24 Hours in Amsterdam

This week, on a whim that can only be motivated by finals season procrastination, I booked a 24 hour vacation to Amsterdam. In less than a day, I toured one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and learned a lot about who I am as a world traveler. Here’s how I had fun, and saved money, on my solo trip to Amsterdam.

Dutch Tulips at Flower Market

 

Getting There

Living in the UK for three months has taught me a lot about public transportation. Unfortunately most people in the States, ashamedly me included, use their cars to get everywhere. In order to start my spontaneous adventure to the Netherlands, I had to first hop onto a bus to the airport. Traveling public transport in Europe is extremely inexpensive; meaning I can get practically anywhere by bus for under $8. After arriving to the airport, I checked into my flight, which cost me less than $50 because I was traveling on a weekday. I’ll be honest, it was so strange to sit in the airport all alone, but I was too excited to start my new adventure.

 

Staying in Amsterdam

To save money, I rented a private room through Airbnb. It was the first time I had used Airbnb without renting an entire apartment or home. The benefits of renting only one room are prices. The downside lies in sleeping in a house with strangers. Luckily for me, my host was extremely hospitable and gave me advice for getting around the city of Amsterdam. After check-in, I didn’t see them again, so it almost felt like I had the entire place to myself.

 

Exploring the City

Cool, Rainy, and Happy in Front of the "Iamsterdam" Sign

On the day I arrived, I visited the “Iamsterdam” sign, the local Christmas market, the Van Gogh museum, an Amsterdam “coffee shop,” the Museum of Hash, the Anne Frank House, the Red-light museum, and the Red Light district. The second day, I visited the Heineken Museum, the Dutch Palace, and Amsterdam’s Central station.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam

When traveling alone, it is easier to have a fully packed day because you are only concerned with how you feel. I was able to stop, eat, and relax when I wanted. To ensure my safety, I never left public areas and dressed in plain clothing (you don’t want to look like an American tourist anyway). During my 24 hours in Amsterdam, I discovered that I am my own best travel companion. Although I was nervous to go on an adventure alone, I discovered that I am brave enough to explore a city all by myself.

Heineken Museum