Having visited the beautiful Dutch capital in March, this post is long overdue. Amsterdam is becoming such a popular city break destination, it seems everyone and their mother has been or is planning on visiting! I find it’s always very helpful to have a little research done prior to visiting a new city, especially if you’re only going to be there for a few days. There are so many things to see and do in the Dam, so it’s super important to pack all the best bits into your visit. Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for visiting Amsterdam..
DO – Visit The Anne Frank House
If there’s one place you visit in Amsterdam, make sure it’s the Anne Frank House. Having been besotted with her as a young girl, it really was a dream come true to visit such a historical building. A lot of the house has been reconstructed but there are also many pieces completely preserved, including a wall of photos and letters pasted by Anne herself. Her actual diary is also on show and there’s constant footage being played in each room to ensure all visitors are informed of the Franks’ story and the struggles they endured.
When visiting, it’s definitely best to do so either first thing in the morning or after 7pm. You’ll still be queuing for an hour or so but it’s better than the 3-4 hour wait you’ll have to endure if you go during the day. The prices are very affordable, you can purchase tickets at the door (after 3.30pm) for just €9 for an adult, or alternatively you can pre-book tickets online for visits between 9am-3.30pm.
BOOK TICKETS ONLINE – http://www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/Practical-information/Online-ticket-sales/
DON’T – Book For Too Long
With the amazing flight deals that Ryanair do from Dublin to Schiphol, it’s easy to book a stay of too long a duration. Personally, when I visited, we stayed for 5 nights, which I feel was a little long for a city like Amsterdam. With almost everything being in such close proximity to each other, you can fit a lot of trips into a few days so take this into account before you book. Researching everywhere you want to visit while in Amsterdam would be of benefit here.
BOOK CHEAP FLIGHTS – https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/
DO – Take A Trip To The Icebar
A trip to the Icebar Xtra Cold is an absolute must when in Amsterdam, it’s such a fun and quirky place to have a few drinks and chill – literally. Absolutely everything in the Icebar is made from ice, from the walls and floor to the shot glasses you’ll drink from! Aout 60 tonnes of ice were used in building the bar and it’s kept at a temp. of -10 C at all times – brrrr… Tickets cost €24 and this includes 3 drinks while you’re in there, making it a very cool deal indeed. There’s also an in-house photographer to capture all your memories.
BOOK TICKETS – http://www.xtracold.com/tickets/order
DON’T – Book Your Accommodation Without A Little Research First
When it comes to booking flights, it’s walk in the park, great prices, super fast online check-in, there’s very few places you can go wrong. Accommodation on the other hand, well that’s a different story. Amsterdam is full of places to stay and the city is quite similar to Cork in that the best quality hotels are located very near to utter and complete dives. Not everyone is aware of this but Amsterdam has a major rodent problem, that’s been going on for hundreds of years (the vast amount of canals probably doesn’t help). It’s definitely a good idea to look up hostels/hotels online before you go and check sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com to see reviews from those who have stayed there previously. Otherwise, you might end up sharing with a few unwanted guests..
DO – Venture Into The Red Light District
If you’re looking for an enlightening experience, The Red Light District really is a must see. In all honesty, it really wasn’t as horrifying as I expected and the history behind it is so interesting. You can visit the Red Light Secrets museum for around €7 and you get a brilliant inside into the lives of the prostitutes and how they entered into the lifestyle in the first place. There’s also a Sex Museum with entry of only €3, with everything from the Victorian times right up to Marilyn Monroe. The District itself is hopping every night, with strip clubs and peep shows, that funnily enough, we didn’t venture into. Most of the decent bars are along the District, right next to the canal and the atmosphere is really relaxed, there’s even some Irish pubs, e.g, Temple Bar.
My Top 5 Places To Visit in Amsterdam
- Anne Frank House
- IceBar Extracold
- Heineken Experience
- Vondel Park
- Canal Tour (Stadhouderkade)
Some Of Our Best Bits…