I recently returned back from a three-day trip to Amsterdam. It was my third visit to the city and I can honestly say each time I go I fall in love with it more and more.
My trip was accompanied by my ex-client, now friend Hannah, who I could swear is my lucky charm. We managed to fall into all of the most amazing food places, we seemed to turn up to everything just before the cues, and we found all of the best gin. Basically, we smashed itA lot of people are hesitant to visit Amsterdam because they envision prostitutes on every corner, and people smoking weed everywhere. Trust me, that ‘s only a minuscule part of the Amsterdam culture. The city is so beautiful, and the people are the happiest and most friendly people in the world.
Before you go
3 days is more than enough time to get stuck into Amsterdam. I recommend getting the first flight in the morning on day one, and the last flight home on day three.
I have stayed in 2 different hotels during my three trips and I would highly recommend them both. The first was ‘The Hampshire Eden’; this is more of a standard hotel just off Rembrandt square. If you want to feel more like a local try the ‘Canal boutique apartments’ in the ‘Jordaan’ district.
Don’t make the mistake of exchanging too much money into euros. The majority of places in Amsterdam only take card.
Download city mapper. This app saved my life while I was in Amsterdam, and saves you walking around aimlessly while you’re trying to figure out where you’re going.
When you arrive
When you arrive at the airport, don’t waste money getting a taxi. There is a train stop at the airport, which takes you straight to Amsterdam Centraal. It’s much cheaper, faster and very straightforward.
Once you have dropped your bags of, I highly recommend picking up some bikes for your whole trip. You can get them all over Amsterdam for around 15 euros per day including insurance. Trust me, It’s safer to get around via bike than car or foot. It is the most cycle-friendly city in the world, and it’s fun to feel like a local.
Your 3 day itinerary
Once you’ve arrived, and dropped off your bags, head over the ‘Food Hallen’. The quality of food and drink is incredible. It offers sushi, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Persian and they have an AMAZING gin bar! We got falafel pittas with chips some sushi and of course some gin.
Once you’re all food and drinked out, either cycle or get the tram back up to central and check out some of the museums. I love ‘the happiness museum’ for an eye-opening insight into the body and the effect of happiness. If you want some giggles, the famous ‘sex museum’ is a couple of doors up (and quite the experience.
I always recommend getting a boat tour around the canals of Amsterdam. It’s a great way to find your bearings and just see the beautiful city. If you head to the ‘Anne Frank Haus’ there are a number of boats on the canal nearby charging around 15- 20 dollars per hour. I can’t remember the name of the one we got, I just remember it was orange and it sold gin.
After the boat tour, head back to the hotel and freshen up ready for dinner.
On our first night, we had dinner at ‘Bar Fisk’. It was 50 euro for an 8-course dinner, and the food was incredible! It was predominantly fish, so if you’re a fish lover, you will really enjoy this restaurant. The whole experience took around 2 hours, so after the 4:30 am start; we were ready to hit the sack after dinner.
Wake up, pop on your most ‘insta worthy’ outfit and head for breakfast. We went to ‘The Avocado Show’, which if you’re an avid member of the avocado club like me, you will LOVE! I ordered the ‘Spanish Surprise’, which was dreamy.
After breakfast head over to Vondel park, Around 15 minutes walk from the breakfast spot.
You will stumble upon the ‘Wake me up when I’m famous’ bench, so make sure you get a few pics (we used a locals car and self-timer to create our own shoot haha).
We hired bikes just outside of ‘Vondel park’ and spent around an hour riding around the park. The park is one of my favorite places to visit in Amsterdam. You could easily spend at least half a day there.
When in Amsterdam, one MUST try the Dutch pancakes. I have tried many of Dutch pancakes in Amsterdam over the years, but my favorite two are ‘Pancakes!’ (You will find these everywhere!), and ‘De Carrousel’ (just next to the Heineken Museum).
I know I stressed how Amsterdam isn’t all just weed and prostitutes, but you HAVE to visit ‘The Red Light District’ for one for the most jaw-dropping experiences of your life. We cycled through, and then went back round on foot because we were just so taken back by the whole experience…
After looking around we got a gin and then a tattoo (like you do) and headed back to the hotel. **If you’re not a Gin or tattoo kind of gal, then insert other activity here**
On the second evening, we headed to ‘The Supper Club’, which I can only describe as a unique experience. You pay 60 euros each which include your table (or bed in their case) a 5-course meal and the experience… I don’t really know how to describe what goes on, but just expect people dressed in fancy dress, dancers, music, and laughs.
After this, we headed to Leidseplein, for a couple of drinks and a dance, before heading back to the hotel.
For breakfast head to ‘Bakers and Roaster’, they serve a banging brunch, serving pretty much anything you could think of. I got the Smoked Salmon Hash and we shared some pancakes.
After breakfast, I recommend walking around the corner to the Heineken factory to do the ‘Heineken Experience’. I don’t even like beer, but I really enjoyed it.
After that, head back up to Centraal station, and behind it, you will find a free boat, which takes you across to the other side of the water. We took the boat over to the ‘ADAM’ lookout, which I recommend that you do. It’s a great photo spot with amazing views over Amsterdam, and if you’re feeling a little wild you can pay 5 euro for the swing, it’s really fun!
We then headed back over to Amsterdam Central, Picked up some snacks and hired some pedallos just outside of ‘Anne Frank Haus’. They were 10 euro per head for a couple of hours. We played music through speakers, ate chocolate and were quite the comedy act to the passing boats, especially when we were stuck between a wall and bollard (you had to be there).
For the last supper, I recommend walking 5 minutes up the road from the pedallo booth to a little restaurant called ‘Hummus Bistro D&A’. This is every hummus lovers dream and the food is so tasty and fresh.
Finally, spend 5-10 minutes questioning whether or not to extend your stay, realize you’re not badass enough to call into work sick, and then hesitantly pick up your cases and jump on the train back to the airport!
If you haven’t been to Amsterdam before I would always recommend fitting in a visit to the Anne Frank Haus, which is a really emotional but eye-opening experience. (You could insert this where we got tattoos).
I hope this blog post has been helpful for anyone visiting or wanting to visit the city. Hit me up on Insta for any further recommendations.
Happy traveling people!!