feel the grass in between your toes and soak in some nature Dutch style. It is vibrant and chill, somehow at the same time. (Be sure to spot the real Picasso sculpture too).
*Visit The Van Gogh Museum – home to the largest collection of Van Gogh works, this place can get very crowded and like Anne Frank House you now must buy tickets online in advance. *pro tip: If you are planning on visiting multiple museums and attractions, definitely check out the I amsterdam city card, you could potentially save a TON of $!