Advice About Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more to offer than picturesque canals and the red light district.
This 17th Century Capital City of Netherlands is full of culture and history, impressive architecture, a multitude of museums to choose from and a passion for night life.
Tips and Advice when visiting Amsterdam
What to do: If you are not sure what to see when you are in Amsterdam do consider these ‘must see’s’.
Anne Frank House Museum
You will be plummeted into the middle of World War II and forced to imagine life as a Jew living in hiding. The museum is in the original house where Anne Franks family went into hiding in 1942. Come and discover her story written in her own words from her diary, you will not regret this visit. Adults are €9 each.
Plan to spend about 1.5hrs inside. Be sure to buy tickets online at least two weeks in advance otherwise in summer there will be a queue for buying tickets on the day with a wait of up to 3hrs. In summer it is open until 10pm so it would be best to visit in the evening when the wait is only about 45mins.
Van Gogh Museum
While you would have heard of this famous painter, how much do you really know about his life? Come to the Van Gogh museum to learn all about his short ten year career in painting and the tragic end to his life. Situated right in the heart of Amsterdam this museum is four floors full of paintings in chronological order. (We actually went backwards to avoid the worst of the crowds)
A leisurely walk through the museum takes about 1.5 hours. No backpacks allowed inside, but you can leave them at the cloak room for free. Adults are €15 each and tickets can be bought online (recommended) in advance at particular time slots.
The Tulip Museum
Did you miss the seeing the Tulips growing in the fields in all their splendor? So did we. The Tulip Museum offers a suitable alternative and some interesting information regarding the history of the tulip. For example at the height of tulip trade in the 15th Century, a single bulb could be traded for the price of a small town house.
This museum only costs €5 for adults and takes about 45mins. However you will be immersed in the extensive gift shop for another 20mins. It is full of local art, from paintings to ceramics and vases, tulip bulbs and jewellery.
Cost: Keep in mind that Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) is not a cheap place to visit but well worth it. Expect to pay about €55 a night each just for a hostel, €4 for a Heineken beer and €10 for some delicious pancakes. Although there are cheap food options available in certain streets in the city centre, it will be very simple (something like a €5 for a small cheese pizza).
Public Transport: Whether you arrive by train or plane, once you get to Amsterdam city centre you will find frequent trams servicing all the main city areas. I would recommend buying the 48hr metro ticket for €12 each. You will find most of the locals use these too or ride their bikes. There are not many cars in the city itself.
Language: Dutch is the official language spoken in Amsterdam but it would be rare to find someone whom doesn’t speak even a little english.
Overall my opinion of Amsterdam is that by day the city is beautiful and busy. Try to avoid the locals speeding past on their bicycles and scooters. It is easy to be lost wandering the many canal lined streets although you will be convinced you have walked across the same bridge 200 times.
By night Amsterdam is loose and free. Bars and clubs are open very late. Mostly I loved to watch the reflection of lights in the water and the city come to life.